Portland code aims to preserve parts of old buildings - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland code aims to preserve parts of old buildings

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This home on Hawthorne, which is now demolished, was the center of a protest  four months ago. This home on Hawthorne, which is now demolished, was the center of a protest four months ago.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Old homes and businesses in Portland could soon get a lot more expensive to take down. Portland city commissioners approved a resolution Wednesday that could save at least parts of old homes.

The Portland City Council will face a vote this spring on how buildings over 100 years old get taken down.

To put it simply, they would need to be deconstructed instead of demolished.

Commissioners say by doing that, toxins like asbestos and lead paint could be controlled better and parts of the homes could be sold or reused.

The city admits that could add 40 percent to 60 percent to the cost and take a lot more time, but also says the demolition of buildings accounts for 20 percent to 25 percent of landfill waste and this new code would help keep some pieces of old homes out of landfills.

Local preservation groups say this is an important first step.
            
"The idea of deconstruction is that you take it apart carefully enough that the pieces can be reused," said Steve Dotterrer with the Architectural Heritage Center. "And, you know, it took a lot of energy to create those pieces. It would be great to see the whole building, but if you can't see the whole building, the pieces is a good step."

The city says this new code will affect one-third of all home removals.

Fox 12 tried to get a hold of several developers in the area Wednesday, but our calls were not returned. 

The code will go up for a vote with the city council in May. If it passes, the new code could go into effect as early as October.

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