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Chron.com has an article on the votes:

http://www.chron.com...an/7371547.html

Pay particular attention to Bart Truxillo's comments.

Why is it that Bart Truxillo seems to know the vote distribution? What makes him so special? Does anyone here have the numbers?

I suspect that the actual vote count is in favor of rescinding the districts - probably in most, maybe in all of them.

If the cards returned are from 60% of all properties, and if 35% of all properties voted to be free of the HD, then the vote of returned cards would be 58.3% to 41.7% against Historic District status - a landslide by any measure. This is probalby why Kathleen Powell is admiting that some historic districts might be recommended for change. I believe that someone in city hall is waking up to political realities.

I don't think that it's over. City Council wil receive a recommendation, and if we show up to stress the real count; insisting that it be revealed, we may ultimately triumph.

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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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That's the problem, Dan. They intentionally set up the "survey" (they refused to call it a vote prior to the results being released), so that there was no way for supporters of the ordinance to register their approval. The only vote was AGAINST. So, the official tally would be 25% AGAINST the ordinance, and 75% UNKNOWN. Not only is there no way to gauge the number of supporters officially, it is also impossible to know even anecdotally, because everything required opponents to do the work. Anecdotally, those of us who gathered petition signatures found in excess of 90% opposition by the people we surveyed. There was no survey by supporters. It should be noted that we did not have time to petition every resident, because they only allowed us 30 days.

The last time a petition by supporters occurred was 3-5 years ago. They gathered 51% signatures over a period of 3-4 years. Importantly, this 51% was for the OLD ordinance. Once the new ordinance was adopted, many of us (including me) rescinded our signatures, dropping support under 40%. However, Council had already voted in the districts, and therefore ignored our withdrawing of support. This 60-40 split against the ordinance is consistent with the informal votes taken at the meetings, and is probably close to the overall slant of those living in the 3 Heights districts. There has never been an attempt by the City or the preservationists to accurately guage support for the ordinance since every informal poll has run along these 60-40 lines. Any claim by s3mh to speak for the majority is...as is his custom on this forum...a lie.

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That's the problem, Dan. They intentionally set up the "survey" (they refused to call it a vote prior to the results being released), so that there was no way for supporters of the ordinance to register their approval. The only vote was AGAINST. So, the official tally would be 25% AGAINST the ordinance, and 75% UNKNOWN. Not only is there no way to gauge the number of supporters officially, it is also impossible to know even anecdotally, because everything required opponents to do the work. Anecdotally, those of us who gathered petition signatures found in excess of 90% opposition by the people we surveyed. There was no survey by supporters. It should be noted that we did not have time to petition every resident, because they only allowed us 30 days.

Is there a freedom of information act or similar ordinance that requires the city to reveal the results, including the individual votes? After all, it's our city, we the citizens are entitled to information that the city gathers, aren't we?

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Too bad that they didn't send out the "survey's",(ahem - BALLOTS) with the annual tax bills and asked that the survey be returned with my tax payment. Since they limited me to one vote, but still collected taxes on the multiple properties in my ownership, I wasn't able to vote with the weight of my ownership dollars(and tax dollars). They have gladly accepted all of my tax money, but they didn't offer me an equal say in this debacle representative to my ownership level. This tactic certainly benefited their vote totals and was another planned method by the politically saavy to sneak this ordinance by. Keep up the fight. Expose the lies. Speak at a minimum with your vote. Vote em out.

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Too bad that they didn't send out the "survey's",(ahem - BALLOTS) with the annual tax bills and asked that the survey be returned with my tax payment. Since they limited me to one vote, but still collected taxes on the multiple properties in my ownership, I wasn't able to vote with the weight of my ownership dollars(and tax dollars). They have gladly accepted all of my tax money, but they didn't offer me an equal say in this debacle representative to my ownership level. This tactic certainly benefited their vote totals and was another planned method by the politically saavy to sneak this ordinance by. Keep up the fight. Expose the lies. Speak at a minimum with your vote. Vote em out.

Knowing how unethical the city's actions have been, I wonder if the threshold needed to for repeal is 51% of the properties. I wouldn't be suprised to discover that ISMDAVID's single vote was overcome by ISMDAVID's multiple properties.

This is why we need a full disclosure of the votes returned and a full disclosure of the process including the threshold needed for repeal.

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Too bad that they didn't send out the "survey's",(ahem - BALLOTS) with the annual tax bills and asked that the survey be returned with my tax payment. Since they limited me to one vote, but still collected taxes on the multiple properties in my ownership, I wasn't able to vote with the weight of my ownership dollars(and tax dollars). They have gladly accepted all of my tax money, but they didn't offer me an equal say in this debacle representative to my ownership level. This tactic certainly benefited their vote totals and was another planned method by the politically saavy to sneak this ordinance by. Keep up the fight. Expose the lies. Speak at a minimum with your vote. Vote em out.

I actually asked about this at the meeting for Norhill on Saturday. I was told that if you own a tract of land, i.e. consecutive properties, you only get one vote. However, if you own multiple properties around the district, you get multiple votes. I'm pro-preservation, so I probably should keep this tidbit to myself. On the other hand, I am pretty discouraged with MAP and the City in general right now so I do desire to see truth and overall transparency that is brutally lacking right now. Anyway, double check the number of votes you may cast (unless you own consecutive lots, in which case your current evaluation is correct).

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Yank, did they state how many properties those consecutive properties counted as toward the total? We've known since early December that those consecutive properties only got one vote, but the total number of properties in a district seem to count them individually. The transparency problem you speak of has prevented us from getting an answer to this simple but critical question.

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I actually asked about this at the meeting for Norhill on Saturday. I was told that if you own a tract of land, i.e. consecutive properties, you only get one vote. However, if you own multiple properties around the district, you get multiple votes. I'm pro-preservation, so I probably should keep this tidbit to myself. On the other hand, I am pretty discouraged with MAP and the City in general right now so I do desire to see truth and overall transparency that is brutally lacking right now. Anyway, double check the number of votes you may cast (unless you own consecutive lots, in which case your current evaluation is correct).

Yank, we are pro-preservation as well. We just are not pro-ordinance. Big difference! We know about the tract issue. It isn't a secret. We are for preservation and historic districts in an open and transparent process that includes clear understanding and overwhelming support. We haven't had anything that resembles that.

The vote turn-out was exactly what was expected because of the way it was conducted. If we take the random sampling of numbers of opposition, 75 to 80 percent of our neighbors are NOT in favor of this ordinance. The reason there was not a YES or NO vote is because they all knew their numbers would be terrible so they devised a plan to not demonstrate the support so there could be no argument that the NO's outweighed the YES's. That's wrong and it isn't going to acheive preservation. All it is going to do is result in the 4 phase plan to get justice for the majority who have had their rights usurped by a few. When you do it wrong, it never holds up. One of more of the 4 phases will force the City do it right and may unravel the whole thing. Then MAP and the City itself will have a big black eye for doing it so wrong, so undemocratically. It's a shame it has to happen that way but there is NO WAY WE ARE BACKING DOWN. Our group is determined to see the right thing done.

I'll say it again, we want clear understanding and overwhelming support and we will pursue it as long as necessary. People outside of Houston are looking at this process and waiting. Others are ready to come to our aid with the resources we need. As soon as the votes are cast to make these districts remain under the new ordinance without support of the community, it's a whole new ballgame. The Bart Truxillo's can claim they had support but that was for the OLD ordinance (which the Chronicle didn't bother to point out). The support of the new ordinance has never been measured and one way or the other, it will be. And when that happens, and the other things gear up, there won't be quite so much "we won, we won, we won." I suspect the threats and retribution will continue however.

If Parker were smart (I think overall she is but she gets bad advice and has let her emotions color her decisions) she would go back to the drawing board on the process before the Council votes on any of this. She will never get another historic district under the provisions for new districts (not what we wanted). She may lose many districts because she conducted the transition so poorly (again, not what we wanted). She may lose all districts if any of the other efforts after the votes prevail (definitely not what we wanted). Everything she fought for over 10 years time is now at risk. She would do better to take this effort from Lovell, who has thoroughly screwed it up, get together with all parties (separately) and try to work out a reasonable, fair process for historic designation district. She has options but, whether it is arrogance or ego or bad advice, she won't. She will continue down this path to what will certainly be a hicky on her time as Mayor, make her look bad (like her comment that she prefers back room deals) and if we are successful, all the districts will go away and have to come back again. Not what we want but it will be the outcome unless some comprimise is reached. Everything they have done, and continue to do undermines them and they just don't get it. Too bad! If it wasn't so serious, it would be comical...like the Keystone Cops of Preservation, right?

BTW, I read that the ONE TERM MAYOR, ANYONE BUT ANNISE and ANYONE BUT ED movement has started. If someone knows how to get in touch with those folks, can you post it here? A lot of the people on this forum seem to be anti-Parker.

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I suspect the threats and retribution will continue however.

Given that they've taken to red-tagging my ongoing renovation (I neglected to take the blue sign out of my yard prior to the inspector's arrival), I have nothing to lose by continuing to fight. I'm stuck with a half finished renovation and a commission that will not approve other renovations. Not that I care. An inspector who red-tags work that he himself passed a year ago can't be too surprised if I simply never invite them back out to finish the inspection. I don't know what the penalty is for never getting a final inspection, but since I paid cash to do it, they can't hold up a loan.

But, yes, they will stoop to this level. I now know.

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Does any action have to be taken by the opposition for this ordinance to be thrown out by some judge? I think this is an easy case of the city going well outside its power and undertaking a very unfair process. If it ever falls to a judge I can't imagine them taking long to overturn it.

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Does any action have to be taken by the opposition for this ordinance to be thrown out by some judge? I think this is an easy case of the city going well outside its power and undertaking a very unfair process. If it ever falls to a judge I can't imagine them taking long to overturn it.

Someone needs to be denied the right to do what they want because of the ordinance for their claim to be ripe. But given Red's statement above about being red-tagged already as a result of the ordinance (which I thought was not even possible given the grandfathering of work in progress) I would say his claim is now Ripe.

The problem is that the HAHC, could theoretically grant variances to prevent claims from becoming ripe. You have to exhaust all available remedies at the city level prior to filing a lawsuit....If Red were to apply for a variance, and have it granted, he would no longer have standing to sue because the ordinance did not actually prevent him from doing anything he desired to do.

There are other ways, but I am not going into them all here.

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People go to war to get 1000 sq ft bungalows on a 5000 sq ft lot in the Heights for what it costs to get 2500 sq ft townhome or a 2000+ sq ft house on 8-10,000 sq ft lot in Garden Oaks/Oak Forrest/Timbergrove (much less 3000 sq ft home with excellent K-12 public schools in the burbs). I paid list for mine in the midst of the housing slump. Friends have had to bid up by 10-15% to get theirs in the midst of the great historic ordinance revision debate (so much for killing property values). We love these buildings because they are historic and are in a historic neighborhood.

If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt that it is, then you shouldn't need an ordinance to protect these properties.

The problem is that the ordinance also protects a lot of properties for which, for whatever reason, renovation is not economically attractive, and buyers aren't willing to pay a premium for these properties. Instead of ensuring that these properties will be tastefully restored and renovated, the ordinance is likely to result in their continued status as run-down rental properties or abandoned eyesores. I'm glad that your block doesn't have any of these.

The choice isn't always between a pair of McVics and a restored bungalow. It's just as often a choice between a pair of McVics and an abandoned shack with a car on blocks in the front yard.

I wouldn't cry for the builders and developers, though. There is still a lot of developable property in the Heights outside of the protected districts. There are plenty of "contributing structures" up here north of 20th that I wouldn't mind seeing knocked down. That is, once they get through with the chain link fence and the shopping carts in the front yard.

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Yank, did they state how many properties those consecutive properties counted as toward the total? We've known since early December that those consecutive properties only got one vote, but the total number of properties in a district seem to count them individually. The transparency problem you speak of has prevented us from getting an answer to this simple but critical question.

MAP said 3, but she said it by way of example so I don't know how official that number is.

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If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt that it is, then you shouldn't need an ordinance to protect these properties.

The problem is that the ordinance also protects a lot of properties for which, for whatever reason, renovation is not economically attractive, and buyers aren't willing to pay a premium for these properties. Instead of ensuring that these properties will be tastefully restored and renovated, the ordinance is likely to result in their continued status as run-down rental properties or abandoned eyesores. I'm glad that your block doesn't have any of these.

The choice isn't always between a pair of McVics and a restored bungalow. It's just as often a choice between a pair of McVics and an abandoned shack with a car on blocks in the front yard.

I wouldn't cry for the builders and developers, though. There is still a lot of developable property in the Heights outside of the protected districts. There are plenty of "contributing structures" up here north of 20th that I wouldn't mind seeing knocked down. That is, once they get through with the chain link fence and the shopping carts in the front yard.

My point was to rebut the Craftsman bungalow dissing. And I was speaking of bungalows that are generally liveable to move in ready, not ones in need of complete renovation.

Without the ordinance, the ones in need of renovation are always scooped up by builders and bulldozed in favor of the McVic. With the ordinance, people seeking to renovate no longer have to bid against the superior resources of the developers. Yes, if you own a run down home, you will get less for it under the ordinance than without. But, compared to the radical appreciation the Heights has seen over the past 10 years, that is not a burden that justifies allowing the continuation of the destruction of the historic Heights. And, if you let a home go into disrepair, you really should not be greedy and just be thankful for the free ride you have received from your neighbor's investments.

As more my street, I did not say there were no abandoned buildings. I live next to one that would need significant work to restore. I also live next to a rental that would not be as big of a challenge to restore, but would need more than granite countertops to get up to the standards of the Heights. Without the ordinance, both houses would be prime targets for teardowns and McVic-ing. That would sandwich me between two story homes, and send the rest of my block on the fast track for complete busting. With the ordinance, the worst that can happen is that things stay the same. I will take that over being bookended between McVics any day.

And you are right that some builders will set up shop outside the historic districts. But, they do so at their own peril. There are plenty of builders who have learned how to work with the HAHC to build new and renovate old inside historic districts. They are making plenty of cash doing so and will just have more opportunities now that the historic ordinance has thinned out the heard.

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Does any action have to be taken by the opposition for this ordinance to be thrown out by some judge? I think this is an easy case of the city going well outside its power and undertaking a very unfair process. If it ever falls to a judge I can't imagine them taking long to overturn it.

Someone is going to have to file lawsuits. Generally, there are some cases that allowed municipalities to preserve historic structures BUT the devil is in the details. However, with the way they conducted the Transition, they are in deep doo-doo. The Courts and other regulatory bodies will not be bullied by MAP with threats of withholding needed improvements in Council Districts or be swayed by dangling promises of favorable redistricting as SOME on Council are. For instance, anyone think that it is odd that Parker appointed Ed as Mayor Pro Tem? He doesn't have any experience. He is new on Council, just completing his first year. There were plenty of more qualified members but if Ed caves on the the HPO, the rest will follow so she had to step up the pressure on him. He has already demonstrated and stated that he represents the Mayor, not his constituents. When he met with Resposible Historic Preservation, in response to questions about him representing his constituents, he responded that it is a strong mayoral form of government. Essentially, MAP has his vote on whatever she wants and he represents her, not us.

Judges and the other folks that will be looking at this and making decisions could care less. In fact, Houston has a terrible reputation in this state so we will have lots of sympathy if Council does this wrong. We can still try to convince Council but our best chance of getting a fair deal has always been the plans for after the final Council decisions. Those solutions take longer however and people are being harmed in the interim. They screwed up the transition provisions and it will hurt them.

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My point was to rebut the Craftsman bungalow dissing. And I was speaking of bungalows that are generally liveable to move in ready, not ones in need of complete renovation.

Without the ordinance, the ones in need of renovation are always scooped up by builders and bulldozed in favor of the McVic. With the ordinance, people seeking to renovate no longer have to bid against the superior resources of the developers. Yes, if you own a run down home, you will get less for it under the ordinance than without. But, compared to the radical appreciation the Heights has seen over the past 10 years, that is not a burden that justifies allowing the continuation of the destruction of the historic Heights. And, if you let a home go into disrepair, you really should not be greedy and just be thankful for the free ride you have received from your neighbor's investments.

As more my street, I did not say there were no abandoned buildings. I live next to one that would need significant work to restore. I also live next to a rental that would not be as big of a challenge to restore, but would need more than granite countertops to get up to the standards of the Heights. Without the ordinance, both houses would be prime targets for teardowns and McVic-ing. That would sandwich me between two story homes, and send the rest of my block on the fast track for complete busting. With the ordinance, the worst that can happen is that things stay the same. I will take that over being bookended between McVics any day.

And you are right that some builders will set up shop outside the historic districts. But, they do so at their own peril. There are plenty of builders who have learned how to work with the HAHC to build new and renovate old inside historic districts. They are making plenty of cash doing so and will just have more opportunities now that the historic ordinance has thinned out the heard.

Where do you get off thinking you have any right to tell your neighbors what to do with their property? Why shouldn't your neighbor be able to build a "McVic"? If you want protection, convince your neighbors to agree to deed restrictions. Quit using the City to enforce your beliefs on others.

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As more my street, I did not say there were no abandoned buildings. I live next to one that would need significant work to restore. I also live next to a rental that would not be as big of a challenge to restore, but would need more than granite countertops to get up to the standards of the Heights. Without the ordinance, both houses would be prime targets for teardowns and McVic-ing. That would sandwich me between two story homes, and send the rest of my block on the fast track for complete busting. With the ordinance, the worst that can happen is that things stay the same. I will take that over being bookended between McVics any day.

And you are right that some builders will set up shop outside the historic districts. But, they do so at their own peril. There are plenty of builders who have learned how to work with the HAHC to build new and renovate old inside historic districts. They are making plenty of cash doing so and will just have more opportunities now that the historic ordinance has thinned out the heard.

Oh now we get it! You are afraid. Afraid that the homes next to you are not worthy of renovation and you will get new homes built next to you. So, it is all about you! You want to control your neighbors because you want to control what gets built next to you. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH PRESERVATION!! This is an ordinance to control development, period. Finally one of you admit it. Its all about your irrational fears.

BTW folks, s3mh continues to use a ridiculous term that has no basis in reality. Block busting is NOT something that is an agenda of any builders and had to do with racisim in its day. No builder in 2011 looks at a peice of property in the Heights and says "gee, if I can buy this property and build new, maybe I'll get the whole block." Doesn't happen. Isn't on their radar. Isn't possible. s3mh continues to use this term to instill fear but it no one with any sense or education on this issue thinks that it is an appropriate use of that term. And builders don't "set up shop" either. But they will build and renovate all around the perimiter of the districts and those areas, which frankly need the kinds of improvements they were responsible for 10-15 years ago in the current districts. Nearby areas will see greater improvement and the dilapadated structures in the districts will remain forever.

Time to buy south of 11th-west of Yale, north of 20th-east of Yale, west of Yale-north of 16th and in Sunset Heights. Those will be the up and coming neighborhoods and thanks to MAP, they will NEVER become historic districts. And the Heights East, West and South may go back to being a community of run-down rentals with a few renovated bunglaows interspersed with new homes which may lose value because they are never going to have the bad stuff go away.

One Term Mayor

Anyone But Annise

Anyone But Ed

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...send the rest of my block on the fast track for complete busting...

You know, others have commented on your misuse of this term and tried to educate you. Since you were likely using it in ignorance and parroting what someone else told you and you didn't mean any disrespect, or ill nature it wasn't too big a deal.

Now that people have taken the time to educate you, and you are no longer ignorant to it's historic and true meaning, you really should choose something else, as someone will probably take offense to it, and at the least people will start to label you as a bigot.

Edited by samagon
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Time to buy south of 11th-west of Yale, north of 20th-east of Yale, west of Yale-north of 16th and in Sunset Heights. Those will be the up and coming neighborhoods and thanks to MAP, they will NEVER become historic districts.

This is likely to be an unintended consequence of this ordinance; it will be VERY difficult to get 67% of property owners to affirmatively support an application (granted the ordinance requires support of "owners of 67 percent of the tracts," not 67% of the land area, but still a pretty high hurdle). Anecdotal information seems to indicate that about 25-30% of property owners sent in cards to rescind their designation, and a certain percentage will not manifest one way or the other, it seems pretty clear that most of the current districts, the areas most likely to support historic designation, wouldn't meet the threshold of the current ordinance.

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There are plenty of builders who have learned how to work with the HAHC to build new and renovate old inside historic districts. They are making plenty of cash doing so and will just have more opportunities now that the historic ordinance has thinned out the heard.

There are builders who have learned to work with the HAHC, but now that you have removed the 90-day wait period the HAHC no longer has any incentive to work with them. In the past the HAHC approved a percentage of projects because they knew the builder/homeowner could just wait them out. I expect it to become exponentially more difficult to get approval for anything.

Edited by Tiko
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There are plenty of builders who have learned how to work with the HAHC to build new and renovate old inside historic districts. They are making plenty of cash doing so and will just have more opportunities now that the historic ordinance has thinned out the heard.

Just noticed this since Tiko highlighted it. Homonyms are just one of my pet peeves, and worthy only of your cursory review.

heard is a verb that is the past tense of hear

herd is a noun (not proper) that refers to a grouping of animals (typically grazing animals). you could have also used flock, or pack (although pack usually denotes a group of carnivores).

here's a page that lists most homonyms in the English language http://www.cooper.co...monym_list.html it should help to make the distinction between different spellings of words that sound the same in the future.

Anyway, back to historic districts.

Edited by samagon
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Oh now we get it! You are afraid. Afraid that the homes next to you are not worthy of renovation and you will get new homes built next to you. So, it is all about you! You want to control your neighbors because you want to control what gets built next to you. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH PRESERVATION!! This is an ordinance to control development, period. Finally one of you admit it. Its all about your irrational fears.

BTW folks, s3mh continues to use a ridiculous term that has no basis in reality. Block busting is NOT something that is an agenda of any builders and had to do with racisim in its day. No builder in 2011 looks at a peice of property in the Heights and says "gee, if I can buy this property and build new, maybe I'll get the whole block." Doesn't happen. Isn't on their radar. Isn't possible. s3mh continues to use this term to instill fear but it no one with any sense or education on this issue thinks that it is an appropriate use of that term. And builders don't "set up shop" either. But they will build and renovate all around the perimiter of the districts and those areas, which frankly need the kinds of improvements they were responsible for 10-15 years ago in the current districts. Nearby areas will see greater improvement and the dilapadated structures in the districts will remain forever.

Time to buy south of 11th-west of Yale, north of 20th-east of Yale, west of Yale-north of 16th and in Sunset Heights. Those will be the up and coming neighborhoods and thanks to MAP, they will NEVER become historic districts. And the Heights East, West and South may go back to being a community of run-down rentals with a few renovated bunglaows interspersed with new homes which may lose value because they are never going to have the bad stuff go away.

One Term Mayor

Anyone But Annise

Anyone But Ed

Did you see who was in the news today saying that they were going to run against MAP because of the historic district fight? Did you see who announced they were going to challenge Ed? No one. Dream on. Unless something happens very soon, MAP will have a Bill White-esque walk through, which is pretty incredible considering that no one wanted to touch Bill White because he could out spend anyone with what he found in his couch cushions.

It has everything to do with preservation of an entire neighborhood AND respect for those who have dedicated themselves to preserving their historic home. Anti-preservationists have crowed on and on about the right to do whatever you want with your property, including smashing historic bungalows and replacing them with 3500 sq ft monsters. But, there is another property right that exists in our country. The right to petition the government for historic preservation and protection. This is not something Houston made up. In fact, our ordinance is incredibly weak compared to most others. But it is a well recognized and well settled right. It is an individual right, as well as a right that belongs to the entire community.

And for the anti-preservationists, it has always been about individual property owners/builders/realtors and never about what the historic Heights means to the Heights and the rest of Houston. Anti-preservationists just see dollar signs in the Heights, and not one of Houston's most important, and rare, historic neighborhoods. So, pot calling the kettle black on self-interest.

"Dilapidated structure in the districts will remain forever". Right. I guess Bungalow Revival will just go out of business. And the builders that made a nice buck taking two teardowns down to the studs in my district won't ever make that mistake again. Don't believe everything realtors tell you. They are good at one thing and one thing only--getting their commission.

I never said block busting happened by pre-planned design. And if you think there was a racial implication in using the term, you don't understand what the term used to mean and how it is being implicated now. Builders know that when the go big, the houses in their shadows lose value, especially the ones that have not been updated. Builders can always out bid an individual on a historic house that needs updating. Thus, while it is not planned, the effect of putting up a giant house next to a historic bungalow is well understood by builders and very much welcome when that bungalow goes on the market. They may not be planning it, but they are well aware of it. A certain realtor in the Heights told me that bungalows are only worth what a builder is willing to pay to tear it down.

And your prediction about the districts becoming run down is just silly. I guess you do believe everything realtors tell you. The Heights historic districts will become run down the same day you can average driving 65 mph from Cypress or The Woodlands or Sugar Land or Clear Lake to downtown during rush hour. Houston is supposed to add 2 million residents in 10-20 years. People will gladly pay a massive premium for a tiny bungalow and happily submit their plans to HAHC in order to be able to commute to work without spending three hours a day sitting on the highway. Looks like the irrational fears have gotten to you.

In fact, in 10-20 years, preservationists will be celebrated for standing up to the developers and realtors. I have actually seen this happen in other parts of the country. When the historic rules are adopted, everyone cries foul. But after years of practice, the neighborhood becomes an attraction and property values rise beyond imagination (especially when in close proximity to a major urban area).

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But, there is another property right that exists in our country. The right to petition the government for historic preservation and protection.

You are absolutely correct!

only it is done at the state level, not at the national level.

That is the crux of why this thread is still going, many people believe this ordinance does not follow the rules that are set up by the state of Texas either to create or change a restrictive historic district.

Nothing you need to worry yourself with, especially if you believe that you and your group aren't in the wrong.

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s3mh,

Where are you getting your information about Bingalow Revival and other builders making money rebuilding/remodeling these homes? I can tell you with ABSOLUTE certainty that 4 of 6 of my very close builder friends have lost significant amounts of money on remodels in the last few years, and the others were happy to sell close to break even. I have lost more than I really care to think about at this time, and I'm what one of the few remaining builders would call exceptionally lucky. You really know nothing about the economics of building, whether it's new or old. If you DO know someone who is making money doing spec remodels please be specific and give us some numbers: innitial investment, carry costs including financing and taxes, overages and percentage of asking price as well as days on market and and sellers incentives. Lots of people can say "that guy is making money" but I know most of those guys and very few of them are.

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"Dilapidated structure in the districts will remain forever". Right. I guess Bungalow Revival will just go out of business. And the builders that made a nice buck taking two teardowns down to the studs in my district won't ever make that mistake again. Don't believe everything realtors tell you. They are good at one thing and one thing only--getting their commission.

You really need to learn to speak less in absolutes. You come off as unintelligent not only because the things you are typing are stupid, but also because they are absolutes. I can say with almost (notice its not a certainty) 100% certainty that realtors can do more than just one thing well...even if that one thing is drive a car, or dress nice.

I never said block busting happened by pre-planned design. And if you think there was a racial implication in using the term, you don't understand what the term used to mean and how it is being implicated now. Builders know that when the go big, the houses in their shadows lose value, especially the ones that have not been updated. Builders can always out bid an individual on a historic house that needs updating. Thus, while it is not planned, the effect of putting up a giant house next to a historic bungalow is well understood by builders and very much welcome when that bungalow goes on the market. They may not be planning it, but they are well aware of it. A certain realtor in the Heights told me that bungalows are only worth what a builder is willing to pay to tear it down.

That is strange because I live on a block that is "busted" and I just went back on the hcad values, and I can tell when the new homes went up next to the old ones...can you? Both are adjacent to new 2006/07 construction 3000 sq ft, and neither have ever been updated. Both are 1920s well maintained shacks

Tax Year: 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 Appraised Value: $180,000 $183,666 $146,926 $149,371 $116,039

Its strange that new homes on my block were completed in 2007 and again in 2009....I guess that new home block bushing really crushed the value of his home huh? Maybe it was just this one...lets look at my other neighbor....nicer house, 2200 sq ft larger lot.

Tax Year: 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 Appraised Value: $221,000 $203,643 $185,130 $168,300 $153,000

Just as I thought, your facts are not facts at all....in each and every case I looked at on my block and 2 others the values of the well maintained shacks rose the most the years FOLLOWING the construction of a new home, and my block is about 60% old 40% new...Perhaps you can point me to just ONE example of an owner whose overall value went down after a nice new house was built next to his/her well maintained shack.

And your prediction about the districts becoming run down is just silly. I guess you do believe everything realtors tell you. The Heights historic districts will become run down the same day you can average driving 65 mph from Cypress or The Woodlands or Sugar Land or Clear Lake to downtown during rush hour. Houston is supposed to add 2 million residents in 10-20 years. People will gladly pay a massive premium for a tiny bungalow and happily submit their plans to HAHC in order to be able to commute to work without spending three hours a day sitting on the highway. Looks like the irrational fears have gotten to you.

So you recognize the real truth....]The Heights is appreciating rapidly not because it is "historic" but because its become a nice, safe area of town that is also an easy commute. It has nothing to do with the "historic" aspect at all.

In fact, in 10-20 years, preservationists will be celebrated for standing up to the developers and realtors. I have actually seen this happen in other parts of the country. When the historic rules are adopted, everyone cries foul. But after years of practice, the neighborhood becomes an attraction and property values rise beyond imagination (especially when in close proximity to a major urban area).

Most worthless thing you have said yet....imagine that...a safe area of town in close proximity to a large workforce that appreciates rapidly. This area of town could be a corn field and due to its proximity and the fact that the homes being built are nice, and the yards are well maintained, it would appreciate at the same rate. The "historic" aspect of the Heights has had little impact at all on the rate of appreciation....and even if the ordinances stays in place, 10-20 years from now I would still expect the Heights to be significantly more valuable than it is now....unless of course the environmental crazies find a way to permanently stop the exploration and drilling of oil/gas....in which case I would expect values throughout Houston to tumble or at best remain where they are now.

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what makes this neighborhood great... is the people (minus one).

The truth comes out that all you care about is not being bookended by two story mcvics. Selfish Selfish Selfish.

Maybe we chip in and each purchase one large helium balloon that s3mh can attach to his house and float off to some paradise where he can sleep at night knowing he won't be crushed in a McVic sandwich.

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s3mh,

Where are you getting your information about Bingalow Revival and other builders making money rebuilding/remodeling these homes? I can tell you with ABSOLUTE certainty that 4 of 6 of my very close builder friends have lost significant amounts of money on remodels in the last few years, and the others were happy to sell close to break even. I have lost more than I really care to think about at this time, and I'm what one of the few remaining builders would call exceptionally lucky. You really know nothing about the economics of building, whether it's new or old. If you DO know someone who is making money doing spec remodels please be specific and give us some numbers: innitial investment, carry costs including financing and taxes, overages and percentage of asking price as well as days on market and and sellers incentives. Lots of people can say "that guy is making money" but I know most of those guys and very few of them are.

Like most of these hysterical preservationists, you cannot argue logic and facts with them. They have their fingers stuck in their ears and are screaming "lalalalalalalalala" so they can't hear what the real situation is. They don't beleive that the buying pool for a 2/1 bungalow is very small because even single people and young couples want more space and 21st century ameneties. They don't believe that it is a rare homebuyer who is willing to spend the money, let alone the time and carrying costs, to renovate them to make them comperable to what they could purchase for the same money for a new structure. They don't understand that families are no longer willing to raise their families in teeny tiny homes with virutally no storage or rooms large enough to accomodate their belongings and furnishings. I haven't owned a recent/new construction in 19 years or even lived in one since 1983. You have to really love old homes to live in them and put up with all of their bumps and warts. To own one is a labor of love and those bumps and warts often trump what ever charm and character they have, especially when they can get that charm and character in a newer home without the bumps and warts.

The space heater in my living-dining area reads 61 degrees this morning. The central heat is on and so is the space heater. You can practically hang meat in those rooms and they are essentially unuseable when the weather gets cold so I hang out in THE NEW PART of my home, which is insulated and has insulated windows. s3mh and his pals live in a world believing that problems like this don't affect the desirablity of a bungalow and can't understand why everyone isn't willing to deal with those issues with their homes. They see the rare individual who buys a bungalow and renovates as the norm, when they represent the exception. So, confusing them with the fact that renovator/builders also have learned that they have an economic issue on these projects is pointless. One renovator I spoke with said he will never buy another bungalow in an historic district because once he factors in the added carrying costs and expenses of dealing with the HAHC, he ends up losing money on every project he's done. He tried to work with them and didn't use the 90-day waiver option until he got sick of arguing about what he had to do to make them structurally sound and large enough with a sensible floor plan. With no waiver, he won't touch a project in a district now.

The hysterical preservations just can process those types of real life examples in their historic brains. They point to the exception and ignore the rule. They use examples like a home in my area where a buyer bought a 1 1/2 story bungalow with 3000 sq ft and spent a whopping $850k for a to the studs renovation and say "see, people love these bungalows and are willing to do the work." They don't understand that this labor of love of old homes is rare and even rarer still for people who have $850k to spend. They don't believe the truth, which is that homebuyer will likely never see much of a return on their investment, if any, because the project was so costly and has to compete with new construction which costs less. 3000 sq ft isn't worth $850k and while it might be some day in the murky future, the fact that it isn't worth that much upon completion will affect their investment forever. They don't understand economics and the industry and instead, they sceam that builders and realtors who point out the realities to them are greedy liars. Time will tell but most rational, reasonable people think builders and realtors actually know their trade and their positions come from experience, not an emotional, irrational longing for times gone by.

You can't make a logical argument about something illogical with those who have an emotional way of thinking which prevents their logical thought process. It's impossible!

One Term Mayor

Anyone But Annise

Anyone But Ed

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You really need to learn to speak less in absolutes...

...the Heights is appreciating rapidly not because it is "historic" but because its become a nice, safe area of town that is also an easy commute. It has nothing to do with the "historic" aspect at all.

Hey, I thought we weren't supposed to speak in absolutes. I have a problem with this assertion - I understand that it takes a lot more than "historic" buildings to create a massive run-up in prices - case in point the fifth ward - but to say it has "nothing" to do with the Height's appreciation is outlandish. I guess all those people who did buy and restore bungalows had no idea why they liked their houses. I can say for certain that my wife and I, and various other friends of ours in the Heights, made a point of buying houses here over the last 10 years because of the historic aspect (among the usual other reasons to be sure). I understand not everyone feels this way when they buy in the Heights. I'm OK with that. I'm just saying that the "historic" aspect is indeed important to a lot of people.

I fear this thread has become the equivalent of a red state/blue state knock-down drag out argument where one must take sides - radical preservationist or realtor-tool opportunist. It seems to be bringing out the worst in otherwise knowledgable and engaging people.

And while I have the soapbox, Heights Homeowner, I invite you to stop by Proctor Park in Norhill on a warm sunny afternoon after school and see all the kids and families there. You might be surprised how many families can and do raise kids in these small homes.

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Like most of these hysterical preservationists, you cannot argue logic and facts with them. They have their fingers stuck in their ears and are screaming "lalalalalalalalala" so they can't hear what the real situation is. They don't beleive that the buying pool for a 2/1 bungalow is very small because even single people and young couples want more space and 21st century ameneties. They don't believe that it is a rare homebuyer who is willing to spend the money, let alone the time and carrying costs, to renovate them to make them comperable to what they could purchase for the same money for a new structure. They don't understand that families are no longer willing to raise their families in teeny tiny homes with virutally no storage or rooms large enough to accomodate their belongings and furnishings. I haven't owned a recent/new construction in 19 years or even lived in one since 1983. You have to really love old homes to live in them and put up with all of their bumps and warts. To own one is a labor of love and those bumps and warts often trump what ever charm and character they have, especially when they can get that charm and character in a newer home without the bumps and warts.

The space heater in my living-dining area reads 61 degrees this morning. The central heat is on and so is the space heater. You can practically hang meat in those rooms and they are essentially unuseable when the weather gets cold so I hang out in THE NEW PART of my home, which is insulated and has insulated windows. s3mh and his pals live in a world believing that problems like this don't affect the desirablity of a bungalow and can't understand why everyone isn't willing to deal with those issues with their homes. They see the rare individual who buys a bungalow and renovates as the norm, when they represent the exception. So, confusing them with the fact that renovator/builders also have learned that they have an economic issue on these projects is pointless. One renovator I spoke with said he will never buy another bungalow in an historic district because once he factors in the added carrying costs and expenses of dealing with the HAHC, he ends up losing money on every project he's done. He tried to work with them and didn't use the 90-day waiver option until he got sick of arguing about what he had to do to make them structurally sound and large enough with a sensible floor plan. With no waiver, he won't touch a project in a district now.

The hysterical preservations just can process those types of real life examples in their historic brains. They point to the exception and ignore the rule. They use examples like a home in my area where a buyer bought a 1 1/2 story bungalow with 3000 sq ft and spent a whopping $850k for a to the studs renovation and say "see, people love these bungalows and are willing to do the work." They don't understand that this labor of love of old homes is rare and even rarer still for people who have $850k to spend. They don't believe the truth, which is that homebuyer will likely never see much of a return on their investment, if any, because the project was so costly and has to compete with new construction which costs less. 3000 sq ft isn't worth $850k and while it might be some day in the murky future, the fact that it isn't worth that much upon completion will affect their investment forever. They don't understand economics and the industry and instead, they sceam that builders and realtors who point out the realities to them are greedy liars. Time will tell but most rational, reasonable people think builders and realtors actually know their trade and their positions come from experience, not an emotional, irrational longing for times gone by.

You can't make a logical argument about something illogical with those who have an emotional way of thinking which prevents their logical thought process. It's impossible!

One Term Mayor

Anyone But Annise

Anyone But Ed

I was in the market for a 2-1 for almost two years. Combined with the experiences of several friends (all young couples) looking for the same thing, I can tell you that over the past four years, 2-1 bungalows that are in good condition in the Heights sell like hotcakes. I paid list, friends bid up by 10-15%, even after the market crashed. Most good ones are gone within a week if priced properly. I did not even get a chance to make an offer on three bungalows because they sold before listing. The realtor just listed for back up offers. I even tried bidding on two as-is foreclosure/bank owned bungalows that needed 50-60k in work (all 2-1's). I bid up by over 20% and lost each time. One time in Woodland Heights to a . . . wait for it . . . young couple who have done a lot of renovation to it. The market is huge for bungalows. People snap them up like hotcakes. Why? Because they are unlike anything else in the City. Anyone can get a townhome, 1970s tract home, McVic, and so on. But the bungalows are unique and historic. And there are plenty of people who appreciate this more than having extra rooms to decorate.

The good news is now people won't have to bid against the wrecking ball and can put money into their homes knowing that they won't end up being reduced to lot value if the neighbors all go to new monster McVics. So, the realtor predicted doom of all the houses rotting away is bull. Now that historic homes are protected, people can put their money into significant renovations without fear of the McVics turning their house into lot value.

Bungalow renovations are not rare, they are the norm. I looked at over thirty bungalows when I was looking to buy. Everyone had been renovated. In fact it is rare to find a bungalow in the Heights that hasn't been renovated. And most of the time a bungalow has trouble selling is because of crappy renovations that have killed off the original architecture or make the interior look more like the Wooldands than the 1920s.

As for your cold living room, mine was toasty and warm this morning. Looks like you need to spring for a new furnance. Or maybe your are just wanting to let your house rot away and then cash out to a builder. Well, sorry the ordinance ruined your plan, but if the ordinance hurts people who do not care for their homes, that is ok with me. And, as I mentioned previously, the fact is that anyone who has owned in the Heights for over 10 years has seen a massive amount of appreciation even with an ordinance.

Sure, historic homes have lots of problems. But, new homes can be much worse. I completely re-wired by bungalow for less than the cost of foundation repair on a 2500 sq ft house in the burbs. And I know people in the Woodlands who were left to spend tens of thousands getting rid of crappy stucco after the bad builders went belly up.

And I understand the economics of the industry very well. The make a fast buck builders will not be able to build in the Heights any more. But that is fine. The Heights is better off without them. Let the smart and skilled builders and renovators take over.

Finally, you are right. There is something emotional with preservation. There are actually people in this world who can see past short term profits for a few in favor of preserving something for everyone. You don't look to builders and realtors to make the decisions needed to preserve a historic neighborhood. It is so obvious that their interests conflict with preservation that it takes some serious gall for them to claim in public that there is no conflict. The bottom line is that you all had your chance to get rid of the ordinance and you failed. There will be no lawsuit because any lawyer will tell you that you will be throwing your money down the drain. Ed and MAP will sail through to relection. No one has stepped up to challenge either of them and no one with any ability to raise funds will. MAP isn't my favorite mayor, but she knows what she is doing and will have the support she needs to get relected, regardless of how much anti-preservationists cry.

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Can't believe you are still bragging about getting screwed on your purchase. Those of us who live here (much longer than you, btw) know what the market is and has been. You got had. I drive home every day past several houses that have been on the market for months, including several who have reduced the asking price. The combination of the recession and the uncertainty that this ordinance has introduced to potential buyers has crushed the market. I sure wish you were in the market 6 months ago when I was looking to put my house on the block.

By the way, I am not a builder. I am, however, a lawyer, as are several others who post on this topic. It should not surprise you why we do not discuss potential lawsuits with you.

Edited by RedScare
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You really need to learn to speak less in absolutes...

...the Heights is appreciating rapidly not because it is "historic" but because its become a nice, safe area of town that is also an easy commute. It has nothing to do with the "historic" aspect at all.

Hey, I thought we weren't supposed to speak in absolutes. I have a problem with this assertion - I understand that it takes a lot more than "historic" buildings to create a massive run-up in prices - case in point the fifth ward - but to say it has "nothing" to do with the Height's appreciation is outlandish. I guess all those people who did buy and restore bungalows had no idea why they liked their houses. I can say for certain that my wife and I, and various other friends of ours in the Heights, made a point of buying houses here over the last 10 years because of the historic aspect (among the usual other reasons to be sure). I understand not everyone feels this way when they buy in the Heights. I'm OK with that. I'm just saying that the "historic" aspect is indeed important to a lot of people.

I fear this thread has become the equivalent of a red state/blue state knock-down drag out argument where one must take sides - radical preservationist or realtor-tool opportunist. It seems to be bringing out the worst in otherwise knowledgable and engaging people.

And while I have the soapbox, Heights Homeowner, I invite you to stop by Proctor Park in Norhill on a warm sunny afternoon after school and see all the kids and families there. You might be surprised how many families can and do raise kids in these small homes.

I withdraw my previous statement saying it has "nothing to do with historic aspect at all" You are correct - I should not have spoken in such absolute. The Heights has appreciated rapidly because of its proximity and its quality, it has less to do with the historic aspect. There are certainly those who love its historic nature, but I believe, they are the minority of the homeowners.

Thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy in post. Unlike some other posters, I have no problem admitting when I have made an error.

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Bungalow renovations are not rare, they are the norm. I looked at over thirty bungalows when I was looking to buy. Everyone had been renovated. In fact it is rare to find a bungalow in the Heights that hasn't been renovated. And most of the time a bungalow has trouble selling is because of crappy renovations that have killed off the original architecture or make the interior look more like the Wooldands than the 1920s.

Is this a joke? First we had the "old Jim Walters homes are historic" joke. Now we have the "unrenovated bungalows in the Heights are rare" joke. Not only are there plenty of unrenovated bungalows, but there are dozens that are so run down they are barely more than a pile of sticks. But old sticks they are, and therefore historic and "contributing."

But that's ok - they will be the targets of my demolition by neglect claims.

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I withdraw my previous statement saying it has "nothing to do with historic aspect at all" You are correct - I should not have spoken in such absolute. The Heights has appreciated rapidly because of its proximity and its quality, it has less to do with the historic aspect. There are certainly those who love its historic nature, but I believe, they are the minority of the homeowners.

Thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy in post. Unlike some other posters, I have no problem admitting when I have made an error.

I think it has more to do with the character of a house and the general neighborhood than the history. There are some great examples of old bungalows in the Heights, but there are also quite a few ordinary and derelict homes that detract from the desirability. The homes that have been kept up or renovated and have character are what make the neighborhood. There is obviously a market of folks who are less concerned about square footage than character, or they are willing to pay to have both and build a new home or large addition within the neighborhood.

The problem I have with the historic ordinance is that it isn't always fair in distinguishing good history from bad history (other than allowing for negligence claims). Not every house in the historic districts is a gem worth exacting preservation or any preservation in some cases, and modifications that in all common sense improve those properties should be encouraged instead of stifled. Interjecting a little common sense into the process would go a long way, like allowing the single family residents of a duplex with two doors to remove the second door and centralize the location of the first door, or allowing renovations that were already in process to be completed.

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Finally, you are right. There is something emotional with preservation. There are actually people in this world who can see past short term profits for a few in favor of preserving something for everyone. You don't look to builders and realtors to make the decisions needed to preserve a historic neighborhood. It is so obvious that their interests conflict with preservation that it takes some serious gall for them to claim in public that there is no conflict. The bottom line is that you all had your chance to get rid of the ordinance and you failed. There will be no lawsuit because any lawyer will tell you that you will be throwing your money down the drain. Ed and MAP will sail through to relection. No one has stepped up to challenge either of them and no one with any ability to raise funds will. MAP isn't my favorite mayor, but she knows what she is doing and will have the support she needs to get relected, regardless of how much anti-preservationists cry.

Won't go into much detail on the rest of your post. Those with any knowledge and expertise know you are flat out wrong. No one said renovated houses weren't selling. No one said that no one will renovate and add on to one that needs work. But the buying pool is very small. But again, no point in arguing logic with someone whose emotions color logic and make them illogical.

Anyone who uses emotions when it comes to their largest investment is likely to do what you did and pay more than they had too. By all means, please call your investment broker and ask him to buy stocks for you at a price above the share price. We'll probably have to support you in your dodage due to your lack of investment skills because your investsments won't support you in retirement but that is what charity and the government does. They take care of those who can't take care of themselves, including those who couldn't manage their financial futures due to mental illness.

Yes, yes, you're right. City Council has decided and we lost. No one cares about the details and lack of demonstrable support. Attoneys have told us we don't have a case and would be throwing our money away. We can't raise the money even if they would take our case. There are no other options to challenge what has happened. Parker and Ed will win re-election easily with no challenges. You are all knowing, all seeing - omnipotent really. Thankfully we have you telling us the real truth and we will go away with our tail tucked between our legs. We give up and you win. Go Celebrate!

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Anyone But Annise

Anyone But Ed

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Can't believe you are still bragging about getting screwed on your purchase. Those of us who live here (much longer than you, btw) know what the market is and has been. You got had. I drive home every day past several houses that have been on the market for months, including several who have reduced the asking price. The combination of the recession and the uncertainty that this ordinance has introduced to potential buyers has crushed the market. I sure wish you were in the market 6 months ago when I was looking to put my house on the block.

By the way, I am not a builder. I am, however, a lawyer, as are several others who post on this topic. It should not surprise you why we do not discuss potential lawsuits with you.

He is fishing, not that it will do him any good. He is scared because he knows we have a plan that involves 4 different types of challenges and that all of his claims of victory are premature and vulnerable. He is hoping he can goad us into revealing something but he has no idea who he is dealing with. We are not like his little clan. We are smart and committed and won't go quietly into the night. He will embarrass himself with a big "Mission Accomplished" banner. There aready is one of those on Harvard. These folks have nothing on old Dubya Bush. But, here we are in 2011, still in the Middle East, still fighting, still haven't gotten Bin Laden. Premature Mission Accomplished claims seems to be the only answer for people who do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. But, smart people know what the right thing is and more smart people who can be bullied and bought with political favors will do the right thing, not matter who claims Mission Accomplished.

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And while I have the soapbox, Heights Homeowner, I invite you to stop by Proctor Park in Norhill on a warm sunny afternoon after school and see all the kids and families there. You might be surprised how many families can and do raise kids in these small homes.

Yes, of course there are some families that can and do raise kids in these small homes. I am one of them. My child was 11 when we bought into the neighborhood, but we were the exception. The fact is that a 2/1 is not what the average family of today is seeking. I too have seen many bungalows. I can't tell you how many open houses I've been to where the couple has recently had a child and are now seeking larger housing. And it isn't limited to the 2/1. Even those who have had modest additions are put on the market when baby two arrives. It is rare that you walk through one of these homes that you see evidence of 2 or 3 or 4 kids past the age of 5 or 6 living in a nearly original footprint home. There is an obvious lack of older children or families larger than 2 kids. I grew up in a family of six. I know what a bedroom filled with bunkbeds and lots of kids looks like. These are starter homes, at best. Even my own family eventually upgraded from a 3/1 1/2 to a 5/4 1/2 as we grew up. Six kids in a three bedroom house was very crowded even in the 70's when people's expectations and volume of material goods was vastly different than today. When I start seeing bedrooms of families with multiple older children (plural) at an open house on a Sunday afternoon, then I'll buy the position that families want these homes. When I talk to the family on my block who live in bungalow with a child (less than 2), they say they are out of room and will probably buy new to get more space, then I will believe the expectation of families today is changing and people are willng to settle for less space to raise their family. The families with multiple small children ALL live in the new construction on my block. Bungalows are perfect for the new family. They just don't meet the needs of MOST families with multiple children who are school age. Its a generalization, not an absolute but we struggled with storage space for my childs entire middle and high school years and most people don't love these bungalows enough to put up with it for even one child, as I did, let alone more than one.

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For those who like to amuse themselves by viewing proof of s3mh's exaggerated claims, you can go to HAR.com and do a single family home search. Type in "Houston Heights" for the subdivision name, and limit the square footage to 1750 sq or less (since most bungalows are under this size). What you'll find in the listings shown is that fully HALF of the listing on the first 3 pages have been reduced. So much for 'selling like hotcakes'. During the worst recession in 70 years, some of our neighbors think it wise to limit the pool of potential buyers even more, and severely restrict the ability of those still here to renovate their property. Brilliant strategy.

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your claims of bungalows selling like hotcakes and paying list price make me laugh so hard. When I was in the market for a bungalow, i was well aware of pretty much every pre- 1930 property less than $400k in both 77008 and 77009. This was 3 years ago, until 1.5 years ago when i bought my house (although I still keep up with the inventory even now). So many of these were available for 6+ months I couldn't count. The house that I ended up buying is a 2/1.5, renovated/well kept, new 2 car garage, had sat on the market for over 9 months, i paid under asking price (which had been reduced a few times) and required the seller to pay all closing cost as well as contribute cash back after closing for repairs. The appraised value of the home when i bought it was 15% more than what I paid. Although I did an insane amount of research and I do believe I got a little bit lucky with timing, if they were selling like hotcakes this NEVER could have happened.

I did have two houses I tried to make offers on sell at list price, but both times the price had been reduced that week by over 10%.

I'm going to assume that you never actually get out in the neighborhood, because if you did, you would see that the same houses sit on the market for long periods of time. (often they are eventually pulled off the market, then put right back on a few months later at a lower price, or the same price with some new paint/minor renovations) I drive by about 10 of these a day in Woodland Heights.

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The bungalow just up the street just got reduced about 7% and has been for sale for at least six months. The sweet, elderly owner supposedly had a buyer until the yellow signs and Mr. Truxillo's victory flag appeared and the buyer got scared off. The seller is the kind of person who is really getting hurt in this.

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The bungalow just up the street just got reduced about 7% and has been for sale for at least six months. The sweet, elderly owner supposedly had a buyer until the yellow signs and Mr. Truxillo's victory flag appeared and the buyer got scared off. The seller is the kind of person who is really getting hurt in this.

it's stories like this that make me wonder if it is even necessary for someone to be denied a permit (coa) before action is taken against this restrictive ordinance.

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I was in the market for a 2-1 for almost two years. Combined with the experiences of several friends (all young couples) looking for the same thing, I can tell you that over the past four years, 2-1 bungalows that are in good condition in the Heights sell like hotcakes. I paid list, friends bid up by 10-15%, even after the market crashed. Most good ones are gone within a week if priced properly. I did not even get a chance to make an offer on three bungalows because they sold before listing. The realtor just listed for back up offers. I even tried bidding on two as-is foreclosure/bank owned bungalows that needed 50-60k in work (all 2-1's). I bid up by over 20% and lost each time. One time in Woodland Heights to a . . . wait for it . . . young couple who have done a lot of renovation to it. The market is huge for bungalows. People snap them up like hotcakes. Why? Because they are unlike anything else in the City. Anyone can get a townhome, 1970s tract home, McVic, and so on. But the bungalows are unique and historic. And there are plenty of people who appreciate this more than having extra rooms to decorate.

Just got off the phone with a dear friend who has had their BUNGALOW on the market since the moratorium. Several buyers have bailed or not been willing to make an offer because of the ordinance. Their bungalow is really cute. Definitely a candidate for some kind soul to come along and spend more money than it will be worth once renovated. They read your comments. They would like one of your friends to buy their bungalow for 10-15% over the list price. They would even settle for a buyer like you who offered 20% over the list price. Please make an offer. Since you obviously know that the "market is huge for bungalows" and your and your friends are so desparate for bungalows you are willing to pay any price, they need you to write an offer tomorrow. Please put them out of their misery of rejection by potential buyers who aren't clued in to the extreme value of their property. These buyers crazy realtors don't seem to be able to convince their clients that not only should they not pay less than the list price, they should pay significantly more than the seller is asking because after all, everyone can get a townhome or a new construction period looking home with all the modern ameneties but very few have the honor of buying such a desirable property, particularly at a price far more then the seller's dreamed they can get for it. My friends hotcake property is so cold you could use it as a freezer pack for your beer cooler. You and your friends can email your offer to: info@ResponsibleHistoricPreservation.org. I'm sure those three realtors would be more than happy to submit the offer on your behalf for any bungalow you want to buy, especially since they will make more 10-15% more in commission from you and your friends too. What a deal!

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it's stories like this that make me wonder if it is even necessary for someone to be denied a permit (coa) before action is taken against this restrictive ordinance.

Without going into detail, it isn't a denial of a reasonable coa that folks are waiting for before taking action. Every thing has its time and it isn't time, but its coming unless some sanity surfaces. People are being harmed by the ordinance, that's true but it all has to fall in place. Patience is a virtue in this situation.

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Anyone But Annise

Anyone But Ed

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Just got off the phone with a dear friend who has had their BUNGALOW on the market since the moratorium. Several buyers have bailed or not been willing to make an offer because of the ordinance. Their bungalow is really cute. Definitely a candidate for some kind soul to come along and spend more money than it will be worth once renovated. They read your comments. They would like one of your friends to buy their bungalow for 10-15% over the list price. They would even settle for a buyer like you who offered 20% over the list price. Please make an offer. Since you obviously know that the "market is huge for bungalows" and your and your friends are so desparate for bungalows you are willing to pay any price, they need you to write an offer tomorrow. Please put them out of their misery of rejection by potential buyers who aren't clued in to the extreme value of their property. These buyers crazy realtors don't seem to be able to convince their clients that not only should they not pay less than the list price, they should pay significantly more than the seller is asking because after all, everyone can get a townhome or a new construction period looking home with all the modern ameneties but very few have the honor of buying such a desirable property, particularly at a price far more then the seller's dreamed they can get for it. My friends hotcake property is so cold you could use it as a freezer pack for your beer cooler. You and your friends can email your offer to: info@ResponsibleHistoricPreservation.org. I'm sure those three realtors would be more than happy to submit the offer on your behalf for any bungalow you want to buy, especially since they will make more 10-15% more in commission from you and your friends too. What a deal!

Update since the last posting. Email from my friends. It seems we've created quite a domestic dispute. One is more than happy to settle for the 10 to 15% over list offer. However, their spouse is a CPA, number-cruncher type and thinks, based on your exuberance for bungalows like theirs that 20 to perhaps even 25% would be more like it. You know those pencil pushing, bean counter, accounting types. It's always about the dollars and sense, uhhh, I mean cents. I have encouraged them to hold the line at 10 to 15%. They don't want to seem overly greedy but truthfully, if you offer 20% over the list, I secretly think they will get over the appearance of being money-grubbing bungalow owners, selling out to the highest bidder and cash the check anyway. I'll bet you could even convince them to retract their ballot to repeal the district, but keep it quiet. You wouldn't want to have another accusation of buying support for the ordinance. Leave that to Parker. She's good at it. A pro, actually. You couldn't possibly compete with her although we haven't forgotten your threats that those who opposed the ordinance changes for our neighborhood won't be able to get their projects approved. That comment must mean you are either on the HAHC or have exceptional influence in the historic preservation office so you have likely learned MAP's SOP first hand so making promises to gain support for your draconian ordinance likely comes easily for you.

My friends are eagerly awaiting their more than full price offer for their little hotcake.

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Just got off the phone with a dear friend who has had their BUNGALOW on the market since the moratorium. Several buyers have bailed or not been willing to make an offer because of the ordinance. Their bungalow is really cute. Definitely a candidate for some kind soul to come along and spend more money than it will be worth once renovated. They read your comments. They would like one of your friends to buy their bungalow for 10-15% over the list price. They would even settle for a buyer like you who offered 20% over the list price. Please make an offer. Since you obviously know that the "market is huge for bungalows" and your and your friends are so desparate for bungalows you are willing to pay any price, they need you to write an offer tomorrow. Please put them out of their misery of rejection by potential buyers who aren't clued in to the extreme value of their property. These buyers crazy realtors don't seem to be able to convince their clients that not only should they not pay less than the list price, they should pay significantly more than the seller is asking because after all, everyone can get a townhome or a new construction period looking home with all the modern ameneties but very few have the honor of buying such a desirable property, particularly at a price far more then the seller's dreamed they can get for it. My friends hotcake property is so cold you could use it as a freezer pack for your beer cooler. You and your friends can email your offer to: info@ResponsibleHistoricPreservation.org. I'm sure those three realtors would be more than happy to submit the offer on your behalf for any bungalow you want to buy, especially since they will make more 10-15% more in commission from you and your friends too. What a deal!

You get an F for reading comprehension. I said bungalows that are in good condition sell like hotcakes. I also said that bungalows in need of significant repair that are put out to bid in bank owned/foreclosure sales generate lots of interest. Bungalows that need significant renovation that are not put out for bids in as-is/foreclosure/bankowned sales have never sold like hotcakes, even back when builders were out buying them. If your friend is having trouble selling, it is more than likely because they have a realtor that has given them an unrealistic expectation of what their house is worth in order to get hired. I have said that people will not get as much money for neglected bungalows as they did when builders were buying them. But, most people will still make out like a bandit if they bought 10-20 years ago. And the lending environment has much more to do with slow moving renovations than the historic ordinance. It has become very difficult, if not impossible, to do a construction loan with a first lien mortgage. The only way you can do it is with some of the FHA products. But, those have maximums that are @270. So, the cost of renovation plus the sale price have to equal @270 (plus any cash the buyer can bring to the table). If you are trying to sell a bungalow that needs extensive renovation and have it listed for $275k, you are going to have a hard time finding a buyer, even if builders were still allowed to knock it down. But if you listed the same house for $225k, you would get a lot of interest. Of course people who are listing neglected bungalows for $275k probably bought 10-15 years ago for 90-120k and will only see their investment double. If only I could be so lucky to have such a burden like that.

According to the Leader, Heights West only got 20% in favor of repealing the district. There is absolutely no way to rationalize that other than the fact that the anit-preservationist message failed.

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You get an F for reading comprehension. I said bungalows that are in good condition sell like hotcakes. I also said that bungalows in need of significant repair that are put out to bid in bank owned/foreclosure sales generate lots of interest. Bungalows that need significant renovation that are not put out for bids in as-is/foreclosure/bankowned sales have never sold like hotcakes, even back when builders were out buying them. If your friend is having trouble selling, it is more than likely because they have a realtor that has given them an unrealistic expectation of what their house is worth in order to get hired. I have said that people will not get as much money for neglected bungalows as they did when builders were buying them. But, most people will still make out like a bandit if they bought 10-20 years ago. And the lending environment has much more to do with slow moving renovations than the historic ordinance. It has become very difficult, if not impossible, to do a construction loan with a first lien mortgage. The only way you can do it is with some of the FHA products. But, those have maximums that are @270. So, the cost of renovation plus the sale price have to equal @270 (plus any cash the buyer can bring to the table). If you are trying to sell a bungalow that needs extensive renovation and have it listed for $275k, you are going to have a hard time finding a buyer, even if builders were still allowed to knock it down. But if you listed the same house for $225k, you would get a lot of interest. Of course people who are listing neglected bungalows for $275k probably bought 10-15 years ago for 90-120k and will only see their investment double. If only I could be so lucky to have such a burden like that.

According to the Leader, Heights West only got 20% in favor of repealing the district. There is absolutely no way to rationalize that other than the fact that the anit-preservationist message failed.

You don't think the 20% number could have anything to do with the extreme short notice, short term, during holidays, and general apathy of the public to return/signup for anything? That number means the 1/5 of your neighbors were soo pissed off about the ordinace, they went out of their way to try to get their historic designation taken away. 20% is a pretty big number fool.

What about my house? It did not need any renovations. It was exactly what you describe as the most desirable type of bungalow.

Edited by SilverJK
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You get an F for reading comprehension. I said bungalows that are in good condition sell like hotcakes. I also said that bungalows in need of significant repair that are put out to bid in bank owned/foreclosure sales generate lots of interest. Bungalows that need significant renovation that are not put out for bids in as-is/foreclosure/bankowned sales have never sold like hotcakes, even back when builders were out buying them. If your friend is having trouble selling, it is more than likely because they have a realtor that has given them an unrealistic expectation of what their house is worth in order to get hired. I have said that people will not get as much money for neglected bungalows as they did when builders were buying them. But, most people will still make out like a bandit if they bought 10-20 years ago. And the lending environment has much more to do with slow moving renovations than the historic ordinance. It has become very difficult, if not impossible, to do a construction loan with a first lien mortgage. The only way you can do it is with some of the FHA products. But, those have maximums that are @270. So, the cost of renovation plus the sale price have to equal @270 (plus any cash the buyer can bring to the table). If you are trying to sell a bungalow that needs extensive renovation and have it listed for $275k, you are going to have a hard time finding a buyer, even if builders were still allowed to knock it down. But if you listed the same house for $225k, you would get a lot of interest. Of course people who are listing neglected bungalows for $275k probably bought 10-15 years ago for 90-120k and will only see their investment double. If only I could be so lucky to have such a burden like that.

According to the Leader, Heights West only got 20% in favor of repealing the district. There is absolutely no way to rationalize that other than the fact that the anit-preservationist message failed.

Okay everybody, let's just pretend to agree that s3mh is the area expert on the real estate and lending industry. He knows what sells, and why. He knows how much to pay and what these bungalows are worth. Blah, blah, blah... Never mind that I never mentioned the condition of my friends bungalow but since he is knows all, omnipotent, really, he must also know that too. I never said it was neglected but why deal with facts now, right? We just hate those sticky little factoids anyway.

Here's the reality, unless a property has been renovated and expanded, it isn't a hotcake anymore. They are sitting on the market with no buyer in sight. Properties that were once desirable for renovation and expansion just don't have the same appeal and buying pool. That leaves a whole lot of property that isn't the value it once was, prior to June. That's okay with our little friend s3, but generally not okay with those property owners. I'm not sure who he thinks his audience is on this forum though. Clearly his speculation about the condition of these homes, how smart their realtor is, and how long ago they were purchased, and for how much is something that he he needs promote to validate his overpriced purchase. A couple of months ago, one property in the east district, waited for their 90-day waiver obtained before the moratorium, demolished the dilapadated structure on it and got $30,000 more than he had asked for it as a renovation candidate which he tried to sell for more than a year with no takers. Sold it for $280,000. Not really an indication that the market for property that needs to be torn down or renovated can't get the $275,000 it used to, as ole s3mh claims. Just that if you can tear it down because it isn't a worthy candidate for renovation, you can still get what it is worth. If you can't, you're screwed, thanks to the ordinance.

Back to s3mh, DUDE, your vast knowledge of the lending industry is very interesting. Only FHA can is doing renovation loans now? Is that what you are saying? And you know this how? Are you a mortgage broker? A realtor? Or just a property owner with a single experience for your expertise? Or maybe your hysterical preservation buddies, David and Sharie Beale have told you these very interesting facts. You might want to check your sources though. Folks checked at Keller Williams, the firm that fired them, and they said that the Beales haven't sold enough real estate to say they have. One or two transactions over several years doesn't exactly make them experts in the real esate biz. And apparently Sharie dear wasn't much of an expert on historic preservation either since she was asked to resign from the HAHC commission. Or was that for ethics violations, I forget? No matter. She had to go and your friend MAP decided not to just let her term run out. She was an albatrose around Parker's neck and once the ordinance passed, and Parker didn't need her little minions to support her anymore, she gave the boot to Beale. She should have known she was getting the axe when the City Attorney lectured the entire commission about ethics and it addressed the exact same complaints about the Beales and their questionable practices. I laughed myself silly after Feldman lectured them and David Beale had to decline his speaking opportunity or his little wifey would have to recuse herself from voting. It was priceless - but I digress.

My friends are waiting for the excellent offer that one of your friends is going to make for their well maintained, previously well priced (pre-ordinance change) hotcake bungalow that hasn't gotten a contract in 7 months. Please email the offer for their highly desirable property. After all, some family might want a 2/1 bungalow, right? They might even be willing to settle for a full price offer so spread the word that they are willing to forego an offer at 10-20% over list. They are very reasonable folks.

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Anyone But Annise

Anyone But Ed

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You don't think the 20% number could have anything to do with the extreme short notice, short term, during holidays, and general apathy of the public to return/signup for anything? That number means the 1/5 of your neighbors were soo pissed off about the ordinace, they went out of their way to try to get their historic designation taken away. 20% is a pretty big number fool.
Srsly, what is the avg percent of the population that votes in an election? Using that as a guide, I'd say it was a landslide in favor of removing the designation. Edited by samagon
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According to the Leader, Heights West only got 20% in favor of repealing the district. There is absolutely no way to rationalize that other than the fact that the anit-preservationist message failed.

No way to rationalize the 20% huh? You keep telling yourself that. It is a big help to us for you to think that way. Just because you have no other explantion, doesn't mean there isn't one. We realize that people with questionable ethics don't understand that process has everything to do with it and there are folks who actually care about the methods employed in this sham of a vote who understand it too. So keep repeating to yourself, "they only got 20%, no way to rationalize, we won, they lost, they only got 20%, no way to rationalize, we won, they lost, they only got 20%, no way to rationalize, we won, they lost, they only got 20%, no way to rationalize we won, they lost." You'll believe it eventually and we will thoroughly enjoy proving the rationalization you think is non-existent. And we are looking forward to pulling the trigger on the future plans. Please visit your therapist because you are going to need your xanax and your anti-aniety med. Shoot, you might even need a script from the doc for anti-psychotic drugs by the time we are done.

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