In the Nov. 30 article “Some residents stand against proposed Munjoy Hill historic district,” Staff Writer J. Craig Anderson erroneously suggests that the proposed district will curtail Hill residents’ freedom to make changes to their property.

As noted in the article, the proposed rules would be less strict than in the city’s existing historic districts, special permission would not be required to make minor aesthetic changes and 85 percent of homes that are deemed too modern or too dilapidated would not be subject to the rules.

Anderson also suggests that a small group of activists are spearheading the historic preservation movement on Munjoy Hill. In fact, more than 100 residents signed a petition this spring urging the Historic Preservation Board to establish a historic district on Munjoy Hill, and attendees at the board’s workshops and hearings have spoken overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal.

The proposed district represents a much-needed opportunity to stanch the flow of development that has reduced the number of affordable-housing units on the Hill, distorted the nature of Hill neighborhoods through the expansion of high-end properties and dwarfed the Hill’s historic homes with boxlike condo buildings that diminish light and greenspace.

As homeowners on the Hill for 14 years, we view the proposed district as an important tool for preserving the fabric of a historic Portland neighborhood while providing clear guidelines for planned growth. These protections are provided to 11 other neighborhoods in Portland. Munjoy Hill deserves the same.

Pamela Day and Michael Petit


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