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 Development Services 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. Although, 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, are reviewed for compliance either by the Historic Preservation Board or city Historic Preservation Division staff - depending on the extent of the work. Property owners can review the Certificate of Appropriateness application on-line and speak with staff regarding any questions they may have.
Are there any economic incentives for rehabilitating a historic property?
The City of Delray Beach offers a Historic Property Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for improvements to historic properties. In addition, there are Federal Historic Tax Credits that provide up to a 20% tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic non-owner occupied properties that are within a Nationally Listed Historic District or Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, visit the Delray Beach Historic Preservation Economic Incentive web page.