There’s more historic-district action on today’s city council agenda than the proposed temporary ban on gonna-do-it-anyway waivers: Council members are expected to approve First Montrose Commons as Houston’s 16th historic district. The planning commission approved the new district more than a month ago. If the council also votes today to put in place a temporary moratorium on the designation of new historic districts, First Montrose Commons will have gotten in just under the wire.
When last we left the east Montrose hood — bounded roughly by West Alabama, Richmond, Montrose Blvd. and the Downtown spur — its quest for historic-district status had been stumped by HSPVA, which counts for a large chunk of the proposed district. HISD’s decision on the petition, wrote neighborhood-association president Jason Ginsburg at the time, would either “make or break” the district. So what happened?
Ginsburg tells Swamplot:
After some back and forth between FMC, the City, and HISD, it was determined that because HISD is a governmental entity the square footage of its property would not count for or against the percentage of properties we needed. Essentially, the HSPVA campus was ruled to be neutral.
But HSPVA isn’t exactly the Switzerland of Montrose historic-preservation efforts. The arts high school is looking for a new home:
FYI, First Montrose Commons Neighborhood Association is planning on working with Neartown Association and the Montrose Land Defense Coalition to create a vision for the future of the HSPVA campus, so that a community oriented redevelopment strategy will be in place on the day that HISD finds a new home for HSPVA. Swamplot readers are welcome to contribute their own ideas, of course.
- Previously on Swamplot: High School Rules: HSPVA and First Montrose Commons’s Historic Decision, A Temporary Hold on That Temporary Hold, Historic District Holdup, Big Changes for Houston’s Preservation Ordinance? Mayor Parker Wants a Temporary Ban on Those 90-Day Exemptions