Independence has a Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) has the responsibility to protect significant elements of Independence History; enhance the visual character of the city, foster public appreciation of and civic pride in the beauty of the city and the accomplishments of the past.
The HPC consists of seven (7) members who are appointed by the Mayor and subject to confirmation by the City Council. The regular public meetings for the HPC are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Independence Civic Center.
The HPC is responsible for reviewing exterior alterations to historic resources to encourage the preservation of characteristics which led to its designation as a historic resource. Review is required for all exterior alterations or additions to historic resources. Historic review is not required for interior alterations or for repair, maintenance, and replacement with comparable materials, or a change in paint color, nor is review required where there is no change in appearance or material composition, from the existing structure.
The HPC uses the Secretary of the Interior's Standards of Rehabilitation as guidelines in determining whether the proposed alteration meets the review criteria.
The Historic Preservation ordinance, Chapter 15.8, is applicable to all properties in the Independence Historic District and to all historic resources located outside the Historic District which have been designated by the city as historic landmarks. This includes historic resources such as building, site, object, fence, sign, tree or structure of architectural, historic or archaeological significance.
If your historic resource is located within the Independence Historic District (see Historic District Map and/or Historic Building List*) or your historic resource is located outside the Historic District but has been designated by the city as a historic landmark, the exterior alterations requirement applies to you. All actions for exterior alteration, removal or demolition of a historic resource or new construction within a historic district shall be initiated by submission of a request for Certificate of Appropriateness. This includes demolitions of all structures within the city over 75 years old, whether or not they are in the Historic District. Applications for review by the HPC must be submitted at least thirty (30) days in advance of the next regularly scheduled public meeting of the HPC unless waived by the city when legal notice can be otherwise achieved.
*The Historic Building List is intended to cover all buildings within the Historic District as well as homes on the Oregon National Register List. In some cases, a building may not be listed if it was built after 1989. This does not alter the owner's responsibility for any building located within the Historic District.
For additional information on the Independence Historic Distric, Oregon's Special Assessment Program and Historic Property Tax Incentives for residential and commercial buildings, please see the Historic District website.