Scenic Waterways

ORS 390.640
Permit required for improvements on ocean shore

  • exceptions


In order to promote the public health, safety and welfare, to protect the state recreation areas recognized and declared by ORS 390.610 (Policy) and 390.615 (Ownership of Pacific shore), to protect the safety of the public using such areas, and to preserve values adjacent to and adjoining such areas, the natural beauty of the ocean shore and the public recreational benefit derived therefrom, it is necessary to control and regulate improvements on the ocean shore. Unless a permit therefor is granted as provided by ORS 390.650 (Improvement permit procedure), no person shall make an improvement on any property that is within the ocean shore.


This section does not apply to permits granted pursuant to ORS 390.715 (Permits for pipe, cable or conduit across ocean shore, state recreation areas and submerged lands), or to rules adopted or permits granted under ORS 390.725 (Permits for removal of products along ocean shore).


This section does not apply to continuous extensions of densely vegetated land areas that were, as of August 22, 1969, both seaward of the line established by ORS 390.770 (Vegetation line described) and above the 16-foot contour. The elevation mentioned in this subsection refers to the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Sea-Level Datum of 1929 through the Pacific Northwest Supplementary Adjustment of 1947.


This section does not apply to the removal, filling or alteration of material on the ocean shore where those activities are regulated under a state-assumed permit program as provided in 33 U.S.C. 1344(g) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended. [1967 c.601 §5; 1969 c.601 §7; 1973 c.642 §14; 1999 c.373 §3]

Notes of Decisions

The Oregon statutes, confirming public rights or easements along the ocean shore to be held and administered as state recreation areas, is constitutional. Hay v. Bruno, 344 F Supp 286 (1972)

Law Review Citations

4 EL 348, 386 (1974)

§§ 390.610 to 390.770

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Effect of constitutional provision requiring payments based on government regulations restricting use of property, (2001) Vol 49, p 284

Law Review Citations

20 EL 1001 (1990); 35 WLR 183 (1999)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021