City government — Council will review recommendation creating historical preservation committee, moving foward CLG process

In Newberg, historic preservation responsibilities have traditionally rested with the planning commission. But after an April presentation by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department regarding the Certified Local Government program, those responsibilities will shift.

The City Council instructed the city to create a proposal to designate Newberg as a CLG. Doing so means the city needs to have a historic preservation committee, which was non-existent until now.

“The planning commission approved a resolution to recommend to the council that they approve the formation of historical preservation commission,” said David Beam, the city’s economic development planner.

Beam said the creation of a historical preservation committee would shift the duties from the planning commission to the new committee, which he said has three major benefits.

“It will have people with knowledge and interest in historical preservation (as part of the commission),” he said. “There are also financial benefits, including grant funding we can qualify for that allows us to do historical preservation projects.”

The third benefit, he said, to becoming a CLG is the city will have access to state technical expertise.

To become a CLG, Newberg also has to establish a historic preservation ordinance, help update the state’s historic building inventory, comment on local nominations to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and enforce state preservation laws, according to a planning commission report.

Councilor Lesley Woodruff said she thinks there are a lot of different reasons becoming a CLG and establishing a historic preservation committee is important.

“Newberg has a pretty vibrant downtown that has never been abandoned and had to be renewed,” Woodruff said. “So by going through the official document process it gives us access to grant money and support from state level organizations as a way to continue keeping Newberg downtown as a historic place and keep up the look of historical storefronts and make it look and feel like somewhere special.”

The City Council will review the recommendations and the proposal at 7 p.m. Oct. 7. in the Public Safety Building.

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