coun­cil to con­sider new his­toric district

Austin American-Statesman - - LOCALBRIEFING -

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.

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