Scores of preservation supporters across Oregon joined the AHC in helping to defeat proposed state legislation that could have eviscerated our national historic districts and prevented new ones from being formed.
After weeks of constituent meetings, email blasts and public testimony, legislators eliminated several provisions involving historic districts from House Bill 2007 aimed at encouraging construction of affordable housing across the state. Amendments to the original bill targeted historic districts as locations where it was difficult for developers to tear down old houses to build new ones – never mind that the new houses are frequently more expensive and that historic districts don’t prohibit greater density.
Other provisions that ultimately were dropped would have banned new historic districts in residential neighborhoods and greatly impaired historic design reviews that help assure compatibility of any new construction in those districts.
The affordable housing measures ultimately were grafted into Senate Bill 1051, which passed after the assaults on historic districts were removed. The bill calls for local allowance of accessory dwelling units, some speedier times for processing construction applications, and provisions making it easier for churches to build housing on church-owned property.
Advocates from the Architectural Heritage Center worked with the Portland Coalition for Historic Resources, Restore Oregon, United Neighbors for Reform and numerous individuals in waging this successful effort to protect our heritage. Our deep thanks to all who helped!
While House Bill 2007 is no longer on the table, we recognize that Oregon still has few protections in place for historic districts and places. Moreover, historic preservation and affordability remain important issues to us. The AHC will continue to play a key role and work with local and state legislators, affordable housing advocates, and other partners to find viable, balanced solutions to protect our built heritage now and for the future.
AHC Testifies in Salem on HB 2007 (June 23, 2017)
Fix Problematic House Bill 2007 (May 23, 2017)