Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Landmark Commission has taken the unusual step of approving historic status for a natural spring just south of downtown.

Commission members voted Monday to preserve the artesian fount known as “Big Spring,” in a protective move usually limited to old buildings.

The proposed historic designation faces approval from the city’s Plan Commission and then the Dallas City Council.

The measure would ban new construction near the spring, while restricting fencing, signs and trails in the area settled more than 150 years ago.

Dallas in 2004 bought the land where the spring is located but neighbors Billy Ray Pemberton and his wife, Zada, have been the unofficial caretakers. Property in the area has been in Pemberton’s family for several generations.

The spring is near Pemberton Hill Road.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE