Historic Review Process

Historic Photo of a Man and Home in Oregon CitySpecial Responsibilities

Owners of buildings that have been designated Historic Sites have a special responsibility in the preservation of these structures. To find out if your property is within the following areas, please visit the Historic Inventory Forms.

If you are an owner of a house that is designated a Historic Structure, there is a special review required for all exterior alterations that affect the outside of the structure (windows, doors, changes in siding material, and additions). These alterations require review by the Planning Division and/or Historic Review Board depending upon the extent of the proposed change to the structure.

Please note: Interior alterations to designated sites do not require review by the Historic Review Board.

Owners of designated properties can make some exterior improvements to their structure without City involvement by complying with the Historic Review Board Policies. These cover areas such as:

  • Painting
  • Replacement and repair of existing siding
  • Rain gutters
  • Fencing
  • Foundation Repair
  • Internal repair
  • Addition of storm windows

Two Types of Historic Reviews

Alterations to Existing Resources & Additions Less Than 30% of the Original Structure

If alteration requires discretionary decision-making:

If the extent of alteration is limited and falls within the identified HRB policies:

  • Type I review by staff
  • Subject to the clear and objective HRB policies

New Construction in Historic Districts Including Additions Greater Than 30% of the Original Structure

Design Advice

The Historic Review Board created the design advice process as a way to interact with applicants at the beginning of the design process. These interactions are at publicly noticed meetings and are entered into the record if the applicant submits for historic land use approval. Design advice from the members of the HRB is non-binding. Design advice submissions should include a narrative description of the proposal along with preliminary architectural drawings. Deadlines for design advice submissions are 11 days prior to an HRB meeting, which is regularly scheduled on the 4th Tuesday of each month.

Properties Not Designated as Historic Sites

If you own a house that is not designated a Historic Site in the Oregon City Comprehensive Plan, you need not go through the Historic Review process. However, the Historic Review Board is always available to answer any design questions you have regarding the preservation and rehabilitation of your house. Additionally, if your house is over 50 years old it may be considered a designated structure in future inventories. The Historic Review Board encourages you to make exterior alterations that will maintain your structure's integrity and be compatible with the neighborhood's New Construction and Demolition. Finally, all new construction and demolition of buildings in the McLoughlin Conservation District and Canemah National Register District require a Historic Review Board review.

If you have any questions, please email Planning or call 503-722-3789