Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Historic Label Fought Riverside-Avondale Proposal

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Historic Label Fought Riverside-Avondale Proposal

Article excerpt

As a bill to designate Jacksonville's Riverside-Avondale area a

city historic district waits in a City Council committee, a

groundswell of opposition is growing.

Though 81 percent of residents who responded to a mail ballot

last year said they wanted the historic designation, a group is

balking at the structural regulations the label would bring.

"I don't think it's necessary," said Lindner Smith, a retired

lawyer who owns property and buildings in the proposed district.

"The area grew up without government intervention and we don't

need any now."

However, supporters, including City Council President Jim

Overton and members of Riverside Avondale Preservation Inc., say

the designation is needed to complete the beautification of the

neighborhoods and will help increase property values.

The designation would offer protection against business and

commercial influx; protect historic buildings from the wrecking

ball; and require the Jacksonville Historic Preservation

Commission to approve changes to the exteriors of buildings and

designs for new buildings.

"I think those who say Riverside is doing wonderfully need to

drive around and see where it's not doing so wonderfully,"

Overton said last week.

Riverside and Avondale already are national historic districts,

but while the federal designation provides guidelines, they are

not enforced as strictly as local regulations would be.

The bill is in the city's Recreation and Community Development

Committee, where members have asked for more details regarding

the designation and regulations that would be implemented with

its passage. …

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