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Everything posted by Marksmu

  1. When I became active over the historic ordinance, I both lived in the Heights, and owned a rental property there. I bought the rental b/c I fully intended to build a new house there once my kids got a little bit older. The historic ordinance came along after I bought my rental...I moved for schools...as my kids got older, it was clear to me that the schools in the Heights are still completely unacceptable...Could they get an education there? Sure, but its far from what I deem acceptable, I will even say substantially below acceptable - outright bad. I sold the house I was living in and moved for better schools. Rather than sell the rental, which has been a very good rental, I changed my plans to keep it and hopefully tear it to the ground 15-18 years from now once my kids are gone again and I don't need as much house as I do now. To say that I, an owner vested in the prosperity of the neighborhood, with friends peppered all throughout the heights, am an "investor" is absurd. I care about the neighborhood and what is best for it. The ordinance is terrible and needs to be repealed. I fight the ordinance b/c it is terrible....It does not have a huge effect on my rental, I have a non-contributing structure so I will get the right to tear it down....I am not worried about that...I fight it b/c its a terrible abuse of the governments power, its not good for the neighborhood's prosperity and growth, its downright bad for young families, and its the perfect example of why power should never be ceded to others who will abuse it. I make no qualms or apologies for my disdain for the ordinance, I do not pretend I want to fix it or improve it. My only goal is outright repeal and the return of property rights to the owners. Also, Mr. Morrison, you may want to read up on the definition of Libel - I have not read, or written any statements about a single individual that are not true. Truth is an absolute defense to libel....When a person interjects themselves into the public sphere they open themselves up for critique.
  2. I lived in the heights up until a couple months ago (when i moved for better schools to memorial) and I still own a home in the west historic district. My opinion on the HD ordinance affects me directly. I owned the property I have on Ashland long before the ordinance was even written. At least the ordinance has a direct affect on me, something mr marsh and his new construction can't claim.
  3. I am not trying to backpedal anywhere...there are 47 pages of history on this thread....you do not get to create your own history. My current belief is that a majority of the people who STILL support the ordinance are doing so for tax reasons or outright greed. Original supporters were quite simply tricked by lying community organizers. I have been active on this topic since BEFORE the ordinance was law. The original support for this thing is long gone. The supporters got their signatures dishonestly by telling everyone it would stop townhomes and subdividing of lots....there was never any real support for what was passed...it was just say one thing do another. Now that the support is DEAD the only people still supporting it fall in one of four categories. 1) Suppress property values for tax reasons 2) Crazy utopian nutjobs who want to control their neighbors 3) People with a life who have not been affected yet, 4) Idiots who do not know better.
  4. Ya, I dont actually think that every supporter is merely trying to suppress property values. There are some true preservationists with unreasonable utopian beliefs mixed into the group. However, the ultra majority of people who signed the petitions were just plain tricked. They wanted to stop the lots from being subdivided, stop the townhomes, and preserve the feel of the neighborhood. Responsible developers like Sullivan, Bastion, Whitestone were already doing a great job and I believe the ultra majority of support was through nothing more than say one thing and do another. Its apparently perfectly acceptable for neighborhood organizers to promise one thing, do another, and then lie when caught. I can think of several examples in national headlines just right now. Status quo for these folks though. If you cant pass your position with the truth, lie, and then say it would have worked if it were not for the opposition! Truth is that many wanted to suppress property values, some actually care about small houses, some are just nosy power hungry neighbors - but most were just plain tricked.
  5. 1. If you go out of your way to make a stranger and a neighbor's life both more difficult and more expensive, then you darn sure better be ready to take what you have coming. The person who put themselves out there is Mr. Marsh - The Zucker's just want to be left alone to build their house, something Mr. Marsh took the liberty (unrequested) to interject his opinion into - as if ANYONE cares what the hell he says. 2. I have no way of knowing what existed on the lot his built his brand new non-historic home upon. If he does, he is welcome to share that information. I am certain he is in a much better place to have that knowledge than I am. His silence will do nothing other than deepen my belief that he removed a house. 3. Mr. Marsh is a hypocrite b/c he is offended and deeply troubled by the removal and additions onto houses that remove the "historic" nature of the neighborhood. He claims to have built a house that was intended to mesh with the neighborhood, but he used none of the historic materials he now requires others to use. He used new windows, not reclaimed ones, he used (I believe) Hardi-Plank and not real wood, he used (I believe) fiberglass columns, not real wood, and he did none of the extensive trim work that is seen on the exterior of the older homes. So - he is a hypocrite, not b/c his house does not comply with an ordinance that did not exist when it was built, but because he built a house that was supposed to look historic, but used none of the materials he now requires others to use. He had his choice to add historic elements to the home he built, and he did not, and what I see looks exactly the same as what Tricon was building up until 2006...which you and your ilk call McVics. 4. A law that is impossible to comply with should be void. A variance is used when the intent of the law is not met by the strict adherence to the words written. A variance is a useful tool b/c there will always be exceptions to every rule that require a special circumstance....In the case of the ordinance, the law is so bad that its literally impossible to comply with it b/c what is required changes daily based on the mood of the HAHC, and the builder/architect selected. Its a members only club, where the members are just know it all busy bodies who should not be in any position to have any power over others. You cant comply with a moving target, and that is what has been established. Finally - I doubt you are able to speak on the record for Bungalow Revival, unless you are an employee of them - but the owners facebook post from Nov 2 copied below seems to refute what you have written. This message does not seem like support to me. It seems to me that even the most historic preservation minded people have now seen that the pro-ordinance people are really just after power and control...this is long past differing reasonable opinions. "Incredibly Frustrated with the lack of consistency and guidelines we are getting from the Houston Archeological and Historic Commission!!! As owner and designer of Bungalow Revival, I have been a proponent of Historic Districts way before we had them in Houston. I was a founding member of "Save The Bungalows" a Houston based grass-root group formed to promote renovation and strongly oppose demolitions in our historic neighborhoods. I was also one of the founding members of the " Historic Districts Coalition" another group formed to unite Houston's historic neighborhoods to support the passing of the Historic Districts Ordinance. I have been "walking-the-talk" since 1996 when we purchased our first home, a rundown bungalow on the West side of the Houston Heights. In 2003 I started Bungalow Revival. Our very first project was moving and restoring an Historic Victorian Cottage that was scheduled for demolition to make room for new construction. The bungalow I currently live in, we moved to the Heights from Montrose to prevent its demolition... In total we have moved seven houses to protect them from the wrecking ball and renovated and remodeled dozens of historic homes. When we as a community went through the painstaking ordeal to pass the Protected Historic Districts Ordinance we did it in a united front as preservationist. Webster defines Historic Preservation as an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve, and protect buildings. That is what we fought for and that is what we propose on doing for every single one of our projects. The HAHC has taken this ordinance and our efforts in a totally different direction from what was presented to the Historic Neighborhoods Community. Our Historic Ordinance is being morphed by the HAHC into a "puritanical" ordinance. Purist is defined as one who has very strong PERSONAL ideas of what is correct or acceptable and who usually opposes changes. Many rules are being changed and/or added continuously. As a builder who practices and promotes preservation within and outside of the Historic Districts I strongly resent the direction the HAHC has been high jacking the ordinance that we as a community of preservationists not purists put in place. Many of the projects being denied by this group (many of these individuals don't even live in Historic Homes nor in Historic Neighborhoods) honor our neighborhoods past and future. Please excuse my rant, but something has to change or this Ordinance just simply and sadly needs to go away!!!"
  6. I do not think he should not be able to make his statements, I support free speech - rather I think if he is going to make them, and make someone else's life suck as a result of them, his life should have to suck just as much. Its like Obamacare, good enough for me, but not for congress. What a crock of crap. I maintain that Mr. Marsh is a hypocrite. His house looks no different at all than any of the Tricon, Sullivan, Whitestone, Ansari, or Allegra homes that have been built. Its not historic, it does not look historic, it looks like a new modern victorian, or as the snots say - a McVic. And until you can prove to me that he did not remove a bungalow from that lot, I will assume that he did. The heights was built out primarily from bungalows, so the burden of proof lies with him, not me...odds are on my side. For all new construction, something must be removed. I am seriously doubtful that the lot he purchased was completely vacant, more likely there was a bungalow there that was either too small or was in disrepair - and rather than comply with history and remodel a dilapidated shack or rebuild another tiny bungalow, he built a nice new big house because that was what he wanted for himself...others should not have that opportunity...nope, he is special So special in fact he created a commission with no authority to make himself feel more special. A google street view of Mr. Marsh's house sure makes that look like Hardi-siding on it....those columns sure look like a builders standard fiberglass column...and those windows are almost certainly double paned insulated glass...None of that is historic in any way and all of those things are dictated by the ordinance. He does not comply with the ordinance, b/c it doesnt apply to him but by god, it should apply to other people....that is the definition of a hypocrite. At least some of the supporters of this monstrosity of an ordinance actually live in these old houses. As to builders demoing old houses, oh well....Builders build what people want. If they did not, they would not be in business. The market is currently screaming at the top of its lungs for nice modern homes in the Heights. People want bigger houses, not crappy glued together houses that make 1 person happy b/c there is an infinitesimally small remote chance that sometime in the year 2110 they may remove the addition and return the 2400 square foot hosue back into a 1100sq ft closet, just like old days. Heck one day they may look out their wiindow west and see pastures and native prairie again...it could happen. The fact that the ordinance is subjective is reason enough to throw it out. A law must be objective to be enforceable, or it is open for abuse. This law is being abused and should be done away with. Even your beloved Bungalow Revival is sick of it...There is no fixing this mess. It must be thrown out....you do not compromise or try to paste together fixes for something this dysfunctional. Toss it.
  7. Well since Mr. Marsh has injected himself into the public spotlight by attending these meetings and allowing himself to be broadcast on the internet by the council and in these "historic" meetings we should know a little bit more about him. If he has a right to have an opinion about other people and their property, we should have a right to know about him and let other people know whether or not he is legitimate and practices what he preaches or if he is just a hypocrite. All information here is 100% publicly available through the city links to you tube, through a google search of Mr. Marsh, or through HCAD. I have done nothing but compile it in a convenient location, so there is no chance of any invasion of privacy here. He spoke up, he put himself out there, and the law is clear here - one who puts himself into the spotlight must accept both the positives and the negatives of his actions. Mr. Marsh claimed to have lived in the Heights historic area for 37 years in the youtube video at city council which can be seen here: (statement at about the 3 hr and 7 min) He is concerned about the lack of input the neighbors have on other peoples property and the fact that they are tearing down homes to build new ones. Well where does Mr. Marsh live. HCAD tells me that he lives at 15XX Arlington St. What is funny about 15XX Arlington is that it is NEW CONSTRUCTION. The same type of new construction which he wishes to prevent. HCAD informs us that the house this pro-preservation anti-new construction, anti-remodel champion lives in was built in 1996 and is 2725 square feet (much larger than the remodels he opposes) So the champion of historic shacks, is also too good to live in them. That makes him a hypocrite in my book. But a google search provides more information. A person by the name of Jean Steinhardt does home portraits. She did a home portrait for Mr. Marsh along with a little bio - in this bio she states why it is that Mr Marsh moved from a bungalow into a brand new home: "they (Mr. Marsh) lived in their Heights bungalow on Oxford Street for several years. The house began to seem too small, but adding on was not feasible" http://www.jeansteinhardt.com/marsh.htm So a bungalow is good enough for you and your family with growing kids, but not good enough for just him and his wife. He needed more space, you, well you dont need it or deserve it! He deserves new construction with modern amenities, but YOU do not. You must keep your old windows and doors, your old wood siding, your old shutters, etc, etc, etc. He gets the new, you are stuck with the old. There is a word for this: HYPOCRITE! Its appalling....I am offended that someone who does not practice what he preaches would dare to go out and tell others that they can not do EXACTLY what he is doing. His life must really be pathetic if he has the time and the energy to go out and try to ensure that others can not do exactly what he has already done. It sickening. I feel very sorry for the Zucker's they have been denied the RIGHT to use their property in a way that they deem best, by a group of snobs, who do not practice what they preach at all. Mr. Marsh, you sir are a hypocrite who truly needs to find something better to do than harass your neighbors.
  8. The historic ordinance would do absolutely nothing to prevent that ugliness until the person tried to fix or remodel that ugly house. The ordinance does not prevent hording, rebuilding old junkers in your front or back yard, or anything else. It applies only to the structure itself. The only thing that will get rid of something like that would be deed restrictions, and the Heights, except for some small pocket areas, are not deed restricted. Its clear as day on your title search - it says unrestricted...that means, you can have a house, a townhome, an apartment, a manufacturing facility, a hospital, or a small vegetable farm next door. You really dont know, and you really do not have any say. While, I personally hate the historic ordinance, a case could be made for a very limited set of deed restrictions (which I also hate) The problem there being that the second you open the door to deed restrictions at all, you will have the crazy historic nuts thinking that they need to limit everything, and they would try. Its for that reason I do not support deed restrictions too....while they could be beneficial to prevent blight - they would be abused by nuts and end up being another hoop you have to jump through. The appreciation in our area is rapid enough that homes like that are becoming less and less common. Just keep waiting, when the property there gets high enough those people see dollar signs and they will pick up and move.
  9. I AM YELLING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS: HE SHOULD HAVE NO SAY IN WHAT HAPPENS TO A HOUSE HE DOES NOT OWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What another person does to their PRIVATE PROPERTY is not a democratic process. We should call out every single socialist who think they should get to control other people's property. Call each and every one out by name over and over again...print their names in the newspaper...rent billboards, we should shame each and every one of them into submission...if I have learned nothing from watching politics its that the more an issue gets a light and a magnifying glass, the more clear it is that the issue should never have been undertaken by government in the first place.
  10. I have some sympathy for their plight, but this scenario plays out in every major city in the US...it is a cost of living in a city...yes they will have to move somewhere else, moving sucks, but as one heck of a going away present the people that they hate are giving them about 70% more for their property than they could have gotten 5 years ago.
  11. Partially yes - but from my casual observations of the neighborhood the majority of folks who are against growth and prosperity are in their late 50's and they are seeing that their savings accounts coupled with social security are not going to pay the taxes for their retirement if they cant keep their values from skyrocketing further in the next 3-9 years until they hit 65.
  12. Wrong - the ultra majority of people who are doing additions owned the property 100% unrestricted prior to the ordinance being enacted....there are some who did not but they are very much the minority. The Heights is not some glorious window into the past like many other real Historic Districts. Nearly every single block, if not every single block, already has new construction on it. The sole purpose of the ordinance was to stop the expansion of the homes so that the rapidly skyrocketing values could be kept in check and the people who can't afford the taxes on a $800K home can stay. It has never been about architecture or preservation, that has always been a lie. The people moving in are great for the area - they have huge sums of disposable income, which is reflected in the growth of restaurants and shopping, they are mostly dual income young families with no children, or young children who are rejuvenating the schools and the parks and bringing back the strong sense of neighborhood....being friendly and getting together to really form a cohesive neighborhood. Meanwhile we have the old people, with no kids attempting to stop the positive changes b/c they are pissed they cant afford their house anymore. I have no sympathy for them. The neighborhood is not historic and it never was, its time to give up the sham, and let people add on and rebuild homes that are actually suitable for a modern day lifestyle with children. If the preservationist got their way none of the positive growth of the area would have occurred.
  13. Bungalow Revival received two rejections yesterday and they are architects/builders who many perceive to be one of the best operating in the Heights. I do not know how Galveston's restrictions are written, but the Heights restrictions are so broad, arbitrary, and open to abuse of discretion as to be nothing more than a guide...the Commission is rejecting houses that comply with all restrictions for whatever reason they feel like...if you watch the meetings you can see the members say things something to the effect of: Well ya, it meets all the requirements, but it just feels wrong, or it feels to big...its very saddening to see this happening. The vibe of the Heights has been all positive, except for the people shoving the historic regulations down everyones throats...these people are literally trying to ruin the neighborhood.
  14. Darn straight there is always a place for fear mongering. Its been proven time and again, that low income housing increases crime in the areas in which it is built. People do not want low income housing around their houses. I oppose any HUD or other low income housing anywhere near economically prosperous areas....It makes no sense. The resources for low income housing should be allocated properly in low income areas. If a lot in the Heights that costs $200,000 (not possible in Heights anymore) to buy can accommodate one family, that same $200,000 could be used to buy 5 or 6 lots in some lower income areas like around UH or in Sharpstown. Both areas have equal access to public transportation and jobs - the only difference is you are not dragging one area down when you build that housing. I wont mince words -low income housing should not be built in prosperous areas, EVER....in this case its just a remodel of an existing project so there is nothing to be opposed to.
  15. Very sad indeed. It seems the very vocal minority with the most extreme views has officially taken hold in our neighborhood. Really sad indeed. I was out trick or treating last night, and one thing was abundantly clear to me - 90+% of the new construction which is family friendly was occupied by families with young children (average age looked to be 3), while the ultra majority of the original housing was occupied by older people with no kids at all. On top of that, of the original houses on the 3 streets we went on, about 60% were not participating in Halloween at all. Lights off, gates locked... I say this as anecdotal evidence of what I already know to be true. The older people, with no families who wish to keep the Heights "historic" are fighting the growth of the neighborhood to keep their property values lower not because they care even one iota about preservation...They may think their house is cute and that it is a good size for them, but their fight is about nothing more than not getting taxed out of the area. When the neighborhood comes out at night, like it did last night, the segregation between the two groups is abundantly clear.
  16. Brie asked for a recommendation, and you think she slung mud by stating "Unfortunately, The Sash Guy was unwilling to help us" That does not seem like a lot of mud slinging at all. That seems like a very restrained statement considering what he actually said to her in person (if what I have heard is accurate) Second, I dont see anyone here, or on next door, saying that the Sash Guy isnt allowed to pick/choose who he works for. Rather the animosity is for his attempt to publicly shame/intimidate Brie, or anyone else like her who would DARE to add on or remodel a shack in the Heights not to his liking. His tone was clear. He does not approve of the work, doesn't think she should be allowed to do it, so he wont help her in doing so. That is his right, but he stepped out of bounds when he shamed her and he deserves some public reprimand. It is not his right to tell her what she can/cant do to her house, and his actions were meant to intimidate others from doing as she has done. He is indigante b/c she made the HAHC out to be fools they are, and his beloved ordinance got revealed for what it is.... namely bovine excrement. I support Brie's right to do whatever she wants to her house, and I support his right to refuse work on any job he deems unfit for his "skill" Third - I had no idea HAHC was over-ruled on old windows, that is good news for once. Fourth - the reason to post on Next Door was clear, and stated. She WANTS to keep all of the old windows and wants someone who will work on them. She does not want to replace them. Im surprised you missed that part....contractors, almost all of them, will just want to replace something as old and worthless as 50+ year window....but people are qwerky, and she wants to keep them....good luck finding a contractor who does that...very few people make a living off of a skill that is no longer used. Not many folks doing typewriter repair around anymore either.
  17. Of course he cares. HAHC effectively passed a law that ensures he has a solid stream of business for life. Its now illegal to replace old crappy windows with visibly identical non-crappy energy efficient ones. He refused to work on Brie's house because he was afraid that if he did it would anger the other radical preservationists in the neighborhood. Its his right to refuse any work he does not want to do, but he crossed the line when he went out of his way to disparage another persons project because he personally does not like the way it looks. Its bad enough that owners have to deal with the historic ordinance and the HAHC....they should not also have to deal with the snobby attitudes of people like George who are upset that the neighborhood is evolving into a neighborhood that is conducive to families. Families dont live in $450,000 shacks, beautiful or not, historic or not (and there is nothing historic about them). Families who can afford the area want space and they don't give a rats ass about who or what was there before them. The people fighting the improvements, and they are definitively improvements, are just upset that they are being priced of the neighborhood themselves. Good riddance, I say.
  18. On NextDoor today, George Clogston the historic window guy has now publicly refused to do any work to restore Brie's windows because he does not approve of the architecture that she has chosen. Pasted from NextDoor today: George Clogston from Woodland Heights 19h agoOK, I'll explain. When a home in the Heights has been hacked up so bad that, in my opinion, it is barely recognizable, I just do not care to be a part of the destruction.
  19. It doesnt actually blame sienfeld - it merely stated that Seinfeld was celebrating being a loser on TV, making it ok to be a loser instead of calling a loser a loser..they made it funny, acceptable even to be a loser. There is no doubt in my mind that the Social policies and the influence of hollywood and pop/hip hop culuture of the left have discouraged work and productivity. The social programs take away the negative effects of bad decisions, hollywood/media/music glorify getting yours for doing nothing. You get mad at your boss? Tell him off and get fired. Its ok - you've got 99 weeks of unemployment and an EBT card to carry you until you can find another sucker to hire you again.
  20. You seem to have the very incorrect opinion that people who can spend millions on a home don't care about cost or getting a good deal. It is quite the opposite. The people who have millions, have it b/c they are smart and good with money. I have never yet met a person with millions who squandered and spent like an idiot.
  21. Does he not understand it, or do you just not like to admit that there is a weakness in your beloved case? I may spend some time on this today and formulate a legal analysis myself. I like what I've read and I think s3MH may be deliberately downplaying rye significance of the case.
  22. By compleltly repealing it and starting from scratch HONESTLY
  23. Laill all you really have to do to know everything you need to know about the districts is look at how they were "voted" into existence in the first place. They used 1 set of facts to get a bunch of "petitions" signed. The petitions called for limited restrictions and waiting periods that would allow people to comment and offer help/insight. They got the needed signatures based on those facts. Then using those signatures they changed everything. When it became evident that the majority did not support the changes, they accelerated the process. They claimed the petitions were votes...when enough people turned out against the ordinance they decided to do a ballot by mail...if you can call it a ballot. That ballot came over the Christmas holiday, between Dec 21 & Dec 22, and needed to be returned by December 31st (if I recall)...it came in an unmarked city envelope and it stated that you are NOT required to return the ballot. On the SAME day the ballot was received a half page, glossy color postcard arrived as well. This postcard was from the official office of Mayor Parker and it asked all homeowners not to return the ballot.....THEN in the absolute most dishonest way possible, not returning a ballot was considered a vote in favor of the districts. Despite the cards being stacked against the opposition, opposing ballots were returned with (I believe) 47% opposition...which was not sufficient to overcome the original petition. What that tells me is that when 47% of people in one area vote - then the overwhelming majority are against it...To make matters worse, the city allowed itself to vote. The esplanades, parks, schools, etc were allowed to be counted in favor of the districts. In an even more dishonest way, people who owned multiple properties were only allowed to vote once. I owned 3 properties at the time, 2 in the districts and was only allowed 1 vote. That is DISHONEST. The way that it was enacted should tell you everything you need to know about the people supporting it. I am an Engineer, Lawyer, Realtor...I live in the world of facts and this ordinance is terrible. Only intellectually dishonest people can say that it was enacted with the support of the neighbors, or that the Heights or any other neighborhood actually wanted it. People were lied to, deceived, cheated, and ultimately stolen from. The will of a vocal politically well connected minority won in a very dishonest way. It will take more time, but as more and more households are exposed to the ridiculousness of this ordinance the opposition will grow stronger and stronger.
  24. There is no middle ground. The moment that you take the ability for someone to remodel, demo, or repair their own property in a way that they see fit, WITHOUT paying them for the loss of that right, you have stolen from them. You have deprived them of their legal right to do with their own property what they please for the sole reason of aesthetics. Deed restrictions offer legitimate protections to which every owner was fully aware of at the time of purchase. By instituting a historic district, the neighbors who agree are by necessity stealing from those who do not. The people who disagree if they are outnumbered lose their private property. It is EXACTLY the same as is if a bank by vote if its depositors sent out a survey and asked if they wanted to institute average account balances by reallocating deposits evenly amongst everyone instead of allowing each person to keep their own money. Those with low balances, most likely the majority, would agree, and those with high balances, would cry foul. If the low balances get 67% WALA, everyone has the same balance...but its fair right? I mean we voted on it, so it must be fair.
  25. Getting bolder and bolder every day. That is not even a 1/4 mile from the police station. If HPD does not step it up somebody is going to get murdered in one of these robberies.
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