TEXAS ORDINANCE MANUAL
A common misconception many people have about historic preservation is that they assume that the federal government, being the "highest" level of government, is the strongest guardian of historic sites. They assume that if a property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is automatically protected. This, unfortunately, is not the case. When it comes to historic preservation, the strongest protection lies chiefly with local cities and municipalities in the form of the historic preservation ordinances enacted by local governments.
A Local Preservation Ordinance is part of a City’s multi-faceted, comprehensive program aimed at protecting the community’s historic resources. Must programs include both regulatory and non-regulatory techniques in coordination with other local laws and programs.
This manual is intended to assist Texas local governments in creating or revising a historic preservation ordinance. It identifies key issues that all communities must address when drafting or revising an ordinance, and discusses various approaches to each of these key matters, thus allowing each community to craft an ordinance that best fits their own preservation goals and local conditions. The manual will also highlight the Certified Local Government (CLG) Program requirements.
Every community in Texas has a unique identity that should be reflected in their ordinance. There are many reasons why a community might choose to adopt regulations to protect its historic resources—they can be cultural, economic, aesthetic, educational, or social. Understanding local preservation goals is a crucial first step in the drafting process and every preservation ordinance should begin with a clear purpose statement. Regardless of the reason, the community’s goals should be clearly articulated.
This manual presents a set of questions that are designed to assist communities in defining their preservation goals.
Start by analyzing what the City wants to accomplish:
- Why preserve historic buildings?
- Why local design review?
- Why does the community want to regulate the appearance of new construction in historic areas?
SECTION 1. PURPOSE
The City Council of __________ hereby declares that as a matter of public policy the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of landmarks and districts of historical and cultural importance and significance is necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational, and general welfare of the public. This act is intended to:
1. Protect and enhance the landmarks and districts which represent distinctive elements of _______’s historic, architectural, and cultural heritage;
2. Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
3. Protect and enhance ________’s attractiveness to visitors and the support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided;
4. Insure the harmonious, orderly, and efficient growth and development of the city that is sensitive to its historic resources;
5. Promote economic prosperity and welfare of the community by encouraging the most appropriate repair and maintenance of historic properties within the city;
6. Encourage stabilization, restoration, and improvements of such properties and their values by offering incentives for rehabilitation.
TEXAS CLG EXAMPLE
Part 2: Establishing a Historic Preservation Commission
SECTION 3--HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION
Part 3: Appointment of Historic Preservation Officer
SECTION 4--HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICER
Part 4: Designation of Local Historic Landmarks and Districts
SECTION 5--CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION
SECTION 6--CRITERIA FOR DE-DESIGNATION
SECTION 7--REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES
Part 5: Certificate of Appropriateness
SECTION 8--CERTIFCATE OF APPROPRIATENESS REVIEW CRITERIA
SECTION 9--CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS--DEMOLITION
Part 6: Process for Certificate of Appropriateness Review
SECTION 10--ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
SECTION 11--HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION REVIEW
Part 7: Maintenance Requirements
SECTION 12--MINIMUM MAINTENANCE STANDARDS
Part 8: Mitigating Demolition by Neglect
SECTION 13--PROCEDURE TO MITIGATE DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT
Part 9: Economic Hardship
SECTION 14--ECONOMIC HARDSHIP
Part 10: Alternative Forms of Protection
SECTION 15--CONCERVATION DISTRICTS
SECTION 16--VACANT BUILDING ORDINANCE
Part 11: Enforcement and Penalties
SECTION 18--ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES