LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Ignore the back. It’s a work in progress,” Ashley Frederico told us leading us to her Lake Worth backyard. “So, c'mon in.”
She owns a designated historical home, but to her it’s stuck in time.
“This is the door we wanted to replace because it’s from the 1940s,” she said. She wanted to put a hurricane-force glass door in its place.
The answer she got on the door is the same answer she got on her windows.
“Your windows aren’t broken, so you don’t need to fix them but I don’t really want to wait for them to get broken to have to fix it.”
Ashley wanted a tropical themed porch fence. Instead, she got grapes and leaves.
“In order to have this fence, we had to have their pattern.”
She is one of hundreds of homeowners who all have the same complaint.
“It’s ridiculous. All we want to do is improve our home, our value, in addition our safety but it’s like every step you’re met with an obstacle,” she said.
The historical designation rules are set by the state’s Department of Interior. Any local law needs approval, which they finally have. The state rejected the first proposal earlier this year. On Tuesday night in its first reading, relaxed rules were approved 5-0 before city commissioners.
“I don’t think it’s up to us on the commission to tell people what they can and cannot do to their homes over and above the regulations that we already have,” Commissioner Omari Hardy said in an interview.
The rules, include allowing hurricane windows, no regulation on fences and approved future guidelines on design options.
Early next year, Hardy will try to get the law to go one step further by allowing homeowners the option to opt out of historical designation altogether.