Thursday, March 31, 2016

Let's Talk Hot Off the Press...
Naples Historical Society Members and Friends

The Naples Historic District Initiative is this City's best option to address the challenging and ever-present issue of preserving historic structures AND maintaining broad visual integrity in the Naples Historic District.  

This Initiative has been crafted with the expertise and leadership of a 15-member Advisory Roundtable, is endorsed by the Society's Board of Directors, and has received prolific vocal support from many professionals in the trades and, of course, the District's residents themselves.  

In response to a recent letter in opposition, shown at the end of this message, we are asking now for a declaration of your support for this project through a Letter to the Editor.  Talking points may include, but are not limited to: 
1 There is NO requirement to follow the Society's proposal.  We will not infringe on private property rights -- A homeowner may still choose to build a house of his or her choice, however contemporary it would be.  
2 We will not expand the Naples Historic District.  Our focus is strictly with regard to the 97 parcels of property within the District's boundary, a boundary recognized by the Federal government since 1987, and one that is less than 1/10th of one square mile in all of Collier County. 
3 A majority of our proposal attempts to re-calibrate the well-known and sometimes unwieldy local processes for 'preserving' existing historic structures -- there is no reason not to support this. 
4 Demolition is real; it's been going on and will continue in the District.  We are proposing a plan to address the broad visual integrity in an area that is unique to Naples and no where else.  
5 We have had many wonderful conversations with District residents who are in favor of our work plan.
If you wish to know more about the Society's Initiative or this request, please call Elaine Reed at 239-403-8014.  You can also visit our website for a wealth of information, data, and documents detailing the Initiative's progress HERE.

Your personal word endorsing this vitally important project is appreciated (limit 275 words). 

Thank you.



Historic zoning

This is a head's-up notice to Naples property owners, especially those south of the downtown area. 
There is a concerted effort afoot to try to convince the Naples City Council or Collier County officials to adopt an Historic District zoning ordinance, which would create a governmental aesthetic zoning commission.

The zoning commission could have the regulatory enforcement authority over any new construction, demolition, addition, improvements, modifications, or changes to the exterior of your home or property.
Once the ordinance is enacted, any exterior change would require a "Certificate of Appropriateness" from the Historic District Commission before any building permit will be issued to you.

In essence, the government will have final control over your property. No "certificate" means no building permit. Don't be fooled by the sweet sounding words about "historic preservation" because in the end it's a power grab to gain control of your property.

This effort is being led by the Naples Historical Society under the term "Naples Historic District Initiative." This initiative is nothing more than a slick repackaged marketing plan, which in the past has been soundly rejected by Naples property owners.

Of course, at the moment, the pitch is that they only want control over a limited area. However, like any other tumor, once in place it will spread. It is nothing more than the subjective, heavy hand of government.

I urge you to take notice. Ask officials to reject and not consider any ordinance which would lead to establishment of Historic District zoning and the detrimental effect it will have on property owners unfortunate enough to fall under such regulation. 

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