The City of Houston administers its Historic Preservation Ordinance through the Planning Department. The Department has a dedicated staff to manage issues related to Historic Preservation. Additionally, in cooperation with the City's finance department, the City abates property taxes to varying degrees for historic properties.
Properties in the Westmoreland Historic District must obtain a Certificates of Appropriateness for any alterations to exterior features. Certificate of appropriateness must also be otained for any demoltion or relocation of any property designated as contributing to the historic district. An inventory published by the City identifies which properties are contributing.
Houston's Historic Preservation Ordinance requires property owners in an historic district to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness prior to undertaking any major alterations to the exterior features of any property or demolitions of contributing or potentially contributing buildings. Additionally, new construction must obtain a certificate of appropriateness. More information about the Certificate of Appropriateness process can be found in the online Historic Preservation Manual.
It is also a violation of the Ordinance to allow "demolition by neglect" of a contributing property by failing to maintain the property adequately.
The City of Houston provides a number of tax benefits to those who own and restore historic properties within historic districts like Westmoreland. The basic program is that the tax code ordinance provides for an abatement of a portion of the taxable value of improvements based on the amount expended to preserve the historic structure. It is necessary to apply for this tax abatement, and it only applies to the City's portion of the property tax, not HISD or Harris County. More information can be found on the City's web page and in a summary published by the City.