Key West's Historic Architectural Review Commission oversees all construction in the city's historic district — and the board can be notoriously finicky with applicants.
But NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. had no problem getting a green light from the board. He and his wife, Amy, won unanimous approval for their plans to restore a two-story house that was originally built around 1885.
They've owned the home next door for almost nine years, Earnhardt told the review commission, which regulates the design and appearance of buildings in Key West's Old Town down to paint colors and shutter construction.
"We bought the house to basically clean it up — a lot of trash collected in the backyard from the previous owner — and have kind of contemplated how to renovate the home and restore it to its former glory," Earnhardt told the board.
The restoration is set to be featured on a four-part reality TV show next year on the DIY Network.
"We are very proud to be part of this community. We've vacationed down here over half a dozen times a year for the last 10 years and understand and appreciate the history and definitely want to leave our mark," said the driver, who is completing his last NASCAR season. "And this is our way that we feel we are going to be able to do it."
In addition to restoring the main house, which is in the Classic Revival style that is common in Key West, plans call for a one-story addition and putting in a pool in the back yard.