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National Register has layers of regulations.

Byline: The Register-Guard

City, state and federal governments have recognized the value of preserving the architectural past. Here's a snapshot of government oversight and how it works:

The National Register of Historic Places: A federal program administered in Oregon by the State Historic Preservation Office, it recognizes significant historic properties. At the federal level, it is an honorific designation with no restrictions to property owners. Oregon, along with some other states, has linked that federal designation to local regulations. This provides some level of protection for the historic buildings, but it can generate controversy when the property owners are opposed to more regulatory oversight.

Designation Process: Anyone can nominate a property to the National Register, though usually the owner, or in the case of historic districts a neighborhood group, takes the lead. Oregon's Historic Preservation office provides guidance and assistance with the preparation of the necessary paperwork and coordinates the state-level review by a governor-appointed committee. Approved nominations go to Washington, D.C., for final review and approval.

Owner's rights: Property owners may object to the designation at the time the nomination is being prepared. Once listed, however, the property remains on the National Register, unless it is demolished or heavily modified. In historic districts, the majority of property owners must object in order to prevent designation. There is no provision for individual property owners to opt out if the district is designated.

Benefits: State and federal tax incentives and grants are available for restoring National Register buildings. Historic buildings also qualify for relaxed building code compliance. Local building officials have the authority to waive certain requirements, though they are not always aware of this option.

Restrictions: There are no federal- or state-level regulations tied to National Register designation. Oregon state law does, however, require that local governments offer some level of protection, though it varies from city to city. Local ordinances spell out the extent of the restrictions and the process owners must follow if they want to demolish or make exterior changes.

Local historic registers: Some cities have their own local registers, usually less stringent than the National Register. State law allows property owners to opt out of local designations - and any accompanying regulations - at the time of the designation. This applies to individually designated buildings or to buildings within historic districts.

- Source: Roger Roper

state preservation programs manager
COPYRIGHT 2006 The Register Guard
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Government
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jan 2, 2006
Previous Article:Historic district proposal pits neighbor vs. neighbor.

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