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Fort Worth Zoning Commission Votes On Historic District

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glynlowe via flickr
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Fort Worth Stockyards

Fort Worth’s Zoning Commission voted Wednesday to support a historic overlay district that would add protections to the oldest buildings in the Fort Worth Stockyards. The vote isn’t binding – it’s ultimately up to the City Council – but the designation could have a big impact on how the Stockyards are redeveloped.

The commissioners were given a choice: Greenlight a plan for a smaller historic district around the core part of the Stockyards where the tourists go, or opt for one twice as big that includes areas where meatpacking plants once provided this city’s economic engine. Preservationists say even the few dilapidated buildings left of those plants represent an essential part of the city’s story, and should be protected.

The zoning commission agreed.

Developers planning to spend $175 million on the area say they’ll follow any requirements – but they would have preferred a third option: No historic district. They say any historic designation would add unnecessary red tape.

The Fort Worth City Council is scheduled to make the final decision on the historic district’s boundaries next month.

Christopher Connelly is a reporter covering issues related to financial instability and poverty for KERA’s One Crisis Away series. In 2015, he joined KERA to report on Fort Worth and Tarrant County. From Fort Worth, he also focused on politics and criminal justice stories.