Making Sure Historic Districts Matter
Keeping the 18th Avenue Northeast  Historic District Special

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One of the most important benefits of local historic district designation is having a process to address proposed out-sized and incompatible new construction. The process is known as "COA" review [certificate of appropriateness]. COA review, however, is only effective if the city enforces new construction guidelines for buildings within historic districts.

An important debate about the compatibility of new construction is occurring in the 18th Avenue Northeast Historic District which could have implications for all of St. Pete's local historic districts. The out-sized, incompatibly designed home proposed for 736 18th Ave. NE would dominate the street and threaten the historic integrity of the district. Preserve the 'Burg supports the neighborhood property owners in seeking to enforce the sensible guidelines for new construction. The matter is an important test case for the application of historic district guidelines in all of our local districts.

Out-sized proposed home & existing home in historic district 


 Click Here to see a presentation & more images of the incompatible proposed residence


Proposed residence does not meet City's COA criteria for new constriction in historic districts

  • The height and scale of the new construction shall be be visually compatible with the contributing resources in the district. The proposed structure is too tall, oversized, and out of scale with the existing historic homes on the block and will be visually incompatible with the other homes.
  • The new construction shall be visually compatible with contributing resources in the district in its orientation, flow, and directional character, whether this is the vertical, horizontal or static character.  Although presenting a primary facade to the street, the orientation, flow and directional character of the structure is to the side which is incompatible with the historic orientation of the block.
  • The new construction shall be architecturally compatible with the contributing structures within the historic district.  The proposed eclectic style structure with mere nods to the Monterey style is not compatible with the existing cohesive, yet diverse architectural styles within the historic district.


New construction can be compatible in historic districts

  • A well designed contemporary house can be compatible with a neighborhood's historic character if it has the same height, scale, mass, portion, setbacks, orientation, and visual rhythm as its neighbors.
  • New construction in historic districts must be visually compatible and integrated into the existing historic district with context sensitive design that compliments and enhances the setting.
  • It should reinforce the character and patterns of the existing historic district. 
700 Block of 18th Ave. NE Historic District

At the request of the majority of property owners, city council enthusiastically approved in 2017 the 700 Block of 18th Avenue NE Historic District. Preserve the 'Burg assisted with and supported the application. The small local district is an excellent example of an intact collection of homes dating to St. Petersburg's rapid 1920's development. It contains a diverse selection of architectural styles, all popular during the early 20th Century. Click here to see the district application, including photos of the homes within the district. In early 2018 the city's preservation commission initially rejected the COA for the new home. Subsequently, the applicant slightly modified his proposal and, at staff's urging, the commission approved the modified proposal. It is this decision which city council will be reviewing.


Benefits of Local Historic District Designation
  • Designation encourages historic building reuse and discourages demolition of significant historic resources,helping to keep neighbothoods and St. Petersburg special while maintaining our cohesive sense of identity;
  •  Property values in historic districts appreciate at a greater rate than in comparable non-designated neighborhoods, are less adversely affected by a real estate bust/crisis, and recover sooner than in other non-designated neighborhoods after a real estate bust;
  • Historic neighborhoods are typically diverse in income, race, ethnicity, age and family structure;
  • Designation provides tax incentives to encourage reuse and renovation. 

Support Guidelines for New Constriuction in Local Historic Districts

A public hearing to hear the neighborhood's appeal of the decision to grant the COA allowing for construction of the new home will be conducted by City Council. The July 12 hearing has been cancelled. The new date is expected to be August 23 (please check back for confirmation of this date). The hearing will be at City Hall. Your help and voice is needed! Come to the public hearing and/or send your message to city council - YES for keeping local historic districts special and NO to the present COA application for new construction. Sending your message is simple to do by clicking on the link below. 

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Historic Designation Matters!
  Preserve the 'Burg Needs Your Help & Voice Now.

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Contact:
Preserve the 'Burg
P.O. Box 838
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
(727) 824-7802
info@preservetheburg.org
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