The city of Key West has identified five dilapidated and uninhabitable homes in the its famed Old Town historic district.
Key West seeks to preserve old buildings by imposing strict rules for buildings in the area. Declaring the homes unsafe for human habitation removes them from the authority of the Historic Architecture Review Commission.
The head of that commission said he fears the move could provide a loophole that might allow the homeowners to demolish the late 19th and early 20th century historic homes. But city officials say it appears most of the homeowners will work to restore their properties.
The Miami Herald reports that Key West's chief building official believes the unusual move will encourage the home owners to make the necessary repairs.