The one downside of being a historic district is that every time you want to make a change to the exterior of your house, you need to get the City's approval. In this case, it would be Coconut Grove's approval, if we become historic. The issue is not the actual asking for permission, it's the expense. But I don't see the expense as being so high in Coconut Grove, as we don't have too many historic buildings left. Unlike Philadelphia or New York or Charleston, our houses are younger and I think that by having historic values and laws is helpful to stop over-development and lot-splitting, the laws can be a little lax in many areas, for instance doors and windows, paint and things like that.
The Coconut Grove laws can be simple - no tear-downs without village approval. No lot splitting, no going over certain heights when building, things like that. So we can control growth and appearance by going historic but not have too many regulations.
The uptick is that property values go up in an historic district. That's just the way it is. People move into historic districts knowing that major changes cannot be made. This will have the developers on the run and the people who want to live here will move here because they love the village and want to be part of it, not flip it to the highest bidder.
One note on the other option of becoming our own city. Taxes could remain the same and possibly go down and we would receive better services simply because Coconut Grove pays for so much of the City of Miami with our taxes. So if we kept our taxes the same and not raised them, we would be sitting pretty.
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