Monday, September 04, 2006

What is a Conservation District?

From the City of Dallas website:

"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."

A Conservation District is very different from a Historic District. One difference is that a Historic District focuses on preserving original houses, exactly as they were first built, while a CD focuses on preserving the character of an area as a whole. Therefore, Conservation Districts are generally much less restrictive than Historic Districts.

Another difference is how long it takes building plans to be reviewed by City staff. From the same website: "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 2 weeks depending on the work to be done."