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National Park Service returns Eastmoreland historic district nomination for more review by Oregon State Historic Preservation Office

July 2, 2018
SALEM, Ore. – The federal National Park Service (NPS) has returned a nomination to place the Eastmoreland Neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places and required the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to investigate the validity of certain ownership interests. An accurate count of owners is important to the federally-controlled program since the nomination may not be listed in the National Register if more than 50% of the owners in a district object to the nomination.
The State Advisory Commission on Historic Preservation, a governor-appointed volunteer commission of people with interest and skill in Oregon history, first reviewed and recommended approval of the nomination in February 2017. In May 2017, SHPO staff concurred that it qualified based on its historic attributes, but were unable to resolve issues related to counting owners and objections. The SHPO submitted it as required to the National Park Service, noting this problem. The NPS returned the nomination for further work in June 2017. After a court-ordered delay was lifted, the SHPO began working on ownership questions. Using Oregon Department of Justice advice and NPS guidance, it resubmitted the nomination in May 2018.
During the SHPO’s 2018 work, three residents in the Eastmoreland neighborhood transferred ownership of their properties to thousands of new trusts. Federal guidance grants qualifying trusts the ability to submit notarized objections to the nomination. The May 2018 submittal noted that with objections from the new trusts, more than 50% of the owners objected to the nomination. In its June 29, 2018 letter (http://bit.ly/2lMmVA2), the National Park Service says the Oregon SHPO “needs to ascertain whether these trusts are valid and whether they have a fee simple ownership in the properties at issue.”
The Oregon SHPO will develop a plan to respond to the NPS.