Keep Eastmoreland Free, an organization opposed to the Eastmoreland historic district, distributed a flyer throughout the neighborhood sometime in late January/early February with statements about what homeowners could and couldn’t do in the Irvington Historic District. The president of the Irvington Community Association responded in a February 18th letter to Eastmoreland residents. The letter specifically addresses each allegation stated in the flyer.
The letter begins:
“It has come to our attention that a flyer has been sent out by the organization “Keep Eastmoreland Free” which purports to state certain facts involving the Irvington National Historic District. The flyer is insidious in that it mixes partially true statements with falsehoods and then mixes those with statements that are very misleading.” – Steve Cole, President of the Irvington Community Association
Click here for the response in its entirety.
Go here for SHPO’s Eastmoreland Historic District Nomination webpage. This includes links to the nomination and the map.
Click here for the link to the video of the Draft Eastmoreland Historic District Nomination that took place on Jan. 26, 2017.
The presentation includes information about the nomination, time line, design guidelines, and a question and answer session. Presenters were from AECOM (historic district consultants), the State Historic Preservation Office, the Bureau of Development Services, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and the Eastmoreland Land Use Committee.
On Friday Jan 27th, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) met to review proposed rule changes to State Goal 5 protections for historic resources. The rules were approved by LCDC and will likely be in effect in the coming months.
The new rules restore authority to local governments to create local preservation districts. They mandate that National Historic Properties be effectively protected from demolition. And they encourage local governments to establish design guidelines tailored to National Historic Districts through a separate local process. That is the good news that we welcome. However, some are presenting Goal 5 reform as offering an alternative to a National Historic District.
Make no mistake and do not be misled. A local preservation district is not a viable option. It provides no value for Eastmoreland or similar neighborhoods intending to guide their future or protect their historic resources. Here is why:
- Unlike the National Historic District, there is no established nomination or review process. There is no mandate to create such a process. There is little chance of the City funding the development of such a process in the foreseeable future. Where such preservation districts are most likely to form is in small clusters like Peacock Lane (which is exploring a National Historic District).
- Unlike a National Historic District, forming a local preservation district is a public land use process (like rezoning) and requires comprehensive plan endorsement. Local government is responsible for initiating the local district process with all that entails. 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.
- The City would have to consider initiating and processing a preservation district as a budget line item. Based on past performance we know that Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is more interested in advancing the Residential Infill Project than advancing a preservation district in Eastmoreland.
- As a public agency running a public process the expense for the historic resource inventory would be many multiples of what our neighborhood has budgeted for consultant fees alone. In addition will be the cost of managing the process and extensive staff time that would be required to replace the many hundreds of hours volunteered by Eastmoreland residents. Who will pay next time?
- Unlike a National Historic District, Portland does not offer a property tax freeze for restoration of contributing properties. Moreover, in a local preservation district homeowners must go through the same review process and pay the same fees as those enjoying the protection under the National Historic District.
- Under Portland’s existing local preservation district regulations there is no demolition denial, only demolition delay.
This is a short list of reasons why a local preservation district is a dead-end option for Eastmoreland. It also is exactly why the opposition is proclaiming this as “the best option for our neighborhood”- guaranteeing that it will never happen. Calling this a viable alternative to a National Historic District is inaccurate and misleading.
If you have already sent in a notarized objection to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) but have changed your mind, click here for the form that you should submit to SHPO.
The Residential Infill Project which will allow duplexes on every lot, triplexes on every corner lot, and “cottage clusters” on lots 10,000 SF and larger (6 plus cottages), is in the implementation phase.
The City Council Final Residential Infill Project Concept Report, January 2017 includes amendments adopted by Council on December 6, 2016. Read the report for details.
For an analysis of the impacts on neighborhoods including Eastmoreland read A Critique of the Residential Infill Project submitted to Council by the RIPSAC 7, members of the Residential Infill Project Stakeholders Advisory Committee.
Linda Bauer, Appointee – East Portland Action Plan
Sarah Cantine, Architect – Boise NA Land Use
Jim Gorter, Appointee – Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc.
Rod Merrick, Architect – Eastmoreland NA Land Use
Rick Michaelson, Appointee – Neighbors West/Northwest
Michael Molinaro, Architect, Appointee – Southeast Uplift
Barbara Strunk, Appointee – United Neighborhoods for Reform
Click here for the Residential Infill Project Stakeholders’ Advisory Group 7’s assessment of the impacts of the project on neighborhoods including Eastmoreland.
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has just launched a webpage for the Eastmoreland Historic District nomination that will keep you up to date with the nomination and the process:
Click here for the newest draft of the Eastmoreland Historic District nomination.