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What are people thinking sometimes?

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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby angolito on Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:22 pm

we have the exact same situation here when a local businessman who operated a restaurant from a harvey ellis Fabulous home wanted to rip off the original slate roof and replace the entire thing with shingle. the owner arrogantly presented NO case to the landmark commission and proceeded to circumvent their decision by going directly to city council. he planned to do so from the outset. the landmark commission was over ruled and now the roof is completely unrecognizable.
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby S Melissa on Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:07 pm

Utopia - you hit the nail - delicately - but hit it nonetheless on the head. You should also go on your town web site and download the historic district commission ordinance - then, after reading it, if it provides for recourse, make your opinion known to the town council. With our local HDC ordinance, the township board doesn't have "override" powers over the Historic District Commission decisions. If someone wants to appeal our decision - they have to go to the state HDC, then if still not satisfied, they have to go to circuit court. You might check what your town's ordinance says. If the designation is mearly honorary, then the Historic DC has no real power other than advisory. If that's the case, the next move would be to challenge the HDC to get a legal enforcable ordinance that is in accord with the state enabling legislation, and get the town council to pass it. What in effect this lawyer did was denigrate the very existance of the HDC in your town - if he didn't have to adhear to the ordinance, and the town council didn't have to adhear to it - then it is a waste of paper, and a waste of these people's time.

A bit of research might uncover a lot of information. There may be nothing you or they can do about the attorney's actions at this point - but may work to prevent others in the future from doing the same. Otherwise - these folks should just stay home on their meeting nights, because the town council just informed them they are meaningless.
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby CartierBear on Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:49 pm

:)
Last edited by CartierBear on Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby jade mortimer on Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:28 pm

mo's got her mo-jo workin'!! the more people who write, the more impact it will have for future vinyl issues that arise....

.....jade
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby Daniel Meyer on Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:01 pm

I hate to speak out of turn...because, really, I feel it's a shame anytime one of these homes is altered "out of character"...but on the other hand...

Sometimes they're thinking, "It's my house and I can do what I want with it."

Not to put too fine a point on it...but there's a reason many of these houses sit abandoned or falling down. They're big, impracticle, and require a lot of skills, love, and money to remain just functional for very basic living...much less upgraded to a comfortable standard or made into a showplace or a restoration.

Sticking a historical commission or any other government body or committe of busybodies...often a group of "less than experts"...in the middle of it just makes it that much more difficult and expensive...and dooms many houses to a further life of abandoment and destruction.

We would not have bought our place if there was an entrenched historical district...there's no way the home could have been saved with our own work and brought into a condition that allows modernizing it to a point that it is affordable to operate and maintain.

It's not a museum. It's our home.

Now, I'd love it if all folks made "informed" decisions...but truly, if I felt so strongly that the house down the street that has put small windows in place of the previously large ones should be restored...well, I'm free to buy the place for whatever price it takes and do unto it what I think ought to be done...or I could hand the owner a fistful of cash and see if he wanted to do it "my way."

I've met the owner. Nice guy. What was done was done because that's what he could afford to do, triggered by the amazing rise in natural gas and electric prices. What right would I have to tell him "no" just because I don't like it?

Heh...of course, I'm a Texan...we have strong opinions about such things...
CUAgain,
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby moonshadow317 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:24 pm

Of course you're right Daniel, It's their house an they will do what they want/afford to do. No one can force anyone into doing anything. Goodness my neighbor down the block ripped off her slate roof and put on shingles. I had to bite my tongue and stay away from her. Her roof was in fine shape. It was put on at the same time as mine. She never asked me my opinion for if she did I would have tried to help her. She would have been better off repairing the slate. She would have saved a lot of money. And so you have to wonder" What are people thinking sometimes?" Did she have a leak? Did she research her options. Did she get more then one estimate? The roof belonged on the house. Her house looked stately with it. Now the poor thing looks forlorn and droopy. And I wonder does she notice the change. It boggles the mind.
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby mgb1234 on Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:19 am

Way to go Utopia :)

Here I have resigned to skipping all the local "historical" preservation boards and send my emails directly to the mayor and I must admit that I am impressed as to the results that are taking place although sadly to late for many properties.
The preservation board now knows and understands the meaning of Preservation,The city counsel now also understands the meaning of Demolition by neglect,and the code enforcement board is learning the meaning of understanding that restoring verses demolition takes a bit more time.I am still working on the extortion aspect.But Rome was not built in a day.

Personally I think there is a big difference between an historical house and an old house,an historical home should be restored back to what it was originally bottom line.I have old houses I like to refer to them as classics and they will be and are rental properties,It would be much easier and quicker not to even mention way cheaper to just throw up some sheet rock and hang a for rent sign.But I choose to keep the exteriors as they were and any changes I do make are in keeping to what it would have been back then.But when I get these ex-rental properties there is really nothing left of any historical value its all been stripped out a long time ago,because of the termites I do change floor plans to adapt to "modern" living but I also make the changes in keeping to the year it was built so unless one has the original floor plans you would never know.

I do have acquaintances that think that I am truly nuts in my way of thinking,and they are probably right with most of my properties it would be cheaper, quicker and probably a faster return to tear them down and build new but they have also learned what the phrase "bite me" implies and now have resorted to just smiling and shaking their heads. :lol:


So I have a theory if anybody is still following this thread and I do apologize for the length and I am curious as to what others think about this theory so input will be greatly appreciated.

Before I chose Tampa I did a personal 3 year study of medium sized rebirth cities/towns from Fla to Pennsylvania and as far west as Little Rock, (Driving distance from Fla motivated) This study included driving to the city and actually viewing repair homes and the downtown's then I tracked the movement of what was happening for the next couple of years.

What I discovered was that in every place it seemed as if the handbook on "rebirth" was passed from city to city with the same results. Take the downtown and pump millions of dollars into rebuilding it and what happens? Every available inch gets converted into office space .The price per sq foot sky rockets so high that the very thing that makes a city livable is removed, people. The first thing to go is the apartments above the shops they become offices. So after 5 pm the city becomes deserted.While all this is happening the surrounding historic neighborhoods are left to ruin.

My next research involved cities that had already completed their "rebirth" as of 10 years ago . The one common goal that those cities failed to achieve was attracting residents to the downtown and city's agreed that they had wished they had taken downtown living into consideration in the rebirth plans.Orlando's after the fact affordable housing downtown living starts at 250k that's a one bedroom.

So my theory is this,Let the downtown proper be ,leave it alone let it crumble. Instead take the same millions of dollars and pump them into the surrounding neighborhoods,by attacking the crime and making more funds available to not only first time home buyers but anybody who chooses to homestead and take part in rebuilding the neighborhood which in turn instills pride once again,a percentage of those homeowners will in return invest their funds into the city proper in the name of rehabilitation and small businesses which support the surrounding neighborhoods once again coming full circle. Funny thing is that this can be done not at the taxpayers expense which is how it is happening now.

I guess my Theory is not new it is how everything started in the first place and maybe the economy in the future will force the hand of the past being revisited :?:
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby mgb1234 on Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:49 am

Daniel Meyer wrote:They're big, impracticle, and require a lot of skills, love, and money to remain just functional for very basic living...much less upgraded to a comfortable standard or made into a showplace or a restoration.


I'm not picking on you Daniel just using your words which are a common argument on old versus new.

I have worked on old and new homes for many years and in 1992 I decided it was to much I needed a break and bought a brand new home nothing fancy 1200 sq foot but it was concrete block ,I was happy no more termites, I could come home at the end of the day and relax and not have to sand floors and strip paint yep I was happy.

That lasted about two years,Had to redo the tub surround in the master bath termites ate the surround and Sheetrock,next year they ate the main wall between the attached garage and the house, yep it was a load bearing wall with 16' finger jointed 2x4s from floor to rafters sad thing was the kitchen was on the other side so the cabinets and counters had to be removed also,3 years later the copper plumbing that was buried in the monolithic slab sprang a leak and ruined the floors.yep I made a couple of dollars in that new cookie cutter subdivision.Then in 2004 the hurricanes hit the insurance paid 60k in damages. My claims on my 1920s old home in the same area? Zero dollars one piece of tin roofing was bent. I still visit that house once in awhile and say hi and mow the grass and rake the leaves ,the neighbors really love me now they get to use my driveway more then I do,but it just sits there because I would rather live in a construction zone of an old house then to stay there. If you took away the cost of previous neglect and deferred maintenance on an old home it is no different then a new one.
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby angolito on Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:54 am

daniel..... we have a lot of the "its my house" attitude here in st jo. i don't own a house in a designated local landmark district. if i choose to totally remuddle my home, or if my neighbor does, it IS my own business. i have an italianate with a messed up roof... out over the original gutters which are still under there. i can decide whether it is in my best interest to re-roof over the gutters next spring. i would never rip off existing material, and the gutters will be there for someone else to do. the landmark commission would give me a pass on the roof if i stabilize the gutters.

i don't think that landmark commissions are unwilling to work with owners who are responsible and trying to work within a framework. the point is not to remove existing original material, such as closing in a gable window on a porch for energy efficiency, or removing an eyebrow window in a roof because it is easier and less expensive.

if i had purchased a home two blocks north of here i Would have rules to follow in the historic district. i would have known about those rules before i started to work on my home. i would have known that it is verbotten to do what this lawyer did in complete Defiance of rules which he Knew were in place. the guy decided he had to have so-called energy efficient windows that he knew were not compliant. actually, he would have likely gotten permission for the replacements on a second story or on a side of the home where it is not immediately visible.

mgb started this thread about how some people rip out all of an interior, and the whole GREAT ROOM mantra. i don't like that, and i choose not to do so myself. no landmark commission controls anything in any home that is not visible from the street. in that case a man's home is his castle...........
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Re: What are people thinking sometimes?

Postby CartierBear on Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:14 am

Wow MGB that was a good post. I can see what you are talking about especially here in tulsa, They are reviatalizing as they put it building our new BOK center and the latest is moving our baseball stadium downtown as well . Of course they are inement domaining old houses and demolishing them to build a stadium(in a historical district may i add) the same thing they did with the I-44 widening. the current stadium is only 6 miles away so its not across the city or anything. The funny thing is with the BOk center there is not enough parking so you either pay 20 dollars for parking or park at a stop somewhere and rid a shuttle, Oh back to my post LOL. Downtown is also so business oriented at 6 pm its a ghost town. My partner is from new york and was shocked at how dead downtown is at night. I had a freind that lives in Guthrie, OK above a old store downtown. People always walking around lots of old detail its so nice.

Oh heres our BOK center i call it the roll of duct tape Sticks out like a sore thumb
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