Planning Manager/Historic Preservation Office (HPO)
Phone: (972) 772-6441
Senior Planner/HPAB Liaison
Phone: (972) 771-7745
The Old Town Rockwall (OTR) Historic District was officially recognized by the City of Rockwall on May 20, 2002 with the passage of Ordinance No. 02-26, which established the Historic Overlay (HO) District. At the time of approval, the Historic District included 160 residential properties on ~92-acres of land, with approximately 51% of the properties classified as Contributing Properties. Today the district is largely unchanged and includes 31 High Contributing Properties
, 21 Medium Contributing Properties
, 15 Low Contributing Properties
and eight (8) Local Landmark Properties
that exist outside the boundaries of the district.
The majority of the properties within the OTR Historic District were platted in the late 19th and early 20th century as part of five (5) major subdivisions of land: (1) B. F. Boydstun Addition, (2) Farmers & Merchants Addition, (3) Foree's Addition [1913
], (4) Griffith Addition and (5) Epstein Addition [1892
]. The district's housing stock ranges from homes built in 1885 to present day, and represents a plethora of architectural styles. These include Folk 'L' Plans
built in the late 1800's, Queen Anne Revivals
built in the early 1900's, California Bungalows
built in the 1920's, Minimal Traditional Houses
ranging from the 1930's to the early 1950's, and many more. The following are some examples of these architectural styles:
Folk 'L' Plan
In addition to the OTR Historic District, the City also has the North Goliad Corridor Overlay (NGC OV) District or Planned Development District 50 (PD-50), which is a corridor just north of the Historic District that contains many of the City's Local Landmark Properties
as well as a diverse housing stock. This district is located within a transitioning corridor within the city and many of the existing historical homes are being transitioned from residential to commercial uses. In order to maintain the essential character of the corridor, the city has put in place zoning requirements through PD-50 and the NGC OV to assist in the transition while preserving the historical semblance of the structures' exteriors.
The Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) guides historic preservation within the City of Rockwall. The board is responsible for issuing Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) and granting Historic Designations for properties located within the City's Historic Districts. COA's ensure that any changes to the exterior of a structure are consistent with the historic character of the property and its adjacent properties. In addition, the HPAB is responsible for approving medallions for Contributing
and Landmark Properties
Historic Districts foster homeownership and community pride. Residents within these districts tend to be vested within their community becoming long-term residents. Additionally, the City and the Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) insure that the architectural integrity and historic value within the district remains consistent by reviewing proposed changes and additions. The property values within these districts also tend to rise at a higher rate than in unlisted neighborhoods. In order to further improve property values within the District, the City of Rockwall has also enacted a Structure Tax Preservation Exemption Program to help property owners within Historic Districts rehabilitate their properties by freezing the tax rate on the improvements for a determined amount of time.
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