A recent online Preservation Magazine article examines the conflict between zoning and historical preservation in Portland.
Trouble in Green City: Zoning Trumps Design Guidelines in Historic Portland, Oregon
The story begins in Irvington, where Lee Montgomery and Tom Byrnes restored their 1893 Victorian house (you can read about their efforts in the January-February 2009 issue of Oregon Home). But they feel their neighborhood’s distinctive look is threatened by real estate developments encouraged by Oregon’s land use laws and Portland’s zoning guidelines.
Irvington residents successfully fought development of the Irvington Squire, a multi-unit condominium project that was variously proposed at six or five stories. But they fear they won’t be able to derail all new development in their neighborhood [at least that’s my take].
TimberPalace responds to the Preservation Magazine article, in Preservation v. Density and the Death of the Burbs, where an excellent question is posed:
As the ethic of “density at all costs” takes over, will Portland’s suburbs go the way of Lost Oregon? With time, early suburban neighborhoods will offer as much historic (and I would argue aesthetic) value as old, historic Irvington. The future tension between density and preservation in suburban neighborhoods is apt to be amplified. How do you create dense housing that is respectful to its complete antithesis? I really don’t think you can. Does that mean the burbs and all of the historical and cultural information they carry are doomed?