What are Cultural Resource Sites in Washington County?
In 1974 under Governor Tom McCall the State or Oregon created the LCDC and Goals which required Counties and Cities to identify all sites of Cultural and Historical significance. Washington County (OR) set up a task force that spent 5 years plus to identify these sites. Almost 230 sites were selected from a large group of historical homes, buildings, churches, and important land sites. Because these resources are disappearing and our County planning and zoning folks have all but forgotten these sites we wanted to make sure you all had all of the information so attached here below is the entire 793 Pages for the Cultural Resource Inventory for the sites in Washington County- NOTE: If your are in a City your City may need to get you their list of sites separately.
Are they protected?
Well the answer is yes and no. The owners of the sites are required to get a special permit to change, demolish, or alter the Cultural Inventory Sites. Many owners have bought these structures and special places since 1989 and know little of their status. In fact many of these sites are being left unrepaired either because they cost too much to repair or the owners choose to lose them to the elements and time so the land can be put to better use. Anyone familiar with the county and the Tualatin Valley will recognize these places.
Overtime many of these sites have been destroyed or fallen into disrepair. We recognize them and honor the attempt the State and the County made to require them to be saved. But those rules and laws are being disregarded and frankly Washington County planning on a recent visit did not even know what these sites were. That has to change.
What can be done?
Well the only way to save the History of our county is to save the stories and the sites. We are part of a growing swell of people saving the stories and the documents. The artifacts in many cases are being saved as well. But the sites are disappearing at an alarming rate. The owners have received no compensation nor help in most cases. Their taxes are spiraling our of control and their rights and use of the sites has been limited so we can all enjoy it. It is time we find a way to incentivize these sites, offer grants to those in need, and award those who have maintained these most important sites.
Look for us to obtain a list of our Washington County historic sites and to post information on them right here at Tualatin Valley Tales.
Here is an Album of a few of these sites we have recently visited and supported.