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  • Brian Kelly For Venice City Council

Historical preservation in Venice

One of the best attributes of Venice is the John Nolen Plan, which gave us pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined boulevards; an appealing downtown; and plenty of parks.

The Plan has guided development of parts of Venice for nearly a century and it despite its age, it still feels forward-looking and visionary. It makes Venice stand out from other parts of Florida.

Yet uncontrolled growth and the lack of strong historic preservation protections threaten these very features that make Venice a special place to live, and threaten our property values and our way of life. Let me explain.

Protecting our past through historic preservation and protecting our future through smart growth will help protect Venice's economic outlook. According to the National Park Service, "Preservation enhances real estate values and fosters local businesses, keeping historic main streets and downtowns economically viable."

The National Trust for Historic Preservation analyzed that impact and found that, "Dozens of studies have been conducted throughout the United States, by different analysts, using different methodologies. But the results of those studies are remarkably consistent -- historic preservation is good for the local economy. From this large and growing body of research, the positive impact of historic preservation on the economy has been documented in six broad areas: 1) jobs, 2) property values, 3) heritage tourism, 4) environmental impact, 5) social impact, and 6) downtown  

revitalization."

All of these benefits can be observed in Venice, and I'll fight to keep it that way.   

Uncontrolled development may bring a short-term cash infusion to the city from impact fees and permits, but it then leaves taxpayers with a long-term liability. Do the math on how many extra miles of roads, sewers and utilities Venice will be left to maintain for each new construction project you see. Pile that on top of the city's existing burden and it adds up to what Strong Towns calls a "ticking time bomb of unfunded liability for infrastructure maintenance."  

Conserving and preserving what we have is fiscally conservative: Venice’s natural beauty, historic charm and small-town feel are what drew so many of us here.

I’ll work for planning and growth strategies that benefit all residents, and not just developers.

And I believe that developers should be accountable for ALL the impacts of their activities, rather than shifting it to Venice taxpayers while they move on to the next development.

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