The Glen Rose City Council approved the expansion of the Preservation District Monday night.
The new district extends from the courthouse to Mustang Street and encompasses Heritage Park. The boundary would run down the Paluxy River to include Barnard’s Mill and the Gibbs House, then jog back to Cedar and Vine streets.
The original district made a one-block square around the courthouse on Pecan, Grace, Cedar and Vine streets.
Historic Preservation Board President Karen Richardson said in April’s council meeting that zoning would remain the same. The only difference is the board must approve any external renovations; the majority of the regulations only specify what building materials and colors can be used.
At Monday’s meeting, Richardson said historical districts offer protection to property owners and the city. Restrictions help protect property values and limit the type of buildings that can be put in the district.
Councilman Chris Bryant motioned to approve the expansion and Councilman Ricky Villa seconded. The motion was passed.
The council heard from Glen Rose Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Billy Huckaby about another possible expansion within the city. Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) is looking to add portions of the Brazos to their list of paddling trails.
“We would be the closest river trail to the Metroplex,” Huckaby said.
The trail would begin around US Highway 67 and extend 10 miles down river to the Sandlin’s property. TPW feels the start and stop points are ready to go “as is,” but Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) needs the city to sign an interlocal agreement for use of property under the highway.
Huckaby said once the trail is established, the city would be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the trail. However, Friends of the Brazos has expressed an interest in volunteering to help.
Commissioner Mike Ford was on hand and said the county would be behind such a project, but had a few concerns. He said the entities would need to work together to avoid another situation like the low water crossing that was closed last year.
Huckaby said he would bring more information to the June meeting.
The TPW Web site said the Texas Paddling Trail program has eight coastal paddling trails and nine inland trails already set up with more in the works.
The site lists desirable paddling trail characteristics as having public access a minimum of four paddling miles to a maximum of twelve paddling miles for each segment and a presence of natural or historical attractions such as rapids, mature trees or unique habitat, wildlife diversity and historic sites.
Huckaby added that residents should tune in to WFAA Channel 8 Monday morning. Good Morning Texas will air a feature on Somervell County as part of a program highlighting things to do near the Metroplex.
Other projects in the works got council attention Monday night, including Oakdale Park and the Riverwalk.
Connally Miller said a public notice would be posted this week regarding a bond election for $3.5 million in bonds to be used for 4-B projects. The main project under consideration is the purchase and renovation of Oakdale Park. Public hearings will be set 60 days after the notice runs.
Miller said the park offers the city a unique opportunity to preserve area traditions and heritage, as well as expanding tourist opportunities.
The park has a number of RV parking spaces that are in high demand, but also in need of upgrades.
“If we were to lose Oakdale Park, we would lose a huge tourism asset,” Huckaby said.
The council will also get a peak at bids coming in for the Riverwalk project Thursday, May 14. Council members are set to canvass election ballots Thursday night and will also open seven bids on Phase I of the Riverwalk.