In a hearing held just this morning, the Portland City Council voted to support a proposed historic design review fee of $250. The City’s Bureau of Development Services had proposed a reduction from the current $950 to $475, but instead the Council supported efforts by the Portland Coalition for Historic Resources to truly make the fees more reasonably priced.

The new fee structure applies to the BDS’ “new Type I” application for smaller and simple projects. This new fee, along with a greatly streamlined historic design review process, takes effect on May 1st, for all Portland Historic and Conservation Districts, and designated Historic Landmarks. The Bosco-Milligan Foundation/Architectural Heritage Center (authors of the Portland Preservation blog) helped form the Portland Coalition for Historic Resources and have worked for nearly a year to simplify the City’s sometimes unpredictable design review process. There will now, as of May 1st, be exemptions for ongoing maintenance and repair, shorter review times, and thanks to City Council today, a $250 flat fee for design review of basic projects. This is indeed a great achievement and makes our preservation advocacy efforts worthwhile!