Land Use Planning

Historic Preservation

Riverfront District Architectural Design Guidelines

These guidelines apply to the Riverfront District zoning district per Section 17.32.170 of the St. Helens Municipal Code. They apply to permanent exterior changes to buildings (including new construction and signs attached to buildings) and freestanding signs. They do not apply to designated historic resources governed by Chapter 17.36 of the St. Helens Municipal Code, ordinary maintenance that does not require a building permit, or painting of buildings except when painting previously unpainted masonry or stone.

Note that the guideline document refers to “Olde Towne.”  This designation was changed to Riverfront District as of 2015, which was after this guideline document was adopted by the City Council.

Historic Preservation Rehabilitation Grant

As a Certified Local Government (CLG), a designation given to St. Helens from the National Parks Service in January of 2009, the City has access to certain grant funds. One use of those funds is to pass on that money to citizens to help preserve their federally recognized historic buildings. Luckily in this regard, the City has a federally listed St. Helens Downtown Historic District. The links below provide information about the City’s Historic Preservation Rehabilitation Grant program.

This is funded by a Federal apportionment to Oregon via the National Parks Service (NPS) as administered by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  The following shows projects funded in previous grant cycles:

    • 2011-2012
    • 2013-2014
    • 2015-2016: Now accepting applications for qualified property owners!

St. Helens Downtown Historic District Information

The St. Helens Downtown Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the mid-1980s. Though dated (e.g., some buildings that were inventoried are no longer present), it still provides valuable insight to the past of St. Helens. The links below include the original National Register documentation, a map reflecting the National Register documentation as well as locally recognized “historic landmarks” in the District and the area zoned Riverfront District (RD), and a map/diagram showing some of the buildings in the Historic District/RD zoning district.