Commission Moves to Adopt Historic Preservation Ordinance
Final Decision Due in December
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.
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 50 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.
I love our city! I respect historical preservation of truly historic structures and support wholeheartedly those who submit their property for preservation. I wholeheartedly DO NOT support historic district legislation. To me it is a taking. If you feel so strongly about preserving a property it can be easily accomplished by buying it. The founders of our country proposed a government with three core principles. Protection of life, liberty and property. Without property rights Liberty doesn’t exist. Property rights extend beyond real property, but real property is the foundation of all property rights. I supported Casa Feliz and the Capen house projects but this is a sad day for Winter Park. Just my point of view.