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Historic District Repeal Petitions


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This thread is intended to be the source for all information related to the petition process during the "transition period" to the new, more restrictive historic districts, as well as the procedures for the re-votes in those districts that are successful in their petitions.


The first is Tuesday, October 19th, at 6 pm. The second is Saturday, October 23rd at 1 pm. Both meetings will be held at First Baptist Church Heights, at 201 E 9th St. in the Heights.


The new ordinance, as well as the process for opting out of the district will be explained, the petition campaign will be organized, and questions answered. As explained in the Historic Districts thread, it only takes 10% of property owners to force a re-vote, but it takes 51% of property owners to disband the district. Keep in mind that this is a more stringent standard than was required to create the historic districts in the first place. Non-participation will be counted as a 'YES' vote for continued historic district status under the new ordinance.

The new ordinance includes the now-famous non-demolition rule. You will not be able to move or demo your property without the permission of the HAHC. But, even worse for those of us who appreciate good architecture, the new ordinance REQUIRES that any new additions be distinguishable from the original structure. That means that any addition approved by the HAHC MUST look different than your historic home, and FURTHER, be designed in a way that it may be removed in the future without harming the original structure. Think about that for a moment. The City has just legislated that all new additions to historic district homes MUST be incompatible with the existing home, in direct contradiction to standing architectural principles and our own sense of good taste, which dictate that additions should transition seamlessly from the existing structure to the new. This includes those in Norhill. Any additions must comply with both the Norhill deed restrictions AND the new historic district ordinance.

Hope to see many of you there!

NOTE to moderators: This thread is distinct from the 'Historic Districts' thread in that it is NOT specific to the Heights, and relates to the petition process and re-vote, whereas the other thread debates the merits of the historic district ordinances, and is generally specific to the Heights. For this reason, it is posted under 'City Hall'. While it is well known that several moderators are staunch supporters of the historic preservation ordinance, I ask that this thread be left intact, as it is specific to the petition for a re-vote. If 'City Hall' is deemed an inappropriate forum, please move it to another suitable city-wide forum, not the 'Heights' forum. Thank you.

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Reminder to everyone to show up at FBC Heights (201 E. 9th) tomorrow at 6 pm. You'll get an explanation of the new ordinance, a chance to sign the petition to repeal the historic district, and an opportunity to help gather signatures. Hope to see you there.

I will be there this time. The flyer that was stuck on my fence this past week was a great way to get the word out....its kept me reminded and I put it on the schedule. I'm willing to work against this, so if anything is needed help wise let me know and I will be happy to oblige.

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I was unable to stay for the meeting, but I rode by on my bike to sign the petition. Was greeted on the sidewalk by a bunch trying to keep people from going in....Inside, the organizers were very helpful and I hope we can stop this thing in its tracks. I was supportive of the mayor up to this point, but my feeling now is vote 'em all out next election. If they really believe there is overwhelming support for this ordinance, then they should welcome a chance for the citizens to approve it. Their stonewalling tells me they don't think they have the support but are going to force their personal agenda on us anyway.

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There will be another meeting Saturday at 1 pm for those who were unable to make it last night. We had a large turnout of probably over 100 people, so the opposition to this ordinance is strong. Those who have time to help gather signatures can send me a PM.

It is important to know that the way Council set this thing up, 51% of the property owners in a district must send in the voting cards opposing the district, or else the district remains. NO ONE even needs to vote in favor of the district! If 49% of the owners vote NO! and 0 owners vote Yes, we lose. This is the most un-democratic voting system I have ever experienced, but this is the hand we were dealt, so we will deal with it. However, it is important for everyone to help canvass the neighborhoods to ensure the petitions are signed and the voting cards are returned.

Interesting observation of the night: There are 2,200 properties in the 3 Heights historic districts. Only 110 yellow supporter signs are posted in yards in all 3 districts. Only 5% of Heights residents care enough about historic district status to even stick a sign in their yard. In contrast, there are hundreds of opponent signs thoughout the Heights. Let's make sure that opposition is put to good use through petitions and returned voting cards.

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For those who are wondering if they are included in one of the Heights historic districts, I have a couple of maps linked here.

Heights South Historic District Map

ALL other historic district maps

Additionally, I have the petitions for anyone in any district that wishes to sign them. If someone could send me a message on how to post a PDF and a Word document to this forum, I'll gladly do it. Otherwise, send me your email address by PM and I'll send it that way.

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I have sent petitions to everyone who has asked for them...I THINK! If you sent me a PM or an email and have not received a response, PLEASE send another request. I could have overlooked one or two (Yes, I have received that many requests already).

THIS IS IMPORTANT! Take a few minutes and ask your neighbors to sign the petitions as well. Remember, your efforts to repeal the historic district in your neighborhood are for naught if we do not get at least 51% of the property owners to vote against the district. By signing the petitions, we will have a list of people to contact during the vote. Do your part or suffer the consequences. Thanks in advance for your help.

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ATTENTION historic district residents!

I may have figured out how to attach the petitions to this post. Download both petitions and fill them out. When you are finished, you can PM me for my address to drop them off, or to give me your address to come get them if you can't come by. I'll send my address by return PM.

Here is a paragraph about how to fill out the petitions...

I am sending you 2 petitions. The Microsoft Word document titled 'HPO Petition For Reconsideration' is the official City of Houston petition to force the recall vote. You'll need to type in the name of the historic district that you are in (for example, 'Heights South'), and fill in the other blanks. It must be signed by one of the property owners. If you do not know your lot, block and subdivision, you can look it up on HCAD or leave it blank. We will verify the legal description and fill it in.

The 2nd petition is a petition requesting that your specific property be excluded from any historic districts created. We hope to impress upon City Council the overwhelming opposition to this ordinance and perhaps get the ordinance changed. I urge you to sign both petitions, but the City petition is most important. If you can print off extra petitions and get your close friends and neighbors to sign as well, you make our job easier. Please consider helping out in this way.

Once both petitions are filled out and signed, you may drop them off at my house at 935 Columbia Street. Just put them in my mailbox. If you cannot make it by, let me know and I'll come by to pick it up. Any questions, send me a PM.

Thanks to all,


HPO Petition for Reconsideration.doc


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