For Immediate Release:
October 27, 2008
Contact: Molly Dannenmaier
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Galveston Historical Foundation
Galveston Historical Foundation Offers Windstorm Exemption to all Galveston County
Galveston Historical Foundation wants to remind residents that they have extended the Windstorm Exemption Program (WEA-1) to all of Galveston County through a grant with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Partners in the Field Program. The Texas Windstorm Exemption was made possible for all coastal counties by the Texas State Legislature in 1997. Since that time over 800 properties on Galveston Island have been listed.
The exemption will allow the building owner to replace damaged windows, shutters, doors, and other character defining elements with in-kind items rather than those that must meet current code requirements. A windstorm exemption may protect a building owner from FEMA regulations stating that you may not be able to rebuild if your property is over 50 percent damaged in a storm. Also, if your building was severely damaged in a flood, an exemption may allow you to maintain the current elevation of your property.
To qualify for an exemption one of the following conditions must be met:
- The structure is listed or is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL).
- The structure has been specifically designated by official action of a legally constituted municipal or county authority as having special historical or architectural significance, is at least 50 years old and is subject to the municipal or county requirements relative to construction, alteration, or repair of the structure, in order to maintain its historical designation.
The local authority that reviews Windstorm Exemption Applications (WEA-1) is Galveston Historical Foundation. GHF then sends the applications to the Texas Historical Commission for their approval. The application process is simple and usually takes between two to three weeks. Applications are available online on the main page of the Galveston Historical Foundation at www.galvestonhistory.org and printed copies at the Architectural Salvage Warehouse located at 908 23rd Street. The application has also been translated into Spanish.
It is important to note that having a WEA-1 will NOT lower your insurance rates. You will also need to ask your insurer if they accept the exemptions. In the end it is the insurance company’s choice whether to accept the exemptions, but it is your choice which insurance company to use. Having a windstorm exemption will help Galveston County property owners maintain the character of their historic buildings we are known for.