Frequently Asked Questions

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Q How much are rates going to go up to pay for the new WWTP2 plant?

A

The City has been raising sewer rates gradually at the recommendation of a rate study. The rate study is available at City Hall. The loan repayments for the new WWTP2 are included in the already planned rate increases.

Q What will happen to the old wastewater treatment plant?

A

The current wastewater treatment plant #2, just west of the new plant in Empire, will be removed and the site leveled and planted with grass. This site will be reserved for use for future wastewater improvements.

Q Is the WWTP2 project going to tie up traffic on Cape Arago Highway?

A

The WWTP2 project may close one lane down for brief periods with flaggers, but most of the work is on the project site and not in the road. There will be increased truck traffic on S. Empire Blvd and everyone is asked to drive cautiously in construction zones.

Current traffic impacts will be posted on the city's website.

Q How much will the wastewater treamtent plant cost?

A

The City has signed a contract for $24,531,820 for the construction of the new waterwater treatment plant #2.

Q When will the new plant wastewater treatment plant be finished?

A

The new WWTP2 will start treating sewage in June 2018, with the remaining work completed by September 2018.

Q How did the City select the construction companies for the new WWTP2?

A

The WWTP2 Construction Manager was selected by qualifications and then all of the actual construction work was bid. M.A. Mortenson Construction is managing the project and local companies Billeter Marine and Kyle Electric will build the upgrades. CH2M designed the new plant in partnership with the local engineering firm SHN Engineers & Geologists Inc.

Q Is DEQ going to fine the City because the wastewater treatment plant construction was delayed?

A

DEQ was going to fine the City for not meeting the required deadlines for building the new WWTP2. The City appealed the increase in fines due to delay on the project and DEQ agreed to reinstate the previous operating agreement that had lower fines. DEQ also removed some of the milestones that would trigger fines if the City missed the deadlines. There are still deadlines that could trigger fines, but the construction has started and the schedule meets all of the dates required.

Q When will Wastewater Treatment Plant 2 be finished?

A

The WWTP2 project started in September 2016 and is expected to be finished in late summer 2018. Piping connecting the outfall to the new plant site was installed in the fall of 2016 during the road project to reduce traffic delays for residents.

Q What animals can I have? Are chickens allowed?

A

Certain animals require a special Animal Control permit to be kept in the city limits. The permit must be renewed annually. Chickens, ducks, geese and other poulty are allowed with a permit, however, rooster are not permitted due to noise ordinances.

Animal Control permits are required for any: horse, mule, donkey, pony, cow, pig, goat, sheep, llama, poultry, rabbit, animal raised for fur-bearing purposes, cat other than the Felis catus, nonhuman primate, wolf, coyote, canine other than Canis familiaris, poisonous reptile or any reptile whose average adult length is greater than two feet, bat, bear, bees kept in a collection of hives or colonies, or any mammal, reptile or amphibian not native to North America.

Q What are summer sprinkling or irrigation sewer rates?

A

The summer sprinkling/irrigation sewer rates are for individually metered single-family residential sewer users who are customers of the Coos Bay - North Bend Water Board.  This group was selected as they usually have a larger lot and room for a garden, flowers, etc.

The sewer rates for individually metered single-family residential sewer users during the May through the October billing cycle are a flat rate, calculated from the average water consumption for the prior six month billing cycle of November through April.  During the May through October billing cycle an individually metered single family dwelling will pay this flat rate or their actual rate, whichever is less.

Accounts opened during the April billing cycle or those that open an account during the May through October billing cycle who do not have any prior history, a calculated flat rate will be charged or the rate based on the actual water consumption shall be charged, whichever is less.

The City is divided up into several different billing cycles because the Coos Bay – North Bend Water Board is not able to read the entire City’s water meters in one week.  That means the May through October billing cycle for the residents throughout the City will vary.  Some customer’s May through October billing cycle will start at the end of May and others will start in June; each customer is provided six months of sprinkling rates

Q Can I reserve a gazebo or picnic table at Mingus Park?

A

The amphitheater and adjacent gazebo, near the swimming pool, can be reserved with a Special Event Application; there is no fee for this. The gazebo by the children's play area and picnic tables at Mingus Park are not able to be reserved, but are available on a first-come first-served basis. Please be courteous so that everyone can enjoy the facilities.

Q How do I apply for a land use application?

A

The Planning Division handles land use applications. There are a number of different land use applications including annexations, variances, right-of-way vacations, conditional uses, site plan and architectural reviews, land divisions, and code or text amendments. Any type of property improvement or development may trigger a land use review so it is important to check with the Planning Division to discuss your intentions prior to starting a project.

Q How do I report a zoning violation?

A

Zoning violations can result when an activity or use occurs on a property that is contrary to the limitations or regulations in a zoning district. If you suspect a zoning violation is occurring and want to report it, please contact the Planning Division at 541-269-8918. We'll need to know the address of the property involved, the alleged nature of the violation, when the violation occurs (if it is not constant or in the same place), and how long it has been going on. The better information way receive, the sooner a response can usually occur.

Q Who can I call if I have questions or comments about a land use project?

A

You can always contact the Planning Division office at 541-269-8918 to get information about a land use or planning project. If you received a mailed notice of a pending land use hearing, the project planner’s name and direct contact information will appear on the notice.

Q Do I need approval to put a sign on my property?

A

Yes, you need approval to put a sign on your property. You need to talk to the Planning Division to make sure that what you propose is within the allowed signage for the property. You need a Building Permit for the sign's structure and attachments. If the sign is in the right of way, you need a Right of Way Use Permit.

Q Do I need a permit for a shed?

A

You may need a building permit, and you need to check with the Planning Division to make sure that the shed is allowed and will fit with your allowable lot coverage. A building permit is required if the building is more than 200 square feet in size or over 8 feet tall. The Planning Division can help make sure that you meet your property's requirements for zoning, lot coverage, setbacks, and other issues.

Q What is required to operate a business out of my home?

A

If you are running a business from your home and your home is located within the city limits, you will need a Home Occupation permit and a Business License. If your home is not within the city limits, you just need a standard Business License. Download and complete both sides of the Home Occupation Permit Application (which is also a Business License application), then submit it to the Community Development Department. If you do not own the home, you will need written permission from the property owner to conduct your business from the premises. The application will be reviewed by our staff to make sure that the proposed business fits the requirements for a Home Occupation and does not infringe upon the rights of other residents or alter the residential character of the area.

Q Do I need a permit to remove a tree from my property?

A

You do not need a permit or permission to remove a tree on your own property. However, if the tree is in the public right-of-way, such as next to the street or sidewalk, you do approval from the Tree Board prior to removal. You may also need a right-of-way permit. Contact the Public Works Department at 541-269-8918 for additional information.

Q How can I find out about work being done on a property?

A

Current building permit records are availble online at the State of Oregon’s ePermitting website. Just enter the property address to find all current permits; if you search by address, be sure to include the city or ZIP code or you'll get results from across the state.

Q What are my property setbacks?

A

Setbacks for buildings and structures are determined by the zoning district in which development is occurring, the type of structure, and the number of floors. The City of Coos Bay Municipal Code, Chapter 17.150, outlines the requirements for yards and setbacks. General requirements for yards is 10 feet for street frontage and 5 feet from the property line for the interior side and rear. Side and rear yards must also have an additional foot for each story or part story above the first story of any building. There are additional requirements for vision clearance and vehicular access, and exceptions for accessory buildings and specific lots.

Q How do I find events in the area?

A

Annual events are listed here, with more detailed information listed Coos Bay-North Bend Visitor and Convention Bureau website, Oregon's Adventure Coast.

Q Can I camp in any of the parks?

A

Camping is not allowed in city parks. The only exceptions are for a city of Coos Bay park host, or a group with permission via a special events permit from Public Works and Development Department.

Q What times are the parks open?

A

Mingus Park is open to the public 24/7. All other parks and public areas are for day use only, so open from dawn to dusk.

Q Am I required to have my dog on a leash ?

A

All dogs shall be on a leash and shall be controlled by the owner at all times. Dogs are not permitted in the beach and swimming area of Empire Lakes. Owners are required to remove and deposit all dog feces in appropriate trash receptacles.

Q Is smoking allowed in parks?

A

Smoking is not allowed within 25 feet of designated play structures within any city park, and not allowed at all in Mingus Park. The boundaries of Mingus Park includes but is not limited to the skateboard park, tennis court, basketball court, softball/baseball area, Frisbee golf course, pool, play structures, gazebos, trails and paths, and the sidewalks on Commercial Ave and N 8th Street which abut the park.

Q When do I need a Business License?

A

Business licenses are required for any business conducting business within the city limits of Coos Bay or with another business or person who is within the city limits of Coos Bay. Go to the business license page for additional information and applications, or call the Community Development Department at 541-269-8918.

Q When can I contact city offices?

A

City offices are open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, except on holidays.

Q Are there business organizations in the area?

A

The Coos Bay Downtown Association (541-266-9706) and the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (541-266-0868) support local businesses.

Q Where can I go for assistance with opening a new business?

A

Contact the City of Coos Bay Community Development Department at 541-269-8918 for information on business license requirements, zoning, urban renewal, and façade improvement grant program. Local agencies include the Business Development Center (541-756-6866), Business Oregon (541-267-4651), Coos Curry Douglas Business Development Corp (CCD) (541-756-4101), and South Coast Development Council (SCDC) (541-266-9753).

Q How do I report an abandoned vehicle?

A

To report an abandoned vehicle, call the police non-emergency number at 541-269-8911 and provide the location, a description of the vehicle, length of time the vehicle has been at the location, and any other information that might assist the police.

Q How do I claim my property held by the Coos Bay Police Department?

A

To claim your property, ensure you have needed paperwork and identification and then contact the Coos Bay Police Department in person or by phone at 541-269-8911 during regular business hours (Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm) and schedule a time to meet with the Coos Bay Police Department Property Technician.

Q How do I obtain a police report?

A

You may come to the Coos Bay Police Department and request a copy of a police report in person, or you may put your request in writing. If you submit a written request, please include your name, date of birth, address, phone number, case number of report if known, payment (see fee schedule below), and a self-addressed stamped envelope to return the report to you. Fees must be paid at the City of Coos Bay Finance Dept. Copies of Police Investigative Reports are $10.00 per report, up to 10 pages and $.25 per page thereafter. Copies of Photo CD are $10 per disc. Copies of Audio Recordings are $25 per hour, with a minimum charge of $15.00. Copy of Video Recordings related to police investigations are $25 per copy.

Q How do I become a volunteer firefighter?

A

To become a Coos Bay Fire & Rescue Volunteer Firefighter, please fill out a Volunteer Application, include a copy of your valid license or identification card, and turn it into Central Station located at 450 Elron St. in Coos Bay.

Q Does the library provide Internet access?

A

Public Internet computers are available for hour-long or 15 minute sessions in the library. Wireless Internet is available throughout the building for those who have their own computers or wireless devices.

Q What are the Library's hours of operation?

A

The library is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 7pm, on Friday and Saturday from noon to 6pm, and closed on Sunday. See the library's website for additional information.

Q What is allowed in a burn barrel?

A

Only domestic waste may be burned in a barrel. Paper, cardboard, and yard debris all must be dry before being burned.

Q Is burning allowed within the city limits?

A

Burning is allowed during daylight hours only, with a responsible adult equipped with a hose and a shovel or other approved fire extinguishing tool present at all times. Residential outdoor burning within the city limits of Coos Bay does not require a permit from the fire department.

Q Are property boundary lines shown on GIS maps accurate?

A

The property boundary lines shown on GIS maps are within a few feet of the actual boundary, but are not exactly accurate due to the nature of GIS. GIS is intended to be a graphical representation only and by no means an official survey or legal interpretation thereof. The City of Coos Bay provides this data in good faith and makes no warranties, guarantees or representations of any kind, either expressed or implied, as to the content, accuracy, completeness or reliability of this data.

Q What GIS data is available?

A

GIS Services provides data in various formats. Overlay maps of individual properties are available to the public and can be generated upon request. Overlay maps can include layers such as property lines, zoning designations, building footprints, City utilities, topography and satellite imagery. Raw GIS data files are available in various formats including; ESRI shapefiles, geodatabases and TIFF (*.tif) raster images. Please contact GIS Services at 541-269-1181 Ext. 2258 or by emailing Kevin Neff, GIS Coordinator, at kneff@coosbay.org for further information.

Q Where can I get City of Coos Bay GIS Data or maps?

A

GIS data and maps can be obtained by contacting GIS Services at 541-269-1181 Ext. 2258 or by emailing Kevin Neff, GIS Coordinator, at kneff@coosbay.org

Q How can I contact the Building Official?

A

Call the City of Coos Bay Building Codes Division at 541-269-8918. The office staff can tell you permit information, schedule inspections, and can answer many of your questions, and can forward you to the Building Official if needed.

Q Can a permit be issued before the plan review is approved?

A

Plan review must be complete before a permit can be issued. After you apply for a permit and the plans are approved, the permit will be issued to you and you can begin work.

Q How do I request an inspection?

A

To request an inspection, please call the City of Coos Bay Building Codes Division at 541-269-8918. A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is usually required for inspections. When you call, you will be asked for the permit number, property owner's name, project address, type of inspection needed, and date on which inspection is desired. Unless all of the work is outside and accessible, an adult needs to be at the site to provide access for the inspector.

Q When does my permit expire?

A

Building permits expire if there are no inspections for 180 days. The best way to keep your permit from expiring is to make progress and have regular inspections as you work. If you can't work within a 180-day period and don't wish to abandon the project, you may submit a written request to the Community Development Department to extend your permit for an additional 180 days.

Q When can I start work?

A

Construction can begin when the permit is issued, and must be started within 180 days of the permit being issued. If your project takes more than six months to complete, you’ll need to request an extension and schedule a progress inspection every six months until it is finished.

You must build according to the plans you submitted with your application. Any substantial change requires submitting a revised plan and may require additional fees. If you need to make changes in your building plans, please call or visit the City of Coos Bay Building Codes Division. Your permit must be available onsite throughout construction.

Q Who is responsible for obtaining permits?

A

The property owner is responsible for obtaining all permits for structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and manufactured dwelling setup. A contractor or family member can apply for permits on the property owner's behalf, but the permit is ultimately the property owner's responsibility.

All electrical and plumbing permits are issued by the Oregon State Building Codes Division (BCD); the Coos Bay Field Office is conveniently located inside Coos Bay City Hall, just down the hall from Coos Bay's Building Department. Contact the BCD Coos Bay Field Office at 541-266-1098.

Q When am I required to get a permit?

A

A building permit is required for new construction or if you’re making structural, plumbing, mechanical, or electrical changes to an existing building. You generally don’t need a permit for minor repairs and maintenance. If you are not sure whether or not you need a permit, call the City of Coos Bay Building Codes Division at 541-269-8918.

Q Who is responsible for the improved and unimproved right of way next to my house?

A

The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of the improved and/or unimproved right of way adjacent to the property. The right of way must be maintained so that vegetation in not overgrown and causing a vision clearance issue, and sidewalks must be maintained and in good repair and safe condition. See Coos Bay Municipal Code Section 12 .

Q Where are my property corners and property lines located?

A Often times it is assumed that fences, edges of street and/or sidewalk, vegetation/tree lines, or telephone poles are identifiers for property lines and corners. However, very often this is not the case. In some cases you will locate a permanent survey marker on your property. The permanent survey marker is typically a steel rod that has a professional survey license number and name and license number engraved on the cap. If your property does not have permanent markers, you can determine the property limits by obtaining the services of a licensed land surveyor. The City does not keep surveys of property lines on record, however the County may have a survey recorded. In order to determine if the County has this information, the property owner can contact Coos County Offices at 541-396-3121.

Q When do I have to hook up to the City’s sewer or a septic system?

A

When a collection line or service lateral becomes available within 300 feet of a property served by a private sewage disposal system, the user shall construct a private lateral to connect the property to the wastewater system, and any septic tanks, cesspools, or other private sewage disposal system shall, at the owner’s sole expense, be abandoned in accordance with state law and in accordance with Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requirements.

Where no collection line is located within 300 feet from any boundary of a property, the owner shall construct and connect to a private sewage disposal system complying with the provisions of Section 13.15 of the Coos Bay Municipal Code. The owner shall operate and maintain the private sewage disposal system at all times in a sanitary manner and at the owner’s sole expense. Permits may be required by the DEQ for the installation and/or maintenance of the private sewage disposal system. It is the owner’s responsibly to comply with all DEQ requirements.

The local DEQ office is located at 381 N Second Street, Coos Bay, OR 97420. The phone number for DEQ’s office is (541) 269-2721.

Q Do I need a permit for a sewer repair?

A

Yes. A Sewer Permit is required if the repair involves the city's storm or sanitary sewer, so you should check with the City's Public Works Department before starting repairs. If the repair is in the right of way (e.g. under the sidewalk or street), the permit needs to include right of way use and will require a bond. If the sewer repair is entirely on private property, City permits are not required, however state permits may be required.

Q Do I need a permit for a new sewer connection or a repair to an existing sewer connection?

A

Yes. A Sewer Connection Permit is required for a new connection or a repair of an existing connection to the sewer, including both sanitary sewer and storm sewer connections.

Q Who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of my sewer lateral?

A

The owner of a building connected to the wastewater system is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the private lateral and any appurtenances, including the connection to the collection line. The owner shall keep the private lateral in good condition and repair and shall replace, at the owner’s expense, any portions which, in the opinion of the director, have become unfit for further use because of damage to or disintegration of the private line.

Q What is the phone number to the Better Business Bureau?

A

The phone number is 503-212-3022. Their website for Oregon is http://www.bbb.org/alaskaoregonwesternwashington/.

Q What is the phone number to the Visitor’s Information Center?

A The phone number is (541) 269-0215

Q When is the next city brush pickup?

A The brush pickup is done in May and September through the sanitation company.

Q Do you have the phone number to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV)?

A

DMV’s phone number is (541) 269-9717

Q Do you have the phone number to the animal shelter?

A Coos County Animal Shelter’s phone number is 541-751-2480

Q Who do I call for a marriage license?

A Call the Coos County Clerk’s office at (541) 756-2020 ext. 228

Q Who do I call for birth certificates?

A Call the State of Oregon of vital statistics at (971) 673-1190

Q Who do I call for moorage?

A

Contact the Marina Host at 541-294-9429 for moorage information and to check availablility. Please leave a voicemail if needed.

No vessel will be permitted to be moored at the facility, unless the vessel is properly registered, a moorage agreement entered into, and all fees and charges have been paid. All vessels mooring at the facility shall be seaworthy; upon request by the city, an owner/operator may be required to demonstrate the seaworthiness of the vessel.

Q Can we build a garage or home addition on our property?

A

Whether or not you can build on your property depends on several things, including the property zoning, lot size, and the size of any existing buildings. The City of Coos Bay Municipal Code Title 17 has property development requirements that include lot coverage restrictions, which means only a certain amount of the property can be covered by structures. For example, the maximum lot coverage for for R-1 (Single Family Residential) lots is 35% and R-2 (Single Family & Duplex Residential) lots is 40%, but C-1 (Central Commercial District) does not have any coverage limitations.

Please contact the Planning Division of the Community Development Department at 541-269-8918 for more information and to schedule a meeting with a Planner.

Q What can we do on this property?

A

Allowed uses on a property are based on how the property is zoned. See the Zoning Map to determine the zone for your property, then read the Coos Bay Municipal Code, Title 17 to determine what is and is not permitted for each zone.

Q What is my property zoned?

A

The Zoning Map shows the zoning for the entire city; just zoom in to find your property. You can also call the Planning Division of the Community Development Department at 541-269-8918. You'll need to know the property address or, if it is an undeveloped property, some other means of identifying it such as cross streets or tax parcel information. We can help you find the answers you need. Allowed uses on a property are based on the zoning designation. Zoning definitions and descriptions are included in the Coos Bay Municipal Code, Title 17.