Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) – October 2, 2019

Our first vice president read statements on new construction projects in the River Road and the Dignowity Hill Historic Districts.  While we welcome compatible infill on vacant lots, we stand behind neighborhood residents and Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) staff in insisting that developers respect existing historic resources.  The projects below show the importance of taking into account the physical and visual impact of new construction on the structures and buildings that make up the historic landscape of the neighborhood.

415 Mesquite – Dignowity Hill Historic District

We support the OHP’s recommendations that the applicant continue to refine the design for this five building project at Mesquite and Brown Street.  Despite new revisions, the large scale and modern architectural character still tend to compete with the historic houses.  Read our full statement.  However, because the applicant has been willing to work with the HDRC, the commissioners voted to approve the project with staff stipulations regarding cladding materials, windows, architectural details, and landscaping.

335 Trail – River Road Historic District and River Improvement Overlay

The applicant for this three-building townhome project agreed to several changes regarding architectural features and construction management. However, a few key issues remained unresolved. We agreed with OHP staff that the garage design, which was not typical for the neighborhood, remained a problem.  Read our full statement.

The commissioners also expressed ongoing concern about whether the drainage issues had been adequately addressed for the site.  Without definitive plans to review and no engineer present to consult, the commission voted to deny this project.  Water runoff had become an issue because the proposed project bordered the remnant of a Spanish colonial acequia and lay within a protection zone for the San Antonio River.

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