The heritage district designation is intended to foster civic and cultural pride by protecting character-defining elements within neighborhoods, highlighting the significant achievements and contributions of the community and promoting neighborhood stability. The ordinance defines a heritage district as a section of the city that is distinguished by a unique community identity and history. A heritage district is a recognizable, definable, geographic area that has ongoing cultural traditions and history that residents generally recognize.
The Heritage District Ordinance will allow non-profit organizations to recognize the unique qualities of Houston’s historic and culturally significant neighborhoods. Organizations that are approved for a heritage district will be permitted to protect, restore or install significant elements within the district such as brick paved streets, curbs, driveways, sidewalks and walkways, signage and markers, public art, vegetation, and trees in the city's public right-of-way. The designation does not provide city funding and does not apply to private property. For example, an established non-profit organization can raise funds to restore historic elements, put up banners, install special street signs, or landscape an esplanade.
Heritage district projects are only allowed on public streets and rights-of-way. There is no maximum size limit for a heritage district, but the minimum size is one block. Applications for heritage district designation will be reviewed by the Planning and Development Department.
Heritage Districts Resources