Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I want to conduct external renovations on my historic home, how do I get RAP approval?
A: The diversity and integrity of our architecture is Riverside Avondale’s distinguishing hallmark and major reason people move to our neighborhood. While one of our missions is to preserve Riverside Avondale’s historic fabric and unique character, actually, RAP does not have the authority to approve repairs. The agency with authority to approve external renovations is the City of Jacksonville’s Historic Preservation Commission. Any outside renovation to a structure must receive approval through them via a Certificate of Appropriateness. That application can be filed online at https://www.coj.net/departments/planning-and-development/community-planning-division/default/certificate-of-appropriateness-process.
Q: I want to remodel my detached garage, but it’s not a historic building. Do I still need to get approval?
A: If your home is in the historic district, it’s still a good idea to reach out to the Historic Preservation Commission before you make any exterior changes. Their contact information is listed at the bottom of this page.
Q: My neighbors did something to their home that I think violates code, can RAP do something about this?
A: RAP does not have any authority to enforce city code, even in the historic district. If you wish to report a violation, you can file a report online at myjax.custhelp.com or by calling 904-630-CITY (904-630-2489).
Q: I received a notice from RAP that something on my property was out of compliance, what do I do?
A: Check that notice again – RAP does not have any authority to enforce city code, so the notice did not come from us. If the compliance concern is related to historic district guidelines, your notice was likely issued by the City of Jacksonville’s Historic Preservation Commission. If the situation is in regards to a general property or zoning matter, the notice would have come from the City of Jacksonville Planning Department. Either way, the notice contains instructions for you on your next steps and who to contact.
Q: The crosswalk at X and Y intersection is unsafe. When is RAP going to get it fixed?
A: While RAP can’t order street repairs or update pedestrian areas, our Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advocates for roadway maintenance with the City and State. One of our core principles is to advocate for safe pedestrian- and bike-friendly projects including sidewalks, crosswalks, bike access, street lighting, and public transit in the historic district. If you have concerns about a particular area, please reach out to us using the contact info at the bottom of the page and we will make sure your concerns are brought to the Committee.
Q: I am concerned about a new development on my street that could disrupt the neighborhood. How can I get RAP involved?
A: We promote respectful, mutually-beneficial relationships with residents and businesses by facilitating conversations between parties. RAP does this by advocating for appropriate land use, zoning, and historic regulations and seeks a compatible scale for new developments which fit with and complement the neighborhood. RAP’s Zoning and Historic Preservation Committee reviews and monitors large-scale projects, both commercial or residential, within the historic district. The Committee seeks to meet with developers in the beginning stages of a project to understand their goals for a property as well as zoning changes that may be needed. RAP facilitates discussion between businesses and neighbors who will be affected by the project. After gathering relevant information and input, the Zoning Committee may take a position that it will advocate to the City’s Planning and/or Historic Preservation Commission that may include project support, support with conditions, or project opposition. RAP seeks to balance the interests of property owners, businesses, and developers with quality of life factors and a view toward long-term impact on the district. RAP does not have authority to approve or deny projects; this responsibility lies with the City.
For more detailed information about RAP’s role in the Zoning process, see here.
Q: How do I get my house certified as a RAP historic property?
A: The whole neighborhood of Riverside Avondale has been designated as a historic district, so there is no official certification for individual homes. The RAP signs you may have seen around the neighborhood can be purchased at our office and are available to anyone who takes pride in their historic home!
If your home was built before the 1930’s, it’s very likely that we have a file on your address from when the homes in the neighborhood were catalogued during the process of becoming a historic district. We may also have photos, newspaper articles, or other interesting bits of information about your property included in the file. Please reach out to us if you’d like us to send you the information we have on your home!
Q: I’m renovating a historic house, how do I make sure that all the work meets historical requirements?
A: In addition to working with the City of Jacksonville’s Historic Preservation Commission to make sure that Certificates of Appropriateness are issued for all the work you plan to do, you can also reference Riverside Avondale’s Historic Preservation Guidelines, which can be found here.
Q: What is the difference between Riverside Avondale Preservation, the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission, and the Jacksonville Historical Society?
Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) is the lead advocate and facilitator for Riverside Avondale’s historic neighborhoods, vibrant local commercial districts, public spaces, and welcoming community. We are a nonprofit agency that serves as a liaison between neighborhood residents, businesses, and the City to ensure that our neighborhood is preserved, promoted, and celebrated. While we are an important voice for the district, we do not have final decision-making power.
For more information about RAP’s role, please see here.
The Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission is part of the City of Jacksonville’s Planning Department, and is responsible for preserving landmarks and areas in the city that have been designated as historic. The Commission has developed a set of guidelines for alterations made to historic properties, and all alterations must be approved by the Commission via the Certificate of Appropriateness process. The Commission also identifies potential historic sites in the city and makes recommendations to the City Council on designating those sites as historic.
The Jacksonville Historical Society maintains a collection of historical memorabilia for the entire city. It provides educational programs to the community and also functions in an activist role to preserve endangered landmark buildings in the city. RAP partners with the Jacksonville Historical Society to store all historical records related to Riverside Avondale in the JHS archives.
Riverside Avondale Preservation
Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission
Municipal Code Compliance Reporting