View frequently asked questions about the historic designation of properties in Martin County. 

Historic designation means that Martin County and the State of Florida officially recognize your property as being significant to the community and state due to its historical associations or architectural features (or both).

For a property to be considered for designation, it must be at least 50 years old and meet at least one of several criteria related to historic or architectural significance.

If your property is approved for historic designation, it will be included on the Martin County Local Register of Historic Landmarks.

Owning and preserving a piece of local history for future generations is an obvious benefit, but historic designation also carries a certain prestige that may improve the marketability of your property, increase property values and protect the value of your investment.

There may also be tax exemptions and preservation grants available to designated property owners. Additionally, the Historic Preservation Board can provide technical advice to property owners concerning appropriate design, construction methods and materials.

In most instances, the value of historic properties increases after designation.

A historically designated property is not taxed differently than an undesignated property.

Historic designations simply act to preserve historic portions of properties and the features that make them historic. A property owner may add or alter portions of historic structures provided the proposed project is in keeping with the character of the original structure.

Routine maintenance and interior changes, including alteration of floor plans, are not subject to review by the Historic Preservation Board. The board reviews any significant exterior alterations that are visible from the street and have an impact on the historical prominence of the structure.

A property is designated “as is.” You are not required to do anything new to your property just because it has received historic designation.

Designation may qualify your property for tax credits or historic preservation grants as they become available.

View the Tax Exemption Process and Application

An owner can sell to whomever he or she pleases.

Interested property owners may obtain a Historic Designation Petition at Once a completed application for designation is received, it will go before the Martin County Historic Preservation Board and staff for review. After reviewing the application, the board will make recommendations regarding processing or denial and then hold an advertised public hearing on the item. If a property is approved for a certificate of designation, the property owner will be given the opportunity to accept or reject the designation. If the designation is accepted, the process is complete and a bronze marker plaque will be presented to the property owner.

Historic designation honors your property and can increase the overall character and desirability of your community. There is no cost to apply for designation.