Houston City Council has taken a step forward to providing stronger protection for historic properties.
City Council passed a temporary law today that puts a moratorium on demolitions in Houston’s 15 historic districts.
The city’s 15-year-old preservation ordinance has allowed a property owner to proceed with a renovation, demolition or relocation in one of the districts after a 90-day waiting period — even if the change had been rejected by the Houston Archeological and Historic Commission.
After today, the commission’s ruling will stand as the city makes permanent changes to the law.
The vote was 13-1 in favor, with Council Member C.O. Bradford the lone “No”; CM Mike Sullivan, who had previously voiced some objections to the law, was absent. I had thought this would be more contentious, but maybe that will come when the permanent ordinance gets debated. I’m glad to see this happen, and I look forward to that discussion. Along the way, Council also designated First Montrose Commons as a historic district. One subdivision of my neighborhood is also working on that. Quite the change for Houston, isn’t it?