Ordinance Manual

TEXAS ORDINANCE MANUAL

 

INTRODUCTION

 

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. 

Part 1: Establishing a Preservation Program

SECTION 1--PURPOSE

 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?

MODEL ORDINANCE

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

SECTION 2--DEFINITIONS

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

INTRODUCTION

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

SECTION 17--RELOCATION

Part 11: Enforcement and Penalties

SECTION 18--ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES

Part 12: Incentives

SECTION 19--INCENTIVES