On Nov. 9, Portland City Council voted to adopt new design guidelines for the South Portland Historic District, a small geographic area located around the Ross Island Bridgehead on the west side of the Willamette River. Formerly a bustling neighborhood of immigrants, small businesses, schools, and cultural and religious institutions, South Portland has been recognized by the City as a special historic place since 1977.
The adoption of new design guidelines necessitated the repeal of the existing Lair Hill Historic Conservation District Design Guidelines, which have been used to guide alterations and new construction in the district for more than 40 years. Unlike the existing design guidelines, the newly adopted South Portland Historic District Design Guidelines honor the area’s architectural and cultural history through 12 new land use approval criteria. These new criteria address a variety of topics ranging from site planning to cultural history, and vehicular parking to new tall buildings.
The new design guidelines — and repeal of the existing guidelines — take effect Jan. 1, 2023. Once the new guidelines take effect, they will be added to the library of Design Guideline Documents for use by designers, reviewers, property owners, tenants, and interested community members.
For more information on the South Portland Historic District and the process to develop the new design guidelines, visit the South Portland Historic District Design Guidelines Project webpage.