Design Guidelines for New Construction

Please note: These guidelines are for new construction in the McLoughlin and Canemah Districts and on Landmarks outside of any district.

These design guidelines have been formulated to protect the buildings in the districts and their relationships with one another in the face of development pressures. The careful, sensitive, and thoughtful design of any new construction in the districts is of the utmost importance because it must harmonize with the character of the neighborhoods and also be made compatible with existing historic structures.

A lack of attention to the character of the design, the materials and details, and to the context within which the building will be placed can have a significant adverse impact on the area that can last a long time. As a result, proposals for new construction receive serious scrutiny.

  • Guide new development in the districts, the following objectives are reflected in the guidelines:
  • Safeguard the heritage of Oregon City.
  • Encourage public knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the City's heritage.
  • Enhance the visual character of the districts by constructing harmonious designs that reflect and support the character and style of buildings during the historic period.
  • Protect property values, way of life, owners' and community investment in the districts.

The design guidelines serve two important purposes in the context of an overall preservation plan. First, they provide the Historic Review Board (HRB) and City staff with uniform standards and a framework on which to base design review decisions. Second, they provide property owners, designers, contractors, and developers with a similar set of standards to allow for predictable planning and timely construction. Although written for new construction, historic property owners can find useful information in these guidelines to plan their own rehabilitation projects.

If you have any questions, please email Planning or call 503-722-3789