Houston Heights Historical Design Guidelines

Houston Heights Historical Design Guidelines-Draft 2

The first draft of the Heights historical design guidelines  were presented back in August. See my post here.

The second draft of this has been issued and is awaiting a comment period before being presented to City Council for approval. The full guidelines pdf are here

So what are these rules and do they apply to you? These are proposed rules for adding onto an existing structure or building a new home in the 3 existing Houston Heights Historic Districts.

If you are not in a historic district, they don’t apply to you. If you are in another of the historic districts, they don’t apply to you yet, but you can assume these will be the model for future guidelines. Norhill, Woodland Heights, Freeland, and Old Sixth Ward Historic Districts will eventually have distinct rules written for them.

Heights historical design guidelines-draft 2

Historic Preservation Guidelines-Draft 2


Changes to Guidelines in Draft 2:

The biggest comments received from the public meeting in June focused on Measurable Standards. These are the quantifiable rules on what you can or cannot build/add-on. Some resulting changes include:

  • Excluding up to 400 SF of detached garage space (it was 250 SF) from lot coverage.
  • Lot coverage now also excludes accessory buildings and open or screened porches.
  • How attic space is counted
  • Set backs (front and side) further explained and modified.
  • Plate height and eave heights modified.
  • There were also changes to orgainization and layout of the manual..

All of the actual August changes are shown in the attached Changes to Design Guidelines pdf.
The following notes are from the City website:

Planning will accept comments on this draft through Friday, October 6, 2017. Please send your comments and questions to Steph McDougal at steph.mcdougal@houstontx.gov or Steph McDougal, Attn: Planning Department, P.O. Box 1562, Houston, TX 72251-1562..

A community meeting will be held to discuss the revised draft on Thursday, September 28, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., at United Way, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston TX 77007. A notice of the meeting will be mailed to all property owners and publicized as usual.

As soon as possible, project manager Steph McDougal will post the aggregated comments received on the previous draft, as well as a brief report of all of the requests for additional analysis and a list of those she will be working on during the public comment period.

Changes Re Lot Coverage

The Leader had a great article describing some of the concerns about lot coverage, etc. Leader Article.

Searching for the latest on these guidelines is difficult. Here is a link to the City Site with all past and present information


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