Portland's Historic Design Review fees start at $250 for small projects and increase to $10,000+ for more complex projects.
Many property owners will need to hire architects to complete the design review process, adding additional costs.
As far as our neighbors in Buckman could tell, there is no property value increase associated with the Irvington Historic District.
Individual historic properties that also qualify for and chose to enroll in Oregon's Special Assessment of Historic Property Program, which freezes tax assessments for 10 years (with an additional 10 year extension) to help offset the cost of restoration, will be reassessed at full market value at the end of the period.
After a remodeling project is approved by the city, neighbors can appeal the approval, adding further delay and costs.
This is not a vote. A property owner who does nothing is counted as supporting the Historic District.
Once the historic survey and nomination are complete, anyone can submit an application to the State and the National Park Service to create a historic district. There is no residency or standing requirement.
Almost all exterior renovations on any façade of the house will have to go through an additional design review process, and at an added fee, to determine whether they comply with design guidelines.
No solar panels, skylights, or ecoroofs visible from the street.
Creates Winners And Losers
The value of a house depends on the willingness of people to buy it. And historic designation will scare buyers away from some houses in our neighborhood.
There are houses that could benefit from some work. Maybe they haven't been remodeled recently, or re-landscaped, or they haven't yet converted the garage into a home office or "accessory dwelling unit" – all of which are improvements that historic designation will make difficult, time-consuming, expensive, and uncertain. House hunters won't bid on, or bid as much for, those need-some-work houses, for fear that they won't be allowed to fix the house as they choose. So they'll take a pass. Of course, owners of already-upgraded houses with already-built ADUs needn't worry about these gun-shy buyers, so designation might not affect them.
It seems clear the decision to put Eastmoreland into an historic district will decrease the value of some of our houses, depending on condition, and thus will create winners and losers within the neighborhood.
Uncertainty For Growing Families
We all want young families to continue to move into Eastmoreland and keep Duniway and Holy Family vibrant schools. However, young families looking for houses that they can remodel and grow as their family size grows will be discouraged from buying in Eastmoreland, because of the added cost and uncertainty of remodeling to add space.