Protect Historic Laurelhurst
We need to raise funds to prepare the Nomination for Laurelhurst to be recognized as a Historic District by the National Park Services and the City of Portland. The exact funding needed will be determined when consultant bids are received, but costs are estimated between $50,000-$70,000. We must raise several thousand dollars by early September to begin work, and the remainder by year-end, to achieve Historic District status by Fall 2018.
Our neighborhood overwhelmingly supports the Historic District. This year, every household in Laurelhurst was asked to declare their position and 83% of responders declared SUPPORT for the Historic District at the June 13, 2017 general meeting and vote.
We are asking to donate what you can, and feel comfortable with.
If every Laurelhurst household gave an average of $75 we can easily meet our goal.
You can donate to this effort via our website (using Paypal or check). If you rather donate by check, please mail or drop a check off to Mike Dubinsky, 3734 NE Hassalo, 97232. Funds donated for the Historic District will be held by the LNA, a registered 501c3 charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible and the LNA will provide written acknowledgement as required for tax purposes.
To become a Historic District, Laurelhurst needs your energy, your passion, and your financial support. Please considering donating today to preserve this unique historic neighborhood for tomorrow’s generations.
For questions regarding donations, please contact LNA Treasurer, Mike Dubinsky at 510-541-4951.
More information on the Historic District can be found here.
Review the Survey Data for your home.
Please view a brief Survey Status Report (January). This is a PDF of Power Point slides intended to presented at the general meeting.
Timing and demolitions
It will take at least a year and probably longer for Laurelhurst to obtain historic district status. In recent years demolitions have increased throughout the city. At least 30 houses in Laurelhurst have been wholly or partially demolished in the past 10 years. The residential infill proposals (RIP), which will become effective later this year, provide added incentives for demolitions by allowing duplexes on all lots and triplexes corner lots, and cottage clusters on double lots. Individuals have varying view about the extent to which future demolitions are likely to occur in Laurelhurst; but, it will not take many more demolitions to irrevocably change the character of the neighborhood.
Obtaining historic district status will immediately subject all structures that contribute to the historic nature of the district to demolition review. As a result, it will be virtually impossible for developers to demolish these homes and replace them with structures that do not conform to the character of the neighborhood.
As a result of a January 2017 amendment to state’s historic preservation rules (Goal 5), there will NOT be any immediate design review if Laurelhurst becomes an historic district. This means that rehabilitation and construction projects will be subject only to the permitting rules that currently exist for all properties.
Design review will come only after the city – with input from Laurelhurst – has developed and promulgated design review criteria. The process will take at least one and probably several years. The LNA Board has committed itself “to participate actively with neighborhood residents, the city, and other neighborhood associations to ensure that any design review guidelines are appropriate for the neighborhood and not unduly burdensome.”
The Board supports the goal of creating more – and more affordable – housing in Portland. Toward that end, the Board has endorsed internal conversions to yield new duplexes – i.e., it has endorsed projects that do not require demolition. The Board is skeptical, however, that RIP’s effective re-zoning of single-family homes for duplexes, triplexes, and cottage clusters will produce affordable units. If developers follow past practices, and there is no reason believe they won’t, they will target relatively inexpensive homes and replace them with more expensive units. That will neither alleviate the affordable housing shortage nor preserve the city’s livability and historic assets.
The Board believes that immediate protection against demolitions, along with the possibility in the future of reasonable design standards that Laurelhurst can help shape, provides the best available option for protecting Laurelhurst’s unique and architecturally significant character.
Information on Historic District Designations/Historic Districts from Restore Oregon:
You can expect more public forums and meetings regarding the designation. Please send us your questions.