Residents battle over historical district designation in Germantown area

November 28, 2012 3:50:58 PM PST
A group of residents in the Heights area say they're fighting to hold on to the charm in their neighborhood, hoping to be designated the next historical district. But as is usually the case, not everyone is on board.

Mary Hayslip's house has been in her family for three generations, but that doesn't mean she wants it officially designated as historic.

"I'm not a threat to the neighborhood. They should just take me out," said Hayslip.

Her home, like many in the Germantown area, was built in the early 1900s. That's exactly why Doug Belzer can't wait until his home is designated as part of Germantown Historic District.

"I think it's in everybody's best interest to have this as a historical district -- that's the bottom line -- not just my own, but I think it's in everybody's best interest too," Belzer said.

The area is a small triangle of land wedged between I-45 and Houston Avenue. Mayor Annise Parker says enough homeowners support the designation, and she expects City Council to approve it next week.

"This is a neighborhood that has successfully navigated the process. I anticipate a positive vote," said Mayor Parker.

But others who own historic homes in the area say they don't want to be told how to preserve their own property

"Primarily we don't want the government and other people telling us what we can do with our property," said David Harberg.

The final decision will be up to City Council. We expect them to vote next week.


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