Your freedom to improve your Winter Park home can be severely limited and your property devalued if a proposal being considered by the City of Winter Park is approved by our city commission.
Attend the Historic Preservation Ordinance Public Forum Thursday, May 7, at 9 a.m. or 7 p.m., at the Winter Park Welcome Center located at 151 West Lyman Ave. to voice your opposition. READ THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE HERE.
Click here to send a message to our city commission members telling them to remove all “historic district” language from the Historic Preservation Ordinance.
The proposed ordinance allows any street or neighborhood in Winter Park to be designated a Historic District, subjecting all properties in the district to a review process that places control over redevelopment in the hands of the Historic Preservation Board, whether or not any of the homes in the district have been individually designated to be historic and whether or not you agree to have your property included in the district.
The proposed ordinance allows a small set of neighbors to propose that any contiguous group of homes be designated as a “Historic District,” and the vote of a simple majority (>50%) of owners in the group can then impose “historic” designation on all homes in the group with Historic Preservation Board and City Commission approval. This is not a “historic preservation” initiative, it is an anti-redevelopment initiative.
Once your home is included in a “Historic District” you are subject to a Certificate of Review process for all improvements. This process requires approval of the city’s Historic Preservation Board for “any proposed new construction, exterior alterations, rehabilitation, restoration, renovation, addition, demolition, or relocation of designated historic landmarks, resources, contributing and noncontributing resources within districts…”
If your home is included in an approved “Historic District” this board controls every aspect of all improvements, including but not limited to configuration, architecture, square footage, façade, and landscaping even if your home does not meet any criteria for historic designation and even if you voted against being included in the district.
Here is an example of how the proposal would work: Let’s say there are 20 homes on your street and 4 of the property owners want all homes on the street designated a “Historic District.” Further, assume that only 10 of those homes are 50 years old or older, thus meeting the only objective criteria for historic designation in the ordinance (which by the way is not actually required). In this case, the vote of 11 of 20 property owners would subject 9 dissenting owners to Historic District designation against their will, severely limiting their freedom to redevelop their property and lowering resale value. Note in this case that the 9 dissenting property owners may actually own homes that are 50 years old meaning only 1 property owner qualifying for historic consideration may even be involved. This proposal is designed to limit redevelopment rights and property values, not to increase the number of authentically historic properties in Winter Park.
This proposal is being promoted by the Winter Park anti-development lobby, a small group seeking to impose their values without regard to your values, your freedoms, or the impact on the value of your property.
The vast majority of us improve our home to our liking and spend many years paying off a mortgage to build equity in our homes to be used to support our retirement and help our families. We cannot let a small group of extremists limit our freedoms or put our equity at risk.
ATTEND ONE OF THE FORUMS ON MAY 7 TO OBJECT TO THIS PROPOSED ORDINANCE AND CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO OUR CITY COMMISSION MEMBERS TELLING THEM TO REMOVE ALL “HISTORIC DISTRICT” LANGUAGE FROM THE ORDINANCE.
NOTE – I believe Winter Park should pursue policies that seek to expand the number of truly authentic historic properties. The way to do this is to limit the historic preservation ordinance to individual properties whose owners voluntarily seek and accept historic designation. Those citizens seeking more historic designations should do so through persuasion and through private funding of truly historic properties, not by imposing their values on their neighbors through laws that impose on our freedom, limit our redevelopment rights, and put our property values at risk.
Regards, Pete Weldon