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Historic Landmarks Commission to Deliver Annual Report on November 29th

The 2017 “State of the City Preservation Report” outlines Historic Landmarks Commission priorities for changing public perception, adding housing units, and inventorying historic resources.

Among their many recent approvals, the Historic Landmarks Commission supported an infill project that will add 60 new housing units to the Alphabet Historic District. Rendering courtesy Atomic Sky and Emerick Architects. Every fall, the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission delivers their annual “State of the City Preservation Report” to the Portland City Council. The report is an opportunity for the all-volunteer commission to highlight their recent activities, identify priorities for the coming year, and celebrate notable rehabilitation and infill projects approved by the commission. This year’s report will be delivered Wednesday, November 29th at 2 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Portland City Hall. The presentation is open to the public and testimony will be accepted.

The 2017 report focuses on numerous Historic Landmarks Commission priorities including changing public perceptions, addressing the housing emergency, and updating the citywide Historic Resources Inventory. The report’s authors state,

The Portland Historic Landmarks Commission, in partnership with City Council, must continue to be proactive advocates of maintaining and refining protections for designated properties, as well as working to assure that these protections are available to and benefit all Portland citizens. We can advocate for our City’s collective history by supporting the Historic Resources Code Project, as well as working together to make informed decisions that are equitable and long-term in thinking.”

Among the Commission’s primary themes in the report is a renewed call for an update to the Historic Resource Inventory (HRI). The report states,

For over ten years, the Commission has been calling for a citywide update of the 33-year-old HRI to provide an accurate public record, include areas and property types not previously surveyed (East Portland, Modern-era buildings, landmarks associated with communities of color, etc.), and develop a tool to inform sound land use planning decisions. Following concerted advocacy from BPS staff and the broader preservation community, statewide land use Goal 5 was amended in February 2017 to remove regulatory barriers to updating local inventories. Portland now has full jurisdiction to make good on the PHLC’s repeated calls to update the inventory.”

Additional priorities noted in the report include:

  • Promoting and incentivizing the seismic upgrade of unreinforced masonry buildings
  • Exploring the possibilities of a State Rehabilitation Tax Credit
  • Maintaining existing state-level protections for designated historic properties
  • Advancing affordable housing options in historic buildings and districts

The 19-page “State of the City Preservation Report” is available for download as a PDF. 

Historic Resources Code Project Seeks Community Input

Four public roundtables have been scheduled to solicit input on the project’s primary focus areas: identification, designation and protection of historic resources.

Kenton Firehouse, a local historic landmark in a conservation district.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is advancing the Historic Resources Code Project (HRCP), a zoning code initiative that will propose changes to how the City of Portland identifies, designates, and protects significant historic resources. Facilitated by a 2016 Oregon State Supreme Court ruling and recent changes to state administrative rules, the HRCP seeks to improve Portland’s historic resource protection programs and better steward the city’s rich cultural and architectural heritage.

Four public roundtables have been scheduled to solicit input on the project’s primary focus areas: identification, designation and protection of historic resources. Roundtables are open to the public and all venues are accessible to people with disabilities.

Why Portland’s Historic Places Matter
Thursday, December 7th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch St.
An opportunity to define and affirm the City’s historic preservation goals and values. Conversations will focus on the community benefits of preservation, including the cultural, economic and environmental value of diverse historic resources.

New Tools for Inventorying and Adapting Historic Resources
Thursday, January 11th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Ave.
An examination of survey, inventory and reuse of historic resources. This roundtable will address opportunities for updating Portland’s 33-year-old Historic Resources Inventory as well as explore possible zoning incentives for preservation.

What’s Working and What’s Not in Portland’s Historic Districts
Wednesday, January 24th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Taborspace, 5441 SE Belmont St.
A technical discussion about the application of historic resource review in Portland’s Historic Districts. Dialogue will center on the regulations associated with National Register Historic District designation and explore opportunities for improving the practicality and effectiveness of historic resource review.

Local District Designation: An Alternative to the National Register?
Tuesday, February 6th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
North Portland Library, 512 N Killingsworth St.
An exploration of potential alternatives to listing landmarks and districts in the National Register of Historic Places. Discussions will focus on how the City’s local Historic and Conservation Landmark and District designations might be modified to create more accessible and responsive designation and protection options.

In addition to the above roundtables, staff will be available at two drop-in sessions to provide additional opportunities to learn about the project and solicit general feedback:

Historic Resources Drop-in Session
Monday, December 18th, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Peninsula Park Community Center, 700 N Rosa Parks Way

Historic Resources Drop-in Session
Tuesday, January 9th, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave.

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff will incorporate public feedback from roundtables and drop-in sessions into the development of zoning code concepts. Draft zoning code language will be released in spring 2018, at which time more opportunities for public feedback will be scheduled.

If you cannot attend one of the Roundtables or drop-in sessions, please consider filling out a comment form and returning it to the project team. If you have questions or comments, the project team can be reached at (503) 823-7247 or

Follow this Project
Sign up for the City of Portland’s historic resource program email list to be informed of project developments. 

CC2035 Update: 10/18 Council meeting recap and preview of 11/29 work session

Summary of deliberations and agenda for Council discussions re: new long-range plan for the Central City

The Portland City Council has begun deliberations on the Central City 2035 Plan. This long-range plan for the heart of the city – and the region – will set the stage for growth and development over the next 20 years.

During public hearings in September and through written testimony, Commissioners heard from more than 100 community members about the new plan for the city center and received roughly 600 pieces of written testimony. Now Council is engaged in deliberations on amendments to the plan, which each of the Commissioners have submitted.

Commissioners begin drafting amendments  

On October 18 Council discussed issues of interest and considered draft amendments to the main components of the plan on topics such as:

  • Height and FAR  
  • Scenic views
  • Transportation System Plan (TSP)
  • Zoning and use allowances
  • Eco roofs

No votes or public testimony were taken. Council continued the discussion of the some of these agenda items to future meetings about CC2035.

Review the Summary of City Council Deliberations on October 18, 2017.

Learn more about past Council meetings, read the minutes or hear the audio recording.

Watch Council sessions on video tape.

Upcoming Council Sessions

UPDATE: November 2 Council session rescheduled for November 29

The Council deliberation session scheduled for November 2 has been moved to November 29.   

On Wednesday, November 29 at 4 p.m., City Council’s deliberation will include the following items:

  • Scenic views (continued)
  • Green buildings (continued)
  • Bonuses and transfers
  • River/environmental
  • Trails, parks and open space
  • Miscellaneous code and map amendments

The agenda and materials for this session will be posted before Thanksgiving.

Additional Council sessions

December 6   

  • 2 p.m., time certain – Council session

January 3, 2018   

  • 2 p.m., time certain – Council session (if needed)

January 18

  • 2 p.m., time certain – Public hearing on amendments (amendments package to be published in early January)

March 2018 (anticipated)

  • Council vote on amendments

May 2018 (anticipated)

  • Council final vote (The CC2035 vote must follow the Comprehensive Plan effective date, which is currently anticipated to be May 2018.) 

June 2018 (anticipated)

  • Effective date for CC2035 (30 days after the Council vote)

How to stay informed and connected

You can track Council’s deliberation sessions so you know what amendments will be coming up at the public hearing in the following ways:

PSC News: November 14, 2017 Meeting Recap

Bike Parking Stakeholder Group – briefing; 2035 Comp Plan Code Reconciliation Project – work session; 2035 Comp Plan Map Refinement Project – work session


  • Bike Parking Stakeholder Group — Briefing
  • Code Reconciliation Project — Work Session / Recommendation
  • Map Refinement Project — Work Session / Recommendation

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at

For background information, see the PSC website at, call 503-823-7700 or email

Meeting playback on Channel 30 are scheduled to start the Friday following the meeting. Starting times may occur earlier for meetings over three hours long, and meetings may be shown at additional times as scheduling requires.

Channel 30 (closed-caption)
Friday at 3 p.m. | Sunday at 7:00 a.m. | Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access and will make reasonable accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or provide other services. When possible, please contact us at least three (3) business days before the meeting at 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868 or Oregon Relay Service 711.

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