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Historic Preservation Program

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"It shall be the goal of the City of Sarasota to identify, document, protect, preserve, and enhance all cultural, historic, architectural, archaeological resources of the City."

Application for Historic Designation

Properties considered for historic designation should be more than 50 years old. The City has encouraged structures associated with the Sarasota School of Architecture younger than 50 years old to apply for designation.

Buildings, sites and structures can be considered eligible if Zoning Code Section IV, Division 8 criteria has been met.

Historic Designation includes public hearings before:

  • Historic Preservation Board
  • City Commission for historic designation approval ordinance

8 x 8 bronze plaque identifying the historic structure can be obtained from Planning Department.

To encourage the preservation of significant historical resources, historic designation entitles an owner to a variety of programs. These include incentives to promote sensitive historical rehabilitation by offering some relief from building and zoning code regulations. Also a County ad-valorem tax exemption is offered for qualifying improvements to historic structures. More information on the benefits of local historic designation is available from the Planning Department. For additional information contact Dr. Clifford Smith, Senior Planner-Historic Preservation, at [941] 263-6585.

Current Historic Designations

Reference books are available at the Sarasota County History Center Library, (external link) 6062 Porter Way, (941) 861-5000. Sample designation reports are available from the Planning Department, 3rd Floor City Hall Annex t 1565 First Street. The City maintains a listing of approximately 180 locally designated buildings.

Certificate Of Appropriateness Applications

Making changes to a locally designated structure requires a Certificate of Appropriateness [COA] application, and changes are subject to Secretary of Interior Standards. The COA application is submitted through the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk, is reviewed by staff, and is scheduled for a hearing before the Historic Preservation Board. The application should include clear building plans and other relevant information. The Board has a deadline for submission of materials for presentations and applications, and the schedule is presented above. Note: Refer to the City´s Main Web Page and select "Meetings/Agendas/Video" to view previous Historic Preservation Board Agendas, Staff Reports, Audios of Meetings, and Minutes.

Certificate of Appropriateness [COA] Applications

  • Building COA - Forms to make exterior changes to LOCALLY DESIGNATED structures (whenever filing a building permit).
  • Moving COA - Forms to relocate a LOCALLY DESIGNATED structure to a new location.
  • Demolition COA - Forms to request the demolition of a LOCALLY DESIGNATED structure.

Demolition Application - Structures Listed on the Florida Master Site File [FMSF]

The State of Florida maintains a comprehensive statewide list of locations and structures that are of historical and archeological interest. That list is called the Florida Master Site File [FMSF], and the structures listed on FMSF may be eligible for national or local historic designation.

When an application for demolition of a structure listed on FMSF is submitted, an historic review will be conducted to determine if the structure is a contributing building to a historic district, eligible for local or national designation or if there are any viable alternatives to the demolition of the structure. The review will include an evaluation prescribing what measures are required to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the adverse effect on the historic resource.

Any FMSF structure found to be non-contributing or not eligible for either local or national designation may be issued a demolition permit by the Director of the Planning Department.

FMSF structures that are eligible for National Register designation, designation by the City, or as a contributing building to a historic district will not be issued a demolition permit until the Historic Preservation Board finds appropriate mitigation measures have been undertaken. Contact Dr. Clifford Smith, Senior Planner-Historic Preservation, at [941] 365-2200, ext. 4361 for additional information.

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