Florida city sees demolition increase since Hurricane Matthew

Florida city sees demolition increase since Hurricane Matthew

St. Augustine demolished more than 20 historical buildings since the October storm.

February 20, 2017
CDR Staff
St. Augustine, Florida’s Historical Architectural Review Board has approved more than 20 demolitions due to Hurricane Matthew damage since October, with 13 of the approvals at its meeting on Feb. 16 meeting, a report by the St. Augustine Record says.

According to the report, the board must enforce city guidelines relating to style and history for demolition requests on properties 50 years old or older. The city’s Planning and Building Department issues the permit after a waiting period that takes place after the board’s approval and after any requirements, such as providing replacement building plans, are met.

The report says the number of certificates for demolition of hurricane-damaged buildings has increased each month and based on trends, will not be slowing down any time soon.

Many of the properties are located in David Shores, a neighborhood built up in the middle of the 20th century outside of the historic district that still causes concerns for the city’s historic character. According to the report, a 2015 survey of the area put records of 710 buildings in the Florida Master Site File, an inventory of historical cultural resources that lays the foundation of a possible new historic district.

According to the report, the city is compiling a list of demolitions to record Hurricane Matthew’s impact on the properties. The city is also creating a historic preservation master plan to help preserve historic character from disasters in areas not designated as historic.