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Whitehouse is a city in Smith County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,660 in the 2010 census. It is part of the Tyler, Texas, metropolitan statistical area.
Whitehouse is a city in Smith County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,660 in the 2010 census. It is part of the Tyler, Texas, metropolitan statistical area. The community was named in 1845, but was not incorporated until 1953. The school district (WISD) preceded incorporated municipal government, and was largely responsible for the eventual formation of the city.
Residents of Whitehouse were predominantly farmers or worked in support of agriculture until transportation innovations following World War II lead to other employment options. Many streets and subdivisions in the community are named for these early agricultural and commercial leaders.
According to oral tradition, the community was named “Whitehouse” by the railroad engineers who stopped near a white-washed community building during early settlement times. Several cherished historic resources include the various Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects located within the city. These projects, typically built with sandstone rockwork, are found throughout the city’s historic Town Center.
Civic leaders established the YesterYear Celebration to educate residents about the community’s history and heritage. The festival is held on the fourth weekend each June and includes activities such as parades, carnivals, historic battle reenactments, pageants, and trade days.
Planning and Development
Whitehouse is in the first phase of an overhaul of its planning regulations. The city initially began regulating land use through zoning on December 4, 1987. The next major effort intended to improve quality of life in the city through planning was the completion of the community’s first comprehensive plan in April 1996. The document was developed by J.T. Dunkin & Associates.
The city’s Planning & Zoning Commission has worked at the direction of the City Council to update various components of the 1987 zoning ordinance. The commission also recommended updates to the subdivision regulations which were adopted in February 2004. The city also contracted with Butler Planning Services to update the comprehensive plan from 1996. The firm, along with a citizen steering committee, produced the Whitehouse Vision 2020 Comprehensive Plan in the spring of 2006. Following this effort, the city is currently evaluating the need for a new zoning ordinance which can implement the recommendations of the Vision 2020 Plan