Historic Design Review is a “confusing, time-consuming and expensive process”
— Harris Matarazzo, Former Portland Historic Landmarks Commissioner

Costs

  • After a remodeling project is approved by the city, neighbors can appeal the approval, adding further delay and costs.

Undemocratic

  • 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.

DESIGN Restrictions

  • 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.