More than one study supports the notion that preservation boosts neighborhoods.While not a major issue in our election this year, the City Commission has indicated that they want to have a workshop meeting on Lake Worth's historic preservation program in the near future. If you recall, this was a big issue at a neighborhood association meeting recently and I addressed my concerns following that meeting and share the same concerns many of those residents do.
University of Florida researchers looked at 28,000 mostly single-family homes in 18 historic districts throughout Florida. They evaluated those against 25 comparison neighborhoods in eight Florida cities.
In 12 of the 18 cases property appreciated greater in the historic districts than in the non-historic neighborhoods even after the housing bubble burst, according to a 2010 report from the UF law school and Rutgers University.
By the way, Lake Worth meets the standards and is a Certified Local Government. Being one helps the City apply for grants related to surveys and maintenance of historic districts. It also gives more autonomy to the local government to administer its own programs. Lake Worth has six historic districts. Three are on the National Register, along with a few individually designated properties like the City Hall Annex and the Gulfstream hotel.
Winter Park, located between Orlando and Daytona, has two historic districts in comparison. Many people point to Winter Park as a community with a vibrant downtown and one of the more charming city's in Florida, the very same way many refer to the City of Lake Worth.