The 2002 Statewide Planning Goal 5 requires all Oregon cities and counties “to conserve open space and protect natural and scenic resources.”
On January 27, 2017, the City of Portland was given the green light to improve the access to a city-level historic designation process. The potential had already existed but it required “affirmative consent of all property owners within the district.” This rule change will enable a local preservation district to be created with 51% affirmative consent.
Important Note – Local government (in our case Portland) is responsible for initiating the local preservation district process. It has not yet been determined what protection, if any, a local preservation district would provide given competing, new Residential Infill Project (RIP) demands.
Furthermore, no design reviews will occur in new local-preservation- districts until local guidelines are established and local guidelines would require comprehensive plan endorsement. Portland has not updated its historic resource list for 30 years and barely completed a much-delayed comprehensive plan update. Given other priorities, such initiative is extremely unlikely.
Our proposed National Historic District is the bird in hand. The application is already in and pending. It would provide protection by July 6, 2017.
The alternative is to wait for a local preservation district which may be years away. In the meantime, demolitions replaced with out-of- scale homes will continue.
Information about this latest rule change from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development can be found here.