The Mesquite City Council received a briefing regarding a proposed historic preservation ordinance during the Oct. 21 council pre-meeting.

Jeff Armstrong, director of Planning and Development Services, said this was only to propose the ordinance text and to get some feedback and guidance from council.

According to the presentation, the ordinance would be applicable to properties if specifically approved by council in the future. It would create a landmarks commission and provide designation of landmarks and historic overlay districts.

“For now we want to create the means by which those things can be done in the future, and we can protect some of our historic resources,” Armstrong said.

He said the commission would be a seven-member group – five members and two alternates who would be appointed by the City Council. Two regular members would be elected from the membership of Historic Mesquite, Inc. Board of Directors, and the others would be from the board of the Downtown Advisory Committee.

The qualification for Mesquite landmarks would include being a minimum of 50 years old and have prehistoric, historic, architectural, archaeological or cultural significance.

With the property owner’s consent a simple majority approval would be needed from the landmarks commission and City Council. If it was deemed of historical importance enough and the property owner does not give consent, a three-quarters majority approval of the landmarks commission and City Council would be needed.

The Planning and Zoning Commission would be a recommending body in the process.

A historic overlay district is a geographic area with a minimum of three-quarts of properties being at least 50 years old, be of prehistoric, historic, architectural, archaeological or cultural significance.

“We’re suggesting 60 percent of the property owners in the proposed district. That’s not sending out notices and not getting any response. That’s them affirmatively saying, ‘Yes, I want to be a part of that district.'”

This item is expected to be brought back to council at future meeting.

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