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Winter Park Commissioners Weigh Controversial Historic Preservation Rules

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The Thomas Picton Warlow, Sr. House is one of several historic sites in Winter Park. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Thomas Picton Warlow, Sr. House is one of several historic sites in Winter Park. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Preservationists say the only way Winter Park can maintain its reputation for its charming 1930s homes is if the city makes it easier to designate historic districts within the city. Some homeowners introduced the proposal two years ago in a push to protect historic land and receive funding. But other homeowners say historic designation would restrict them from making certain changes to their property.

Right now, an area designated as historic must have support from 67% of homeowners. In what Winter Park Historic Preservation board chair Bill Segal called a “compromise recommendation,” the board voted that the city require 58% of homeowner support. The city, however, has made several amendments to the recommendation and is considering that just 50% of homeowners, plus one additional neighbor, support historical designation status.

Segal calls it “a complex issue”:

“Just because you have an historic home and your neighbors want to form a district, doesn’t mean you’re going to be forward. It is the collision of private property rights and the public good.”

The Winter Park commission also requires a vote from the preservation board and city council.

The city has two historic districts subject to local rules and two districts that are on the National Register of Historic Places.

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About Renata Sago

Renata Sago