An expansion of the Williamson County Courthouse National Register Historic District will be considered at a meeting of the Historic and Architectural Review Commission on June 25. The meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Council Chamber and Court Building at 101 E. Seventh Street.
The proposal before HARC includes the expansion of the Williamson County Courthouse National Register Historic District to include historic properties in all four directions, as well as the creation of a new Forest Street National Register Historic District.
The Courthouse district currently includes the Courthouse block and portions of seven blocks adjacent to the Courthouse that contain historic structures. The expanded district also would include properties around the perimeter of the current district and extend three blocks to the south to University Avenue.
The new Forest Street National Register Historic District would include the area roughly bound by Ninth Street on the north, Rock Street on the east, University Avenue on the south, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Street on the west.
Maps of the historic district expansions are attached.
The National Register historic district expansions would not alter local zoning districts such as the Downtown Overlay District. The expansions also would not have an impact on the Downtown Design Guidelines or other rules governing the development or redevelopment of properties in downtown Georgetown.
The City project to assess and update the National Register historic districts began in October. Steph McDougal of McDoux Preservation was hired by the City to conduct the project. Previous meetings on the historic district expansions were held in November, March, and on June 15.
The expansion of the Williamson County Courthouse National Register Historic District and the creation of the Forest Street National Register Historic District would allow contributing structures in those districts to qualify for state and federal tax credits. The new State of Texas franchise tax credit for historic preservation became available in January. The state tax incentive allows property owners to receive a tax credit of 25 percent of qualifying expenses for rehabilitating a historic building. A federal historic tax credit for historic preservation includes up to 20 percent of qualifying expenses for commercial structures. In order to qualify for the federal program and the new state program, properties must be individually listed on the National Register or classified as “contributing” to a National Register historic district. Properties that are currently classified as noncontributing, but would become contributing as a result of tax-credit funded projects, are also eligible.
If the proposal to expand the Courthouse district and to create a new Forest Street district is approved by HARC, then the expansions would be submitted to the Texas Historical Commission and to the National Park Service for approval.
This project is being funded in part through a certified local government grant from the National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior, as administered by the Texas Historical Commission.
For more information about the City of Georgetown’s historic preservation programs or the current National Register historic districts, visit historic.georgetown.org or contact Matt Synatschk at (512) 930-3581 or Matt.Synatschk@georgetown.org.