Poll Shows Opposition to the Historic District

Results:

No: 702 (50.6%)
Yes: 666 (48%)
Don't Know: 19 (1.4%)

Keep Eastmoreland Free appeals to the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association (ENA) Board to withdraw its application to designate the neighborhood a National Historic District after its own poll clearly shows that the majority of Eastmoreland neighbors oppose the designation.

Despite statements by the ENA Board that it would seek neighborhood opinions before pushing for an Historic District designation, the Board hired a consultant and submitted the Historic District application in November. Three months later, the Board finally mailed out a poll but has said publicly that it was only advisory and non-binding. Keep Eastmoreland Free and the 725+ neighbors who have signed notarized objections against the proposed National Historic District designation urge the ENA board to respect the will of neighbors and withdraw its application.

The more neighbors learn about this costly and burdensome proposal that will impact their property rights, the less they like it. As the ENA Board may continue to disregard the wishes of the neighbors it serves and allow the designation to automatically become law, Keep Eastmoreland Free continues to urge homeowners to sign notarized letters of objection.

Signing an objection is the only way to prevent the proposed National Historic District from becoming a reality. Remember, a National Historic District designation is forever and will burden homeowners for generations to come.  

A Better, More Democratic Solution

On January 27 the Oregon Land Conservation & Development Commission (LCDC) adopted new administrative rules regarding state land use Goal 5/Historic Resources. The rules will go into effect as soon as they are filed with the Oregon Secretary of State, which is a process that takes about 2 weeks. Local historic districts, which are coordinated and regulated by the City of Portland, previously required the consent of 100% of property owners, making them impossible to attain. The rules have been modified to now require 50% +1 of individual property owners to legally consent, making this a viable option.

The City of Portland would help to determine the boundary of the district, and would vet contributing vs. non-contributing resources. Not having to adhere to National Preservation Standards, there would be great flexibility in crafting a Local historic district’s design guidelines and regulations. This would all be managed through a public, transparent process.

If we are designated a National historic district, we will NOT have the option to become a Local historic district. 

The fairest way for the ENA to proceed now would be to withdraw their current proposal and allow the neighborhood to discuss pursuing this newly available alternative. Isn’t that what we’ve all been asking for – a BETTER SOLUTION?

OBJECT to the National Historic District, and insist upon a redirection. 

We ALL love Eastmoreland – let’s consider a more democratic process to protect it for generations to come.

Submit Notarized Objections (Starting December 15)

The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) posted the official proposed Eastmoreland Historic District on its website on December 15, 2016. 

The only way to prevent the historic district from going into effect is for 50% + 1 of the property owners in the proposed district – regardless of whether your home is categorized as "contributing" or "non-contributing" –  to file notarized objections with SHPO. Notarized objections can be filed with SHPO starting December 15.   

Find out more here, and voice your objection to the historic district.

October 13, 2016 at 7pm: Special Meeting of the Members of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association

DUNIWAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LIBRARY

Frustrated that the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association (ENA) isn't more forthcoming with information about the designation of our neighborhood as a historic district?  Us, too.  We have again petitioned the ENA Board for a Special Meeting of the Members to discuss the Historic District.  This is not a general ENA meeting, and as per the bylaws of the ENA and the petition, the only issue that can be discussed is the historic district.  Come and let your opposition be known, and ask the ENA to SLOW DOWN the process of designating our neighborhood as a historic district.

The following topics are on the agenda:

(1) The “vote/poll” committee – who is on it, who chairs it, when will it meet, and what will it discuss? 

(2) The results of the neighborhood historic district survey and disclosure of homes that have been determined as contributing and non-contributing sources.

(3) The Treasurer’s report for June, July and August showing the funds spent on the historic district.

(4) Disclosure of all meeting minutes going back one year (i.e., October 2015) of the Land Use committee relating to the historic district.

(5)  On what date does the ENA plan to submit the final historic district nomination to SHPO?  The ENA's website has 2 timelines on it (one attributed to the ENA, and one to AECOM) which are vague and inconsistent.  The AECOM timeline states it will submit the nomination to SHPO on November 1, 2016.  The ENA timeline does not state when a final nomination will be made to SHPO.  Rather, it states that 'refinements' will be made to the 'draft nomination' between November 2016-January 2017 and that SHPO will submit a final application to the National Park Service in May 2017.

(6) A request for the mailing list (names and addresses) of all members of the ENA.

We further requested that the Board commit to immediately notify the neighborhood (via ENA Facebook page, ENA historic district website, the ENA website, and a mailing to every household) of the following information:  that the ENA has submitted the historic district application to SHPO, and the exact method by which and dates within which any property owner can file comments, including notarized objections to the nomination.

Tuesday, October 4th at 7pm: Historic District Informational and Q&A Session

Holy Family Celebration Hall – Corner of SE Cesar Chavez (39th) and Flavel

Do you have questions or concerns about the proposal to designate Eastmoreland as a historic district? Do you want your questions answered from unbiased professionals from the Portland Planning Bureau and City of Portland’s Design and Historic Resource Review Team? Do you want to hear about those who objected to the Irvington Historic District? Here's your chance!  

Please come with questions or feel free to submit your questions in advance to info@keepeastmorelandfree.org.

This informational and Q&A session is being hosted by your neighbors at Keep Eastmoreland Free. We want to make sure that you have all the facts, the pros and cons, of our neighborhood being designated a historic district, so that we can all make an informed decision.

September 7, 2016 at 7pm: Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association

DUNIWAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LIBRARY

Please come join us and let the ENA Board know that you want them to SLOW down the process of nominating our neighborhood as a historic district.  The ENA Board members have decided to submit the draft application for the historic district (scheduled for October) PRIOR to taking the "poll" that has been promised to the neighborhood (scheduled for December).  And, they have yet to inform the neighborhood what this poll will look like.

We have requested that the Board take time at this meeting to address the following issues:

1.    There were indications at the July special members meeting and indications from some members of the board that the "poll/vote" of the neighborhood on the historic district would be taken at the end of the summer when the historic district boundaries have been determined.  However, it appears from the ENA's historic district website that the poll will be taken in December, two months after the initial draft application for the historic district submission to SHPO.  When was this decision made and by whom?  

2.    Would it be possible to withdraw the historic district application from SHPO if the "poll/vote" of the neighborhood indicates that there is a consensus to not move forward with the district?

3.   It appears that a decision has been made to have AECOM draft neighborhood historic district guidelines - which would mean that the ENA Board has decided to use the entire $48,000 that was outlined in the fee schedule under the AECOM contract.  When was this decision made and by whom?  

4.   Has any decision been made as to how the "poll/vote" will be conducted?  At the July special meeting, requests were made that a non-partial third party that has expertise in writing ballots be hired to write the ballot and conduct the polling process.  Will the neighborhood design guidelines be included as a part of the ballot?  If none of these decisions have been made, when will they be made, and by whom?

5.  Has any decision been made as to what portion of the ENA would be participating in the "poll/vote"?  Would it include all of the homes in the ENA boundaries or only those homes in the historic district boundaries (if a narrower subset)?  

6.  At the July special members meeting, there was considerable agreement expressed that to be valid, a super majority of the homeowners in the boundary must participate in the poll, and a super majority of those must agree to the historic district.  Will the ENA board commit to that, to ensure that the historic district does not go ahead without the support of a majority of the affected homeowners?

7.   The ENA Summer newsletter has been written with a decidedly "pro-historic" point of view.  The ENA is hereby requested to pay for the printing and distribution of a similar newsletter written by the Keep Eastmoreland Free group that describes the downsides of our neighborhood being designated a historic district.  It seems only fair that neighborhood resources be spent to explore both sides of the debate.  

Your presence at the meeting will let the Board know that there are neighbors who want this process to take a more measured pace, so that we can all make an informed decision about a significant change that will affect all of our property rights.