San Antonio Conservation Society Position Statement
September 19, 2018
This week, we supported the Greenlawn Estates neighborhood’s request for historic district designation. Developed between Vance Jackson and the current frontage road for I-10 in 1927, the subdivision was one of the first to offer city improvements and utilities outside the city limits. Although a relatively small subdivision, Greenlawn Estates featured homes in a variety of popular architectural styles built on large lots.
The current Greenlawn residents value their eclectic homes and swaths of green space. They want to protect the distinctive character of their neighborhood against commercial intrusion and denser development.
HDRC approved their request for historic district status, which will move on through the designation process. However, the commission decided to exclude the commercial lot that fronts on the northeast corner of Vance Jackson from the proposed district. This weakens the residents’ protection against incompatible development at one of the main entries to their neighborhood.
We spoke out against the still large addition to the house at 213 Sweet Street and the “parklet” proposed to replace a commercial loading zone in front of the Burns Building at 401 E. Houston Street. HDRC approved both projects, although some commissioners shared our concerns about shade for the parklet and made recommendations for improvement.