The long-discussed Historic Houston Heights Design Guidelines are now the law of the land following their adoption by City Council last week. This means that any property falling within the Houston Heights East, West, or South Historic Districts, whether it has a historic structure or not, is subject to the guidelines laid out in the 222-page document. The intent of the design guidelines is to streamline the process of obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness for any new construction, renovation, or alteration so that the neighborhood’s buildings are consistent with the historic fabric of the area, though the guidelines are necessarily technical and complex for the average property owner. The HHA Land Use Committee is here to help!
If you have any questions about the Design Guidelines over the coming months, please attend any of our monthly Land Use Committee meetings. This committee meets on the first Monday of each month at 6:30 PM at the Fire Station and is chaired by neighbor and HHA Director Mark Williamson.
This committee can also answer questions about the various land use issues that come up in Houston Heights, including our deed restrictions, which vary lot by lot, and Special Minimum Build Line (SMBL) and Minimum Lot Size (MLS) restrictions. Beyond helping you understand the current restrictions, we can also help you proactively deed restrict your own property and apply for SMBL/MLS on your block. While the historic district designation helps preserve the historic character of the neighborhood, these other land use tools help protect its strong residential feel by placing limitations on commercial development, subdivided lots, and building footprints that are out of place in a neighborhood quickly approaching its sesquicentennial.