What makes a property "historic"?
A property is considered "historic" by the City of Delray Beach if it is at least fifty years old and holds significance for its historical associations with a person, event, or trend in local, State, or National history or for its distinguished architectural merits including unique craftsmanship, materials, artistic value, or is the work of an architectural master.
Who can initiate the nomination of an individual property or district for "historic" designation?
Nominations for an individual property can be initiated by the property owner, the Historic Preservation Board or the City Commission. Nomination of an historic district can be initiated by the Historic Preservation Board or the City Commission. The nomination is then reviewed by the Historic Preservation Board and finally the City Commission for approval of the historic designation. Designation applications can be obtained at the Planning & Zoning Department.
As the owner of an historic property, will the City dictate to me what I can do with my property?
No. The City allows any general maintenance and interior alterations to be at the discretion of the property owner. However, in order to ensure that the City’s designated properties retain their historical and architectural integrity, the Historic Preservation Board requires a review process for exterior alterations or additions to a historic structure or property. These reviews for approval, known as a request for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA), can be done by the City’s Planning and Zoning Staff depending on the extent of the work or by the Historic Preservation Board. Applications for a COA and a list of the type of work that requires a Staff or Board review is available at the Planning and Zoning Department.
Are there any economic incentives for rehabilitating a historic property?
The City of Delray Beach offers a tax abatement for improvements to historic properties. This is offered to residential and commercial properties and is effective for a period of ten years from the start of the improvements. In addition, there are Federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credits that provide a twenty percent tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic commercial properties. For more information, contact the Historic Preservation Planner in the Planning & Zoning Department.