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About the Historic Landmarks Commission

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The Historic Landmarks Commission provides leadership and expertise on maintaining and enhancing Portland's historic and architectural heritage as assigned by Portland City Code Title 33 or by City Council.

The Commission identifies and protects buildings and other properties that have historic or cultural significance or special architectural merit. The Commission provides advice on historic preservation matters, and coordinates historic preservation programs in the City. The Commission is also actively involved in the development of design guidelines for historic design districts.

The Historic Landmarks Commission consists of seven members, none of whom may hold elective office. All members must have demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge of historic preservation. At least two members must have professional experience in historic preservation, local history, architectural history, or architecture. At least three of the additional members must have professional experience or working knowledge of historic preservation, local history, architectural history, architecture, landscape architecture, real estate, economics, construction, community development, urban planning, archaeology, law, finance, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, cultural resources management, or related disciplines. The Commission may have up to two members at-large. No more than two members of the Commission may be in the business of buying, selling, leasing, or developing real estate for profit, or be officers of such a business. Members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

Historic Landmarks Commission powers and duties

  1. Establishing, amending, or removing Historic Landmark and Conservation Landmark designations and amending Historic District and Conservation District designations in quasi-judicial reviews;
  2. Recommending the establishment, amendment, or removal of Historic Landmark and Conservation Landmark designations and Significant Resource identification to the City Council in legislative actions;
  3. Providing advice on the establishment, amendment, or removal of Historic Districts and Conservation Districts to the Planning and Sustainability Commission in legislative actions;
  4. Recommending design guidelines for Historic Districts and Conservation Districts to the City Council in legislative actions;
  5. Reviewing development proposals for Historic Landmarks and Conservation Landmarks and in Historic Districts and Conservation Districts in quasi-judicial reviews;
  6. Reviewing demolition and relocation requests for certain Historic Landmarks, Conservation Landmarks, and resources in Historic Districts and Conservation Districts in quasi-judicial reviews;
  7. Providing advice on historic preservation matters to the Hearings Officer, Design Commission, Planning and Sustainability Commission, Prosper Portland Commission, other City commissions and committees, and City Council; and
  8. Initiating and coordinating historic preservation and public outreach programs in the City, including making recommendations on National Register of Historic Places nominations and making recommendations to other governmental agencies regarding historic preservation programs and issues.