Organization and Government of Cities

ORS 221.916
Powers of common council


The mayor and alderpersons shall compose the common council of any city organized under sections 1 to 6, pages 119 to 123, Oregon Laws 1893. At any regular council meeting, the common council may:


Provide for lighting the streets and furnishing such city and its inhabitants with gas or other lights, and with pure and wholesome water. For such purpose it may construct such water, gas or other works, within or without the city limits, as may be necessary or convenient therefor. It may allow the use of the city streets and alleys to any person, company or corporation who may desire to establish works for supplying the city and inhabitants thereof with such water or lights upon such reasonable terms and conditions as the common council may prescribe.


Permit, allow and regulate the laying down of tracks for streetcars and other railroads upon such streets as the common council may designate, and upon such terms and conditions as the common council may prescribe.


Allow and regulate the erection and maintenance of poles, or poles and wires, for telegraph, telephone, electric light or other purposes, upon or through the streets, alleys or public grounds of such city.


Permit and regulate the use of alleys, streets and public grounds of the city for laying down or repairing gas and water mains, for building and repairing sewers and for erecting gas or other lights.


Preserve the streets, lights, side and crosswalks, bridges and public grounds from injury, prevent the unlawful use of the same and regulate their use.


Fix the maximum rate of wharfage, rates for gas or other lights, rates for carrying passengers on street railways and water rates. No city shall ever deprive itself of the right through its common council of regulating and adjusting any such rates, so that the same shall be reasonable for the service rendered, at least once in any period of two years.


License, tax, regulate, restrain and prohibit barrooms and tippling houses, and all places where spirituous, vinous or malt liquors are sold, or in any manner disposed of contrary to law. No license shall be issued for a lesser sum than that provided by law.


Prevent and suppress gaming and gambling houses, and all games of chance, including lotteries and pool selling.


Prevent and suppress bawdyhouses, lewd and lascivious cohabitation, opium-smoking houses and places occupied or kept therefor.


License, regulate and control any lawful business, trade, occupation, profession or calling, carried on or conducted within the corporate limits of any such city.


Suppress and prohibit anything that is injurious to the public morals, public safety or public health of the inhabitants of any such city. The common council may define, suppress and prohibit nuisances of every kind, including those arising out of the receipt, sale or disposal of intoxicating liquor in violation of law.


Regulate, suppress and prohibit the running at large within the corporate limits of any and all domestic animals, including fowls, and provide for the impoundment and sale, after notice, of such animals.


Exercise any and all police regulations concerning the public morals, public safety, public health and public convenience of the inhabitants of any such city.


Provide for the surveying of blocks and streets of the city and for marking the boundary lines of such blocks and streets, and the establishing of grades of the streets, sidewalks and crosswalks.


Prevent and punish trespass on real and personal property within the corporate limits of such city.


Make bylaws and ordinances not inconsistent with the laws of the United States or of this state to carry into effect the provisions of ORS 221.901 (Cities organized under 1893 Act) to 221.928 (Record of ordinances).


Provide, in addition to such action as may be appropriate to carry into full effect the object to be achieved, for the punishment of persons violating any bylaws or ordinances by fine or imprisonment, or both, and the working of such persons on the city streets or at any other work.


Nothing contained in ORS 221.901 (Cities organized under 1893 Act) to 221.928 (Record of ordinances) shall be so construed as to oust the state courts of jurisdiction to indict or punish persons for offenses against any law of the state committed within the limits of any such city. [Amended by 2003 c.14 §110; 2005 c.22 §165; 2011 c.597 §171]


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021