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BPS E-News: Proposed Changes to Historic Design review process makes remodeling quicker, cheaper

Property owners in Historic and Conservation Districts have expressed concerns about the fees and time involved for Historic Design Review. For example, fees for small home remodeling projects start at $900, and the design review process can take from six to eight weeks.

To address these concerns, the Bureaus of Planning and Sustainability and Development Services are looking at creative solutions for a quicker, more user-friendly and predictable review process for home improvements with minor impacts on historic properties. The City’s Historic Resources Code Improvement Project (HRCIP) team will also clarify code definitions and perform other clean-up measures.

In September, the City published an Issues and Options Paper to start a community conversation about possible regulatory changes that will be considered during this project. Staff met with the Historic Landmarks Commission, the Planning and Sustainability Commission and other community members to get feedback on the draft issues and options. Based on this input and continuing community conversations, staff are writing a discussion draft with code amendments to be released the week of November 16. A public hearing before the Historic Landmarks Commission is tentatively scheduled for December 10, 2012.

Find out more information, download project documents and learn how to get involved at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/58976, or contact Jay Sugnet at 503-823-5869 or jay.sugnet@portlandoregon.gov.