According to the City of Houston Planning Department, our neighborhood was originally platted in 1924. At that time, and as the neighborhood developed, there were deed restrictions encumbering most, if not all of the properties that had an improvement, i.e. a single family home built. There have been many changes since that time. Most notably, the vast majority of the original deed restrictions lapsed according to their terms. Recently, in the early 90s, neighbors and particularly the Civic Association began working to again form deed restrictions that would apply to the properties within our boundaries indefinitely and ultimately preserve the residential character of the neighborhood. They did this under Chapter 201 of the Texas Property Code. http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/Neighborhood/docs_pdfs/Chapter201Chart.pdf
Because this process allowed property owners to exclude their properties from the restrictions, we do have a handful of properties within our neighborhood that are not deed restricted. We have entire blocks that are 100% deed restricted and other blocks that have 2 or 3 excluded properties. One of our goals as a Civic Association outlined in our bylaws is to encourage property owners to sign on to the deed restrictions, which offers certainty and security to themselves, future owners and neighbors. If you are concerned about an activity that may violate deed restrictions, do not hesitate to contact the deed restriction committee chair, Brian Kilpatrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the President of the Civic Association, Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam (email@example.com).
As a side note, the majority of our neighborhood now has both the minimum lot size protection and the minimum building line protection through the Houston Planning Department. This sets a standard for the entire block for twenty years concerning what can be developed and where. Properties on blocks that have been approved for this ordinance are not able to opt out of this protection. Our deed restrictions do not allow for structures of any kind, including fences, to be built closer than 20 feet from the front property line. However, a property that is not deed restricted, but is subject to a 20 foot setback by the Minimum Building Line Ordinance can build a fence as long as it does not require a permit (currently, permits are required for fences 8 feet tall or taller or built with masonry) Again, please let Brian or Rebekah know if you have any questions specifically about deed restrictions or any other neighborhood concerns.