This page describes what a historic district is, the listing process, and the benefits and responsibilities of owning a listed property. Use the links below to navigate to specific information.
What is the Oak Hills Historic District?
Darla J. Castagno, on behalf of the Oak Hills Home Owners Association, nominated Oak Hills Historic District for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The proposed Oak Hills Historic District encompasses approximately 240 acres and is generally bounded by NW West Union Road to the north, NW 143rd Avenue to the east, Cornell Road to the south and Bethany Blvd. to the west, with blocks outside these boundaries included.
The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation’s official list of buildings, districts, structures, sites, and objects important to local, state, or national history. The program is run by the National Park Service in Washington DC and administered locally by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SPHO), an office of the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department.
A historic district is an area or neighborhood that has a concentration of buildings and associated landscape and streetscape features that are typically at least 50 years old or older. The fact that most of residences in Oak Hills will be between 39 and 48 years old when the historic district is listed in the National Register means that this neighborhood has to demonstrate “exceptional importance” in the eyes of the National Park Service. To be eligible for the Register the majority of the buildings in the district must maintain their historic appearance, or be “contributing,” and the district must be associated with an important aspect of the area’s history or collectively and/or be notable for its architecture or design.
The nomination argues that the Oak Hills Historic District is notable for its design and as an early Planned Unit Development (PUD) that set a precedent for flexible land use codes and regulations in Washington County. The development epitomizes trends in 1960s planned community design that emphasized varying residential densities, mixed uses, open space, and land conservation. The Oak Hills Home Owners Association is also important as an example of an early Home Owners Association-governed community in the greater Portland metropolitan area. This private group is unique in that it continues to take a leadership role in managing the subdivision to this day. A full copy of the draft nomination will be available on this site on December 31st.
Oak Hills Historic District, Draft Nomination
What is the Process?
Any person or organization can nominate a property or district for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by submitting a nomination to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. A complete nomination for a historic district includes the nomination form, property list, maps, photos, and exhibits. Once received, SHPO staff reviews the document for completeness, and then provides the preparer with a memo, if needed, outlining required changes to meet the minimum standards set by the National Park Service and making suggestions to improve the document.
Nominations that meet the minimum standards are forwarded to the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP), a nine member governor-appointed body of citizens with expertise in fields relating to historic preservation. The nomination document is also provided to Washington County for comment.
At its meeting, the SACHP considers comments by local officials, staff, and interested citizens and recommends to the SHPO and the National Park Service to accept or reject a property for listing in the Register, or defer the nomination for future consideration. Only the National Park Service can list a property in the Register. A project timeline is below. As part of the process, local officials and the general public are invited to participate. The flowchart below demonstrates the process.
November 1, 2012 –Oak Hills Historic District submitted for staff review.
December 13, 2012 – Public notice published in the Oregonian announcing the upcoming hearing.
Notarized objections may now be submitted. See below.
December 17, 2012 – Written notification of the upcoming meeting provided to Washington County
January 24, 2013 – Public notice published in the Oregonian announcing the upcoming hearing.
Date rescheduled from January 10th.
February 4, 2013 – Press release to be sent to local print, radio, and TV news outlets
announcing the upcoming meeting.
February 14, 2013 – SACHP meets to consider the nomination. Note draft agenda is subject to
May 16, 2013 – The nomination document is sent to the National Park Service
June 3, 2013 (estimated date) – The National Park Service will determine if the nomination form is
complete and if there is sufficient support to list the district in the Register.
What Does Listing Mean?
The SHPO and the federal government do not regulate private property unless the owner chooses to take advantage of federal and state tax incentives or grants. Local county and city governments, however, are required by state law to protect properties listed in the National Register. Because local laws vary from place to place, property owners or those looking to purchase properties listed in the National Register should contact Stephen Roberts, Communications Coordinator at Washington County at (503) 846-4963 or firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
property owners with National Register properties.
- SHPO webpage that describes grants available to owners of National Register
properties and other cultural resources and institutions.
How Do I Object to or Support Listing in the Register?
Owners of private property may object to the listing by submitting a notarized statement certifying that the individual is the sole or partial owner of the property and that they object to the listing to the SHPO. The proposed district will not be listed if a majority of the property owners object. Supporters do not need to submit a notarized statement.
Each owner of private property in a district has one “vote” regardless of how many properties or what part of the one property that individual owns, and regardless of whether the property contributes to the significance of the proposed district. An owner is defined as an entity (individual, partnership, corporation) holding fee simple title to property. Divisions of government, including schools and fire districts, may not object to listing.
The right to object is described more fully in the federal regulations governing the National Register program, 36 CFR 60.6. Letters of support may be submitted by email or regular mail. Original signed and notarized objections must be mailed.
A downloadable PDF of letters of support and objection will be posted on this site weekly beginning Monday, December 31, 2012
Letters of Support and Objections Recieved to date, posted weekly as recieved.
Who Supports or Opposes the Nomination?
As a courtesy, the Oregon SHPO has posted links and contact information for the Oak Hills Home Owners Association. The Oregon SHPO is not responsible for the content of the organization websites, mailings, or other communications.
For further information, please contact:
President, Oak Hills
Home Owners Association Board
Where Do I Get More Information?
Questions about the information on this page
Diana Painter, Architectural Historian
Oregon State Historic Preservation Office
(503) 986-0668 or email@example.com