Tampa City Council considers historic preservation and economic redevelopment

09/15/11 Atecia Robinson
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Historic sites and buildings are an important part of the past, present and future of any city. Thursday Tampa City Council heard from community members and city staff about historic preservation and economic redevelopment.

Several members of the public and members of the City Council spoke in favor of economically viable historic preservation in Tampa. Dennis Fernandez, the city’s Historic Preservation director and Urban Design Manager said he would not like to see Tampa’s neighborhoods destroyed through negligence.

Attorney Laurel Lockette introduced a plan to allow owners of historic property to sell their development rights to others who can afford to keep the historic nature of the buildings. It’s called TDR or transferable development rights.

Lockette said the transferable development rights program was beneficial to our community and economically viable.

Gus Perris, the Vice President of the American Institute of Architects, said there were things citizens could do to preserve historic properties. He wanted others to become interested in preservation and for the council to help establish seminars to inform property owner on how to finance their development projects.

Council member Yvonne Capin said she recalled a time when historic Hyde Park became a slum because was not preserved.

Most council members where enthusiastic about the program, but Council member Lisa Montelione had questions. She said the buildings had to be economically viable, surrounding other structures, and energy efficient.

During public comment, Alexander Smith, an associate member of Tampa’s American Institute of Architects, said he supports historic preservation.

Tampa City Council and the Historic Preservation Urban Designs team will hold another public hearing on historic preservation on October 11.

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