p-BRFconghist Council gets plan for historic district

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PORTLAND — A plan to make Congress Street and some surrounding streets into a historic district won approval from the Planning Board last week and is now up to the City Council.
The Planning Board recommended 5-2 to recommend the Congress Street Historic District proposal to the council. Joe Lewis and Shalom Odokara were opposed.
The district would add more than 150 buildings to the list of those that require permission from the Historic Preservation division before making exterior changes.
The Planning Board also voted to change confusing wording related to properties that are close to, but outside historic properties. Instead of determining if those properties are “not incongruous,” the board will now rule on whether such properties are “generally compatible” with nearby historic properties.
Historic Preservation Manager Deb Andrews said the City Council could hold a workshop on the proposed district later this month and take up the issue at a regular council meeting in March.