There are two types of landmarks and historic districts in Jacksonville:
1. City of Jacksonville Local Landmarks and Historic Districts
With the recommendation of the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission, the City Council can designate local landmarks and districts. Landmark and historic district designation can be sponsored by the property owner(s), the Commission, the City Council, any member of the City Council or the Mayor. To recommend designation, the Commission must find that the proposed landmark or district meets the appropriate number of criteria.
Once designated, all exterior changes to the landmark or property in a historic district require an approved Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) application before work is started. An approved COA application ensures that the work is done consistent with the appropriate preservation standards. Most COA applications can be approved by the Planning and Development Department, but some work will require the approval of the Commission.
Property owners that properly rehabilitate local landmarks or properties in local historic districts may qualify for a Historic Preservation Property Tax Exemption. The exemption is for 100% of the value of the rehabilitation over a ten year period. The exemption value is not added to the assessment for that part of the property taxes paid to the City of Jacksonville. (The rehabilitation value is taxed by all other taxing authorities.) All proposed work in the property tax exemption application must be approved before being initiated. The value of the rehabilitation includes work to both the exterior and interior of the landmark or property in a local historic district.
2. National Register of Historic Places
The U.S. Department of the Interior approves the listing of landmarks and historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register recognizes landmarks and districts that have documented importance to the nation, state, or local community.
National Register is an honorary distinction, and it does not regulate changes made to landmarks or properties in historic districts*. The National Historic Preservation Act does require, however, that projects funded by the Federal government be reviewed for impact on National Register properties.
Federal Historic Tax Credits may be available for the proper rehabilitation of National Register properties that are income-producing. Information about the National Register of Historic Places and the Federal Tax Credits are available from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources 1-800-847-7278, or from the Historic Preservation Office of the Jacksonville Planning and Development Department at 904-255-7859.
*Demolition of local National Register listed or eligible properties does require a review by the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission.
Local Landmarks and Historic Districts in Jacksonville
Historic properties in Jacksonville can be listed both as a National Register and a local landmark or historic district. Historic properties also can be listed on one but not the other. For example, the Springfield Historic District is listed both on the National Register as well as a local district. Most of the Ortega neighborhood is listed as a National Register district, but not locally designated. National Register and local historic districts do not have to follow the same boundaries. In the larger Riverside-Avondale Historic District, there are two smaller National Register districts, one being Riverside and the other Avondale.
Information from the Historic Preservation Office, City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department. For more information about local designation and incentives, contact the Historic Preservation Office at 904-255-7859.