FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Dean Park neighborhood in Fort Myers is trying to make the National Register of historic places. The community, one of the oldest in the city, features a variety of architectural styles of homes, and a 100-year history.
"This is such a good neighborhood with the houses and the different styles. I look at the houses and I see the people who built them, I see a history of 90 to 100 years," says Kathryn Wilbur, a homeowner in Dean Park and a leader of the historic preservation effort.
Dean Park became a local historic neighborhood in 1997, and made the state register just a month or so ago. Now, it's going for the Natonal Register.
Some owners, though, worry about the possibility of more regulations on their rights.
"You do lose a lot of control in a historic district. They tell you what you can do with the exterior of the house, both front and even the back. You want to replace a window? You have to get the okay from the commission. So yes, I worry about a possible new layer of bureaucracy and what that might mean to me as an owner," says Steve Roff, who is re-habbing a home in Dean Park.
Wilbur says, not to worry.
"National designation does not mean more regulation. It is an honor more than anything," she tells WINK News.
WINK called the National Register in Washington, and a spokesman says, Wilbur is correct.
He says, national designation is really an honorary thing, and that the local commission will continue to lead the way on deciding what an owner can do to a house, and what an owner cannot.
Dean Park should learn in the next couple of months, whether it has made the register.