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TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – One historic district in North Texas may not be a historic district much longer.
This week the Fort Worth City Council unanimously voted to take the first step in removing the historic designation from the Stop Six Sunrise Edition in the southeast part of the city.
Councilwoman Gyna Bivens, whose district includes Stop Six, says the landscape in the area is stunted at best. “In that historic district overlay it looks like a Vietnam war zone,” she said.
Bivens said she believes receding the destination will spur revitalization in the area. “I don’t want developers who look to come, after that demolition, only to be disappointed because they cannot build what they know will sell.”
The Stop Six area was originally called Cowanville, but at the turn of the nineteenth century was often referred to as Stop Six because it was the sixth stop of the Dallas-Fort Worth interurban train line, which operated from 1902-1934.
Building rules and regulations are different in areas deemed historic. Developers must abide by specific guidelines and receive approval from the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission before building within a district.
Neighborhood association president Regina Blair said it is hard to understand how anyone could think the 390-plus acres that make up the historic district is hindering development in the surrounding areas. “I am so surprised that such a small area has impeded development.” Blair acknowledged that the district is blighted, but said removing the historic designation is not the answer. “That was the whole point of establishing the district, to assist with addressing the blight and it has worked.”
Since the majority of Stop Six currently consists of vacant land, Councilwoman Bivens said revitalization can begin in earnest once the historic designation is removed. “I think you’re gonna see not only development come, but a sense of pride come again as well.”
The “keep” or “remove” debate is now moot at this level, with the council voting 8-0 to change the designation. The proposal will now have to be presented to the Landmarks Commission and the Zoning Commission. After those processes, the case will return to the city council for the final vote.
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