Anne Mooney

Entries by Anne Mooney

Historic Preservation Ordinance Update

Second Reading Gets Thumbs UP from Commission

Historic Preservation Ordinance Update

Ordinance Passes on 3-2 Vote

The Commission voted December 14 to approve the Historic Preservation ordinance as presented. To see the full text of the ordinance, click here.

Mayor Steve Leary and Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel maintained their opposition to the ordinance, while Commissioners Greg Seidel, Tom McMacken and Carolyn Cooper voted to approve. After considerable maneuvering on the part of the Commissioners, Tom McMacken summed up what the ordinance will and will not do, stressing that the ordinance does not create districts. “It [establishes] a process that allows people to apply,” said McMacken. “If they meet certain criteria, it goes to the [Historic Preservation] Board, and then it comes to us, and at the end of the day, we are the ultimate arbitrators.”

 

HP Board Still Working on Incentives

Following the Commission vote, City Planning Director Dori Stone explained that the Historic Preservation Board had requested more time to work on a package of incentives the City would offer to individuals and districts seeking to designate their properties. The Board is expected to report back to the Commission in February 2016.

Video: Historic Preservation Panel

Worth Protecting: Reports from the Front Lines

Video: Historic Preservation Panel

In October 2015, close to 100 residents came to the Winter Park Community Center to hear a panel of experts discuss their experiences as historic preservation officers in Florida communities that have robust historic preservation programs. The intent of the discussion was to explore what historic preservation means to communities that are actually doing it, rather than further the debate that had already raged for months in the Winter Park blogosphere.

Co-hosted by the Winter Park Voice and Friends of Casa Feliz, the featured speakers were Rick Gonzalez, AIA, President of REG Architects in West Palm Beach, Kathleen Kauffman, Historic Preservation Chief, Miami-Dade County, and Christine Dalton, Historic Preservation Officer of the City of Sanford and Adjunct Professor at Rollins College. The Panel was moderated by Orlando Sentinel Senior Columnist Beth Kassab.

To watch a video of the full debate, click here.

video-play-with-logos

Preservation Ordinance Survives Wrecking Ball

Second Reading December 14

Preservation Ordinance Survives Wrecking Ball

Once again, Winter Park citizens crowded the Commission Chamber to hear the second of two “First Readings” of the proposed Historic Preservation Ordinance. Because it was the last item on the November 23 agenda, everyone who wanted one had a seat, but most of the seats were occupied.

Ordinance Read as Amended Nov. 9

The proposed ordinance was brought before the Commission bearing the amendments agreed upon at the first “First Reading” November 9. The substantive nature and sheer number of amendments created the necessity for the second First Reading. To read about the amended ordinance, click here.

City Planning Director Dori Stone offered two clarifications in the language of the proposed ordinance. She stated that the City receives a petition for designation of an historic district, votes are counted as one vote for each property. A property with multiple owners has only one vote, with the assumption that the property owners agree.

Stone further stated that votes for an historic district would be mailed to the City Clerk to be opened and counted on a predetermined date.

No Money for Financial Incentives

Commissioner Carolyn Cooper inquired about the incentives for property owners who wish either to designate an individual home or to create a district. She was assured by City staff that suggested incentives would be a part of the Second Reading, scheduled to occur at the November 23 Commission meeting. Presently, said Stone, there is no City funding available for financial incentives for historic preservation. She said the Commission would have to create a fund for this purpose as part of the City budget.

Speakers Evenly Divided Pro vs. Con

Citizens present seemed to be evenly divided for and against approval of the proposed ordinance. Fourteen spoke, seven for and seven against, including one who delivered an impassioned campaign speech in opposition to the ordinance.

Commissioners Vote 3 – 1 In Favor

None of the Commissioners changed course. Commissioners Greg Seidel, Carolyn Cooper and Tom McMacken voted in favor of the proposed ordinance as amended. Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel voted against. Mayor Leary was absent.

Library Concept Clears Another Hurdle

Voters Will Decide March 2016

Library Concept Clears Another Hurdle

library concept drawing

At the November 9 Commission meeting, City staff brought forward a draft ordinance with referendum language asking Winter Park voters to approve a bond not to exceed $30 million, to be paid back over a period of 20 years, for the purpose of building a combined library — civic center complex. The referendum will appear on the March 15, 2016, ballot.

According to City Manager Randy Knight, the financial impact on each property owner will amount to $49 per year per $100,000 of assessed valuation. Assuming the average value of a home in Winter Park is around $400,000, the owner of that home would pay, at most, an additional $196 per year in property taxes.

Nov. 23 – Second Reading

Adoption of the ordinance requires two readings. The second and final reading will be at the November 23 Commission meeting.

If the Winter Park voters decide in March to build a combined library – civic center complex, it will in all likelihood be located on Morse Blvd. at the site of the present Rachel Murrah Civic Center.

ACi Design — Purely Conceptual

John Cunningham, design partner of the consulting architectural firm ACi, presented the report to the Commission October 26, and the Commission voted unanimous approval at that meeting. The report was based on more than a year’s study, dozens of task force meetings, eight public forums and countless individual meetings with Winter Park citizens. Cunningham stressed that the report describes a concept for a new combined library and civic center. The actual building design will be determined by the architectural firm hired by the city if the referendum passes.

Innovative Public Input

hand drawingElements of ACi’s conceptual design are rooted in ideas that emerged during public workshops August 22 – 23. Some of the most innovative of these came from children who accompanied their parents. At right, a Winter Park fourth grader suggests a nap area where small children can sleep while their mothers read or study.

Another fourth grader describes a library with “Relaxing, calm, and soothing areas to quietly read and let your imagination take the words from the book and make it into something amazing.” 

Commission Moves to Adopt Historic Preservation Ordinance

Final Decision Due in December

Commission Moves to Adopt Historic Preservation Ordinance

At last night’s Commission meeting, a standing-room-only crowd hung in there for nearly seven hours while the Commissioners hammered out a compromise version amending Chapter 58 “Land Development Code” Article VIII, “Historic Preservation.” The main motion, to adopt the revised ordinance, passed on a 3 – 2 vote, with Commissioners Seidel, Cooper and McMacken voting in favor and Commissioner Sprinkel and Mayor Leary voting against.

Eleven Amendments

This was the first First Reading of the Historic Preservation Ordinance (yes, you read that right; there will be another First Reading –- more on that later). Of the dizzying array of 18 proposed amendments, 11 passed.

Historic District Requires 50 Percent Plus One

Of particular note, the threshold for formation of an historic district was lowered from 67 percent of homeowners in the proposed district – or 58 percent, depending upon which version you read — to fifty percent plus one. The minimum number of homes required to form an historic district will be 12.

Second First Reading Nov. 23

City Attorney Kurt Ardaman advised that the number of substantive changes to the ordinance necessitates a second First Reading of the ordinance, reflecting last night’s changes. The next First Reading will be Monday, November 23. At that meeting, the Commission will also discuss recommended incentives for Historic Preservation, a discussion that was tabled at last night’s meeting due to time constraints.

Second Reading Dec. 14, Probably

Because November 23 will also be a First Reading, a re-run of last night’s amendment marathon is possible. In that case, there could conceivably be a third First Reading. If the revised ordinance survives the second First Reading more or less intact, however, there will be a Second Reading at the December 14 Commission meeting. The Second Reading will determine the final outcome.

Worth Protecting

Historic Preservation — Reports from the Front Lines

Worth Protecting

WP Voice & Casa Feliz to Host Panel Discussion
Historic Preservation — How Does It Work In the Real World?
When: October 29 – 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Where: Winter Park Community Center
             721 West New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789
Moderator: Beth Kassab, award-winning columnist of the Orlando Sentinel.
Panelists are among Florida’s foremost experts on historic preservation.
 
rickgRick Gonzalez, AIA, President of REG Architects in West Palm Beach, is the immediate past chairman of the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and an accomplished preservation architect. His resume includes the restoration of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and the 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse.
  
kskKathleen Slesnick Kauffman, AICP, Preservation Chief of Miami-Dade County, oversees 127 individually designated sites, 43 archaeological sites and zones, 5 historic districts, and the 24 municipalities within the county that don’t have their own ordinance. She has served as the executive director of the Florida Trust and as the Historic Preservation Officer in Fort Pierce and Lake Park.
christinedChristine Dalton, is the Community Planner and Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Sanford. She is an adjunct professor at Rollins College where she teaches Introduction to Historic Preservation. 
It can seem a hollow exercise to argue historic preservation in the abstract. Does it enhance or diminish property values?  Is voluntary preservation truly effective, or is it the beginning of open season on historic structures? What, if any, is the tangible value of historic preservation in our communities?
Our Panelists all work within communities that have robust, long-standing historic preservation programs. As Winter Park grapples with the role of historic preservation in our community, our panel of experts will share their real-time experiences with historic preservation.
Please join us at the Community Center October 29 for a lively, informative discussion.

Worth Protecting

The Winter Park Voice and the Casa Feliz Parlor Series will present a panel discussion entitled “WORTH PROTECTING: Historic Preservation – What Does It Mean for Winter Park?” When Thursday, October 29, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Where Winter Park Community Center 721 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 As Winter Park struggles to […]

Board Slogs Through Draft HP Ordinance

Segal Becomes Chairman

Board Slogs Through Draft HP Ordinance

illustration-hp-ordUsing some pretty intense persuasive tactics, Mayor Steve Leary prevailed and his candidates for the Historic Preservation Board (HPB), former County Commissioner Bill Segal, Winter Park resident Laura Armstrong and architect Phil Kean, finally won approval from the City Commission in a 3 – 2 vote, with Commissioners Carolyn Cooper and Greg Seidel dissenting.

 

Segal to Head HPB

At his first HPB meeting on August 12, Bill Segal was elected Chairman by the four members present – which included Segal himself — replacing Interim Chair Rebecca Talbert. Phil Wood was named Vice-Chair. The fourth member present was Genean McKinnon, who nominated both Segal and Wood. Talbert expressed her willingness to remain as either Chair or Vice Chair, but her motion failed for lack of a second.

Once the question of board leadership was settled, the first order of business was a review of the revisions to the draft Historic Preservation Ordinance that will come before the Commission at the November 9 meeting.

Stone and Hamner Champion Historic Preservation

Frank Hamner of the Citizens’ Group that has been working on the draft ordinance presented the latest version to the HPB. During the arduous page-by-page review, Hamner and City Planning Director Dori Stone found themselves in the curious position of defending historic preservation to the very board that is meant to champion the cause.

HPB Is Not So Sure

Discussion among the board members was more about the disadvantages the proposed ordinance would create for individual homeowners than about possible benefits to the City of preserving historic buildings and districts. “Everything we’re doing here creates an added burden,” said Segal.

Hamner pointed out that, unlike other cities, Winter Park has no means, other than the ordinance, to protect a truly historic home.

Segal Balks at CLG Status

Segal expressed concern about the City’s application to the State of Florida to become a Certified Local Government (CLG). He worried about “extra levels of government” and additional reporting requirements. Despite Stone’s assurances that the City already complies with most of the CLG requirements, and that CLG status would not put any appreciable extra burden on city staff, Segal could not be persuaded that it is a good idea for the City to apply for CLG status. “We just don’t know what we’re buying into,” said Segal.

What Is a CLG?

According to Florida Department of State, “Certified Local Governments are municipal and county governments which have made historic preservation a public policy through the passage of a historic preservation ordinance. Participation in the CLG program allows local governments to partner with other CLGs to share preservation ideas and experiences, as well as the opportunity to compete for CLG grants.”

Stone pointed out that the intention to achieve CLG status has been in the City’s Comprehensive Plan for the past 14 years, though the City has never made formal application to become a CLG.

The CLG grants tend to be small — $50,000 or less – but they have their merits. For instance, the last inventory of potential Winter Park historic assets was done in 2001. Since that time, much has changed. We are told there is no money in the budget to update the inventory, but if Winter Park had CLG status, it would qualify for a grant to complete the inventory. The inventory would cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 and is the type of project for which the grants are intended.

August 19: The Slog Resumes

The August 12 meeting ground to a halt shortly before noon, as Genean McKinnon had to leave. With only three members seated, the board no longer had a quorum and could take no action. They resumed the long slog through the revisions on the afternoon of August 19. At that meeting, Dori Stone informed the board that they would receive a completed draft reflecting all proposed revisions, and that they would vote at their September meeting on whether to approve the ordinance.

Once the final draft has been approved by the HPB, it will go for public hearings in October and then for a final vote by the City Commission at the November 9 Commission meeting.

Winter Park: Unique for Not Being a CLG

So far, language stating that Winter Park will seek CLG status remains part of the existing Historic Preservation Ordinance. Sixty-eight Florida cities and 12 counties are Certified Local Governments. Most Florida cities that are known to have historic resources are CLGs – among them Tampa, St. Pete, Miami, Coral Gables, Sarasota, Orlando, and the list goes on until you get to the Ws, where you’ll find West Palm Beach, Windermere, and Welaka . . . but not Winter Park.

Why not?

There appears to be firm conviction on the part of Mayor Leary, some members of the Historic Preservation Board and certain denizens of the blogosphere that CLG status will introduce yet another layer of government and bureaucracy, which will be onerously burdensome to city staff – though city staff doesn’t seem to see it that way. Planning Director Dori Stone, who would be the local official responsible for administering the CLG program, informed the HPB that the City of Winter Park already fulfills nearly all the requirements for being a CLG, and that any additional staff work would perhaps entail an extra 8 to10 hours per year.

What do the Real CLGs Tell Us?

The folks at Preservation Winter Park were also curious about the amount of work required of CLGs and whether the burden outweighed the benefits. They contacted people with firsthand knowledge, among them local officials who administer the CLG program in West Palm Beach, Lakeland, Miami-Dade and the City of Orlando.

This is what they were told.

West Palm Beach: “In no way has it been a burden. One hour a year of completing a report and emailing minutes.”
Lakeland: “To my knowledge, Lakeland has not been burdened by our CLG status whatsoever.”
Miami-Dade: “It’s never been a burden to be a CLG.”
Orlando: Small amount of staff time for reporting to state and National Park Service.”

Is This How You Would Describe Winter Park?

In her email to Preservation Winter Park, Kathleen Slesnick Kauffman, Historic Preservation Chief of Miami-Dade County, wrote: “It is not a difficult or lengthy process to become a CLG, but the whole point of the program is to provide a benefit to cities or counties that have an expressed interest in saving their heritage, and have made it a priority to do so by having a strong preservation ordinance.”

She continued, “Is this how you would describe Winter Park?”

Cooper to Represent Winter Park at FL League of Cities

Will Receive ‘2015’ Home Rule Hero’ Award

Cooper to Represent Winter Park at FL League of Cities

cooper-2-2

Mayor Steve Leary appointed Commissioner Carolyn Cooper Voting Delegate from the City of Winter Park to the Florida League of Cities Annual Conference, to be held August 13 – 15 in Orlando. Leary announced the appointment at the June 22 meeting of the City Commission.

2015 Home Rule Hero

At the conference, Cooper will be among those to receive the Florida League of Cities “2015 Home Rule Hero” award.

 

Advocate for Municipal Issues

The work for which Cooper is being honored includes membership on the Growth Management Legislative Committee, the Finance Legislative Committee, Board of Directors for the Tri-County League of Cities, and as a member of the advocacy team that addressed municipal issues in Tallahassee.

Local Voice on What Matters to Cities

“These local government officials earned this prestigious award for their tireless efforts to advance the League’s legislative agenda,” wrote Florida League of Cities Legislative Director Scott Dudley. “These men and women are some of the Florida League of Cities’ biggest advocates for municipal issues, always willing and ready to contact legislators and travel to Tallahassee to be sure a local voice is heard on issues that are important to cities. It is clear that these public servants have devoted themselves to Florida’s citizens and will remain loyal to their cities and state far into the future.”