A proposal was made by the City of Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission. Documents presented to the city show that the applicant, Asif Mahmood, and a percentage of residents believe Riverside Terrace deserves recognition for its role over the past few decades in integrating people of all races and religions.
Roman McAllen of the City of Houston’s Office of Preservation told ABC13 that this is an effort by some neighbors who want to preserve the architectural integrity of part of the Riverside Terrace community. He said there is a sincere desire to preserve.
A group of longtime homeowners from Riverside Terrace in Third Ward told ABC13 they really don’t want the proposal to go through. They’re even holding a community meeting Thursday night to voice their dissatisfaction.
“In our view, if that’s what you want, look for your home! But don’t force people who don’t want to be in a historic neighborhood to be there,” said Sandra Evans-Brooks, vice president of the Riverside Civic Association.
While they agree that the Riverside Terrace community is steeped in history and helped shape Houston, they said the proposal would place a financial drain on many who have lived there for decades.
“If you have a historic home, you can’t pick it up and go to Home Depot or online and replace your French doors or exterior walls. So what do you have to do? You must return these items to their original condition. But before you do that you need to get prior approval,” Evans-Brooks said.
She says there’s more to come. There is concern that longtime residents could eventually be evicted.
“We have prime properties in our area. And because of the nature of people, not being able to entertain them when they’re placed in a historic neighborhood, they can see them being pushed aside,” Evans-Brooks said.
They oppose the Historic District designation for various reasons. Riverside Civic Association leaders like Sharon Evans-Brooks say only 13 people voted in favor of the proposal and it does not represent what the majority wants.
Evans-Brooks said there was no public meeting or citizens’ association before the homes were included in the borough proposal.
ABC13 have attempted to reach Mahmood to ask him why he suggested this and what it means for him and others in the neighborhood who support it, but he has not answered or returned our calls.
Evans-Brooks says they will do everything they can to ensure that this proposal does not go through. There is even an online petition circulating.
The city’s McAllen told ABC13 that this will likely be brought up at the next council meeting. He says a vote will not take place until a public hearing is held on the matter.
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https://abc13.com/riverside-terrace-third-ward-historic-district-proposal-civic-association/11842455/ Some neighbors are pushing the proposal to designate the Third Ward Historic District