council to consider new historic district
The application to name Castle Hill a local historic district is headed to the City Council for a vote. The city’s Historic Landmark Commission approved the proposal for the area just west of downtown last week.
If the council OKs it, homeowners in the district would have to follow design rules and get city approval to change their homes’ exteriors. They would also qualify for tax breaks in some cases.
The district proposed by Castle Hill homeowners has about 175 homes and buildings on 39 acres bounded by Baylor, Blanco, Sixth and 12th streets. Some Castle Hill homeowners oppose the zoning change, saying it would too tightly restrict what they can do with their land.
The proposal is the first big test of city guidelines passed in 2004 to try to preserve the historic flavor of larger areas and neighborhoods. A majority of buildings in a district must be at least 50 years old and have enough original architectural details to retain a historical appearance.