Questions About Historic Designation

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What benefit is it to the homeowner to become designated?

  • Historic designation entitles an owner to a variety of programs to encourage the preservation of significant historical resources.
  • These range from incentives  to promote sensitive historical rehabilitation by offering some relief from building and zoning codes, and an ad valorem tax exemption for qualifying improvements to historic structures.
  • More information on these programs is available from Sarasota County Historical Resources.
  • The Director of Historical Resources is also authorized to install an official plaque to identify designated historical resources.
How do you identify a home's potential for historic designation?
  • Generally, structures need to be at least fifty years old for historic designation, and they must possess historical integrity, i.e. the ability to relate their historical significance through their physical appearance.
  • Additionally, resources must be associated with a significant historical events or figures, or associated with a defined historical context, embody the distinctive characteristics of an architectural style or method of construction, or be able to yield information important in history or pre-history.
How do you designate a historic resource?
  • A site, building, structure, object, or even a district can be historically designated on the local or national levels.
  • The federal listing of historic buildings is called the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Application for the National Register are available online at www.nps.gov.
In Sarasota County, historic designations are conferred by the city of Sarasota, city of Venice, or Sarasota County.
  • Sarasota County's application for historic designation can be found on the Historic Preservation Board webpage
  • Each program has its own historic preservation board with advisory powers to its city or county commission.
  • Eligibility for these various registers is based on geographic location.

Does historic designation limit future alterations to the property?

  • Additions and changes to historically designated structures must be reviewed and approved by the local historic preservation board to ensure the integrity of the resource is preserved.
  • Properties listed in the National Register have no restrictions on alterations unless there is federal involvement in the project.