The laws and policies that protect historic and cultural resources, whether they be at the local, state or federal level, are essential and often the most effective tools to accomplishing historic preservation; yet no other approach is as controversial or misunderstood.
Issues to Explore
- Counties in Texas lack legal planning authority to protect historic and cultural places
- Many incorporated municipalities do not have the will or the resources to implement preservation policies
- Communities that have passed preservation ordinances often struggle with enforcement
- Public perception that preservation ordinances take away property rights
- Section 106 is an important, but underused, community tool for preservation
- Information about preservation laws in Texas is not presented in a clear, concise or readily accessible format
- Respondents identified “enacting stronger state and local historic preservation laws” as the third most important improvement to better preserve historic and cultural resources
- Local historic ordinances was selected as the second most effective approach to preserving historic places in Texas
- Many respondents commented on the lack of planning and zoning as a major threat to historic and cultural resources
- Comments also centered on better information and access to state and local laws, as well as using the Statewide Plan as a vehicle for outlining clear and consistent standards
The National Trust’s Understanding Preservation Law is a user-friendly yet comprehensive discussion of preservation law at the federal, state and local level.
National Alliance of Preservation Commissions provides information and training to local preservation commissions.