Note: Planning and development weighs in. See update below.
Tonight’s 6:30 meeting at the George R. Brown is the only public meeting scheduled to discuss the latest round of proposed changes to Houston’s preservation ordinance, dubbed the “final draft” in some documents. The planning department came out with this revised set of proposed amendments last week, but figuring out what’s in them isn’t so easy. The department hasn’t created any summaries of the new proposal — thought it did for the last round — and it hasn’t specified what’s different from the earlier proposed amendments either. Even more fun: The new amendments have only been released as image scans, making text searching — and what should be the simple task of comparing one set of amendments to the other — a not-so-simple task.
So what’s in the latest round of proposed changes? Swamplot outlined the new proposed method for existing historic districts to “reconsider” — and possibly shed — their historic designation last week. But since then, the department has only released a presentation given by the planning director. Working from that, here’s the best summary of the rest of the provisions we can piece together:
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Update, 9/24: P&D public affairs manager Suzy Hartgrove writes in with a few clarifications:
The “cards” will actually be paper ballots.
You make it sound like we will only have one meeting in the proposed district and then move onto the balloting process. We will come out as many times as necessary to help the residents understand the process and the ordinance.
After the ballots are returned, we will map the results and will issue a recommendation to HAHC which could include a revision to the boundary that would reflect the core support of 60% for the proposed district.
New construction in a historic district will need to conform to a design guideline based on elements of contributing structures of homes within the district. (Flooding is not part of the ordinance and I don’t understand what the flooding comment means on that one post.)
Demolition of non contributing structures in a historic district does not need a Certificate of Appropriateness but a demolition of a contributing structure will. Specific criteria are being proposed so the Commission will be able to make an informed decision on whether to grant a CoA for a historic building demolition.
- Historic Preservation Ordinance Amendments [Planning and Development]
- Previously on Swamplot: A New Escape Clause for Historic Districts, and Other Proposed Revisions to the Preservation Ordinance Revisions, Proposed Historic District Changes: No Will Mean No, 67 Percent Will Mean Yes; Historic Preservation coverage