On Thursday, May 25 at 8:00 am, there will be a hearing at the Capitol Building (with invited testimony only) regarding some new amendments to House Bill 2007. Interestingly, the HB 2007 page of the Oregon Legislature Information System (OLIS), which many interested parties are following via RSS feed or email update subscriptions has not been updated at all to show anything about this hearing, so lots of people will not be aware of it. It was only announced on the page of the House Committee On Human Services and Housing.
After all of the lobbying and advocacy efforts of the historic preservation community in Oregon, meetings, letters, phone calls and visits to the Capitol, there were some amendments made to the section on Historic District. Unfortunately, they basically seem to say that OK, we don’t necessarily want luxury, single-family homes to replace smaller more affordable homes in Historic Districts, but otherwise, anything goes. Including million dollar duplexes. So if the house is a duplex, or is affordable to families making less than $95,000 per year (is that the rental price or the purchase price?), then you can demolish and build whatever you want without a hearing or design review.
Here is the text from the summary:
This section applies to housing development applications in primarily residential districts on the National Register of Historic Places that have been designated on or after the effective date of the act: (1) A local jurisdiction must provide an opportunity for a public hearing if a contributing resource is being demolished and replaced with a housing development. (2) A list of factors must be considered during the hearing, including but not limited to, the affordability or the proposed development compared to the existing development.
The following applications for housing development are exempt from the requirement to have a public hearing: (a) The new development is affordable to households with incomes equal to or less than 120 percent of Median Family Income (MFI). (b) The new development has greater density than the existing development. (c) The development includes only exterior modifications that are aesthetic in nature. (d) The development only includes demolition of accessory structures, like garages. Local jurisdictions may: (1) Adopt additional protection measures for housing developments, including those that are listed as exceptions”