The amendments are intended to protect Houston’s historic neighborhoods — places like the Heights, Montrose and the Museum District. Right now less than one percent of Houston falls into that category.
David Bush with the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance says the new ordinance makes it easier for neighborhoods to become historic districts.
“The changes appear to be that now not only may the property owners begin the designation process, but now the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission would be allowed to begin the designation process by sending out letters to the owners in the proposed district to begin the process.”
The proposed ordinance would also give more teeth to the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission’s ability to stop development that’s not in keeping with the surrounding area. As it stands now, development can go forward after a 90-day waiting period, even if the Commission denies a permit to build. The new ordinance would do away with that 90-day waiver.
“They really just bring us in line with what other major cities in Texas are doing. It’s not — it’s not really innovative it’s just what’s being done and what’s working in other cities.”
There will be a public meeting on July 27 to discuss the changes. A series of meetings after that will focus on specific neighborhoods.
Laurie Johnson, KUHF News.