Historic District FAQ

Who are you?

Please see About Us

Do I get a tax break (or tax freeze) by being in a Historic District?

Tax breaks and property tax freezes must be applied for individually, requiring substantial investment and approval of an application at the state or federal level. At the end of the residential tax freeze, your home will be reassessed. One Buckman homeowner discovered to his chagrin that the newy assessed value was significantly higher than it would have been without the tax freeze.

Will the historic district prevent the demolition of old homes and buildings?

The city will conduct a demolition review for contributing structures. If the demolition is found in support of Portland's Comprehensive Plan, such as the current development at SE 20th & Morrison, the demolition will be approved. Since infill is part of the Comprehensive Plan, demolition may not be prevented.

If the Historic District does not pass, will that mean that a developer can come in a build a new apartment complex next to my house?

No. The majority of the district is zoned for single family residential. In some cases zoning allows for duplexes, row houses, or small apartment buildings. Much of the neighborhood however, is currently more dense than than would be allowed for new buildings because changes to the neighborhood zoning (most recently in the early 90s) have made it more difficult to build apartment buildings.

How can I find out what my property (or my neighbor's property) is zoned for?

Portland Maps is a great resource for this, type in any address or street intersection and you can view a map of the area that shows, among other things, what the zoning is.

For reference, much of the neighborhood is zoned R5 or R2.5. These are single residence zones, they have maximum densities of one residence per standard lot (5,000 square feet of land) for R5, and one residence for half size lot (2,500 square feet of land) for R2.5. R1 is a multi residence zone that allows for a maximum density of one residence per 1,000 square feet of land, which can allow uses such as four-plexes, small apartment buildings, or row houses.

Can’t a developer just petition the city to change zoning laws if they want to build a large apartment complex?

This is a very long and difficult process. It involves a Type III Land Use Review, which requires a comment period and a public hearing which provides the neighborhood with an opportunity to voice objections to any changes.

What if I want my property on the National Register of Historic Places?

There is nothing stopping individual property owners from applying to be on the National Register . The Buckman Historic Assocation has done a significant amount of work, and may be able to help.

What can I do to prevent the Historic District?

Take Action

How do I object?