252 E 3rd St,Jacksonville, FL 32206
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Historic Preservation Element
The Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act (Chapter 163, Florida Statutes) requires the development of local government comprehensive plans. That law, through its minimum criteria Chapter 9J-5, F.A.C., allows for historic preservation concerns to be addressed in two ways. Preservation of historic resources can be addressed as part of the Future Land Use Element, the Housing Element, the Coastal Management Element, and in other elements, or as a separate optional element. The City of Jacksonville has chosen to develop a separate optional element to be included in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan update. The fundamental purpose of a preservation plan or element is to focus community efforts on preserving historic resources and to define the role of government in that process.
The Historic Preservation Element has identified one goal:
‘It shall be the goal of the City of Jacksonville to identify, document, protect, and preserve its archaeological, historic, architectural, and cultural resources. Instilling public awareness of those resources shall be a part of that effort.’
The objectives and policies that implement the goal have been clustered around five issues that are important in the preservation of Jacksonville’s historic resources. Issue #1 focuses on the need for the City to centralize and strengthen its municipal preservation program while at the same time addressing the impact of its activities and projects upon historic resources. Issue #2 states the need for an on-going comprehensive survey and site data management program in order to have accurate and extensive information on the location, significance and condition of the City’s historic resources. The value and need for a historic preservation ordinance are dealt with in the third issue. Because of Jacksonville’s large and significant historic districts and neighborhoods, the fourth issue addresses the special needs of revitalizing these areas while preserving their original building stock and historic fabric. The final issue is developing strategies to foster public awareness of the City’s history and its abundant historic resources.
The goal, objectives and policies are reinforced in the element by supportive information such as preservation law, preservation incentives, private involvement in preservation, the general nature of Jacksonville’s historic resources and recommendations to address the special concerns in preserving these resources. A separate supplement to the Historic Preservation Element is a listing of the City’s historic resources, including archaeological sites, organized by planning district.
The element defines a much stronger role for the City in addressing historic preservation issues and concerns. The cornerstone of this new municipal preservation program would be the passage of enabling legislation that empowers the City Council to designate landmarks and historic districts, as well as the possible establishment of a board or commission to review proposed physical changes to these landmarks or districts. Each locally designated landmark or historic district would be established by ordinance action after a public hearing process. Once established by the City Council, these landmarks and the boundaries of historic districts would be designated on the official Zoning Atlas maintained by the City’s Building and Zoning Inspection Division. These maps would flag those permitted activities requiring a certificate of appropriateness from the review board or commission.
The kinds of permitted activities requiring review would be alterations and additions to the exterior, especially those visible from the public right of way, demolition and relocation, as well as new construction within designated historic districts. Many, if not the majority of permitted activities, such as repainting, backyard decks and fences, reroofing, landscaping or repairs using the same materials, might not require board review but only staff approval. Also, existing remodeling and additions out of compliance with the design standards would be acceptable under a grandfather clause. When reviewing projects, the board or commission would follow the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, which are a nationally recognized set of general guidelines for the preservation of significant historic and architectural characteristics of a structure. The ordinance would also establish an appeal process, as well as a clause for economic hardship cases. Enforcement of the ordinance would follow the same procedures as that for building and zoning enforcement. Attention would be directed towards setting up clear procedural rules for operation of the ordinance including timely meeting dates of the commission or board in order to decrease permitting delays.
Having already met the historic district criteria of the National Register of Historic Places, it is anticipated that Springfield, Riverside and Avondale historic districts will be the first candidates for designation as local historic districts. There are also fifty-six individually listed sites on the National Register of Historic Places that with property owner and Council approval, could obtain protection under the ordinance. Other older neighborhoods, areas and sites will need to be surveyed or evaluated to determine if they meet the local designation criteria established by the enabling legislation.
To implement the goal, objectives and policies by 2010 will require the expenditure of additional capital outlay over time. However, at least for the first year (FY 90-91) the plan can begin implementation using the existing administrative support of the Planning Department. Presently, one planner is assigned full time to the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission with secretarial assistance provided by the Strategic Planning Division. Additional funding sources, such as (1.) state and federal grants-in-aid (2.) permitting fees and (3.) dedicated funding sources similar to the use of a portion of solid waste tipping fees for the development of recreation facilities, may be necessary to implement fully the goal, objectives and policies in the element.
GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND POLICIES
The City shall identify, document, protect, and preserve its archaeological, historic, architectural and cultural resources. Instilling public awareness of those resources shall be a part of the effort.
Issue: Municipal Administration of Historic Preservation
The City of Jacksonville contains more historic resources than any other community in Florida. For example, the Florida Master Site File presently lists over 5500 recorded sites, roughly 13 percent of the state total, within our community. For more than a decade, Jacksonville residents have been striving to preserve the City’s historic resources through both public and private initiatives. As a result of this growing appreciation and interest in the preservation of the City’s historic resources, there has developed the need for the City to centralize and strengthen its municipal preservation program. Also, there was an awareness, reinforced by state statute, that the management and preservation of historic resources be incorporated into the overall City planning process. By Executive Order 88 – 123 signed in August of 1988, the Planning Department was designated to provide administrative assistance to the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission, an advisory committee appointed by the Mayor. By this action, the City had centralized the municipal preservation program into one department and provided the administrative base for the Landmarks Commission to expand its role in local preservation activities.
In addition to owning and managing historic properties, the City also faced the problem of the negative impact of City-sponsored activities on historic resources, in particular the loss of the visual fabric of historic districts and neighborhoods. The municipal preservation program needs to address the preservation and management of historic resources under City ownership and jurisdiction, as well as mitigating the impact on historic resources by City sponsored activities and projects.
Objective 1.1 To improve the City’s effectiveness in the administration of ordinances, codes, rules and other provisions of the Ordinance Code and practices which address historic preservation activity, assistance to residents and property owners in promoting historic preservation, and managing the historic resources under its jurisdiction.
1.1.1 The Planning Department shall be designated to coordinate municipal historic preservation activities, act as City liaison for providing assistance and information regarding historic preservation, and assemble and manage the base of information required to support that responsibility.
1.1.2 The City shall adopt a historic preservation ordinance and pursue acceptance in the Certified Local Government Program administered by the Florida Department of State as a means to obtain information and financial assistance for the municipal historic preservation program.
1.1.3 The City of Jacksonville shall incorporate into its historic preservation ordinance, procedures for the review by the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission, or any subsequent review body, of all plans that will physically alter the appearance of a designated site, property or historic district. This review will be required of all departments, agencies, and other authorities of the City or companies or contractors representing any department, agency or authority of the City performing work for the City.
1.1.4 The City shall continue the use of historic buildings for governmental purposes and shall consider the acquisition of historic buildings for adaptive reuse for municipal purpose when additional space is required. Any building 50 or more years old considered for surplus by the City shall be submitted prior to sale for review by the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission or any subsequent review body. Any such building determined to have historical or architectural significance, if considered surplus, shall be sold or otherwise conveyed by the City with protective covenants to ensure its preservation and proper rehabilitation.
Issue: Comprehensive Survey and Data Management
The identification of historic resources is essential in making informed decisions about managing and protecting these resources. The process of identification is done through comprehensive surveys that locate and evaluate sites and buildings in a given area for their historical, architectural or archaeological significance and condition. A number of surveys have been completed in Jacksonville during the past fifteen years. However, these surveys vary in quality and kind, and do not offer a complete body of information about the City’s historic resources. Most of these surveys have been sponsored by local preservation groups and are specific to their areas of concern. Many sections and neighborhoods throughout the City have not been systematically surveyed for the presence of historic resources.
The City needs to develop a comprehensive survey program for completion no later than 2010. Accompanying the comprehensive survey program is the need to establish and maintain a system to record site information including not only buildings and archaeological sites but also other historic features such as brick streets, statues, parks and decorative walks. Initial survey efforts should be directed towards identifying and evaluating historic properties owed or managed by the City including independent authorities and the school board. Because of the large land area and the expense of archaeological surveys, the City needs to develop sensitivity maps that indicate the probability of the presence of archaeological sites.
An extensive site data base accumulated from surveys can be used to evaluate more clearly the impact of both public and private projects on historic resources. A locally maintained site data base can also be used to quicken the federal review process, as well as provide the information necessary for designating landmarks and historic districts.
Objective 1.2 To identify, document, record and evaluate the historic resources within the City’s jurisdiction by 2010.
1.2.1 The Planning Department shall establish a comprehensive survey program scheduled to be completed by 2010. The survey program will follow and be compatible with the Florida Master Site File. This comprehensive survey program will be completed in increments over twenty years, concentrating on those areas of high site probability as identified by the U.S. Census Bureau for pre-1940 housing units.
1.2.2 The Planning Department will by 2010 develop a city-wide archaeological sensitivity map to indicate the probability of archaeological sites. This map will be used to review the possible impact of both public and private projects upon archaeological resources. The coastal area as defined in the Conservation Coastal Management Element will be the area first identified on an archaeological sensitivity map since this is the area of greatest site concentration and highest probability.
1.2.3 The Planning Department will conduct a survey of all publicly-owned and managed properties including lands, buildings and features, in order to compile an inventory of historic resources under City supervision. The inventory is regarded as a management tool and shall be completed by 1996. The intent of this policy is to survey 20 percent of City properties each year.
1.2.4 The Planning Department shall provide information and technical assistance to individuals and organizations seeking to identify, document and evaluate historic resources.
1.2.5 The Planning Department shall establish by 1991 a system for recording buildings, sites and objects within the City that have been identified and recorded through standard professional surveys of historic resources conducted by qualified individuals and organizations. That base of information, to include a computer data base, site files and maps, shall be maintained for location, identification and evaluation purposes. It shall parallel the data maintained in the Florida Master Site File.
1.2.6 The Planning Department shall by 1991 maintain and update for planning and permitting purposes, a U.S.G.S. series of topographic maps upon which recorded archaeological sites are shown.
1.2.7 By 1995, the Planning Department shall develop a uniform historic district map series, using a standard of one inch equals 200 feet, to record designated landmarks and districts. All existing historic district maps will be brought into conformity with this scale.
Issue: Historic Preservation Ordinance
Historic preservation ordinances have become the primary method used by local governments to provide some degree of protection for historic resources. The principle of preservation as a valid public purpose of government has been legally established by numerous court decisions, in particular, by the Supreme Court decision in the case of Penn Central Transportation vs New York City (1978)). By designating local landmarks and historic districts with design review, historic preservation ordinances can build community pride and appreciation, as well as act as a catalyst for redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization.
The City of Jacksonville, with over 5500 historic and archaeological sites and some of the state’s largest historic districts, does not designate local landmarks or historic districts. The adoption of a historic preservation ordinance will constitute one of the most significant steps which the City can take to preserve its vast number of historic resources. A local historic preservation program requires two steps. First is the passage of enabling legislation authorizing the City Council to designate local landmarks and historic districts. Second, individual landmarks and historic districts will be designated by the adoption of subsequent legislation. Using design criteria based on the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, a review body will be authorized to review exterior alterations, demolitions and relocation of designated landmarks and contributing structures in historic districts, as well as new construction in designated historic districts. A certificate of appropriateness will be required from the review body before a building permit can be issued. The administrative support for the review will come from the Planning Department.
Objective 1.3 To adopt a historic preservation ordinance by 1991 that contains provisions which will enable the City to become a Certified Local Government. The ordinance shall be legally sufficient to enable the City to implement the recommendations, goal, objectives and policies contained in the Historic Preservation Element.
1.3.1 The ordinance shall include those requirements necessary for the City to become a Certified Local Government, and the ordinance may establish a historic preservation board or commission whose powers may include, but not be limited to, the following:
To promulgate rules governing its operation in carrying out its responsibilities; To make recommendations to the City Council for historic designation; To adopt by the rule-making process design guidelines specific to designated historic districts; To review proposed physical alterations of designated properties or districts; To issue certificates of appropriateness for proposed physical alterations deemed by the board or commission to comply with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation or any adopted design standards that are based on the Secretary’s Standards.
1.3.2 The historic preservation ordinance shall enable the City Council to designate sites, districts and buildings as ‘historic’ and to extend the authority of the City as specified in the ordinance over such designated properties.
1.3.3 Designated sites, properties and districts shall be recorded on the Zoning Atlas located in the Building and Zoning Inspection Division. The Property Appraiser’s office will also be notified of this designation.
1.3.4 The ordinance shall contain a provision that will assist in the preservation of archaeological resources.
1.3.5 Before adoption of an ordinance and the establishment of a historic preservation board or commission, the board or commission and the Planning Department shall inform the public about the provisions of the ordinance and its implications through a series of town meetings in the affected neighborhoods.
Issue: Revitalization of Historic Neighborhoods
Over 76 percent of the recorded historic resources in Jacksonville are located in the Urban Planning District (#1) and the Northwest Planning District (5#). These planning districts include all of the Springfield Historic District (1858 contributing structures), the Riverside Historic District (1391 contributing structures) and the majority of the Avondale Historic District (718 contributing structures). Located in these planning districts are older neighborhoods and areas such as LaVilla,
Brooklyn, Fairfield, East Jacksonville, Panama Park, Lackawanna, Murray Hill, as well as the central business district. Because of a population shift to newer subdivisions and changing land uses, many of these areas and neighborhoods have suffered deterioration.
Revitalization of these older neighborhoods and areas is important for several reasons. First the concentration of historic buildings in these areas is a tangible and irreplaceable representation of Jacksonville’s history and architectural heritage. With their intact housing stock and existing public utilities, these older areas and neighborhoods, once revitalized, could greatly contribute to addressing the problem of urban sprawl and the need for more housing units. However, strategies to revitalize these older neighborhoods must also include preserving the historic fabric that define these areas. Many of these historic neighborhoods have organizations dedicated to their preservation and improvement. These organizations have helped, and continue to help focus attention on specific neighborhood problems and concerns, and should be brought in as active participants in developing revitalization strategies.
Objective 1.4 The City of Jacksonville shall establish and improve property values, and thus the tax base in designated historic districts by encouraging property owners to maintain and improve buildings, grounds, streetscape and vistas and encouraging settlement and revitalization of established neighborhoods instead of extending infrastructure to undeveloped sections.
1.4.1 Street, sidewalk, utility and other improvements undertaken by the City in designated historic districts shall be consistent, where practical, with the historic character of those districts.
1.4.2 By 1992 the Planning Department shall review and make specific recommendations to the City Council regarding changes or modifications to in the Land Development Regulations that will protect the character of designated historic districts. The assistance and advice of historic preservation organizations in recognized historic areas of the City will be solicited for that purpose.
1.4.3 The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Duval County Housing Finance Authority shall continue to make available financial assistance, including low interest rehabilitation loans, to property owners seeking to improve designated historic buildings.
1.4.4 Any project sponsored by or under the authority of the City, either financially or administratively, which involves rehabilitation or construction of new buildings within a designated historic district shall adhere to appropriate historic preservation standards for such activity.
1.4.5 In consultation with the Florida Department of Transportation, the City shall evaluate traffic circulation patterns and plans in designated historic districts in order to slow and limit damaging arterial and cut-through traffic, within one year after the designation of each historic district.
1.4.6 To protect and preserve historic resources, the City shall consider the incorporation of legal and financial measures, such as Transfer of Development Rights, cluster developments, easements, loan pools, revolving funds and ‘conservation’ areas or districts for archaeologically sensitive lands in its land development regulations.
1.4.7 The use of tax increment financing as a mechanism to promote the improvement of deteriorated designated historic districts shall be considered.
1.4.8 The City shall continue to improve and develop parks in designated historic districts, and it shall also plan the creation of safe bicycle and jogging paths in such areas.
1.4.9 The Planning and Development Department shall develop long-range plans for each locally designated historic district to identify, preserve, and where possible to regain the district’s original historic character. Any such process from its inception shall include the participation of neighborhood organizations in and residents of the designated district. Each plan shall be completed within two years of the designation of a Local Historic District.
Objective 1.5 The City shall encourage the preservation of historic districts and buildings by removing obstacles to the rehabilitation of qualified historic buildings and urging their continued use or adaptive reuse.
1.5.1 By April 1, 1991, the City shall adopt by ordinance, Provision 101.6 of the Standard Building Code which empowers the Chief of the Building and Zoning Inspection Division with the option of exempting designated historic buildings from selected provisions of the code. The Chief must confer with the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission, or any subsequent review body, when making a determination not to waive provisions of the Building Code.
1.5.2 The City shall pursue alternatives that will lead to the preservation, as opposed to the destruction, of buildings located in designated historic districts. The City shall encourage owners to consider transfer of the properties under favorable terms with attached covenants for preservation.
Objective 1.6 To continue to encourage and support the development and maintenance of present and future historic preservation organizations, especially those with specific neighborhood identities.
1.6.1 The Planning Department will provide available technical information to such organizations and serve as a liaison between them and the state and federal historic preservation offices, if requested.
1.6.2 The City shall cooperate with neighborhood preservation organizations in identifying existing and potential local historic preservation problems and in addressing solutions to those problems.
1.6.3 The City will assist the local historic preservation organizations in attracting funding support from federal, state, and private grant sources and shall award matching funds if available for historic preservation projects.
Issue: Public Awareness and Support
Public awareness and support are essential for developing and expanding an effective preservation program. Developing public support requires the creation of programs and activities highlighting local historic resources, as well as focusing public attention on preservation issues and topics. With the passage of a historic preservation ordinance, owners of designated historic properties must be clearly informed of their new responsibilities and the value and need for preserving historic properties.
Efforts need to be directed towards developing the tourist and visitor appeal of Jacksonville’s historic resources. Heritage education at all levels is also very important in developing an awareness and appreciation for the City’s eventful history and its abundant historic resources. Local preservation and history organizations have played a major role in the promotion of the City’s past and its historic resources, and their continued involvement should be encouraged and supported.
Objective 1.7 To employ historic preservation as a means to strengthen the local economy through increased tourism and local visitation at historic sites.
1.7.1 Significant historic buildings, structures and archaeological sites owned by the City shall be marked with plaques by 1998 to inform the public of their historic or architectural significance. The design, wording, selection, schedule and funding shall be provided through the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission.
1.7.2 The Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission, or any subsequent body, shall facilitate the marking with plaques of designated properties under private ownership, as well as periodically recognize outstanding preservation projects and service.
1.7.3 In addition to distributing information about local historic resources, the City Information Services Division and the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission, or any subsequent body, shall establish by 1995 a program to promote the City’s history and architectural heritage. The Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission shall seek the support of private groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Duval County Tourist Development Council, to promote historical tourism and shall assist those organizations with information from its data base and site files.
1.7.4 By 1991, the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission, or any subsequent body, shall investigate the feasibility of conducting a study to identify and evaluate historic buildings, sites and districts that have visitor appeal.
Objective 1.8 To initiate a program of public education about historic preservation.
1.8.1 By 1992, specific publications; such as brochures, pamphlets and books, shall be issued or sponsored by the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission or any subsequent body to inform residents, property owners and visitors about historic sites, the historic preservation process, the organizations in the City that are engaged in historic preservation activity and the City’s own preservation program and ordinances.
1.8.2 In conjunction with educational and cultural institutions and historic organizations, the Jacksonville Historic Landmarks Commission or any subsequent body shall sponsor at least one seminar per year, starting in 1991, for the public on historic preservation topics, particularly on the economic advantages inherent in the rehabilitation of historic buildings.
1.8.3 Clear guidelines specifying the types of building alterations that will be acceptable under an adopted historic preservation ordinance must be drafted by the Planning Department and made available to people seeking approval for architectural changes under that ordinance.