Preserve, Reuse, and Pass Forward Oregon's Historic Resources...
A pending bill in the Oregon House (Bill 3516) would essentially provide blanket approval of the installation of solar panels on any commercial or residential building, regardless of historic designation or preservation ordinances. While we can appreciate the intent of the bill to streamline red tape and lower costs around adding solar panels, this has the potential to significantly diminish the historic character of neighborhoods across the state.
HPLO will be submitting testimony calling to retain appropriate design review on the installation of solar panels on National Register listed or NR-eligible properties as provided in current local preservation ordinances. For instance in Portland design review is required for installations in the front, public-facing view. This is quite reasonable and we hope the legislature will see the importance of striking the right balance.