Historic Neighborhood Might Soon Be History ?

It’s called Sailboat Bend, and it is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale.

And it has stayed truly historic, due to it’s special zoning as an historic neighborhood. This is a drawing of what the historic rules hoped to maintain as character in the neighborhood –

Unfortunately, the zoning has caused problems. The zoning rules are so restrictive, that sometimes this happens-

It’s called “demolition by neglect”.

Because the owners of this home could not get building permits to tear the building down, or to substantially remodel it, they just let it rot.

Here is another example that you know about –

The Shippey House – this 1915 home, inhabited by the infamous Judge Fred Shippey, was moved out of Sailboat Bend and into the Himmarshee area, a few years back. The house has been painted and cleaned up with the Cleaning services Toronto, but still awaits renovation.

So, the current leaders of Sailboat Bend decided that the historic regulations were slowly strangling the neighborhood and have been pushing for a change. They have worked up a plan to eliminate the current regs, and adopts a voluntary plan that “strongly encourages” residents and re-developers to keep with the historic character.

They say they want a plan that doesn’t exert ” undue burden on individual property rights”.  They go on that ” no designated historic structure will exert special rights that restrict adjacent properties.”

The plan says it will “promote authentic architecture”, encouraging “Old Style Mediterranean”, but discouraging “Boca-Texture”.

The plan also calls for documenting the historic structures and peoples that exist in Sailboat Bend today, by photos, building plans, and interviews with the old-timers.

At least they can still remember it all – after it is all gone !

27 Replies to “Historic Neighborhood Might Soon Be History ?”

  1. Thanks Tim for providing us with coverage on this initiative. This change in direction for our neighborhood began some time ago as we started to evaluate rather or not our neighborhood even qualified as a Historic District on either a State or Federal level. Our findings concluded that we did not. http://www.sailboatbend.net/SBCA_Letter_to_City_Commisioners.pdf We further agreed that pretending to be a Historic District even though we do not meet established criteria standards was not beneficial for the future of our neighborhood. However retaining the historic character of the well maintained older buildings will be advantageous in helping Sailboat Bend reach its full potential.
    One of the key elements of our “Historic Sailboat Bend Neighborhood Preservation Plan” http://www.sailboatbend.net/page19.html is adopting, on a pilot program basis the City draft entitled “Neighborhood Development Criteria Revisions”. This work was conducted under the direction of City Staff by professional urban planners and we feel it could serve our neighborhood well, especially as it relates to future compatible development. If it works well in our neighborhood, other established downtown fringe neighborhood’s like Riverside, Rio Vista and Victory Park may want to adopt it as well. We have to try something new, because what we have now is just not working, and we are looking forward to a fresh start.

  2.      First off, I think the City ought to have one central area where it’s historic treasures are moved to and preserved- travel to many cities across the country, and you will find many avenues that are deemed historic,and maintained as such…

         I believe there ought to be funds set aside for such areas, perhaps obtained through grants, or a CRA type of financing, or maybe by donations from heirs of founding families that can afford to give back to the community- there are plenty of millionaires in Ft. Lauderdale!

         I think that if the City wishes to force property owners with the strict regulations,from this day forward, no property ought to be bought without the new buyers’ understanding and written acceptance of the said regulations, this way there is no misunderstanding the guidelines.

         As long as I can remember, the histerical board has always waited to the final hour to deem properties as such,pushing undue burden on the owners. It is time for the City to earmark all the historic properties in it’s boundaries, and implement regulations, and make developers and interested purchasers well aware of the regulations BEFORE they buy, instead of interfering with their property rights after they have spent millions of dollars aquiring property.

  3. For more than 20 years we have been a historic district and we voted overwhelmingly to be that because we wanted it. These few new people who are now in charge of our neighborhood association intimidate and ridicule anyone who does not agree with them. They are mean and just don’t want to go through the process in place for historic properties. Why did they buy here? Shame on them for claiming they did not know that they bought into a historic district and shame on some of them who have just moved to this City and now want to dictate to the rest of us. The City is not forcing anybody to do anything in Sailboat Bend that we did not ask for and there are grants and property tax abatements which I have – so what about my property rights to keep those tax breaks?

  4. Several of us submitted comments to the “leadership” of the neighborhood for thier draft of the neighborhood preservation plan and were told that they were not valid comments. Watching the new president and her wife berate really kind Sailboat Bend residents who have been here for many more years than them turned me and many others off to going to meetings.WE are disgusted with the new direction that a few hijackers have taken our neighborhood. Sorry to put this here without my name but I don’t want to be harassed by the police and code people because of phone calls from this “leadership” claiming all sorts of things- yes that happens now.

  5. This is a weighty subject man, can you get back to some good political brawlin please? We are not trying to change the world here.

  6. Tim- Thanks for taking time to write about topics that interest us, and need-to-know info covered in your blog

    I am an avid reader of the blog, and am noticing an alarming trend of self-serving people that take on “leadership” roles, disregarding the thoughts and ideas of those that came long before them,and toiled hard to make the neighborhoods better.
    Look no further than a couple of blogs ago about deceit and scare tactics regarding a development project in SMRCA, obviously sent out from someone in a leadership role that didn’t want it.
    How about MRT- new so-called “leaders”, priding themselves on forcing out some very longtime residents that worked very hard to bring the neighborhood out of blight and crime due to the massive drug and prostitution,calling them trouble makers for having an opinion that didn’t agree with theirs…..
    Most of these groups often claim they speak for the neighborhood as a whole,but the sad fact is, many good neighbors give up being involved, and the only ones the” leaders ” actually speak for is a small handful of people that belong to the “clique”
    I know this is crazy, but I think that in order to be recognized by the council and Commission, neighborhood presidents ought to be appointed by the City Commission ( albeit the trouble with the term limit fiasco)

  7. That guy who posted first, Ken Powell and his boyfriend moved here from Idaho or wherever and didn’t want to follow our rules. They bullied their way every step and built a mcmansion in Sailboat Bend that is totally inappropriate to the neighborhood. During their battles, they berated Mayor Seiler and the Commission to anyone who would listen and they promised revenge for their “troubles” with the neighborhood and the historic preservation board. This is their revenge.

  8. First off, I think the City ought to have one central area where it’s historic treasures are moved to and preserved……

    Like Shippey House, right?

  9. They are carpetbaggers and hypocrites just like the new president Mary Hughes and her wife Molly Hughes who fought a proposed two-story house next to theirs because they didn’t want people looking into their bedrooms from above. Those new folks were on their side at first (because they liked the idea of getting rid of the historic restrictions) but then turned and left after the nastiness. By the way, those guys are from Utah, not Idaho, and they are mean as hell. The last president of our neighborhood association is a great guy and those two gay mafia couples ran him out and humiliated him every chance they got.

  10. That’s some krazy stuff man, remember we can’t all be lucky enough to be born in Florida . If you think about it, maybe your just mad that Ken Powell lives in a so called McMansion and your probably stuck in one of those broke down old shacks. Or maybe your mad because you never been able to find yourself a boyfriend. Get a life. And if you have been one of the ‘long time residents’ that have been running this neighborhood into the ground the last 20 years find a new hobby. Many of us are tired of the way this so called historic district has been ran and feel it is time for a change.

  11. Crazy You Are! Do you really want to give the Commissioners and their ego driven appointees and yes men more power to protect?

  12. Hate to say it, but you are wrong on all of your assumptions. And who says that the neighborhood has been run into the ground? Derelict properties are the fault of the owners who do not care for them or care about the code. I can show you many of those same run-down homes in most every neighborhood in the City and none of them are in historic districts. My partner and I saw our home escalate tremendously during the boom times and it still would command a great price today. That is because it is well maintained, fits the character of the neighborhood, and is HISTORIC.

  13. Is that the same Molly Hughes who owns a traffic and parking consultant firm and works for every developer in Fort Lauderdale? If so, then I BET she wants to get rid of any “restrictions” in Sailboat Bend so it can totally be over-developed and lose its historical district. Case in point: she was practically laughed out of Planning and Zoning and the City Commission meetings when she partnered with the developers of the Vintro Hotel on the beach. They wanted to demolish a perfect 1920s house right next to Casablanca Cafe and place a 16-story hotel on a 100×125 foot piece of property. Her parking analysis was absurd as was the project. Now she is in a leadership position in Sailboat Bend and wants to get rid of the historic district. Conflict of interest?

  14. Oh those gays. Proud to be one but they do love some drama. That said …. there is no defense buying into an area and letting a property go derelict because are trying to force a change in the rules – that is just sleazy behavior, the act of a bad citizen and bad neighbor. No war of words can change that.

  15. That is a rude and uninformed perspective from someone who hasn’t walked in our shoes. Yes we did have our “troubles” while attempting to build a house in Sailboat Bend which by the way is much smaller than the one previously approved for this same lot by your buddy CJ. This is hardly revenge, it is a petition to create development regulations that are easy to interpret, such that all players understand what the likely outcomes will be. Property owners should be able to determine what is permitted, and neighbors should not feel “surprised” by development. We feel the Sailboat Bend Preservation Plan will provide for that, by yielding more predictable results. If we can save one person from the painful and costly process we had to endure then our mission has been a success.

  16. First – Tim – an error of fact in your piece: Under the photo of a house in disrepair, you wrote, “Because the owners of this home could not get building permits to tear the building down, or to substantially remodel it, they just let it rot.” Quite the contrary – they received all Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) from the Historic Preservation Board to totally rehabilitate the structure as well as the one they owned next door. They simply chose not to do the work and it is now another sad example of property owners (in any neighborhood)hoping for demolition by neglect. Blaming the historic district designation for abandoned properties is simply not fair.
    Now, to Ken Powell: First of all, the State of Florida does not have a state register of historic places and nobody has ever asserted that Sailboat Bend is a National Register historic district. Second, I would like to know who the historic preservation professional is that the neighborhood Board used to make the assessment that SB does not qualify as a historic district. It is actually quite possible that it would meet the criteria to become a National Register district. To say that you are pretending to be a historic district defies reason. Sailboat Bend was designated a historic district by the City of Fort Lauderdale after a lengthy and deliberate process between 1988-1992 and made certain that it met criteria identified in Section 47-24.11.B.6 of the City Code There is no pretending; it is a legitimate and legal historic district that sprang from the wishes of an overwhelming percentage of all owners in the neighborhood. Lastly, though many of the aspects of the proposed 2011 Neighborhood Compatibility standards would be a general improvement in the City’s neighborhoods, they in no way take the place of the criteria for improvements and new construction found in the City’s historic preservation ordinance. In addition, the award-winning City of Fort Lauderdale Historic Preservation Guidelines adopted by this Commission are unsurpassed.
    I have been hearing from many of your neighbors these past few weeks who are concerned that their historic district is being threatened. They like the added protections, regulations, restrictions – whatever you choose to call them and understand that there should be an extra layer of scrutiny in a historic district. That is what it is all about and what is necessary to protect the character, mass, and scale of the oldest surviving neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale.
    Let’s have an honest and civil dialogue going forward, work with the draft historic preservation re-write and see what we can come up with. It’s not easy being a volunteer, so thank you for your work and for your service to the neighborhood; that, in and of itself, deserves respect.

  17. Why is that whenever someone does not agree with you, you lash out and call them names like rude and uninformed? I’ve seen you do that a lot in the short time that you have lived in our fair city and have attempted to have things your way. You,sir, are the one who is rude and uninformed. You knew you were buying in a historic district so you should have known the rules going in, But, no, you just figured you would bully your way through. We’ll, you have gotten this far, but no more. You are being called out. You are a detriment to our neighborhood.

  18. Regarding that photo and the bad caption, Mr. Glassman is correct. They had two houses and did rehabilitate one of them. This one they left to fall apart because it sat very close to an adjacent lot they owned. This way the house could be demolished and the lots combined for a bigger priced sale for the developers.

  19. just one more cue for those of us with equity to SELL and MOVE OUT of Broward

    the way we were ten or twenty years ago is the past never to return

    there are other cities in Florida that will never make the errors this city has made

  20. Some of you and your postings(funny). Tim, this first blogger challenged Mayor Seiler to a fight one night. oh yeah he didn’t get the green lite for his house and he went nuts on Mayor seiler. Was awful. As far as this other couple aren’t they just peachy. (Tim tell the viewers about the consent resoultion that Dean has coming up)..

  21. At our civic association meeting last night, the proposed plan to replace our historic district was DEFEATED. The “leadership” continued to treat me and others poorly and behaved quite badly, but folks saw through them and their nastiness. The skies are clearing and we will soon take back our neighborhood.

  22. Looks like your all dead and your not even smart enough to see that if you win, YOU STILL LOOSE. They want to make you a museum with an example of every sort of derelict property still standing in Fort Lauderdale. The city doesn’t have to buy land and move all it’s “historic treasures” onto it, your doing it for them. There is a silver lining, as property values continue to go down and you lag behind even the worst neighborhoods, at least you won’t have to pay much in taxes. It’s a Fools Paradise always has been.

  23. I doubt that you are named Glenda or that you are from Rio Vista and you certainly have no idea what you are talking about. the derelict properties are the fault of those who do not want to maintain (and is a strategy by others to have them torn down for larger development) them and the fault of the city which does not enforce code and unevenly applies the historic preservation code to the neighborhood. Problem is that no one at the City is an expert on any of this and staff muddles through.

  24. Back to where you came from can you tell me why they were able to build a house that wasn’t approved by the historic preservation board, is everyone a scared of that gay mafia? And on that same topic, who would want to live next to someone that says things like “go back to where you came from”, seems like that person alone would drag down property values.
    Looks like these new guys have hit rock bottom, when people like Steve Glassman and Robert Walsh start picking at you, it doesn’t get much worse than that. As far as the Mayor goes, if he is worried about getting beat up by a couple of old gay guys, it might be time for him to look into hormone replacement therapy. Baloney, you seem like you have it all figured out, how come you haven’t been able to move outta that neighborhood?

  25. Have you seen that house? It looks like it belongs in a suburban sub-division and I know of no one in our neighborhood who thinks it is appropriate. The reason it was built over the objections of the Historic Preservation Board and the City Commission is because the past City Attorney (no fan of historic preservation) hired a human relations lawyer who had no clue when going before the judge and the case was thrown out. I can’t speak to your other sarcastic remarks, but, unlike you, at least some of those other people had the integrity to put their names on their comments.

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