The city’s Zoning Commission wants to see more of the old Stockyards area protected as a historic district.
Commissioners voted 7-2 Wednesday in favor of the larger of two proposed boundaries for a historic district.
First, they voted 7-2 against a smaller proposal for about 60 acres.
The larger 139-acre boundaries that they approved would take in the former Swift & Co. property east of Niles City Boulevard, as well as the former Armour & Co. site to the north.
In a historic district, developers and property owners must submit plans for new buildings or expansions and changes to existing structures for review to a city board to ensure that what is built is compatible with the area and meets certain guidelines and standards.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the boundaries of a proposed Stockyards historic district on April 5. The council may follow the Zoning Commission recommendation or may ignore it completely.
Commissioners Wanda Conlin and Charles Edmonds voted against the larger boundary and in favor of the smaller boundary. Both said they thought the larger boundary was too big. No residents spoke against the larger footprint.
In voting for the larger historic overlay, Zoning Commission Chairman Nick Genua said he wanted to save as much of the Stockyards as possible. Other cities including Charleston, S.C., and the Georgetown district in Washington, D.C., have preserved enough for people to spend the day exploring, he said.
“What’s most important to me is I’m just greedy,” Genua said. “When I say I’m greedy, I’d like to see [the district] expanded to this size so people can come here and they can spend a day there and then tomorrow they go to the museum district and the next day they can go to Fort Worth South or downtown or wherever else.”
Apartments are planned for both the former Swift and Armour sites. The owner of the Swift site has already received demolition permits to raze the few remaining structures on the site, and a historic district overlay will not stop the demolition. The Armour site has been cleared of structures.