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About Historic Preservation


Frequently Asked Questions 

  • When was the Historic Preservation Board established?

    In 1980, the City Commission adopted Ordinance #2203 (Document under ADA Review) relating to historic preservation. This ordinance established the Historic Preservation Board, the Design Review Committee, the composition and duties of the Board and other related procedures.

    In 1997 Ordinance #3841  (Document under ADA Review) was adopted and superseded the original ordinance. This ordinance increased the number of members on the Design Review Committee.

    In 2013, the City of Lakeland Land Development Code was adopted, which went into effect March 3, 2014.  Article 11 of the Land Development Code includes the Historic Preservation Standards; these standards replace previous historic preservation ordinances adopted by the City. 

    A copy of these ordinances is available on this website or in the Community Development Department, City Hall, 228 S Massachusetts Avenue, 863.834.6011. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM.

  • How many historic districts exist in Lakeland?

    Within the City of Lakeland there are seven historic districts; six residential and one commercial. All seven districts are in the central city and Core Improvement Area.

    Historic Districts:

      • Beacon Hill
      • Dixieland
      • South Lake Morton
      • East Lake Morton
      • Lake Hunter Terrace
      • Biltmore/Cumberland
      • Munn Park

    See a summary of each historic district for a brief history and the dates these districts were established; all historic districts are locally designated as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A map of these districts can be downloaded for your convenience.  Hard copies may be obtained in the Community Development Department office.

  • Are there Design Guidelines available for the Historic Districts and where can I obtain a copy?

    Design Guidelines

    Guide to the Exterior Design of Buildings in the Beacon Hill, Dixieland, South Lake Morton, East Lake Morton, Lake Hunter Terrace, and Biltmore/Cumberland Historic Districts was revised in 2009. This manual provides general information about the historic architectural styles in these districts, design principles and elements for new construction, and the rehabilitation of historically contributing buildings.

    The Dixieland CRA Commercial Corridor Design Guidelines was adopted in 2004 and addresses design of the commercial structures located within the Dixieland Community Redevelopment Area located on both sides of Florida Avenue between West Walnut Street and Lenox Street.

    The U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation are the design guidelines for existing buildings within the Munn Park Historic District and also form the basis for design guidance in the residential historic districts.

    A Guide to the Design of Non-Historic Buildings in Munn Park Historic District (Document under ADA Review) (May 1985) is a resource for the design of new structures in the Munn Park Historic District.

    Sign Guidelines for the Munn Park Historic District (Document under ADA Review) (July 1996) is a resource for designing new signage within this commercial historic district.

    These Design Guidelines are available on this website or in the Community Development Department office. There is no fee for any of these manuals.

  • When do I apply for a Certificate of Review?

    Prior to starting any new construction, exterior modifications to existing structures, or demolition work to structures in the historic districts, an application for a Certificate of Review must be completed.

    For more information, consult the Citizen’s Guide to Historic District Design Review, the Design Review portion of this website, or the Historic Preservation Planner in the Community Development Department at 863.834.6011.

  • Are Certificates of Review required for demolitions?

    Yes. Demolition of a principal structure or accessory building within the historic districts requires a Certificate of Review whether the building is considered a contributing building or not.  Article 11 Section 11.6.3.c of the City of Lakeland Land Development Code includes criteria that must be addressed and satisfied when requesting a demolition.

    A copy of Article 11, can be downloaded or obtained from the Community Development Department.

  • Where do I apply for a Certificate of Review?

    Applications are available in the Design Review portion of this website and in the Community Development Department. It is important to speak with the Historic Preservation Planner in the Community Development Department prior to completing an application for a Certificate of Review.

  • What do I need to provide with a Certificate of Review Application?

    The submittal requirements will vary depending on the scope of the project and work being planned. See the Citizen’s Guide to Historic District Design Review or contact the Historic Preservation Planner in the Community Development Department for more details.

  • Is there a fee to apply for a Certificate of Review?

    For a project costing less than $10,000, there is no application fee for a Certificate of Review.

    For projects costing $10,000 or more, and demolitions, the Certificate of Review application fee is $170.00 due when the application is submitted to the Community Development Department.

    For work begun without a Certificate of Review, a $350.00 fee is due when the Certificate of Review application is submitted to the Community Development Department.

    Fees for a building permit may also be required, which will be determined by the Building Inspections Division.

  • How long will the design review process take?

    The length of time between submittal of the Certificate of Review application and receipt of a Certificate of Review may vary depending upon the complexity of the project. When the applicant has consulted with the Historic Preservation Planner before submitting a completed Certificate of Review application and submitted a project consistent with the Design Guidelines, turnaround time is typically 30 days for Major Review and 1-2 days for Minor Review.

    Please review the Citizen’s Guide to Historic District Design Review document on this website or in the Community Development Department office for more detailed information.

    It is important to speak with the Historic Preservation Planner prior to completing an application for a Certificate of Review.

  • Must I appear before the Historic Preservation Board's Design Review Committee?

    If your project is minor in scope, the Application for Certificate of Review (MINOR REVIEW) can be submitted to the Historic Preservation Planner for staff review and approval. In this case, you would not need to appear before the Historic Preservation Board’s Design Review Committee.

    If your project is major in scope, the Application for Certificate of Review (MAJOR REVIEW) must be submitted to the Historic Preservation Planner for initial review, but must be reviewed by the Design Review Committee for a final decision. Please note that the Historic Preservation Planner will present a report of the project to the Design Review Committee and provide a recommendation based on the application submittal and project’s consistency with the Design Guidelines. As the applicant, you or your representative must attend the Design Review Committee and be prepared to answer questions from the Committee about your project.

    Consult the Citizen’s Guide to Historic District Design Review for further details concerning Design Review Committee meetings.

  • When does the Historic Preservation Board’s Design Review Committee meet?

    The Historic Preservation Board and the Design Review Committee meet the fourth Thursday of every month at 7:30 AM at City Hall.

    November and December meetings occur on the third Thursday of the month due to holidays.

  • Do I need a building permit to perform work on the exterior of my home?

    In most cases, a building permit will be required for work performed on the exterior of structures within the historic districts. In some cases, minor repairs or maintenance done with in-kind or similar materials to the original materials can be performed without a building permit. Contact the Historic Preservation Planner at 863.834.6011 with questions.

  • Do I need a Certificate of Review to perform work on the interior of my home?

    No, unless the interior work will affect the exterior of your home in some manner. However, a building permit may be required; contact the Building Inspections Division at 863.834.6012 with any questions concerning building permits.