Fort Worth

Fort Worth Zoning Commission approves Stockyards design standards

The remaining cattle pens at the Fort Worth Stockyards.
The remaining cattle pens at the Fort Worth Stockyards. Star-Telegram archives

The Fort Worth Zoning Commission on Wednesday approved a set of standards and guidelines for new development in the Historic Stockyards and sent the document to the City Council.

The approval, though, came with some changes recommended in December by the Urban Design Commission after it reviewed a proposed Stockyards design overlay district that was created by a 16-member task force that began meeting in April 2015.

The Urban Design Commission approved eight changes, among them increasing from 50 feet to 100 feet the distance that new construction be compatible with a historic building, and setting the distance construction can start at 20 feet from Marine Creek, not the 10 feet suggested by the task force.

The City Council will have a public hearing and vote on the new standards on Feb. 2. The council can accept the Zoning Commission’s recommendation or make changes.

The document would provide an interim measure of protection, coupled with zoning classifications in the Stockyards area, until form-based codes and a historic district are created. The city is looking to hire a consultant to handle that process.

Philip Murrin, a Stockyards businessman who served on the task force, spoke in opposition to the Stockyards design overlay district, saying it “provides no meaningful protections” and as an interim measure “is less than perfect.”

Zoning Commissioner Carlos Flores, who also served on the task force, told Murrin the overlay design district is “good and sufficient for now,” and that beyond the base zoning, “there needs to be standards and guidelines on the ground now.”

The Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission earlier this week postponed a vote on the proposed boundary for the historic district until February. The Zoning Commission will also consider the historic district boundary next month.