• Instagram Icon
  • Vimeo Icon
  • YouTube Icon
  • Nextdoor Icon
  • Search Icon
Contact Us
main content

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When was the Historic Preservation Board established?

    In 1980, the City Commission adopted Ordinance #2203 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    In 1997 Ordinance #3841 was adopted and superseded the original ordinance.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 on 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 & Economic 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. All seven districts are in the Core Improvement Area.

    Historic Districts:

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

    See a summary of each historic district for their brief histories and the dates these districts were established; all historic districts are locally designated by City ordinance, as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A map of these districts can be downloaded for your convenience. In addition to the local Historic Districts, the main campus of Florida Southern College is designated a National Register Landmark District.

  • Are there Design Guidelines available for the Historic Districts?

    City of Lakeland Design Guidelines for Historic Properties. These Design Guidelines apply to all Historic Districts and landmarks in Lakeland.

    The Dixieland CRA Commercial Corridor Design Guidelines address the design of the commercial structures located within the Dixieland Community Redevelopment Area and Dixieland Historic District, located on both sides of Florida Avenue between West Walnut Street and Lenox Street. These guidelines also apply to all commercial signage in Lakeland's Historic Districts. 

    The U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary's Standards for Rehabilitation are federal design standards created by the National Park Service and form the basis for design guidance in historic districts.

  • When do I apply for Design Review/a Certificate of Review?

    Prior to starting any new construction, exterior modifications to existing structures, or demolition work to structures in the historic districts, application for Design Review (Minor or Major) and issuance of a Certificate of Review is facilitated through the City’s iMS system.

    For more information, consult the Design Guidelines for Historic Properties, the Design Review portion of this website, or the Historic Preservation Planner in the Community & Economic Development Department at 863.834.6011.

  • Is Design Review/a Certificate of Review required for demolition?

    Yes. Demolition of a principal structure within the historic districts requires Design Review (Major) and a Certificate of Review.  Article 11 Section 11.6.3.c of the City of Lakeland Land Development Code includes criteria that must be addressed and satisfied for a principal structure when requesting a demolition. Accessory buildings also require Design Review (Minor) and a Certificate of Review.

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

  • How do I apply for Design Review/a Certificate of Review?

    Applicants must use iMS to apply for a Design Review/a Certificate of Review. Please see How to Apply 

    We recommend talking with the Historic Preservation Planner in Community & Economic Development prior to submitting an application in iMS for Design Review/a Certificate of Review.

  • What do I need to provide with the application for Design Review/a Certificate of Review?

    The submittal requirements will vary depending on the scope of the project and work being planned. Typically, architectural elevation drawings, photographs of the existing building/property, and a site plan are required. The iMS application will walk you through what supporting documents will be required for your project. For questions, contact the Historic Preservation Planner.

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

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

    For projects costing $10,000 or more, and all demolitions regardless of cost, the application fee is $170.00 and is payable online through the iMS application process.

    For work begun or completed without a Certificate of Review, a penalty fee of $350.00 will apply.

  • How long does the Design Review process take?

    The length of time between the submittal of the Design 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 an application and the project proposal is consistent with the Design Guidelines, turnaround time is typically 30 days for Major Review and 1-3 days for Minor Review.

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

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

    If your project is MINOR in scope, the application for Design Review – Minor will be submitted in iMS and the Historic Preservation Planner will issue the Certificate of Review, if appropriate. 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 Design Review - Major should be provided to the Historic Preservation Planner for initial review but must be reviewed by the Design Review Committee for a final decision. Applications are submitted in iMS. 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 the 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.

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

    The Historic Preservation Board and the Design Review Committee meet on the fourth Thursday of every month at 8:30 AM at City Hall.

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

  • Do I need a building/fence/sign permit to perform exterior work in addition to a Certificate of Review?

    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 Building Inspections Division at 863.834.6012 with any questions concerning permits.

    A Certificate of Review is needed for the installation of a new fence in the City’s Historic Districts. A Fence Permit is not required, but is recommended to ensure zoning compliance.

    A Sign Permit is required for all new signage within Historic Districts.

  • 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 permits.