Historic Structures to be Mothballed in Jacksonville | News

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Historic Structures to be Mothballed in Jacksonville
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 95 year-old home on Walnut Court in Springfield is the first historic structure to be "mothballed" under a new city ordinance designed to protect aging homes in historic neighborhoods from the wrecking ball.

Gloria DeVall is with Preservation SOS which spearheaded the push to give owners of condemned properties and homes  facing code action more time before the city takes action.

"Once they are lost, they are gone," said DeVall outside the home on Walnut Court that was deeded from the owner to the organization.  She says the new ordinance is a step in the right direction by giving  homeowners more time to make renovations.

Legislation passed this summer suspends  fines from being levied on homes once the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission approves the "mothballing"  request.  Home owners would be required to shore up a property to make it safe and have three years to make substantial progress on renovations.

The new ordinance does not waive code fines that have accumulated against homes.  In some cases homes facing condemnation have fines that push several hundred thousand dollars. 

Toni  Pryor lives across the street from the home on Walnut Court that is currently being mothballed.  "I hope they can fix it up," said Pryor who noted the home has been hit twice by lightening in recent years.

The "mothballing" ordinance applies to homes in the city's designated historic districts.   In Springfield around 140 homes according to Preservation SOS are condemned.

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