Benefits

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Benefits With
Historic District Designation

Tradeoffs Without
Historic District Designation

1 Aesthetic qualities, character, and scale of Eastmoreland houses will remain intact. City codes for residential zoning provide little or no direction for design, scale, or architectural character. Proposed changes by the City are focused on increasing density without regard to context. Homeowners and developers enjoy a more free hand. Keeps Eastmoreland free for developers.
2 Housing values will be stabilized or enhanced relative to unprotected districts. (See Measuring the Economics of Historic Preservation by PlaceEconomics, 2011 and a recent study.)

See also: 10 Benefits of Establishing a Local Historic District (National Trust of Historic Preservation)

The uncertainty of poorly designed, very large, or split lot housing that is occurring on vulnerable lots could make the neighborhood less desirable, drop housing values, and accelerate the pace of redevelopment. Agents will continue to target lots to split and small houses to replace. See a map of vulnerable lots.
3 House size proportional to lot size and neighborhood context will be preserved.

This will block “mansionization,” a national trend where viable quality-built houses are replaced by very large houses in middle and higher income neighborhoods.

The Residential Infill Project’s one-size-fits-all neighborhood proposal to restrict house size may or may not be enacted, may change in the future, will likely be appealable, and may not be enforced as the trend to densify increases.
4 The neighborhood will be much more likely to retain a variety of single family home sizes, types, and levels of affordability.

The additional standards for design quality and the review process (see supporting documents) will encourage most developers to look elsewhere.

Eastmoreland will be under reconstruction and increasingly unaffordable for young families as much larger houses, corner duplexes and triplexes (in some areas) are inserted. Resident owners are more likely to be competing with redevelopment speculators.

On the other hand, we will continue rapid loss of the most affordable and smaller houses.

5 Encourages exterior design compatible with the established architectural character of the house and new houses and additions designed in the context of the neighborhood. Developers are increasingly likely to solicit the purchase of your home and to continue the trend to replace or infill with builder-designed and less well-crafted units.
6 More houses will be remodeled and maintained. More houses will go to the landfill.
7 Property tax land valuations will be stabilized as the speculative value of lot splitting, mansionization, and density bumps will be diminished. Underlying lot valuations are likely to rise along with increases in allowable density and the much higher cost of replacement houses.
8 Street tree architecture will be maintained and enhanced. (Our historic pattern of large canopy street tree planting is rapidly being lost.) The historic District guidelines will align with the Eastmoreland Tree Guidelines. The City’s street tree list is so expansive and diverse that for owners who have lost trees, the decision to replace and the selection to be made are a virtual free-for-all. Owners will have fewer choices of street tree selection.
9 Architectural integrity will be maintained and enhanced.

Homeowners are free to choose paint colors and roofing materials, add garden sheds and make other changes that are not covered in the district guidelines.

When planning larger additions or reconstruction, you will need to work with a capable architect or contractor to provide a design that meets the standards for the neighborhood. This may add an additional cost to the project — but, in the process, the entire neighborhood benefits.
10 A garden feel will be maintained. The scale of additions and replacement houses will be limited and our current Plan District setbacks will be maintained in all areas of the historic district. A likely future will be a neighborhood of increasingly larger houses of mediocre design with small yards that intrude on their neighbors’ light, privacy, and green space.
11 Fosters community pride and historical awareness of our heritage and sense of a place. Let ‘er rip. Forget the past. We can do better in the future. Keeps Eastmoreland free for developers.
12 Speculative demolition will become rare. Houses considered “non-contributing” may be demolished. Houses considered “contributing” will be protected with rare exceptions.  In either case, rebuilding will conform to historic resource review guidelines. Owners of “contributing” resources will require a much higher level of scrutiny before they can be demolished or substantially altered.
13 Based on the experience of other neighborhoods, speculative teardowns and speculative exterior remodels will be rare. Increased time and expense of the historic resource review process. See Questions & Answers for details about the various levels of design review and associated costs.
14 Accessory dwelling units that comply with design guidelines will be allowed as may be some internal conversions for existing contributing and noncontributing houses. Less flexibility in the design of backyard accessory dwelling units.
15 Tax Advantages. With the District in place, all contributing properties are potentially eligible for the State of Oregon Special Assessment Program, which provides a taxable value freeze for 10 years. This is powerful when a property is rehabilitated, upgraded or expanded, thus potentially triggering major property tax increases despite Measure 5. See details. This applies only to “contributing” properties.