The Issue: Should the city continue to allow for third party landmark applications? A third party application is one made by an individual or organization who is not the owner of the property sought to be designated as a landmark. City Council has adopted a third party application moratorium and is considering elimination of third party applications. PTB believes the option for third party landmark applications is an important piece of a historic preservation program having, among other goals, of keeping St. Petersburg special! Click here to read PTB's letter to city council
August 8 Meeting: City council will conduct a joint meeting with the city's Community Planning & Preservation Commission (CPPC) on August 8 @ 9 am at the Sunshine Center (330 5th St. N.) to discuss third party landmark applications. Click here for a copy of the meeting notice.
What Can You Do? Council needs to be reminded that it takes the community to keep St. Petersburg special. Our landmark application process is not broken and should continue to allow for third party or non-owner applications. Your voice can make a difference! Send a message to city council! It can be as simple as - preserve the 'burg, YES to third party landmark applications. Send your message NOW! (firstname.lastname@example.org).Background - St. Petersburg adopted its historic preservation ordinance in 1985. From its inception, third party or non-owner landmark applications have been allowed. Only seven owner opposed third party applications have been denied in those 30+ years (click here for the city report detailing third party applications). Although infrequently used, third party applications have resulted in places like downtown's Detroit Hotel, Sunken Gardens on 4th St. N. and Mercy Hospital on 22nd St. S. being designated as landmarks! Third party applications have also resulted in other success stories through negotiation. Perhaps, the best example is the Crislip Arcade in Central Avenue's 600 block - in fact, can you imagine downtown without the 600 block? But for PTB's third party landmark application, the buildings making up the funky and fun block would be gone as a demolition permit was sought in 2008 and ultimately withdrawn after the landmark application was submitted.
Landmark designation encourages building reuse with a number of incentives and discourages demolition with a hearing process in which the burden is upon the owner/applicant to show why the building needs to be torn down. Most of Florida's large cities like Tampa, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale & Orlando allow third party applications. Designation, even when initiated by a non-owner, has been found by the U.S. Supreme Court to be a valid government action that does not constitute an impermissible taking of one's property.
Want more info....city staff report on third party applications for August 8 meeting; U.S. Supreme Court case (Penn Central) on validity of historic designation; Legal analysis on validity of owner consent provisions in historic preservation ordinances
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