Q. What are permits and why do I need one?
A. Building permits are the way Baker City/Baker County regulates construction. Baker City/Baker County operates under the current adopted International Building Codes with Oregon amendments. The safety of the occupants in the building is the primary reason for having construction codes.
Q. Which building codes are administered for this jurisdiction?
A. The 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty code. The 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code. The 2010 Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code. The 2011 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code. The 2010 Oregon Manufactured Home Specialty Code. The 2010 Oregon Fire Code. The 2011 NEC Oregon Electrical Specialty Code. The 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Code.
Q. How large can I build an accessory structure (tool shed, play house, storage sheds, etc)?
A. 200 square feet and a height of 10 feet measured from the finished floor level, to the average height of the roof surface.
Q. Do I need a permit to build a deck?
A. If the deck is greater than 30" from grade, a permit is required.
Q. How large can I build a tool shed or playhouse without needing a building permit?
A. 200 square feet and 10 feet to the average height of roof, measured from the finished floor level.
Q. do I need a permit to replace windows in my home?
A. Only if the new window is wider than the existing window, creating structural changes.
Q. What are the design criteria for buildings in Baker City?
A. 25# snow load, 85 MPH wind speed (3 second gust), 24" frost depth, seismic zone (c), Baker County snow zone varies – call for information. Exposure B or C – call for information.
Q. I think I am ready for a framing inspection, how can I know when it is time to schedule an inspection?
A. Call the Building Department inspection line 541-524-2054. Call after the Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical inspections are complete. (Mechanical and Plumbing my be requested along with the framing inspection)
Q. Can you recommend a contractor for my building project?
A. No. The building department cannot make such recommendations. Ask the builder for references and ask to see samples of previous work.
Q. How much space is allowed between the individual railings in a guard rail?
A. Intermediate railings and ornamental railing must not allow a sphere 4" in diameter to pass through. Note: 5" space allowed along stairway guardrails.
Q. What is the minimum size for a bedroom escape (egress) window?
A. 5.7 square feet (except that grade floor windows may be 5 square feet). Also the minimum width is 20" and the minimum height is 24". Maximum sill height above floor is 44".
Q. What are the requirements for the treads and risers on stairs in a single family residence?
A. Minimum tread depth of 10" and a maximum riser height of 8". All risers to be equal in height within any flight of stairs. Treads to be equal in depth within any flight of stairs. A 3/8" tolerance is allowed between the greatest and the smallest riser or tread.
Q. Who are public officials?
A. "Public official" is defined in ORS 244.020(14) as any person who is serving the State of Oregon or any of its political subdivisions or any other public body as defined in ORS 174.109 as an elected official, appointed official, employee or agent, irrespective of whether the person is compensated for the services.
You are a public official if you are:
- Elected or appointed to an office or position with a state, county or city government.
- Elected or appointed to an office or position with a special district.
- An employee of a state, county or city agency or special district.
- An unpaid volunteer for a state, county or city agency or special district.
- Anyone serving the State of Oregon or any of its political subdivisions, such as the State
- Accident Insurance Fund or the Oregon Health & Science University.
Q. Are volunteers "public officials"?
A. Some volunteers are public officials. By some estimates, there are up to 50,000 volunteer public officials in the State of Oregon. A volunteer is a "public official" if they meet one of these three criteria:
1.) The volunteer is elected or appointed to a governing body of a public body
2.) The volunteer is appointed or selected for a position with a governing body or a government agency with responsibilities that include deciding or voting on matters that could have a pecuniary impact on the governing body, agency or other persons
3.) The volunteer position includes all of the following:
- Responsible for specific duties
- The duties are performed at a scheduled time and designated place.
- Volunteer is provided with the use of the public agency's resources and equipment.
- The duties performed would have a pecuniary impact on any person, business or organization served by the public agency.
For purposes of ORS Chapter 244, volunteers are not public officials if they perform such tasks as picking up litter on public lands, participating in a scheduled community cleanup of buildings or grounds, participating in locating and eradicating invasive plants from public lands and other such occasional or seasonal events.
Q. What are the provisions of law that prohibit a public official from using the position or office held for financial gain?
A. As defined earlier, public officials become public officials through employment, appointment, election or volunteering. ORS 244.040(1) prohibits every public official from using or attempting to use the position held as a public official to obtain a financial benefit, if the opportunity for the financial benefit would not otherwise be available but for the position held by the public official.
The prohibited financial benefit can be either an opportunity for gain or to avoid an expense.
Each public official is prohibited from using the position as a public official to receive certain financial benefits. In addition, each public official is prohibited from using or attempting to use the official position to obtain financial benefits for a relative or a member of the public official's household, or for a business with which the public official, a relative, or a member of the public official's household is associated.
There are a variety of actions that could be a prohibited use or attempted use of an official position. The use of a position could be voting in a public meeting, placing a signature on a government agency's document, making a recommendation, making a purchase with government agency funds, or conducting personal business on a government agency's time or with a government agency's resources such as computers, vehicles, heavy equipment or office machines.
Q. What are some examples of actions a public official might do, that would be a violation of the prohibited use of office provision in ORS 244.040(1)?
- The mayor of a city signs a contract obligating the city to pay for janitorial services provided by a business owned by a relative of the mayor.
- A city treasurer signs a city check payable to an office supply business that is owned by a relative.
- A city billing clerk alters water use records so that the amount billed to the clerk's parents will be less than the actual amount due.
- A volunteer firefighter borrows the fire district's power washer to prepare the exterior of the volunteer's personal residence for painting.
- A county public works employee stores a motor home that is owned by the employee's parents in a county building used for storing heavy equipment.
- An employee of a state agency has a private business and uses the agency's computer to advance the business by promoting, corresponding and managing the activities of the private business.
- A school district superintendent approves and signs her own request for reimbursement of personal expenses the superintendent incurred when conducting official business.
Q. Are there any financial benefits a public official is allowed to receive, even if those benefits are only available because of the official position the person holds?
A. Yes. ORS 244.040(2) provides a list of financial benefits that may be received. These include:
- Official compensation
- Reimbursement of expenses
- Unsolicited awards for professional achievement
- Contributions to a legal expense trust fund
- Some gifts
Please note, all of these items have specific definitions, and in order to be lawfully received, the financial benefit must meet the definition of the allowable item.
Q. Do the Oregon Government Ethics laws prevent two people who are related from being employed by the same public body, or serving the same public body?
A. No. Public officials who are relatives can be employed by the same public body at the same time, or serve on the same governing body of a public body at the same time. However, there are provisions prohibiting a public official from participating in the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, firing, or discharge of a relative to/from a paid position as a public official. Another statute prohibits a public official from directly supervising a relative who holds a paid position as a public official.
Q. Do the Oregon Government Ethics laws prohibit a public official from working for a private employer or owning a private business while being employed by a public body or while holding a position with a public body?
A. No. In general, public officials may obtain employment with a private employer or engage in private income producing activity of their own. However, they must not use the position they have as a public official to create the opportunity for additional personal income. They must also ensure that when they are engaged in personal income producing activities, there is a clear distinction between the use of personal resources and time and the use of the public body's time and resources.
Q. What is a "conflict of interest" as defined in Oregon Government Ethics law?
A. In brief, a conflict of interest when an official action by the public official could or would result in a financial benefit or detriment to the public official, a relative of the public official or a business with which either is associated.
A matter is a statutory conflict of interest when both of these conditions are met:
- 1. The official act will cause a personal monetary gain or monetary loss
- 2. The monetary gain or loss will be to the public official, a relative of the public official, or a business with which the public official or the relative is associated.
Q. What are the two types of conflict of interest?
A. Oregon Government Ethics law identifies and defines two types of conflicts of interest: actual conflict of interest and potential conflict of interest.
The difference between an actual conflict of interest and a potential conflict of interest is determined by the words "would" and "could."
A public official is met with an actual conflict of interest when the public official participates in action that would affect the financial interest of the official, the official's relative or a business with which the official or a relative of the official is associated.
A public official is met with a potential conflict of interest when the public official participates in action that could affect the financial interest of the official, a relative of that official or a business with which the official or the relative of that official is associated.
Q. Does Oregon Government Ethics law limit the gifts that public officials may receive?
A. Yes. ORS 244.025 limits a public official, and relatives and household members of the public official, to each accepting no more than $50 worth of gifts in a calendar year, from each source that has a legislative or administrative interest in the official position of that public official.
However, if the source of the offered gift does not have a legislative or administrative interest in the official position, then the public official and his relatives and household members may accept unlimited gifts from that source. In addition, there a number of items that ORS 244.020(6)(b) excludes from the definition of a gift, and in the specific circumstances listed, those items can be accepted without limit.
Q. Do the Oregon Government Ethics laws cover all bad behaviors that a public official might do?
A. No. There are occasions when a public official engages in conduct that may be viewed as unethical, but that conduct may not be governed by Oregon Government Ethics law. Without an apparent statutory violation, the following are some examples of conduct by public officials that are not within the authority of the Commission to address:
- An elected official making promises or claims that are not acted upon.
- Public officials mismanaging or exercising poor judgment when administering public money.
- Public officials being rude or unmannerly.
- Public officials using deception or misrepresenting information or events.
While the conduct described above may not be addressed in Oregon Government Ethics law, public agency policies and procedures may prohibit or redress the behavior. Please contact the Commission staff if you need further clarification regarding how the Oregon Government Ethics law may apply to circumstances you may encounter.
Q. If I have a question about the Oregon Government Ethic statutes, what can I do?
A. The easiest course is to pick up the phone and call the staff of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission (OGEC) at (503) 378-5105. You can also make an appointment to visit in person with a staff member. Some issues that are not clearly described in the statutes may be explained more fully in a brief conversation.
OGEC staff are knowledgeable about the statutes and quite familiar with past and current commission interpretations. Furthermore, they are committed to providing accurate advice and preventing violations of the statutes whenever possible.
If I ask for advice, will I trigger an inquiry into my conduct?
Not if the request relates to official action that has not yet taken place. If the facts presented indicate that a violation of the statutes has occurred, the commission may initiate a preliminary review.
Q. What is the zoning of my property?
A. The Land Use Zoning Map shows the multiple land use zones in Baker City:
- R-HD (High-Density Residential, minimum lot size of 5,000 sq. ft.)
- R-MD (Medium-Density Residential, minimum lot size of 7,500 sq. ft.)
- R-LD (Low-Density Residential, minimum lot size of 7,500 sq. ft.)
- C-G (General Commercial)
- C-C (Central-Commercial)
- I (General-Industrial)
- L-I (Light-Industrial)
Specific uses allowed in each of the zones are identified in the Development Code.
Q. Is my property located in the floodplain?
A. The Floodplain Map shows the locations of the 100-year and 500-year floodplains. A Floodplain Development Permit is required for any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to building structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials.
Q. What are the building setbacks for my residential property?
A. A setback refers to the distance between the nearest point of a structure and the property line. The standard setbacks are:
- Front – 15 feet for primary structures, 20 feet for detached garages and carports
- Side – 5 feet for interior lot lines, 10 feet for street side lines on corner lots
- Rear – 10 feet, but reduces to 1 foot if there is a platted alley
Q. Where are my property lines?
A. Property lines adjacent to the street are typically located 1 foot behind the sidewalk. See below for a typical residential street section within the City's right-of-way. If you know your property's Map and Tax Lot number, you can view the County Assessor Maps on the Oregon Map website which will show your lot dimensions. If there is a dispute over the location, you'll need to hire a surveyor to mark the precise location of your property lines. You can look up your Map and Tax Lot number on the Assessor's Property Search webpage which also provides data regarding taxes, market and assessed values, and itemizes the structures and land associated with the parcel.
Q. How large can I build a shop or accessory structure?
A. A detached accessory structure shall not exceed 1,000 sq. ft. in size or 18 feet in height (to the peak of the roof). A Conditional Use Permit may be obtained to build larger if certain criteria are met. If the structure is attached to the primary residence, it is considered an addition and therefore is allowed to be built to the same limitations of a primary residence. Additional information is listed in Development Code Section 2.2.200.B.5 (page 94 in Article 2).
Q. Can I build a breezeway to "attach" my shop to the house?
A. No. Please refer to the following definition for an Attached Structure: Any structure that is attached to another structure by a common wall that is a functional element of the combined structures or by an integrated roof that is common to the combined structures. For a structure to be considered attached, at the determination of the planning director, it must architecturally complement and be integrated with the primary structure through the use of similar or complimentary building materials and design, and its common wall and/or integrated roof must be more than an incidental attempt at connection. Garages, shops, accessory dwellings, or other structures connected by a breezeway or other minimal connecting element shall be considered detached structures.
Q. Do I need a permit to build a fence?
A. Yes. All fences, anywhere on the lot, require a Fence Permit prior to construction or modification. This $10 permit helps to ensure that fences are built with appropriate materials, and at heights that provide visual screening and privacy within side and rear yards; while leaving front yards and building entrances mostly visible for security purposes. The height limit for residential fences is 4 feet in the front 15 feet of the property and 6 feet along the remainder of the sides and rear. Fencing near street intersections must not obstruct the vision clearance area which is a triangle that measures 30 feet from the curb line in each direction.
Q. Can I place a sandwich board sign or patio furniture in the sidewalk area?
A. Yes, after obtaining a one-time Sidewalk Merchandising Permit. There are restrictions on the size, placement and display time per City Code Title V, Chapter 51.050. There must remain at least 5 feet of space available for pedestrians to travel.
Q. Do I need a business license?
A. Maybe. Please check with the Planning Department. A business license is not currently required city-wide; only for certain business types and locations:
- Carnival / Circus Exhibition
- Downtown Business (located within the Economic Improvement District)
- Home Occupations
- Itinerant Business: Bazaar / Farmers Market, Peddler, Trade Show, Transient Merchant
- Non-Profit Organization Solicitation
- Mobile Vendor
- Second-Hand Business
- Social Games (Gambling)
- Taxicab / Limousine
Please also check with the Planning Department for appropriate zoning of your business location. Some business types are not permitted in certain zones, or may need a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). A general business license may be obtained voluntarily if desired. Benefits include improved emergency response and a free listing on the Chamber website. Please complete a Business License Application and submit it to the Planning Department.
Q. What type of business can be a Home Occupation?
A. A home occupation is considered to be any business activity that is carried out on the same site as a dwelling unit, and which is accessory to the Household Living use on the site. Home occupations are allowed to encourage those who are engaged in small commercial ventures that could not necessarily be sustained if it were necessary to lease commercial quarters, or which by the nature of the venture, are appropriate in scale and impact to be operated within a residence. A Home Occupation Permit must first be obtained. On-site retail sales, kennels, and repair of motorized vehicles are some businesses that are prohibited from being home occupations due to the objectionable impacts on the neighborhood.
Q. Do I need a permit to change the face of an existing sign?
A. Maybe. Please check with the Planning Department. A Sign Permit is required for erection of new signs and for major repairs to existing signs. A nonconforming sign must be immediately brought into conformance with the sign code upon any structural alteration, relocation, or replacement. Signs located in the Central-Commercial (C-C) zone must obtain approval from the Historic District Design Review Commission (HDDRC).
Q. What animals can I keep on my property?
A. A Livestock Permit is required to keep livestock, fowl, or bees; and is only allowed for personal, noncommercial use (4-H exempted). Livestock (horse, mule, cow, sheep, pig, or other animal of similar size or larger) are prohibited in the areas shown on the Large Animal Zone Map. The minimum amount of pasture area for livestock over 6 months of age is 2,500 sq. ft. per large animal and 1,000 sq. ft. per small animal.
Q. Can I place a single-wide mobile home in Baker City?
A. Yes, but only in an existing mobile home park. To be placed on an individual lot, mobile/manufactured homes must be multi-sectional and meet 1976 HUD standards for energy efficiency. Additional requirements are listed in Development Code Section 2.2.200.G (page 98 in Article 2).
Q. Can I reside in a travel trailer?
A. Yes, after obtaining a Temporary Use Permit. The period of time allowed is no more than one year, and is only granted if certain criteria are met per Development Code Section 4.9.100.D (page 277 in Article 4). Short-term stays, defined as 28 or fewer consecutive days, are exempt. Per state legislature, residing in a travel trailer for an unlimited period of time is allowed if it is located in a mobile home park and lawfully connected to water, sewer, and electrical systems.
Q. Is a dwelling unit allowed in an industrial zone?
A. Yes. One industrial watchman's caretaker unit is permitted, subject to the standards in the Development Code Section 2.4.160.B (page 136 in Article 2).
Q. What are System Development Charges (SDC's)?
A. SDC's are one-time fees assessed on new and expanding development to cover a portion of the cost to provide public infrastructure required as a result of this development. The fees collected may be used to fund capital improvement projects for 5 types of facilities:
- Water Systems
- Sewer Systems
- Storm Water Systems
- Transportation Systems
At present, Baker City does NOT collect SDC's.
Q. What can be done about the neighbor's outdoor light that shines directly into my home?
A. There is currently no City ordinance regulating lighting other than for parking areas.
Q. What can be done about the neighbor's new building that will block my view of the mountains?
A. There is currently no City ordinance that addresses view other than for traffic vision obstructions. The height limitations for residential structures are 35 feet for primary structures and 18 feet for accessory structures, measured to the peak of the roof.
Q. What does nonconforming mean?
A. Nonconforming means a use or development that was lawful at the time it was established, but subsequently, due to a change in regulations, is no longer in conformance. Should a nonconforming use or development be discontinued, abandoned, relocated or destroyed, it shall thereafter conform to the current regulations. Expansion is prohibited and alterations are only permitted if in conformance. Additional information is listed in Development Code Section 5.2 (page 287 in Article 5).
Q: How do I obtain a copy of a police report?
A: The Sheriff's Office maintains copies of all records. For a fee, you may obtain a copy of a police report directly from the Sheriff's Office: 3410 K Street, Baker City, or (541) 523-6415. http://www.bakersheriff.org/
Q: What should I do after I have been involved in a traffic crash?
A: You must file an Oregon Traffic Accident and Insurance Report (Form 735-32) with DMV within 72 hours when:
• Damage to the vehicle you were driving is over $1,500;
• Damage to any vehicle is over $1,500 and any vehicle is towed from the scene as a result of damages from this accident;
• Injury or death resulted from this accident; or
• Damages to any one person's property, other than a vehicle involved in this accident, is over $1,500.
If you do not report an accident when required to do so, your driving privileges will be suspended.
Accident & Insurance Report Forms can be found in the lobby of the PD or at the DMV office.
More information can be found on the Traffic Safety website: http://www.bakercitypolice.com/Traffic-Safety.html or the DMV website: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/index.shtml
Q: How do I access a crash report for DMV?
A: Forms can be found online at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/forms/index.shtml
If you need to obtain a copy of the police report for the crash, contact the Sheriff's Office.
Q: Where can I go to pay a fine for a ticket?
A: Fines can be paid at the Baker County Courthouse, located at: 1995 Third Street, Baker City.
Q: What is the difference between Justice Court and Circuit Court?
A: Justice and Circuit courts have concurrent jurisdiction within their county in all criminal prosecutions except felony trials.
Justice Courts have jurisdiction over traffic, boating, wildlife, and other violations occurring in their county as well as small claims/civil jurisdiction where the money or damages claimed does not exceed $7,500.00 and landlord/tenant F.E.D actions.
The circuit court provides service to all of the citizens of Baker County and to others who have a need for judicial services in Baker County. The mission of the circuit court can be stated as follows:
• To provide a place of last resort for members of the community to resolve disputes and/or conflicts.
• To effectively and efficiently record and maintain records of court decisions and the court process.
Q: How do I get my property out of evidence?
A: To get your property out of evidence, you need to contact our Evidence Technician at (541) 524-2014 x29 to schedule an appointment. You will need to present ID when you come to collect your property.
Q: How do I license my dog?
A: Licenses can be obtained at the Water Department in City Hall. Licenses are mandatory, as stated in Ordinance #3306:
ORDINANCE #3306: AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE LICENSING OF DOGS IN BAKER CITY (REPEALING ORDINANCE #2758)
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF BAKER CITY, OREGON:
SECTION 1: Every dog within the city that has a set of permanent canine teeth, and that's owner or caretaker resides within the city, shall be licensed. The license tag shall be attached to a collar worn by the dog. The owner and/or keeper of the dog shall be found in violation of this ordinance if the dog is not wearing its collar and tag or if the tag is not present on the dog's collar at any time.
SECTION 2: An owner or keeper of a dog within the city shall license the dog not later than 30 days after the person becomes the owner or keeper of the dog or establishes residence within the city. An owner or keeper of a dog must provide proof of rabies vaccination at the time of licensing. A license will be valid for only one calendar year, regardless of the date of purchase.
SECTION 3: Licenses shall not be required for dogs owned by dealers, breeders or exhibitors if the dogs are kept in kennels exclusively for sale or exhibition purposes, or while such dogs are being transported by dealers, breeders, or exhibitors to and from a dog show or fair. Licenses are not required for dogs that are used as service animals for persons with disabilities. A companion or therapy animal is not a service animal unless the animal has been individually trained to perform one or more tasks for a person with disabilities and trained to behave in public.
The fee for the license varies, depending on whether or not your dog has been altered (spayed/neutered). Licenses are to be renewed annually, by January 1st. If you fail to license your dog, you may be fined up to $500. If your dog is impounded and does not have a license, you will be responsible for the impound fees, which average $100 - $200.
Q: Where is the zoning area for large animals?
A: Permits are required for livestock residing inside City limits. These permits are free, and can be obtained at the Police Department.
There are required zones for livestock, as well as minimum square footage requirements (2500 sq. ft. per large animal over 6 months of age and 1000 sq. ft. per small animal over 6 months of age).
For additional information, please reference to Baker City Municipal Code - Chapter 90.25. Click here for zoning map.
More information on the City ordinances can be found on the Baker City website:http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=14970&stateId=37&stateName=Oregon
Q: What is weed abatement?
A: City ordinance mandates that weeds and grass cannot be taller than 10" in a yard or alley. The Code Enforcement Officer for the Baker City Police Department is responsible for ensuring that every property within the City is in compliance with this ordinance. If not, the property owner will be notified of the violation, and will be given sufficient time to comply before the property is re-inspected.
Please reference: Baker City Municipal Code - Chapter 97.30 – 97.34 for additional information.
More information on the City ordinances can be found on the Baker City website: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=14970&stateId=37&stateName=Oregon
Q: Is there an ordinance on junk yards in town?
A: It is unlawful for any accumulation of debris, rubbish, manure and other refuse to exist on private property.
More information on the City ordinances can be found on the Baker City website: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=14970&stateId=37&stateName=Oregon
Q: What is a dumpster permit and how can I get one?
A: When a request to place a dumpster on a City street is approved, the Police Department will issue you a dumpster permit to allow that dumpster to be placed at a specific address for a specific length of time. Once approved, Baker Sanitary will receive a copy of the permit, and will deliver the dumpster on the specified date. The original will be mailed to the requestor.
All questions relating to fees may be directed to Baker Sanitary: 3408 Campbell St, Baker City or (541) 523-2626.
To obtain a permit, you may contact the Baker City Police Department: 1768 Auburn Ave, Baker City or (541) 524-2014.
Q: Is there an ordinance on cats?
A:There is currently no City ordinance on cats.
Q: What should I do about the feral cats in my neighborhood?
A: The Baker City Police Department has partnered with New Hope for Eastern Oregon Animals to implement a Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program to manage the feral cat population within the City. If you have questions or concerns regarding a feral cat colony in your area, or to schedule a trapping, please call the Police Department at (541) 524-2014 or New Hope at (541) 403-2710.
Q: How do I participate in volunteer work?
A: If you are interested in volunteering for the Baker City Police Department, you should fill out an application to join our Citizens on Patrol (COP) Program. Applications can be downloaded online or picked up at the PD. If you have any questions, you may contact the COP Coordinator, Chief Lohner, at (541) 524-2014 ext. 21. For more information take a look at the volunteering page.
Q: What do I need to do to participate in a ride-along?
A: To participate in a ride-along, you need to complete a ride-along application and return it to the Police Department. These applications are available at the PD, and also online here.
For each ride-along request, a new application must be completed and turned in.
Q: Do I have to get my bike licensed?
A: According to City Ordinance, no person, who resides within the City, shall ride a bicycle on any street or upon any public path without the bike being licensed.
More information on the City ordinances can be found on the Baker City website: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=14970&stateId=37&stateName=Oregon
Q: How much does it cost to get my bike licensed, and where should I go to do it?
A: At this time, there is no charge to obtain a bike license.
You can get a license for your bike anytime during normal business hours at the Baker City Police Department: Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm. You will need to bring the bike with you, and a specific description of the bike will be recorded, along with all of your person contact information. You will then be issued a bike license.
Q: Do I have to wear a helmet when I ride my bike, skateboard, scooter, etc.?
A: Oregon law requires anyone under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. However, the best and safest practice is for everyone to wear a helmet when riding a bike, skateboard, scooter, etc.
Q: Where can I go to get a bike helmet?
A: When available, the Police Department offers bike helmets at no cost to the children of our community. A staff member will make sure that each child is getting a properly fitting helmet to make sure that they are as safe as they can be.
Q: Where can I go to get a car seat and how much do they cost?
A: Child safety seats, when available, may be purchased directly from the Police Department at a reduced rate for families that qualify. State assistance will be sufficient proof of eligibility.
For questions regarding seat pricing and availability, a CPS technician will be available at the Police Department during regular business hours: Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm.
Q: Where can I go to get my car seat inspected?
A: The Baker City Police Department offers child safety seat inspections and new seat installation assistance at no cost to the citizens of Baker City.
More information on our child safety seat program can be found on the Baker City website (click here).
Q: How do I schedule a K9 demonstration?
A: As a drug-detection canine team, K9 "Turbo" and Officer Weaver are available for public demonstration at community organizations and schools upon request. All demonstration requests are routed through Sergeant Kirk McCormick to Officer Rand Weaver.
Q: What is the curfew in Baker City?
A: As mandated by the City ordinance, no minor person shall be on the public streets, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds or other unsupervised places between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day.
Q: What is the procedure to file a claim for a bad check?
A: The Baker City Police Department handles checks that are written for an amount GREATER than $50.00; checks written for a lesser amount are handled by the Baker County Sheriff's Office.
When a check is returned to you by the bank for "Insufficient Funds" (NSF), "Account Closed", or "No account", a NSF form must be completed. These forms are available at the Police Department and online here.
Q: I would like to plant a tree/shrub/bush or remove a tree between the sidewalk and the street, is there anything I need to do prior to commencing this work? or I would like to plant or remove a tree/shrub/bush adjacent to the street (if there is not a sidewalk in the area), is there anything I need to do prior to commencing this work?
A: Yes. The area between the sidewalk and the street is in the public right-of-way. Baker City Ordinance 94.05 requires you to apply for a tree permit prior to planting or removing vegetation in the public right-of-way which will grow in excess of two (2) feet in height upon maturity.
Our goal is to make sure public utilities are protected, that upon maturity the vegetation will not create any possible vision clearance issues for vehicle/pedestrian safety, as well as ensuring the time/money you will be investing in this vegetation will be worth it by ensuring the species/size of the proposed vegetation will be appropriate for the area you would like to plant it in.
Q: What is the cost of a permit?
A: It's free.
Q: I'm interested in planting a tree, but I'm not sure what type of tree to plant.
A: Ask us! Staff will pass your inquiry onto Tree Board members. We will need to know the dimensions of your planting space, if there are any overhead utilities, if there are any other trees/structures adjacent to the area you would like to plant the new tree. Please provide a sketch or photo of the planting area.
The Tree Board is currently in the process of updating the City of Baker City's Street Tree Guide. This guide will provide a list of recommended tree types for plantings within the public right-of-way.
The Board has finalized its Class I street tree recommendations. Class I trees are smaller trees, generally planted under overhead utility lines or planting areas which are limited in space.
Q: There's a tree in my neighborhood near an intersection that has low limbs, making it difficult to see the street intersection clearly as I approach it.
A: Contact Jennifer Murphy in the Public Works Department at (541) 524-2063 or complete a Tree Concerns Form and bring it into Suite 105 in City Hall or mail it to Jennifer Murphy, Baker City Public Works Department, P.O. Box 650, Baker City, OR 97814. Please provide as much information as possible as to the tree's location. (Example: Property's address or specific corner of intersection: northeast corner of 1st and Place Street.)
The Baker City Municipal Code states: "Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the City shall prune the branches of said trees so that the light from any street lamp and the view of any street intersection or traffic control device or sign is not obstructed; said owner must maintain a clear space of at least eight feet above the surface of the sidewalk and 12 feet above the surface of the street".
Q: What should I do if my sewer is plugged or coming into my house?
A: If none of the drains in your house are working or if wastewater is coming into your house from your drains – call the Public Works Department at (541) 523-6541 during normal working hours/days – after hours you may call Baker County Dispatch at (541) 523-6415. A Public Works employee will contact you.
Q: Who is responsible for maintaining and repairing the sewer pipe from my house to the City main line?
A: By Baker City Ordinance it is the property owner's responsibility to maintain the line from the house to its connection at the main line.
Q: What items should not be flushed down the drain?
A: Many items should not be flushed or otherwise put down drains. These items are not limited to but include the following: grease (cooking or other), baby or other sanitary wipes (they do not decompose quickly and often block drains), motor oil or other petroleum products, cat litter, rocks and sand from fish tanks, cement grout or sheet rock putty (will often re-solidify inside drains causing a blockage), rags, towels, sheets, or clothing.
Q: Do roots from trees and shrubs ever get into sewer pipes?
A: Yes, quite often there are sewer drain problems caused from tree roots penetrating into drain lines.
Q: What are some of the items that have been found to cause problems in City sewer lines?
A: Large pieces of wood, toys (including a one armed G.I. Joe which plugged a line), motor oil, grease, cat litter, wipes, cementitious grouts, un-dissolved powdered soap, etc.
Q: Where does the sewer line from my house go?
A: Usually lines run from the house to the city main line in the street. Some city lines run in alleys and some through the back yards of housing developments. The City has maps which normally show where each house connects to the main line in the street/alley or other.
Q: What type of materials are the pipes made from?
A: City wastewater main lines are made from several different types of materials including clay pipe, asbestos-concrete pipe, concrete pipe, steel reinforced concrete pipe, and P.V.C. pipe.
Q: What type of materials are service lines typically made from?
A: Sewer laterals are typically made from clay pipe, Orangeburg (tar paper) pipe, cast iron pipe, asbestos-concrete pipe, P.V.C. pipe, A.B.S pipe, and concrete pipe.
Questions/Answers coming soon.