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Historic Districts in Houston


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Bull. Did you have to through out your tenants? Are you unable to use the property as a residence? Grow up. We live in a complex society with many interrelated rights and responsibilities. We do not live in the wild west. Our community through their elected representatives have decided that the value of preserving historic properties outweighs the ultra-conservative right to do whatever you want, regardless of whether you crap on your neighbor or the community in the process. Yes, government bureaucracies are not fun and easy. But they are that way because there are piles of people out there who think they are better than everyone else and cannot be expected to follow the law. The funny thing is that I know people who live under historic preservation laws in Boston, and they thought this ordinance was a complete joke because it was so incredibly weak. They couldn't believe we were allowed to add a two story addition to a single story bungalow and only had to sumbit very basic documentation for approval and did not have to hire experts to certify the work before submitting for approval.

If you are looking for stupid idiots, look at the people who knock down bungalows and replace them with giant monsters, or the people who do idiotic crappy diy rennovations on bungalows, leaving them looking like a bad version of a KB home from the burbs. They are the ones that made this necessary.

Property rights are subject to reasonable regulation. Historic preservation ordinances have been upheld around the nation (and in Texas) against takings claims. It is only the reasonable investment backed expectations that are a protected property right, not your wildest dreams.

You are now in a historic district. If you don't like it, sell. We won't miss you at all.

This is quite possibly the most rediculous post I've ever seen on HAIF. Congrats.

I don't even know where to start.

The fact that you support the ordinance so completely, knowing that it downright infuriates your neighbors is enough for me to know that YOU are bad for the neighborhood.

The ordinance should be thrown out.

And before you start your rant about bulldozing bungalows and conservatives, know that althought not bleeding heart, i'm definitely left of center. I live in a 1925 bungalow in Woodland Heights but outside of the proposed Historic District. My house is very much the same as the original house (although apparently it was once converted to a duplex during WWII then back to a single family home in the 70s). Guess what... I'm NOT going to bulldoze it. Guess what else... I bought the house at pretty much lot value, after it had sat on the market for 9 months. Seems like a prime candidate to doze and rebuild... guess that means that I saved a bungalow... without the ordinance. Go me.

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I was here before you "preservationists". It is because of people like me that you thought the Heights was worth moving to. If I were to tell you to go f yourself, would you find that offensive? Becau

This is not a bully and name calling situation so much as forcefully pointing out the callousness of your position. You and others claim that your position and this ordinance protects the character a

http://swamplot.com/houstons-historic-districts-will-remain-as-they-are/2011-01-04/ It is over. All districts surveyed failed to muster the 51% needed to opt out. Yes, I know. You all are going

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Our community through their elected representatives have decided that the value of preserving historic properties outweighs the ultra-conservative right to do whatever you want, regardless of whether you crap on your neighbor or the community in the process.

This is a bald-faced lie. There is overwhelming opposition in the community to this ordinance. In my neighborhood, 2/3 of the residents have signed petitions to overturn the ordinance. Let me repeat that for you. TWO THIRDS OF MY NEIGHBORS OPPOSE THE ORDINANCE!

The re-vote process was crafted specifically to find a way around the overwhelming opposition. I don't mind you having a perverted view of property rights, believing that you are entitled to tell me what to do with my property. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. What offends me is that a small minority can inflict their views on the overwhelming majority through subterfuge.

Since we are resorting to name-calling, let me state that you, Mayor Parker and Councilwoman Lovell appear un-American in supporting such an undemocratic vote process.

There. I called you a name, too.

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Bull. Did you have to through out your tenants? Are you unable to use the property as a residence? Grow up. We live in a complex society with many interrelated rights and responsibilities. We do not live in the wild west. Our community through their elected representatives have decided that the value of preserving historic properties outweighs the ultra-conservative right to do whatever you want, regardless of whether you crap on your neighbor or the community in the process. Yes, government bureaucracies are not fun and easy. But they are that way because there are piles of people out there who think they are better than everyone else and cannot be expected to follow the law. The funny thing is that I know people who live under historic preservation laws in Boston, and they thought this ordinance was a complete joke because it was so incredibly weak. They couldn't believe we were allowed to add a two story addition to a single story bungalow and only had to sumbit very basic documentation for approval and did not have to hire experts to certify the work before submitting for approval.

If you are looking for stupid idiots, look at the people who knock down bungalows and replace them with giant monsters, or the people who do idiotic crappy diy rennovations on bungalows, leaving them looking like a bad version of a KB home from the burbs. They are the ones that made this necessary.

Property rights are subject to reasonable regulation. Historic preservation ordinances have been upheld around the nation (and in Texas) against takings claims. It is only the reasonable investment backed expectations that are a protected property right, not your wildest dreams.

You are now in a historic district. If you don't like it, sell. We won't miss you at all.

Did I have to kick out my tenants - no. I did not. But I do not rent the house to make a profit....the rent only covers the payment on the house, the insurance, and $75/month that is set aside to future maintenance. ALL of the profit on this particular house, every single penny of it, will come from the sale of the land to a perspective builder...not from the rent. The lot is large, the house is small, the house is not-historic, and the house is not structurally in the best shape. Its not falling down and it has a nice appearance, but its the type of home (50's, vinyl siding, pre-manufactured home...It replaced a bungalow that burned in the late 40's) that needs to be torn down and a nicer one replace it. The expectations on the sale of this home were in appreciation of the lot...the home is worth less than, insured for, and is appraised for less than $30,000. It is a PRIME candidate for a bulldozer and I, or the next owner WILL eventually bulldoze it and replace it with a new home....ordinance or not. The ordinance can not stop the bulldozing of this home, but it can severely limit a builders profitability when putting up a new one, which greatly reduces the value of the lot upon which this old prefab house sits. The destruction of this house, will increase the value of the lots/homes of everyone on the block....

I have researched and found several cases dealing with historic ordinances, and private property rights...so far I can distinguish the ordinance passed here from every single one of them. This ordinance is not well thought out, and is not reasonable in its scope. Its over-reaching, and can be differentiated from all the others that have passed muster with the courts. Someone, possibly me will challenge this ordinance, and I believe whoever does challenge it has a very good chance of over turning it....It wont cost me much at all to sue the city, and I have enough time to do it...so if it stands, I will. In the mean time, its even better for everyone else if we can just get it removed altogether, so that is the route we are focusing on for the moment....

There are more people like me - who feel the way I feel than there are like you....so once we change it back - feel free to leave....we wont miss you or your type.

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how many signatures were collected?

Folks in my neighborhood have been going street by street, and I believe a majority of the neighbors on my street have signed to overturn the ordinance. I signed it last week because I think the ordinance is over-reaching, and I prefer the deed protections that were agreed upon by a majority of residents in my neighborhood years ago.

I also don't think my house, which I spent a lot of money to renovate, neatly fits the description in the historical context (it was a completely bland and unremarkable house previously, to the point of being ugly, and poorly maintained). And yet, I now regularly receive positive comments from folks walking down the street that they love my house because of the unique features, which would probably have been denied under this ordinance because they don't exactly match the original hideous and cheap architectural features they replaced.

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This is quite possibly the most rediculous post I've ever seen on HAIF. Congrats.

I don't even know where to start.

The fact that you support the ordinance so completely, knowing that it downright infuriates your neighbors is enough for me to know that YOU are bad for the neighborhood.

The ordinance should be thrown out.

And before you start your rant about bulldozing bungalows and conservatives, know that althought not bleeding heart, i'm definitely left of center. I live in a 1925 bungalow in Woodland Heights but outside of the proposed Historic District. My house is very much the same as the original house (although apparently it was once converted to a duplex during WWII then back to a single family home in the 70s). Guess what... I'm NOT going to bulldoze it. Guess what else... I bought the house at pretty much lot value, after it had sat on the market for 9 months. Seems like a prime candidate to doze and rebuild... guess that means that I saved a bungalow... without the ordinance. Go me.

Yes, go you! And go me. Not a builder, not a developer. 1915 Bungalow. In Heights West HD (unfortunately). Did an add-on out the back a few years ago. I can't wait for this ordinance to get overturned...I just hope we can make it happen. I hear that HWHD is going to be the most difficult one to overturn (for whatever reason).

Did anyone attend the meeting tonight for the discussion on the ordinance? Curious about what it was all about.

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Firstly, the mail-in card process is not to overturn the ordinance - it is to dissolve the historic district you live in. The ordinance is here to stay :-(

Secondly - I was given ONE days notice about the meeting last night at the west end center. I was literally IN THE AIR at the time of the meeting. Did anyone go to "get the facts?"

Cheers

James

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Firstly, the mail-in card process is not to overturn the ordinance - it is to dissolve the historic district you live in. The ordinance is here to stay :-(

Secondly - I was given ONE days notice about the meeting last night at the west end center. I was literally IN THE AIR at the time of the meeting. Did anyone go to "get the facts?"

Cheers

James

I am still trying to find out what this meeting was. Was it the City mandated meeting required once the petition process achieves a re-vote, or some other meeting? Did anyone go?

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I am still trying to find out what this meeting was. Was it the City mandated meeting required once the petition process achieves a re-vote, or some other meeting? Did anyone go?

I never heard a word about this meeting, and I have even been scanning that freebie paper "The Leader" they litter my yard with watching to see if they try to sneak something past us by using that thing.

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My next door neighbor attended the meeting. Apparently, it was put on by the preservationists, or the City of Houston Planning Department. It was a Q&A about the ordinance. Surprisingly, according to my neighbor, they were fairly neutral, especially compared to the other meetings we attended in the summer. Several questions that were asked regarding whether minor alterations would require rather major remediation to comply with the wording of the ordinance were answered, "yes, you will have to do all that".

One issue that I have received conflicting answers on is regarding "remuddling", or remodels that put the wrong architectural elements on a house. A prime example (and a pet peeve of mine) is putting colonial columns on a craftsman house. Craftsman homes generally have tapered square columns. My understanding is that the ordinance will not allow you to replace those columns if they are already on the house. My neighbor said that they WANT you to go back to the original columns. However, it is still unclear whether the wording of the ordinance states that. It is also unclear how the HAHC will act.

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My next door neighbor attended the meeting. Apparently, it was put on by the preservationists, or the City of Houston Planning Department. It was a Q&A about the ordinance. Surprisingly, according to my neighbor, they were fairly neutral, especially compared to the other meetings we attended in the summer. Several questions that were asked regarding whether minor alterations would require rather major remediation to comply with the wording of the ordinance were answered, "yes, you will have to do all that".

One issue that I have received conflicting answers on is regarding "remuddling", or remodels that put the wrong architectural elements on a house. A prime example (and a pet peeve of mine) is putting colonial columns on a craftsman house. Craftsman homes generally have tapered square columns. My understanding is that the ordinance will not allow you to replace those columns if they are already on the house. My neighbor said that they WANT you to go back to the original columns. However, it is still unclear whether the wording of the ordinance states that. It is also unclear how the HAHC will act.

Swamp lot is showing today that all of the new historic districts in the heights have met the 10% threshold for a new vote. I really hope that people go out there and get the word out to get the card mailed in!!!! Getting past the apathy and ensuring the cards are mailed to the correct address is going to be very difficult - especially with the multitude of absentee owners.

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No, it is showing that 8 of the 16 have reached the threshold.

Wishing don't make it so:

http://swamplot.com/8-out-of-16-houston-historic-districts-are-now-up-for-reconsideration/2010-11-18/

Actually, Marksmu is correct. He stated that all of the Heights historic districts met the threshold for a revote. That would be Heights East, West and South. Additionally, Norhill also gets a revote. Unknown at this point is whether Woodland Heights, which was not created under the new ordinance, has enough signatures to become a district. There was a big push there to rescind the signatures already submitted.

Now, the hard part begins. Since the mayor and CW Lovell saw fit to rig the revote against the will of the residents, we must urge the procrastinators and the apathetic to sign the vote card and mail it in. It can be done, but this is akin to a football team playing against the opposing team AND the refs. You have to work twice as hard as the opponent. Tell your neighbors to be on the lookout for the vote card. Anyone who wishes to help put out flyers on doors let me know.

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We need to fight for a place at the counting table, especially since a card not returned counts as a vote for the District. I'm not saying anyone at the City is dishonest, but I can see someone forgetting a stack of vote cards while transfering them from one area to another. We need to make sure that every vote card is counted, and that every returned card is accounted for. If someone has a questions as to whether their card was counted the City should be able to say "Yes, a card was recieved from XXX Arlington St and that vote was For/Against the Ordinance". It would be easym cheap and fair, but it's going to take a fight to get it so we should start making noise about it soon.

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We need to fight for a place at the counting table, especially since a card not returned counts as a vote for the District. I'm not saying anyone at the City is dishonest, but I can see someone forgetting a stack of vote cards while transfering them from one area to another. We need to make sure that every vote card is counted, and that every returned card is accounted for. If someone has a questions as to whether their card was counted the City should be able to say "Yes, a card was recieved from XXX Arlington St and that vote was For/Against the Ordinance". It would be easym cheap and fair, but it's going to take a fight to get it so we should start making noise about it soon.

I do not live in any of the current historic districts but I have been following this discussion

with keen interest. I suspect that my little neighborhood is on miz mayor's list for future nominations.

When the matter of returning these cards in order to vote first came up here, my initial thought was "who will do the counting?"

I know my opinion doesn't count in this but I believe SCD is right, there should be someone to protect your interests or maybe even a completely neutral third party should be counting the votes. At this point I would not be inclined to trust anyone at city level who is connected to the historic districts.

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I do not live in any of the current historic districts but I have been following this discussion

with keen interest. I suspect that my little neighborhood is on miz mayor's list for future nominations.

When the matter of returning these cards in order to vote first came up here, my initial thought was "who will do the counting?"

I know my opinion doesn't count in this but I believe SCD is right, there should be someone to protect your interests or maybe even a completely neutral third party should be counting the votes. At this point I would not be inclined to trust anyone at city level who is connected to the historic districts.

frau petite,

You don't need to worry about your little neighborhood turning historic at the moment, the new ordinance requires 67% consent which is not likely to happen. When Parker is elected for a second term she will find a new crusader to replace the end of term for Lovell, and once again change the ordinance, at which point it will be 51% again. You are looking at about 2 years before you need to fight the fight.

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That would be true if the HAHC didn't have the power to name Historic Districts regardless of the feelings of the property owners. It would be extremely unpopular but imagine this scenerio:

Parker is reelected, knows that she has no further political future, and is still a radical preservationist at heart. So, in a final act for the greater good, she directs the HAHC to "save" a number of districts that she knows will never get 67%, as well as re-establishing all of the districts that were lost at the end of 2010. The Ordinance only allows for a re-vote this time so if she does it this there is no way to overturn what she has done. Could she have agreed to set the vote-in number at 67% because she knew it wouldn't matter?

Okay, that's very far fetched, I'll admit. But it IS POSSIBLE under this new ordinance. I find that pretty scary.

Maybe the ballots should be returned to a neutral site as well. Or a PO Box that can't be opened until a certain date. If they are returned to the Planning Department Historic Preservation Office is it possible that someone there in fear of losing their job (since a good portion of the Historic Area could be lost and the City is facing a $25M shortfall sure to be covered by layoffs) might misplace some of the ballots? Non returned ballots count as a vote for the District so nobody even needs to forge a card, they just have to ensure that one never shows up.

The possibilities for rigging this are endless...

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One issue that I have received conflicting answers on is regarding "remuddling", or remodels that put the wrong architectural elements on a house. A prime example (and a pet peeve of mine) is putting colonial columns on a craftsman house. Craftsman homes generally have tapered square columns. My understanding is that the ordinance will not allow you to replace those columns if they are already on the house. My neighbor said that they WANT you to go back to the original columns. However, it is still unclear whether the wording of the ordinance states that. It is also unclear how the HAHC will act.

Bill Baldwin had an example of exactly that in his presentation a month or so ago. He got denied on the column switch.

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HISTORIC DISTRICT RECONSIDERATION MEETING

The meeting schedule for the reconsideration hearings has been posted. This is the schedule. As predicted, the city intends to conduct these meetings and the ballot process during the holidays. 15 days from the 8th of December is December 22nd.

Avondale West and Boulevard Oaks: December 7, 2010, at 600 p.m. at

Montrose Counseling Center,

401 Branard Street.

Heights East, Heights West and Heights South: December 8, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. at

Reagan High School,

413 E. 13th Street.

First Montrose Commons To be determined

Norhill To be determined

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/HistoricPres/docs_pdfs/HPO_Reconsider_Meetings.pdf

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HISTORIC DISTRICT RECONSIDERATION MEETING

The meeting schedule for the reconsideration hearings has been posted. This is the schedule. As predicted, the city intends to conduct these meetings and the ballot process during the holidays. 15 days from the 8th of December is December 22nd.

Avondale West and Boulevard Oaks: December 7, 2010, at 600 p.m. at

Montrose Counseling Center,

401 Branard Street.

Heights East, Heights West and Heights South: December 8, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. at

Reagan High School,

413 E. 13th Street.

First Montrose Commons To be determined

Norhill To be determined

http://www.houstontx...er_Meetings.pdf

So dishonest, and disingenuous....You have how many days again to return your ballot?? I and a huge number of others travel in/out of town from around the 20th to the 2nd each year having to goto different functions across the US....They know that their best chances for not getting ballots returned will be the holidays since people will be very busy, be in and out of town, and the amount of junk mail around the holidays triples, which will increase their chances of people not returning ballots.

I honestly do not think that this city council could be more dishonest if they tried. Following the letter of the law but blatantly attempting to skirt its spirit is the new way of the democrats....this whole group needs to be voted out. This process has been truly sickening.

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So dishonest, and disingenuous....You have how many days again to return your ballot?? I and a huge number of others travel in/out of town from around the 20th to the 2nd each year having to goto different functions across the US....They know that their best chances for not getting ballots returned will be the holidays since people will be very busy, be in and out of town, and the amount of junk mail around the holidays triples, which will increase their chances of people not returning ballots.

I honestly do not think that this city council could be more dishonest if they tried. Following the letter of the law but blatantly attempting to skirt its spirit is the new way of the democrats....this whole group needs to be voted out. This process has been truly sickening.

The meeting is just to discuss the ballot process. What info do you have that the City will send the ballot out immediately following the meeting over the holidays? According to your leader, Bill Baldwin, the City hasn't even come up with a ballot yet. But the facts have never mattered. Any claim you all can make is fair game, like claiming that the City will have the power to determine what political signs you can put in your yard under the ordinance, regardless of whether the claim is actually true. Why don't you grow up and call Marlene Gafrick and ask her when the City plans to put the ballots out before you accuse the City of some great corrupt conspiracy?

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The meeting is just to discuss the ballot process. What info do you have that the City will send the ballot out immediately following the meeting over the holidays? According to your leader, Bill Baldwin, the City hasn't even come up with a ballot yet. But the facts have never mattered. Any claim you all can make is fair game, like claiming that the City will have the power to determine what political signs you can put in your yard under the ordinance, regardless of whether the claim is actually true. Why don't you grow up and call Marlene Gafrick and ask her when the City plans to put the ballots out before you accuse the City of some great corrupt conspiracy?

Under the ordinance, the City may not be able to control the political signs you put up, but they will, due to their desire to be control freaks, be able to tell you that you can't repair your house in an economic fashion, or that you can't add the room you need for you new twins because it would "destroy the historic integrity of the neighborhood". A pox on you and them, It is NONE of yours, or the City's business how I add on to my home in a non-deed restricted area, as long as the life safety requirements are met.

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The meeting is just to discuss the ballot process. What info do you have that the City will send the ballot out immediately following the meeting over the holidays? According to your leader, Bill Baldwin, the City hasn't even come up with a ballot yet. But the facts have never mattered. Any claim you all can make is fair game, like claiming that the City will have the power to determine what political signs you can put in your yard under the ordinance, regardless of whether the claim is actually true. Why don't you grow up and call Marlene Gafrick and ask her when the City plans to put the ballots out before you accuse the City of some great corrupt conspiracy?

Funny to see HAIF's most infamous creator of false 'facts' accusing others of making things up. Even funnier that the poster who accuses the City of a grand conspiracy in the Walmart thread dismisses any talk of conspiracy in the historic districts, even though one need only read how the vote is taken to see the conspiracy.

The fact is, we DO have good reason to believe that the vote will commense immediately after the meeting, because we have been told so. The fact that the City has not created a ballot yet means nothing. They started our 30 day petition process before they even had a petition to sign. This is nothing new.

Those who have not signed our petition to disband the historic districts, please contact me. This is not the City's revote petition, but a petition to disband the hd's altogether. Remember, the people who run the HAHC think and act like s3mh. Failure to vote will subject you to their will.

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Funny to see HAIF's most infamous creator of false 'facts' accusing others of making things up. Even funnier that the poster who accuses the City of a grand conspiracy in the Walmart thread dismisses any talk of conspiracy in the historic districts, even though one need only read how the vote is taken to see the conspiracy.

The fact is, we DO have good reason to believe that the vote will commense immediately after the meeting, because we have been told so. The fact that the City has not created a ballot yet means nothing. They started our 30 day petition process before they even had a petition to sign. This is nothing new.

Those who have not signed our petition to disband the historic districts, please contact me. This is not the City's revote petition, but a petition to disband the hd's altogether. Remember, the people who run the HAHC think and act like s3mh. Failure to vote will subject you to their will.

Check your mailboxes folks. I just got my ballot in the mail today. (I'm in Heights West). It is up to you to fill out your name, HCAD #, Block #, Subdivision, etc. Must be "postmarked or delivered" by December 23, 2010. The letter also mentions the public meeting for Dec 8th at 6:00pm at Reagan High School.

Mine is filled out already, with a photocopy to keep for my records. I wish there was a way for us to track the responses to repeal so that we'd know exactly who sent them in by lot/block, etc.

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Check your mailboxes folks. I just got my ballot in the mail today. (I'm in Heights West). It is up to you to fill out your name, HCAD #, Block #, Subdivision, etc. Must be "postmarked or delivered" by December 23, 2010. The letter also mentions the public meeting for Dec 8th at 6:00pm at Reagan High School.

Mine is filled out already, with a photocopy to keep for my records. I wish there was a way for us to track the responses to repeal so that we'd know exactly who sent them in by lot/block, etc.

Being able to confirm your vote was counted or track others votes would entail some form of honesty, integrity, or openness from the city. You will not get that from this mayor/city council. This ordinance has been pushed in every single dirty way they could. I would not be one single bit surprised if they just decided not to count some of the votes and just declare that they were not received, or that the writing was ineligible, so they dont count it. Having not seen the ballot, if you have to fill it out yourself as opposed to them having filled the information out properly for you - it seems not much of a stretch to conclude that they want to be able to discard some ballots if it looks like its getting to close, or that a district may be dissolved.

Just the fact that NOT returning a ballot is a vote cast in support of the ordinance is enough to offend even the most basic notions of fair play, or good will towards the vote. The city is stealing our rights, and the only way to keep them, is to jump through the hoops that they get to set up however they would like to do so.

S3MH - I almost decided not to respond to you, but I cant do it....I have to. I need a calculator to count how many lies you have told on here....but you can go through all 350+ posts I have made on Haif, and I have one exaggeration....which was made to intentionally get people worked up. Seems it worked though. I got you worked up and you cant let it go.... if you read back on the other thread, there are about 3 times where I clarified my statement for you, but your tiny little brain has not allowed you to get past it. So without exaggeration, the ordinance is dishonest. It can control through delay or denial every single aspect that relates to the outside of your house. They say it cant control certain things, but they left the writing broad enough to back door whatever they want. We will have to just wait and see how unevenly it gets enforced in the areas that it remains.

So to make this really simple for you so you can understand. They can not control the political party of a yard sign. Happy? you can even make it your signature if you want. But your lies are outright lies, not exaggerations. You are a big part of the problem with our area....Its really a shame that such a TINY MINORITY of people can cause such a big problem for everyone else. Its sickening really.

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Funny to see HAIF's most infamous creator of false 'facts' accusing others of making things up. Even funnier that the poster who accuses the City of a grand conspiracy in the Walmart thread dismisses any talk of conspiracy in the historic districts, even though one need only read how the vote is taken to see the conspiracy.

The fact is, we DO have good reason to believe that the vote will commense immediately after the meeting, because we have been told so. The fact that the City has not created a ballot yet means nothing. They started our 30 day petition process before they even had a petition to sign. This is nothing new.

this isn't a conspiracy, cause they are being dishonest and disingenuous in front of our faces.

If it were a conspiracy it would be done in some backroom dishonestly and disingeniously that we don't know about.

Just the fact that NOT returning a ballot is a vote cast in support of the ordinance is enough to offend even the most basic notions of fair play, or good will towards the vote. The city is stealing our rights, and the only way to keep them, is to jump through the hoops that they get to set up however they would like to do so.

Not being a lawyer, or anything more than an armchair lawyer, could it be that this is not considered "due process" and would therefor be not a lawful way to conduct a ballot?

Edited by samagon
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Check your mailboxes folks. I just got my ballot in the mail today. (I'm in Heights West). It is up to you to fill out your name, HCAD #, Block #, Subdivision, etc. Must be "postmarked or delivered" by December 23, 2010. The letter also mentions the public meeting for Dec 8th at 6:00pm at Reagan High School.

Mine is filled out already, with a photocopy to keep for my records. I wish there was a way for us to track the responses to repeal so that we'd know exactly who sent them in by lot/block, etc.

Guess we just proved s3mh a liar once again.

poyea, there is a number at the bottom of your ballot. Keep track of it. They appear to have mailed sequentially numbered ballots.

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Is there a way to prevent them from destroying the ballots after the count so that we can verify that all of the votes sent in were counted, not altered, forged, ect? A Freedom of Information Act request beforhand or something? I can see them shredding the ballots as they are counted if they don't have some sort of court order in front of them to stop it. Preserving the record ahs got to be a priority now. Since the postmark has to be Dec 22 they will probably do the counting on the 27th (the following Monday) or the 31st (New Year Eve Friday) in order to stop people from wanting to supervise the count or make it difficult to get a court order to preserve the evidence. Just a thought.

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The meeting is just to discuss the ballot process. What info do you have that the City will send the ballot out immediately following the meeting over the holidays? According to your leader, Bill Baldwin, the City hasn't even come up with a ballot yet. But the facts have never mattered. Any claim you all can make is fair game, like claiming that the City will have the power to determine what political signs you can put in your yard under the ordinance, regardless of whether the claim is actually true. Why don't you grow up and call Marlene Gafrick and ask her when the City plans to put the ballots out before you accuse the City of some great corrupt conspiracy?

I believe the city is also in cohoots with the pro-ordinance crowd. Nobody who is anti-ordinance knew anything at all about the ballot, its contents, or when it was going to mailed. But on Saturday, one day after I received the ballot I received the pro-ordinance letter telling me not to sign the letter the city mailed (implies direct knowledge of its content)

That letter was post marked on December 3, and delivered December 4th. I'm not saying its impossible to have achieved that without advance notice, but I am saying its almost impossible. The letter even stated "By the time you see this letter you will have received a survey from the city"

This has been a very dirty process.

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I believe the city is also in cohoots with the pro-ordinance crowd.

This is actually well known. Several of the preservationists are on the staffs of the mayor and our councilman. They do not even attempt to hide it. We've known what we are dealing with all along.

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This is actually well known. Several of the preservationists are on the staffs of the mayor and our councilman. They do not even attempt to hide it. We've known what we are dealing with all along.

Did not mean to neg rep that...I meant to positive it, but missed....could not figure out how to un-neg-rep.

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The meeting is just to discuss the ballot process. What info do you have that the City will send the ballot out immediately following the meeting over the holidays? According to your leader, Bill Baldwin, the City hasn't even come up with a ballot yet. But the facts have never mattered. Any claim you all can make is fair game, like claiming that the City will have the power to determine what political signs you can put in your yard under the ordinance, regardless of whether the claim is actually true. Why don't you grow up and call Marlene Gafrick and ask her when the City plans to put the ballots out before you accuse the City of some great corrupt conspiracy?

s3mh got pretty quiet after everything he has made up has been debunked and the true colors of the city and the historic natzi's are really beginning to shine.

Dirty dirty dirty politics...We need to run everyone who voted in favor of this ordinance out of town. We dont need their kind here!

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I received another pro-ordinance mailer today this time from Annise Parker....nice color glossy printout telling everyone not to sign the repeal petition.

The mailer stated it was paid for by her campaign, and I truly hope that is true, and that not a cent of tax payer money, or labor went into its creation....the cynic in me says it was done by her staff, on the city time clock, and that the only thing paid for by the campaign was the printing/mailing....

While not illegal, or dishonest, It bothers me that she puts her office behind the ordinance....the Mayor supports it....not new news, but still some people who are not well informed may be swayed by such an "endorsement"

Yet more proof that the results of elections actually matter and can affect you directly! Vote em out!

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Last weekend I saw a piece on Ch 13/Sonia Azad about some residents in Glenbrook Valley having second thoughts on their becoming a Historic District.

Seems everyone who signed the petitions was not completely aware of what they signed. Some there want to retract but apparently don't know how.

Lulac is supposed to be looking into it to see if there were civil rights violations while collecting signatures. The story is probably on 13's website, I just wasn't able to locate it.

It bothers me that the pro ordinance folks have no qualms about bending the words in order to secure a signature. And now, Parker is mailing out notices over her signature asking for support? Doesn't that make her a party to the deception?

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Several of us attended yesterday's City Council meeting to point out the many flaws in this re-vote. The re-vote has been mailed to everyone in advance of tonight's meeting at the high school. It is important for everyone to realize that the ballot to vote out of the historic district is in fact an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper that looks just like the petition we signed last month. However, this one says "survey" on it. This "survey" must be filled out, signed and mailed back to the City within the next 14 days to be counted. I urge everyone to look out for the "survey and fill it out. Also, remind your neighbors to do the same. The "survey" came in a white City of Houston Planning Department envelope with no markings to indicate what it was.

If you lost your survey ballot, or inadvertantly threw it away without realizing its importance, a new one can be issued. Let me know, and I'll tell you how to contact Planning for a new one.

BTW, did anyone make the propaganda meeting tonight? Because I took off a half day yesterday to protest at Council, I was unable to leave early enough today to attend. Not that I wanted to hear Sue Lovell's misstatements again anyway.

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It now seems evident that there has been a concerted effort to dilute the "powers" of owners of multiple tracts of land by limiting their powers to a single "vote" for each owner per tract of land, regardless of how many lots that individual owns if they are contiguous pieces of land. The definition of tract placed in the ordinance diminishes the rights of larger property owners by limiting their full stake in the process that is determining the future of the neighborhood. Its seems to be an intentional definition placed within the ordinance that defined a tract of land as a contiguous piece of land under the same ownership.

Basically, a larger group of properties in the Heights that in some cases comprises an entire city block with a single owner, gets only one vote. This could be 10 individual properties with 10 homes on them, it doesnt matter if they are all owned by the same owner as this is defined as a single tract of property. An individual could in theory, own 90% of a city block and still have that block faces fate be determined to be historic or not if two landowners (10%) on that block decided that they had a differing opinion than you.

I haven't had much reason to be involved in a process like this before, but this "political" process has so often sickened me with the tactics that have been utilized. I have heard of Louisiana politicians with more ethics.

Are there any possible legal grounds to challenging this ordinance based on the limiting powers placed on these multiple property owners voice in this matter?

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BTW, did anyone make the propaganda meeting tonight? Because I took off a half day yesterday to protest at Council, I was unable to leave early enough today to attend. Not that I wanted to hear Sue Lovell's misstatements again anyway.

Regrettably, Sue was not present tonight to offer up her opinions, Annise and Marlene Gafrick lead the propaganda charge for the evening activities.

Edited by ISMDAVID
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It now seems evident that there has been a concerted effort to dilute the "powers" of owners of multiple tracts of land by limiting their powers to a single "vote" for each owner per tract of land, regardless of how many lots that individual owns if they are contiguous pieces of land. The definition of tract placed in the ordinance diminishes the rights of larger property owners by limiting their full stake in the process that is determining the future of the neighborhood. Its seems to be an intentional definition placed within the ordinance that defined a tract of land as a contiguous piece of land under the same ownership.

Basically, a larger group of properties in the Heights that in some cases comprises an entire city block with a single owner, gets only one vote. This could be 10 individual properties with 10 homes on them, it doesnt matter if they are all owned by the same owner as this is defined as a single tract of property. An individual could in theory, own 90% of a city block and still have that block faces fate be determined to be historic or not if two landowners (10%) on that block decided that they had a differing opinion than you.

I haven't had much reason to be involved in a process like this before, but this "political" process has so often sickened me with the tactics that have been utilized. I have heard of Louisiana politicians with more ethics.

Are there any possible legal grounds to challenging this ordinance based on the limiting powers placed on these multiple property owners voice in this matter?

I just threw up in my mouth when I read that! These people will stoop to any level to get their way...this is a sickening display of politics gone awry...

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If you lost your survey ballot, or inadvertantly threw it away without realizing its importance, a new one can be issued. Let me know, and I'll tell you how to contact Planning for a new one.

Red, can you post this to the board? I don't seem to have received one.

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Red, can you post this to the board? I don't seem to have received one.

Call the Planning Department at 713.837.7701. Tell them you never received a ballot or "survey" form and need another. Remember, this must be postmarked prior to December 22, so make sure they send it out immediately. Let me know if you have any problems.

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  • 4 weeks later...

http://swamplot.com/houstons-historic-districts-will-remain-as-they-are/2011-01-04/

It is over. All districts surveyed failed to muster the 51% needed to opt out.

Yes, I know. You all are going to crow on and on about the survey process. Do yourselves a favor and move on. Anyone in the Heights who was against the ordinance had to have been living under a rock to not know what was going on. The opposition sent out piles of mailers. And if there was such overwhelming opposition, as Bill Baldwin and others claimed, it should have been no problem to hit 51%.

It is over. Opponents had their chance to make their case and failed. The Heights wants to preserve its historic buildings and get rid of the block busting builders and their realtor friends (who had no problem advertising the historic districts as a benefit in property listings). Lastly, don't think that people are going to foregive and forget. We know who was funding the fight against our community. We will remember who you are when it is time to do an addition. We will remember when we sell our homes and buy another. We will remember when we renovate. The Heights is a small town in a big city. We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods and have won. We will remember who was with us and who was against us.

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Oh, we'll remember all right. Those in city government who rammed this down our throats must run for reelection later this year. The 100 or so preservationists like yourself will have to vote 7 or 8 times to counter the number opposed to the historic districts. Mayor Parker and CM Gonzalez better have a good plan to overcome the anger of those they slighted. Remember, we have a network that walked the blocks while you sat at home secure in the knowledge that the voting process was rigged. City elections are not rigged the way the historic district vote was.

Between city elections and the lawsuit, this ordinance is going down.

Speaking of "over", have you given up on your Walmart tantrum yet?

We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods

BTW, who is this "we" you speak of? You just moved here. You ain't "we".

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http://swamplot.com/houstons-historic-districts-will-remain-as-they-are/2011-01-04/

It is over. All districts surveyed failed to muster the 51% needed to opt out.

Yes, I know. You all are going to crow on and on about the survey process. Do yourselves a favor and move on. Anyone in the Heights who was against the ordinance had to have been living under a rock to not know what was going on. The opposition sent out piles of mailers. And if there was such overwhelming opposition, as Bill Baldwin and others claimed, it should have been no problem to hit 51%.

It is over. Opponents had their chance to make their case and failed. The Heights wants to preserve its historic buildings and get rid of the block busting builders and their realtor friends (who had no problem advertising the historic districts as a benefit in property listings). Lastly, don't think that people are going to foregive and forget. We know who was funding the fight against our community. We will remember who you are when it is time to do an addition. We will remember when we sell our homes and buy another. We will remember when we renovate. The Heights is a small town in a big city. We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods and have won. We will remember who was with us and who was against us.

s3mh - Move on? Didn't you realize the second we saw the flawed, designed to fail transition process, this was Phase 1? No one ever expected that the process which was designed to acheive the results you and your merry band of preservation kooks wanted would be successful. No one! So, we started working on Phase 2. And we acheived far more oppostion that you could support, so your claim that there wasn't overwhelming opposition is laughable. 800 signatures in 30 days was a HUGE success. It was never believable that we could get 51% in 15 days but you never counted on ~35% in 30 days, did you? You had to lie and deceive people just to get 51% to agree to a meaningless restriction. So, take care when you boast about a lack of opposition. You have no idea how much oppostion there really is.

As far as it being over, for your involvement, it is. You will no longer be able to rig the process. You will no longer be able to scare people into thinking that this terrible ordinance is their only option. You have no idea who funded the opposition, although we know who funded yours. You have no idea what resources we bring to bear. You have no idea what strength in numbers can accomplish. Our remedies for the Mayor taking our property rights in a rigged process designed to fail are far from over. She has screwed up so much of this that it is vulnerable on many fronts. And she is now vulnerable politically on many issues and so is the ordinance because of her arrogance. She wanted to put all her eggs in one basket when she could have had a win and it would have been over. Now she will have to defend this on so many fronts that she is bound to fail on one of them, and to her detriment. As one Council Member said recently, when you do something the wrong way, it usually doesn't hold up. A large number of Council are disgusted with this whole thing and while the Mayor might have a few of them over a barrel with political strong-arming, she is only good for those promises while she is in office and she has the money to deliver on them, and she doesn't have any money to deliver on them now.

No one cares what your little tiny band of hysterical preservationst think or do. Its you who should be worried about what our community will not forgive. And we benefit from your thinking that the opposition was just a few realtors. Keep on thinking that way. We thrive on your understimation of us. You might have won a battle but the war, well that is a different story entirely so we don't care what you remember. You don't have support, never have and in the end, right and the truth will prevail. So keep on boasting and bragging and claiming victory for something that is far from settled. George Dubya was very eager to claim "Mission Accomplished" to his embarrassment and utter failure - so too will be the fate of trying to inflict this on a community that doesn't want it. Mission NOT Accomplished!

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http://swamplot.com/houstons-historic-districts-will-remain-as-they-are/2011-01-04/

It is over. All districts surveyed failed to muster the 51% needed to opt out.

Yes, I know. You all are going to crow on and on about the survey process. Do yourselves a favor and move on. Anyone in the Heights who was against the ordinance had to have been living under a rock to not know what was going on. The opposition sent out piles of mailers. And if there was such overwhelming opposition, as Bill Baldwin and others claimed, it should have been no problem to hit 51%.

It is over. Opponents had their chance to make their case and failed. The Heights wants to preserve its historic buildings and get rid of the block busting builders and their realtor friends (who had no problem advertising the historic districts as a benefit in property listings). Lastly, don't think that people are going to foregive and forget. We know who was funding the fight against our community. We will remember who you are when it is time to do an addition. We will remember when we sell our homes and buy another. We will remember when we renovate. The Heights is a small town in a big city. We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods and have won. We will remember who was with us and who was against us.

I forgot to mention that I am sure Council will appreciate the threats you made here. Apparently you think you can prevent people who opposed the ordinance from renovating or adding on to their homes. Council should love that! They also will love that you imply that you are keeping a list of those who opposed to make their lives miserable. I'll be sure to send this to Responsible Historic Presevation so they can let the City Council know about your vendetta mentality.

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http://swamplot.com/...are/2011-01-04/

It is over. All districts surveyed failed to muster the 51% needed to opt out.

Yes, I know. You all are going to crow on and on about the survey process. Do yourselves a favor and move on. Anyone in the Heights who was against the ordinance had to have been living under a rock to not know what was going on. The opposition sent out piles of mailers. And if there was such overwhelming opposition, as Bill Baldwin and others claimed, it should have been no problem to hit 51%.

It is over. Opponents had their chance to make their case and failed. The Heights wants to preserve its historic buildings and get rid of the block busting builders and their realtor friends (who had no problem advertising the historic districts as a benefit in property listings). Lastly, don't think that people are going to foregive and forget. We know who was funding the fight against our community. We will remember who you are when it is time to do an addition. We will remember when we sell our homes and buy another. We will remember when we renovate. The Heights is a small town in a big city. We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods and have won. We will remember who was with us and who was against us.

Well its good to know that you plan on abusing your (most likely short lived) power like we were all worried about. YOU have not fought for years, you just got here. WE didn't fight for years.. we all just got along and enjoyed our neighborhood. You obviously don't care about the neighborhood nor your neighbors, or you would show us more respect. And when I say you, i don't mean preservationist, i mean you, S3mh.

Do you even live in a historic house?

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http://swamplot.com/...are/2011-01-04/

It is over. All districts surveyed failed to muster the 51% needed to opt out.

Yes, I know. You all are going to crow on and on about the survey process. Do yourselves a favor and move on. Anyone in the Heights who was against the ordinance had to have been living under a rock to not know what was going on. The opposition sent out piles of mailers. And if there was such overwhelming opposition, as Bill Baldwin and others claimed, it should have been no problem to hit 51%.

It is over. Opponents had their chance to make their case and failed. The Heights wants to preserve its historic buildings and get rid of the block busting builders and their realtor friends (who had no problem advertising the historic districts as a benefit in property listings). Lastly, don't think that people are going to foregive and forget. We know who was funding the fight against our community. We will remember who you are when it is time to do an addition. We will remember when we sell our homes and buy another. We will remember when we renovate. The Heights is a small town in a big city. We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods and have won. We will remember who was with us and who was against us.

I was going to report this post, but I decided if it was reported and removed people wouldn't get to see it.

I used to think you were just misguided and misquoted, now I know you are rude and don't care about your community and neighbors.

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Well its good to know that you plan on abusing your (most likely short lived) power like we were all worried about. YOU have not fought for years, you just got here. WE didn't fight for years.. we all just got along and enjoyed our neighborhood. You obviously don't care about the neighborhood nor your neighbors, or you would show us more respect. And when I say you, i don't mean preservationist, i mean you, S3mh.

Do you even live in a historic house?

I live in a 1920 bungalow in a protected (fully!!!) district. How about you? Do you even live in the Heights? In a historic house? In a historic district?

And when I say "we", I am speaking on behalf of the silent majority in the Heights that are routinely shouted down by anti-preservationists on message boards and in public forums. The fight for historic districts has gone on for years.

This process has never been about the best way to preserve the Heights. It has always been a second bite at the apple for the builders, realtors and architects who originally fought the historic districts to try to undo what had already been done.

I am thoroughly enjoying reading about how all you anit-preservationists are going to do this that and the other thing. It is over. You had your remedy. You failed. Failed. All you had to do was get a simple majority to reject the new ordinance. That should have been like shooting fish in a barrel if this ordinance was such a radical violation of people's property rights. File all the lawsuits you want. It is well settled law that historic districts are not takings. And talk all you want about how you are going to get rid of Mayor Parker. According to off the cuff, it looks like she will run for reelection virtually unopposed. No one with any shot at beating her has taken any steps to run and time is running out. Good luck trying to get a candidate to run on an issue that affects a few hundred people in a City of three million (and don't even give me the argument that the Mayor intends on making every inch of the City a historic district, that is about as bad as the paint color argument).

It is over. You lost. You lost because you did not respect the intelligence of the homeowners in the Heights. All the mailings about how the historic ordinance would destroy property values, dictate HVAC systems, and lead to decay in the Heights made it clear that the blue sign crowd really wanted "no" to both historic districts and historic preservation and "yes" to higher realtor commissions, builder and architect profits.

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Lastly, don't think that people are going to foregive and forget. We know who was funding the fight against our community. We will remember who you are when it is time to do an addition. We will remember when we sell our homes and buy another. We will remember when we renovate. The Heights is a small town in a big city. We have fought for years to protect our historic neighborhoods and have won. We will remember who was with us and who was against us.

Bush doctrine, eh?

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gloat gloat gloat, act like a little kid in a schoolyard who just hit someone in the head with a baseball bat and all you do is laugh, continuously.

the blue sign crowd really wanted "no" to draconian rules on the homes and lands they owned and "yes" to property rights.

fixed.

you are really coming across as a vindictive ass.

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