Please note that the Houston City Councilrecently adopted a new Historic Preservation Ordinance. One feature of the new ordinance is the ability of all existing districts other than the Old Sixth Ward Protected Historic District to request reconsideration of its historic designation or to alter the boundaries of the district.
Beginning on Monday, October 18, 2010, an existing district may apply for reconsideration of its historic designation for the next 30 days. The application must be signed by at least 10 percent of the owners of the tracts within the district. Upon receipt and verification of the required number of requesting property owners, the City of Houston Planning Departmentwill send a notice to all property owners within the district informing them of the time and location of a public meeting for discussion of the reconsideration of the historic district. Included in the notice of the public meeting will be a postcard that the property owner should mail back to the City to indicate whether they still wish to be part of the historic district. Property owners will have 15 days from the date of the public meeting to return the postcard to the City.
Upon receipt and review of the responses from the property owners, the following may take place:
· No change in the designation as a historic district,
· Repeal of the resolution creating the historic district, if at least 51 percent of property owners indicate they no longer want the designation, or
· Amend the resolution designating the historic district to reduce its boundaries
HAR members who assist owners of properties within an existing historic district, as well as those working with prospective buyers of homes within a historic district, should be aware of the possibility of a change in the historic district designation and should advise your clients to this effect.
HAR will continue to monitor and update Houston’s historic districts on HAR.com.