TEMPLE TERRACE - A plan designed to protect some of the city's historic homes will need more research, residents say.
Many of the people who attended a recent public workshop to discuss a city proposal to enter a government historical preservation program expressed doubts and concerns about giving up property rights.
"We don't need anyone telling us what we can and cannot do with our houses," said Kay McGucken, who lives in a Mediterranean Revival-style house on Deer Park Avenue.
Much of the negative feedback stemmed from residents who said they were uncertain about how the historic preservation measure would intrude on their ability to make home improvements and structural changes as they saw fit.
The certified local government program is a collaborative effort used by cities and states in partnership with the federal government to promote historic preservation at the local level. Temple Terrace is the only Florida city developed during the 1920s that is not in the program.
If approved, the policy would protect the architecture of significant historical properties from the Mediterranean Revival era of 1921 to 1935 and Mid-Century Modern-style houses built from 1945 to 1965.
"They are architectural treasures and should be protected," Temple Terrace Preservation Society President Tim Lancaster said.
The preservation society counted more than 60 Mediterranean Revival buildings from the 1920s and about 57 Mid-Century Modern-style houses from 1945 to 1970 in Temple Terrace in 2010, the latest year the information was compiled, preservation society documents show.
In Temple Terrace, the ordinance would only apply to property owners who opt in. It would not be mandated.
Carol Miller, who has owned a Mediterranean Revival-style house on Deer Park Avenue since 1978, still has doubts about the benefits to owners of some of the city's oldest houses.
"As far as I can tell, this is just another obstacle," Miller said.
She worries the proposed policy would end up "putting homeowners through a bunch of hoops," Miller said.
Her concerns were shared by others, who also wanted to know if the ordinance would effect property values.
Residents who liked the concept asked their neighborhoods to keep an open mind.
David Bulluck, owner of the Bulluck Law Group, is investing tens of thousands to restore the 1920s Mediterranean Revival house at 306 Bullard Parkway to its original grandeur. The structure was one of the first seven houses in Temple Terrace.
He hopes a historic preservation ordinance would increase his chances of getting public grants to help pay for the restoration.
The ordinance also would provide tax incentives to residents who wish to protect their houses for future generations, city officials said.
City Councilman Grant Rimbey noted the benefit of property owners to place historic properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
The ordinance also allow residents to participate in Florida's local property tax abatement program, which was significant to the Hyde Park neighborhood in South Tampa, Rimbey said.
Residents at the workshop requested Temple Terrace Community Development Director Charles Stephenson and his staff, who organized the event, schedule a second meeting and invite officials from other cities with a historic preservation ordinance to attend.
No final decision would be made without a public hearing, City Councilwoman Alison Fernandez said.