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Portlanders invited to testify on new rules governing the city’s historic landmarks and places

News Article
Historic Resources Code Project Recommended Draft available for review; City Council hearing anticipated this fall, but community members can submit written testimony via the Map App now.

Three months in advance of a tentative October 2021 City Council hearing, the Planning and Sustainability Commission released its Recommended Draft of the Historic Resources Code Project (HRCP) for public review and written testimony.

According to PSC Chair Eli Spevak, “The recommended changes to the Zoning Code will allow Portland’s inventory of historic resources to tell more diverse stories, adapt to changing community needs, and be protected for future generations.”

View the project staff report, recommended code amendments, and summaries of the recommended changes.

During their deliberations on an earlier draft, the PSC moved and adopted 14 amendments, including changes to the district designation process; elimination of demolition protections for most detached accessory structures; and expanded flexibility for solar panels, new ADUs, and window replacements in residential districts. On May 4, the Commission voted unanimously to recommend City Council consider—and adopt—the revised HRCP code amendments.

The PSC’s recommendation states that, “In addition to meaningful changes to the City’s policy approach to historic preservation, the code amendments include numerous technical fixes requested by the Bureau of Development Services, the Historic Landmarks Commission, and development teams with nonprofit and for-profit experience rehabilitating historic structures. Those fixes, while technical in nature, will allow tenants, property owners, and designers to use, improve and adapt historic resources.”

More time for community members to review the Recommended Draft

Several testifiers on the earlier HRCP Proposed Draft requested more time to review the draft code amendments before the close of the testimony period. In response, the PSC increased the comment period for the Proposed Draft from six to eight weeks, which resulted in 348 pieces of testimony submitted to the Commission. The PSC considered this testimony at seven work sessions held during the winter and spring before the Commission unanimously voted to advance the revised Recommended Draft of code amendments.  

To allow sufficient time for public consideration of the Recommended Draft, testimony will remain open for at least three months before the City Council holds a hearing on the code amendments.

Review and testify on the Recommended Draft

Portlanders are invited to review and testify on the Historic Resources Code Project proposals. City Council will hold a public hearing in the Fall 2021 (date, time, and registration details to be announced closer to the hearing date). However, written testimony can be submitted online now through the MapApp until at least the time of the City Council hearing. The HRCP website will be updated to include City Council hearing details closer to the date of the hearing.

For more information on the Recommended Draft and opportunities to testify on the code amendments, visit the project homepage.