Sustainable Development and Construction
A Conservation District is a zoning tool used to help communities protect certain characteristics in their neighborhood. Conservation Districts have existed in the city of Dallas since 1988. These districts exist primarily in East Dallas and Oak Cliff. They concentrate on protecting such things as architecture styles, densities of the area, heights of structures, and setback guidelines. The process to become a conservation district typically takes 12 – 18 months from the initial authorizing of a study until the adoption by the city council.
These districts are similar to and often compared with historic districts. While exhibiting comparable characteristics, the two are quite different. Historic Districts look to preserve the original structure exactly as when it was first built. They also attempt to preserve original materials, colors, styles, and other elements of the original structure. Conservation districts wish to maintain certain standards of an area.
The biggest difference between historic and conservation districts is the evaluation process of alterations made to structures within the area. For historic districts, it is necessary to have alterations reviewed by city staff members, neighborhood taskforces, and finally the Landmark Commission. This process can take 4 – 6 weeks. For conservation districts, alterations are reviewed by city staff members only. This can take as little as 1 day or up to a month depending on the work to be done.
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