Stockyards historic district awaiting final vote from city council

Stockyards District

The historic district planned for the Fort Worth Stockyards has one more stop before becoming official – the Fort Worth City Council, which will make the final vote to approve the district April 5.

The size of the district will be up to the council to decide.

On Wednesday, March 9, the Zoning Commission voted 7-2 to recommend that the council approve the expanded district and reject the smaller district, which the council proposed initially.

Zoning Commission members Wanda Conlin and Charles Edmonds voted against the expanded district.

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“I think I’d rather take a more conservative approach where the council can add to this boundary, than I would doubling the boundary and then giving them the task of trying to take something out,” Edmonds said.

The council-backed district roughly encompasses a portion of Houston Street on the west, part of Stockyards Boulevard on the north, Niles City Boulevard on the east and 23rd Street on the south. The expanded district, drawn by the city’s Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission and nonprofit preservation group Historic Fort Worth Inc., covers roughly the same area but also includes more of 23rd Street and the area east of Niles City Boulevard. The expanded boundaries allow the former Swift and Co. property and Armour and Co. property to be included in the district.

The smaller district spans about 60.4 acres, while the larger district spans about 139.4 acres.

Back in February, the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission voted similarly, recommending that the council approve the expanded district and reject the smaller district. When the council votes, its members can either follow the recommendations of the Zoning and Landmarks commissions, or ignore them by choosing to stick with the smaller district.

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“Certainly it’s within the council’s authority to consider that, and they will,” Zoning Commission member Carlos Flores said. “They’ll say, ‘Well, to our satisfaction, are these appropriate?’ I will leave that to them. That’s neither here nor there for us. All I’m commenting on is that, again, this is a good first step in the process, and I think that we’re heading in the right direction.”

A historic district puts protections on structures that fall within the district’s boundaries. Developments that happen inside the district will be required to follow design guidelines that will be drafted after the city council votes in April. The city plans to hire a consultant team to draft the historic district guidelines.

The Zoning Commission also voted to recommend that the city council nominate 14 individual structures in the Stockyards for historic designation. The council will vote on these nominations as well on April 5.

Zoning Notes

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• Car wash in the Stockyards: Within the Stockyards Design Overlay District, land development consultant Bonilla Group is planning to build a fully automated car wash. The Bonilla Group asked the Zoning Commission for a 90-day continuance on the case to revise the site plan so that it matches with the Stockyards design overlay guidelines. The zoning commission granted this request.

• New Marriott hotel: The Zoning Commission approved a zoning change on a 1.81-acre property on 3450-3479 Lovell Ave. that would allow architect Mayse & Associates to build a five-story, 128-room hotel – Marriott TownePlace Suites. The city council will vote on this zoning change on April 5.