Historic Design Review Hearing

Last summer, the City Council convened the Historic Resources Code Improvement Project (HRCIP) and commissioned the bureaus of Planning and Sustainability, and Development Services to address issues around historic design review to address community concerns about the process.

In September, the City published an Issues and Options Paper to start a community conversation about possible regulatory changes to be considered during this project. Staff met with the Historic Landmarks Commission, the Planning and Sustainability Commission and other community members to get feedback on the draft issues and options. Based on this input and continuing community conversations, staff created a discussion draft with detailed code amendments.

The HRCIP Discussion Draft is now avaiable for public review and comment. The draft will inform a discussion with the Historic Landmarks Commission at a public hearing.


Landmarks Commission Public Hearing: Historic Resources Code Improvement Project Discussion Draft

December 10, 2012, 1:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue Building, 2500A


Testify in person or send your comments directly to jay.sugnet@portlandoregon.gov.

After the Historic Landmarks Commission hearing, staff will incorporate input from the public and the Landmarks Commission and prepare a Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recommendation to the Planning and Sustainability Commission. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 22, 2013, in the evening. City Council will then hold a hearing as early as February.

For more information about the project and how to get involved, please visit the project website or call 503-823-5869.

In the city’s National Historic and Conservation Districts most exterior work on buildings, as well as all new construction, are subject to Historic Design Review. Both property owners and historic preservation advocates are concerned about the cost and time involved, as well as the impacts on historic preservation efforts.

While minor maintenance and repair are currently exempt from review, fees for small home remodeling projects, can cost up to $900; in some cases, the fees can be more than the cost of the job itself. And even though the design review process provides for flexibility and public dialogue, it can take as long as 6-8 weeks.

As a result, some property owners decide to make exterior home improvements without going through historic design review, while others decide not to make improvements at all.

The overall purpose of this project is to reassess when historic design review is necessary and appropriate.

Project staff have been collecting data to assess the impact of different options, engaging with the community to get their feedback, drafting code amendments and coordinating with the Bureau of Development Services, Historic Landmarks Commission and the Development Review Advisory Committee.

About Angela

NWNW Community Resources Program Manager
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