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By designating historic districts, HPB helps to retain and protect the character of the City's architectural past. HPB's Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) review process can help guard against inappropriate new construction or exterior renovations in your neighborhood. By doing this, the visual historic nature of your district is assured and property values are enhanced.

HPB can grant certain variances, within the historic context of the property, which allow additions and alterations to your nonconforming buildings and lots. These variances are permitted because your property is in an historic district or is listed individually in the Local Register of Historic Places.

An excellent example of these two factors working together is a garage which is visible from the street and associated with a 1925 residence in Del-Ida Park. The owner wanted to reconstruct the garage, which had been demolished by a hurricane, as it was originally designed and sited when the house was constructed. Unfortunately, no plans or photographs were available, only the exact location was a known fact. The Board was able to guide the owner with some design information and to grant a setback variance to allow the garage to be built on its original nonconforming site. The result is a positive addition to the street and the district. Without the COA and variance process, the garage could not have been constructed in its original location and could have become an inappropriate structure, in conflict with the existing home and streetscape.

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