About the Project

Information about the historic district design guidelines project will be posted here as it becomes available. Your input is valued and encouraged.

The project began in 2016, as part of an effort to develop design guidelines for several historic districts in Houston. At the outset, preservation office staff met with members of the following historic districts: Norhill, Woodland Heights, Old Sixth Ward Historic Districts.

Following those meetings, a survey was mailed that included illustrations of alternative house designs showing differences in building form, size and site arrangement for most of the historic districts. Respondents indicated their preferences for each of the scenarios on the survey forms. The information from this outreach was summarized and published in a strategy paper.

The project resumed in 2020 with input from the strategy paper serving as a starting point to create a draft of the design guidelines for Norhill, Woodland Heights, and Old Sixth Ward historic districts.

That Strategy Paper is available on the city’s web site.

What are Design Guidelines?

Design guidelines are criteria that guide the Houston Office of Preservation (HOP) and the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission (HAHC) when reviewing work in the district that requires a Certificate of Appropriateness. Property owners can also use the guidelines to plan improvements that would be appropriate. The design guidelines are a separate document from the City’s preservation ordinance and are intended to add clarity to criteria in the ordinance and make the approval process easier.

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Old Sixth Ward

Public meeting schedule and documents for Old Sixth Ward design guidelines. Read More


Public meeting schedule and documents for Norhill design guidelines. Read More

Woodland Heights

Public meeting schedule and documents for Woodland Heights design guidelines. Read More