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I know I shouldn't even respond, but I could not let this rant stand unchallenged lest some ignorant non-reader buys into it.

The secret Occupy HAIF movement is now exposed to the world, oh my!

Non-reader alert!

Are you including dog and squirrel votes in your majority too? No doubt you include renters (old, unimproved homes have lower rents), new-build owners (kills the competition for best homes), outside of HD owners (higher comparable re-sale value, see Norhill Addition), and non-contributing structures (HD? What HD?). But for humans with skin in the game, i.e. Texas property owners of land in the HD with a structure burdened by the ordinance, I challenge your unsubstantiated claim of overwhelming majority. And if that is true, why did the city not use a simple up-or-down vote by only impacted owners on a sanctioned election cycle?

TRANSLATED: City Ordinance Lovers can attempt to justify their adulation by posting here, but be aware that BS will be called and responded to by proud Texans with a clear, rational and stinging rebuke.

Also known as the I-45 Expansion Defense Historic District.

And your source for these rash predictions are....hearsay? And 180 degrees is....hyperbole?

You mean those opposed to the ordinance eloquently set forth and defend their position in the most active neighborhood message board in "HAIF - Houston's Leading News Forum".

No validation is required when defending one's property rights in Texas from politicians pandering to River Oaks elitists and wannabes (see HAHC Chairman and the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance)

Now don't get your feelings hurt. I do not hate you, I don't even know you. I think you put a lot of effort into something you support, and I respect that effort, no matter how misguided it may be. And this is your party, like it or not.

Do I detect a tad of elitism here? Did staff have a nice holiday or two? Did staff enjoy the pot-luck holiday luncheon management allowed? Sorry, just kidding, don’t call Subdude on me. Oh, and Happy New Year to all the HAIFers, where ever you live whatever you post!

Case and point. Had the post not been on the mark, the preservation haters would not have gone nuts over it.

1. The idea that you can be for historic preservation, but not for any kind of preservation ordinance is wonderful PR, but falls flat in the face of reality. The facts are that historic houses in the Heights were getting demolished in a wholesale fashion prior to the amendments to the historic ordinance. To say that you are for preservation, but only on a voluntary basis is like saying you are against bullying in schools, but only if the little pipsqueaks can stand up for themselves without having to have the teachers intervene. Without the revision to the ordinance, the historic homes in the Heights would have been lost and every block would have been transformed into some mish mash of lot line faux Vics, "where in the world did that come from" custom homes and "look at me!" oddball moderns. So, saying "I am for preservation, but on a voluntary basis" is just another way of saying "tear down all the old crap and good luck to anyone who wants to out bid a builder for a bungalow sandwiched between two lot line McVics."

2. We had a vote. Anti-preservationists came up way short. Thus, they want a different vote.

3. Renters not on the same level as homeowners? And then an accusation of elitism?

4. HAIF as a representative measure of the Heights? That is rich. Most people in the Heights won't touch this message board with a ten foot pole because of the vitriol launched at anyone who presents an opposing viewpoint. Again, case and point.

5. No, it is your party that I am crashing. I enjoy the sparring and am not going anywhere any time soon. This punching bag is made of kevlar.

6. No elitism. Elitism would be to call them secretaries, which I do not do because they are skilled employees, even though they are not the ones in the office with the degrees. It is simply a fact that they love reality TV shows and will talk day and night about them. I can't stand them. I do have guilty pleasures like Workaholics and South Park. But they don't watch those shows. So, I make use of 60+ wpm by posting here instead of trying to relate to the discussion of Honey Boo whatever that thing is.

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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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Quoted from fwki:

TRANSLATED: City Ordinance Lovers can attempt to justify their adulation by posting here, but be aware that BS will be called and responded to by proud Texans with a clear, rational and stinging rebuke.

So, people who support historic districts and the preservation of this cities dwindling history are not proud Texans? If anything the people who support preservation care more about Texas heritage than you anti historic district rable rousers. Sorry, but if there are not historic districts with strict guidelines than this cities history will all be gone in 50 years at the rate of tear downs in the Heights before the ordinance was passed. And I guess us renters are just lowly scumbags who shouldnt have a say in the neighborhood we live in. I guess we are like 3rd class passengers or something to you. Guess what? The majority of people who live in the Heights who own historic homes or rent them are in favor of preservation of this historic neighborhood. You do not hold the majority view otherwise the preservation ordinances would not have passed. You would like The Heights to turn into Rice Military if you had it your way.

Edited by photolitherland
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@photo, so you think it's OK to force a homeowner to comply with esthetic restrictions AFTER they purchase a home? That's pretty totalitarian, don't you think? I like history, but don't really care if every old building in town disappears if that's the wish of the property owners. In a just world, the preservation ordinance would not have been enacted.

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Case and point. Had the post not been on the mark, the preservation haters would not have gone nuts over it.

Kind of like how there must be truth to the posts about you or you would not have gone to the moderator complaining? And by the way, it's "case in point", not "case and point."

Happy New Year!

Edited by heights
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It seems to me that constraints are placed on homeowners all the time, without anyone being grandfathered.

We are not in the floodplain, for instance, but the government's data is not terribly accurate and at some point we got a letter stating that we were suddenly in a hundred-year floodplain, by fiat. I can't pretend it really matters, as my husband is too tight to ever expand the house, but still, it amounts to a taking.

For a handful of neighborhoods in this city, ordinances have been passed which are designed to prevent the building of "superduplexes" (builders were routinely submitting plans for houses with eight game rooms, or something) and the overshadowing of smaller existing houses by newer ones, and to preserve the character of the streetscape to some degree. It's true that the implementation, for those who choose to enter the process of building a new home, seems like it could be quite maddening. And I myself find a sea of single-family houses kind of dull. But those neighborhoods are greatly outnumbered by areas which are charmless, like that where I live, where people may do mostly as they like, and the city benefits if they do. It sort of usefully channels their energy where it is most needed. The McMansion I would dislike in another context, I would more or less welcome on my street.

Windows: Big Brother has taken an unusually strong hand here about windows. There is a window in my shower, above eye level, very handy for quickly drying the room and keeping mildew down. It was drafty and not terribly private however, so almost immediately upon moving in I encouraged my kid to throw his ball against the house in that general area (see cheap husband, above) and soon enough was able to replace it with a nice double-paned frosted window. The guy who did the work said that the it violated code as someone might slip on the tile and crash through it. Another time I replaced a leaky aluminum bedroom window that always stuck -- I had to use a screwdriver as a sort of lever while pushing on it, and was the only one who mastered this, which would have been unfortunate had we needed to leave that way in an actual fire -- and decided to replace it with an easily-sliding double-paned vinyl thing, tripartite, because that looked the best. Again, a window replacer advised me that I was in violation, because a five-hundred pound person might not be able to get out of it in a fire. He did it for me sans permit anyway, but said that was why his truck was not marked with the name of his business. Ironically he had come to town to profit off of a then-city-program designed to offer rebates to homeowners in disadvantaged areas to replace old windows and thereby achieve energy savings. It was quickly discovered that in nearly all cases simple window replacements would violate city code, bigger openings would have to be cut, and few of the targeted people could afford to undertake this greater remodeling. The program was thus mainly a failure. I understand these rules were devised to prevent tragedies, but my house is so small, nearly every window and door is visible from any point. Egress is truly not a problem.

And sometime in the offing, here, the city will require new construction and remodels to conform to universal design. They trotted the idea out already, withdrew it after a hue and cry, but one sensed it was just the opening salvo.

Not to mention, two entirely new taxing jurisdictions have been created since we moved here -- and said taxes happen to be dedicated to things to which I have as great an antipathy as some people do for preservation ordinances.

ETA: I'm not insensitive to the fact that, in Houston, the rules you face in the Heights may seem particularly galling, unused as Houstonians are to a lot of regulation, and because they fly in the face of the freewheeling ethos there. That ethos doesn't seem exactly endangered, though. It seems like it just give the anointed areas a certain cachet.

Edited by luciaphile
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luciaphile, the rules you mention apply to the entire city, and were driven mostly by uniform code changes. The Historic Districts were driven by those who think their esthetic values are better than their neighbors, and that certain parts of town should remain embedded in amber, regardless of the desires of the other property owners. The City should have zero interest in the appearance of a structure, as long as the appropriate code requirements are met. Appearance controls should be through deed restrictions, not ordinance.

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luciaphile, the rules you mention apply to the entire city, and were driven mostly by uniform code changes. The Historic Districts were driven by those who think their esthetic values are better than their neighbors, and that certain parts of town should remain embedded in amber, regardless of the desires of the other property owners. The City should have zero interest in the appearance of a structure, as long as the appropriate code requirements are met. Appearance controls should be through deed restrictions, not ordinance.

Okay! Though here, those neighborhood rules vary across the city, and this is not a big deed-restriction town.

I am genuinely and neutrally curious whether you would feel this way if you lived somewhere that was actually historic in the usual sense of the word.

Anyway, the buzz about the Heights seems stronger than ever -- the interesting exception to the Houston rule. We should all have such problems?

Off this topic, Houston's geography seems to be far more egalitarian than it was in the 70s/80s. At that time, one actually heard the phrase "social address" used without irony. There was a sense you would sink out of sight if you lived in the wrong area. Now there seems to be a more evenly distributed "energy" and resurgent neighborhood pride.

I wonder if this is partly due to the flight from the public schools, or at least from HISD. For the parents of my generation -- apart from a less-than-absorbing interest in their kids -- I think there was a feeling that attending public school was a part of the civic contract. Indeed, a sense that ... if a kid couldn't make it in public school, there was something weak about him/her. Now, certain areas seem to be undergoing a revival perhaps partly because people feel no need whatsoever to be tied to the local schools.

My mother says that no child in her neighborhood attends public school, and the bus does not even go there. Most of the houses are adorned with signs for various private schools. I find this very strange. Sorry, this may be a topic you have thoroughly exhausted somewhere on the HAIF, or have long since ceased to notice.

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You know, I wandered into this thread in my oblivious way and missed the last few posts. Perhaps at least everyone may unite in being annoyed with me for drifting off the topic, which folks are so passionate about. I thought all might enjoy this recent story from Austin.

From the Austin Chronicle:

http://www.austinchr...2-21/headlines/

pols_feature99.jpg

"Ridgetop neighbors awoke Monday to find this old, defaced home returned to its original site at 4505 Red River, where it was built in the early 1930s. The owner had sought to demolish the home in May, but neighbors and Historic Landmark staff fought to preserve it, either by rehabilitation or relocation. An unidentified caller said it was moved to Lockhart in October but was moved back to Red River "in the dark of night" bearing spray-painted messages that suggest a disagreement over payment."

Photo by John Anderson

There have been some interesting house moves in Austin. One did quite a bit of damage to the street it left, then got as far as the river and sat sort of askew on Mopac for a few days, then lingered a few miles farther on for about a month. Another sat at the corner of 360 and 2244 for a few weeks.

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Case and point. Had the post not been on the mark, the preservation haters would not have gone nuts over it.

1. The idea that you can be for historic preservation, but not for any kind of preservation ordinance is wonderful PR, but falls flat in the face of reality. The facts are that historic houses in the Heights were getting demolished in a wholesale fashion prior to the amendments to the historic ordinance. To say that you are for preservation, but only on a voluntary basis is like saying you are against bullying in schools, but only if the little pipsqueaks can stand up for themselves without having to have the teachers intervene. Without the revision to the ordinance, the historic homes in the Heights would have been lost and every block would have been transformed into some mish mash of lot line faux Vics, "where in the world did that come from" custom homes and "look at me!" oddball moderns. So, saying "I am for preservation, but on a voluntary basis" is just another way of saying "tear down all the old crap and good luck to anyone who wants to out bid a builder for a bungalow sandwiched between two lot line McVics."

2. We had a vote. Anti-preservationists came up way short. Thus, they want a different vote.

3. Renters not on the same level as homeowners? And then an accusation of elitism?

4. HAIF as a representative measure of the Heights? That is rich. Most people in the Heights won't touch this message board with a ten foot pole because of the vitriol launched at anyone who presents an opposing viewpoint. Again, case and point.

5. No, it is your party that I am crashing. I enjoy the sparring and am not going anywhere any time soon. This punching bag is made of kevlar.

6. No elitism. Elitism would be to call them secretaries, which I do not do because they are skilled employees, even though they are not the ones in the office with the degrees. It is simply a fact that they love reality TV shows and will talk day and night about them. I can't stand them. I do have guilty pleasures like Workaholics and South Park. But they don't watch those shows. So, I make use of 60+ wpm by posting here instead of trying to relate to the discussion of Honey Boo whatever that thing is.

You lay down a rant making all sorts of baseless allegations against anti-ordinance posters, I alone take the time to to make a clear, logical rebuttal and you post another thoughtless, coffee break pile of BS that accuses everyone of "going nuts" over your silly post. So here's my coffee break post. You disdain your "coworkers" and anyone else that doesn't fit your world view but you don't have the skills to explain why so. So instead you bash this board in its entirety, darting in and out at 60 wpm but zero thoughts per minute. The Bulletin Board community has a word for your ilk. Now on your next coffee break, report that to Subdude.

Edited by fwki
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So, people who support historic districts and the preservation of this cities dwindling history are not proud Texans?

I did not say or infer that, those are your words. I inferred that those who support property rights by posting here are proud Texans.

If anything the people who support preservation care more about Texas heritage than you anti historic district rable rousers. Sorry, but if there are not historic districts with strict guidelines than this cities history will all be gone in 50 years at the rate of tear downs in the Heights before the ordinance was passed.

People who support property rights in Texas can also support Texas heritage at the same time. You infer that those traits are mutually exclusive. I can support historic districts with strict guidelines that do not place the entire financial burden of preserving history on the backs of home owners who didn't make that deal when they invested. Why should an owner of contributing structures pay ANY property tax if the city is gong to treat the structure as if it's owned by all?

And I guess us renters are just lowly scumbags who shouldnt have a say in the neighborhood we live in. I guess we are like 3rd class passengers or something to you.

When it comes to property rights, you have no skin in the game so your opinions may be biased. You don't like a new law, just take your sofa and go, owners are exposed. And why would you call yourself a scumbag for renting? I didn't say that, just don't lecture from the outside.

Guess what? The majority of people who live in the Heights who own historic homes or rent them are in favor of preservation of this historic neighborhood. You do not hold the majority view otherwise the preservation ordinances would not have passed. You would like The Heights to turn into Rice Military if you had it your way.

I am with the majority on that one....I like history so much I bought an old home. You should try it. And stop pretending you know how I feel about Rice Military. You have a weird way of connecting dots, like your linking of supporters of property rights to haters of history, but then again you would have no need to understand property rights.

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2. We had a vote. Anti-preservationists came up way short. Thus, they want a different vote.

3. Renters not on the same level as homeowners? And then an accusation of elitism?

You did not vote. Renters, ie, photolitherland did not vote. And the vote was rigged to achieve a result incompatible with the wishes of the majority. But, you know that. You simply do not admit it in public.

No, renters are not on the same level as homeowners. They do not get to sign either support or opposition to the ordinance or deed restrictions. They did not get to vote on the ordinance...even the rigged vote excluded them. AND, renters who do not even live in the historic districts get no say so at all. They are mere background noise. Want a say? Buy a house. Then, we might listen to your opinion. Slum dwellers on the west side shouldn't have a say in my property either, but somehow you believe you do.

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I've never complained about any of your posts. I like it when you start with your childish name calling. It is a sure sign that I am right and you are wrong. Also, given the ideological slant of the majority of those posting on this message board, I have the definition of thick skin to be posting on here.

The non-encumbered West Side of the Heights is out appreciating the rest of the Heights quite rapidly at the moment. The only thing holding the West side down is the schools. If the schools were equivalent there would be no competition at all.

The Heights is desirable PERIOD. No historic ordinance is going to change that. It is developed, it has great bars/restaurants/trails...the ordinance is not going to change that. The only thing the ordinance has achieved is to slow the appreciation. It is not going to stop it - but it is slowing it.

My rental house is in the historic district, and it had no change in its 2012 market value per hcad. My actual house I live in is out of the historic district and its appraised value rose $137,000...the only "improvement" done to my house was a $38,000 pool - so roughly $99,000 is appreciation out of the district, while the well maintained shack we rent saw zero change.

The proximity of the Heights to downtown and the places around it make the Heights desirable to everyone, ordinance or not....but there really is no comparison when comparing East/West side appreciation over the last 24 months. The west side obliterated the east side.

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My rental house is in the historic district, and it had no change in its 2012 market value per hcad. My actual house I live in is out of the historic district and its appraised value rose $137,000...the only "improvement" done to my house was a $38,000 pool - so roughly $99,000 is appreciation out of the district, while the well maintained shack we rent saw zero change.

Ouch, that is going to be a big tax increase for you, but I assume you will fight it.

I would note that HCAD values don't necessarily equate to market value. My HCAD appraisals have been all over the map since living here. As of right now, my HCAD appraisal is 10% below market value, and a neighbor of mine has their home listed for 67% more than their 2012 HCAD appraisal. Even if they sell for below list, there is quite a discrepancy.

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The non-encumbered West Side of the Heights is out appreciating the rest of the Heights quite rapidly at the moment. The only thing holding the West side down is the schools. If the schools were equivalent there would be no competition at all.

The Heights is desirable PERIOD. No historic ordinance is going to change that. It is developed, it has great bars/restaurants/trails...the ordinance is not going to change that. The only thing the ordinance has achieved is to slow the appreciation. It is not going to stop it - but it is slowing it.

My rental house is in the historic district, and it had no change in its 2012 market value per hcad. My actual house I live in is out of the historic district and its appraised value rose $137,000...the only "improvement" done to my house was a $38,000 pool - so roughly $99,000 is appreciation out of the district, while the well maintained shack we rent saw zero change.

The proximity of the Heights to downtown and the places around it make the Heights desirable to everyone, ordinance or not....but there really is no comparison when comparing East/West side appreciation over the last 24 months. The west side obliterated the east side.

There is just no real evidence that appreciation in the HDs have been negatively affected. Areas outside the HDs generally have way more room for appreciation and are no basis for comparison.

The southwest quadrant of the Heights has been way behind the rest of the Heights in terms of redevelopment. As the HDs get built out, the SW corner of the Heights is now in play much more than it has ever been. Same thing is happening with Oak Forrest and Garden Oaks. Garden Oaks saw a lot of renovations and new builds in the 2000s. Oak Forrest saw very little. The past few years, Oak Forrest has taken off in a big way while Garden Oaks has not seen anywhere near the same pace of appreciation.

HCAD is arbitrary and meaningless. I have not had my HCAD appraisal go up in 4 years. But, my house has definitely appreciated by at least 10% (according to refi appraisal) and is probably closer to 15% looking at recent sale activity in the neighborhood. The only downside from the districts is what I have always conceded: the owner of a beat up house that has not been maintained will no longer be rewarded with a generous lot value offer from a builder. But I am fine with that and the neighborhood is better off as result. Rental owners now have an incentive to keep their properties in reasonable condition so that they can be marketed as "live here now, renovate later" if they have to sell. They will also be able to get their money back if they make substantial upgrades instead of seeing all that investment get the wrecking ball for lot value.

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There is just no real evidence that appreciation in the HDs have been negatively affected. Areas outside the HDs generally have way more room for appreciation and are no basis for comparison.

So I can't compare two properties less than 1/10th of a mile from each other? My rental property is less than 2 full blocks away from my house...rental on Ashland, house on Waverly...the two streets share an alley for god's sake....they are completely comparable.

The southwest quadrant of the Heights has been way behind the rest of the Heights in terms of redevelopment. As the HDs get built out, the SW corner of the Heights is now in play much more than it has ever been. Same thing is happening with Oak Forrest and Garden Oaks. Garden Oaks saw a lot of renovations and new builds in the 2000s. Oak Forrest saw very little. The past few years, Oak Forrest has taken off in a big way while Garden Oaks has not seen anywhere near the same pace of appreciation.

I can grant you that the Heights in general west of Yale were more ignored than the East side, but its not because there was or wasn't preserved bungalows, new construction, or even ugly undesirable houses, it had to do with schools and the fact that the East side of the Heights attends Harvard and the West side attends Yale....A huge number of the new residents moving in have young children and want better schools - the West side is behind the 8-ball in that regard....in the last 24 months the West side has obliterated the East side and it would be intellectually dishonest to say that the massive differences between the two sides is not due to the ordinance. The growth in the Heights was driven by a mix of builders and residents. You took 50% of the investment out of the game. The west side had more room to improve, but its improvement has not been incremental...Prices went from $330K-$400K for a new build to $650K in less than 24 months as the new builds all shifted out of the historic areas.

HCAD is arbitrary and meaningless. I have not had my HCAD appraisal go up in 4 years. But, my house has definitely appreciated by at least 10% (according to refi appraisal) and is probably closer to 15% looking at recent sale activity in the neighborhood. The only downside from the districts is what I have always conceded: the owner of a beat up house that has not been maintained will no longer be rewarded with a generous lot value offer from a builder. But I am fine with that and the neighborhood is better off as result. Rental owners now have an incentive to keep their properties in reasonable condition so that they can be marketed as "live here now, renovate later" if they have to sell. They will also be able to get their money back if they make substantial upgrades instead of seeing all that investment get the wrecking ball for lot value.

HCAD can be arbitrary and often inaccurate, but its not totally meaningless....in the last 5 years they have made it a point to get the most desirable areas of Houston into nearly standardized appraised values...lots are almost all appraised exactly the same, and price per sq/ft has been equalizing rapidly.....The bottom line is that whether you can admit it or not - the spec builders and families with children are looking outside of the district to build new construction so they can get what they want...that is driving the values in those areas up disproportionately faster than the areas inside the districts where the prices are much more stable. It does not mean that the HD is losing value - rather it just means that they are worth less than they would have been if it were not for the HD's.

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.....The bottom line is that whether you can admit it or not - the spec builders and families with children are looking outside of the district to build new construction so they can get what they want...that is driving the values in those areas up disproportionately faster than the areas inside the districts where the prices are much more stable. It does not mean that the HD is losing value - rather it just means that they are worth less than they would have been if it were not for the HD's.

Common sense....and don't forget the special financial burden placed on HD owners. We all have to replace siding and windows, we all pay for power and gas inefficiency, but HD owners must pay a premium for "historical accuracy" and representation at the HAHC. One day you wake up and find you have the financial responsibilities of a museum curator with no compensation from the City. Those new families with children get to walk by your special piece of history and admire the fine pine woodworking skills of depression era carpenters for free on the way back to their new-build.

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So I can't compare two properties less than 1/10th of a mile from each other? My rental property is less than 2 full blocks away from my house...rental on Ashland, house on Waverly...the two streets share an alley for god's sake....they are completely comparable.

You can compare two properties that are in close proximity, but that is not the point you are making. You are comparing the entire non-HD west side with the HDs. There is certainly more gentrification on Waverly above 11th than below. But, as a whole, the non-HD west side is not as built out as the HDs.

I can grant you that the Heights in general west of Yale were more ignored than the East side, but its not because there was or wasn't preserved bungalows, new construction, or even ugly undesirable houses, it had to do with schools and the fact that the East side of the Heights attends Harvard and the West side attends Yale....A huge number of the new residents moving in have young children and want better schools - the West side is behind the 8-ball in that regard....in the last 24 months the West side has obliterated the East side and it would be intellectually dishonest to say that the massive differences between the two sides is not due to the ordinance. The growth in the Heights was driven by a mix of builders and residents. You took 50% of the investment out of the game. The west side had more room to improve, but its improvement has not been incremental...Prices went from $330K-$400K for a new build to $650K in less than 24 months as the new builds all shifted out of the historic areas.

Harvard's attendance boundry map covers only the SE quadrant of the Heights and spills over a block or two to the north and west. Everyone else outside of Woodland Heights is zoned to elementary schools that most residents do not consider acceptable, although some are starting to warm up to Helm's dual language program. But they are few and far between. My point is simple. The HDs had already seen gentrification and significant appreciation in property values before the HDs went to the new ordinance. The other areas had not. Thus, when the non-HD areas started getting more attention due mostly to the fact that the HDs were very close to being built out, they saw more appreciation over the past few years simply because they started from further back. Also, new builds have not shifted out of the HDs. There is still plenty of new construction in the HDs that is selling well. And prices for new builds outside the HDs did not go from 330-400k to 650k in two years. The new builds outside of the HDs have been generally in the 400-600 range depending on sq ft and location. There has been no 50%+ bump in the price of new builds outside the HDs. If that was the case, lot values outside the HDs would be 300k+. They are not.

HCAD can be arbitrary and often inaccurate, but its not totally meaningless....in the last 5 years they have made it a point to get the most desirable areas of Houston into nearly standardized appraised values...lots are almost all appraised exactly the same, and price per sq/ft has been equalizing rapidly.....The bottom line is that whether you can admit it or not - the spec builders and families with children are looking outside of the district to build new construction so they can get what they want...that is driving the values in those areas up disproportionately faster than the areas inside the districts where the prices are much more stable. It does not mean that the HD is losing value - rather it just means that they are worth less than they would have been if it were not for the HD's.

All total speculation clouded by your anti-ordinance bias. Prices in the HDs have been rising rapidly, but were already hitting a market ceiling when the HDs arrived. The non-HD areas were much further away from that ceiling. What you are seeing in the HDs is a lot of very high end redevelopment. Outside the HDs, you are seeing the add water Italiante-ish boxes that make a quick buck for a builder, but provide no lasting value for the neighborhood.

Edited by s3mh
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It is clear from reading s3mh's posts that he hasn't even attempted to renovate his property. One, he claims that his HCAD appraisal hasn't changed in 4 years, which is a clear sign of someone sitting on their house instead of improving it. Now, in his case, it is likely because he doesn't have the funds to do so, because he thinks that getting approval from HAHC is a breeze. Of course, that is the second way you can tell that he hasn't tried to renovate. No one who has gone in front of HAHC for a major renovation has gotten out unscathed. And, given the numerous roadblocks put up by HAHC, it takes away all incentives to renovate. Owners of rentals won't do a thing to their homes if it requires 2 or 3 trips to the HAHC...and trust me, it does. Then, once HAHC finally signs off, you start over again with permitting.

These are all problems that those who haven't renovated remain blissfully ignorant about. They think HAHC is there to help. Wait until the crazy HAHC lady starts telling you what color to paint the house (Oh, I know that isn't in the ordinance. But, tell it to the crazy HAHC lady who tried to tell my friend in 6th Ward what color to use). And, remember that everytime they disagree with you, your case gets reset a month later. You can easily turn a 4 month renovation into 9.

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We recently purchased a lot in the SW corner of the heights between Allston and Nicholson. There is more construction in this area than any other part of the heights and it's been this way for over a year. Our builder and others will tell you its because they don't have to deal with the city and the historic district. There were more dilapidated homes with owners/slum lords ready to cash out too though.

Housing prices are at almost 85% (my estimate from watching the area very closely over the past 18 months) of the east side (unless west of Nicholson) on a per sq ft basis. That 15% is the school value in my opinion. Most of the new stuff in the SW corner is also a bit smaller than the west (2400 to 2800 sq ft vs 3,000+).

Example: Waverly and 8th - 2,700 sq ft - $715k

http://search.har.com/engine/803-Waverly-St-Houston-TX-77007_HAR33939382.htm

The best part about the SW corner is

1) no camleback houses (ugly)

2) The SW corner will be built out before the majority of other areas in the heights. I consider the area east heights blvd and south of 11th already built out (basically where Harvard is zoned) There is still A LOT of trash north of 11th both east and west of heights blvd.

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Common sense....and don't forget the special financial burden placed on HD owners. We all have to replace siding and windows, we all pay for power and gas inefficiency, but HD owners must pay a premium for "historical accuracy" and representation at the HAHC. One day you wake up and find you have the financial responsibilities of a museum curator with no compensation from the City. Those new families with children get to walk by your special piece of history and admire the fine pine woodworking skills of depression era carpenters for free on the way back to their new-build.

Hardy plank all over an old bungalow with block and beam foundation will just mean foundation problems for the foreseeable future. Hardy plank is too heavy for block and beam. Insulation can be blown in between the shiplap and siding and sprayed under the floor boards. Old windows that are in good condition with a good sun shade work great. An old bungalow will never be as energy efficient as new construction, but they can do quite well with a few upgrades.

You do get compensation from the city if you do major renovations in the form of a tax abatement. It is not a lot, but it is something and there is talk of increasing it. And considering that it is pretty much impossible to move into the HDs for under 300k, people in the HDs can more than afford the minor additional financial responsibility of complying with the ordinance. That burden is well worth it given that you know you will not end up between two lot line new construction monstrosities.

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"What you are seeing in the HDs is a lot of very high end redevelopment. Outside the HDs, you are seeing the add water Italiante-ish boxes that make a quick buck for a builder, but provide no lasting value for the neighborhood.

What? You do know that the builders in the SW corner and the rest of the Heights are one in the same? Our builder has houses in both areas, along with 5 other builders we have talked with. Glad you aren't my neighbor.

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Please do let us know (with the exception of the townhomes near 6th and Nicholson) the names of these evil builders who are building the terrible boxes..Just go ahead and name a few...the builders I see building on the west side are.

1) Sullivan (not low end)

2) Whitestone (not low end)

3) Ansari (not low end)

4) Distinctive Living (dont know much about)

5) Bungalow Revival

Im sure there are more but I cant think of them all...suffice it to say that I do not see many of these "very low end" new builds you seem to think exist. The new construction is usually, not always, but usually of a very high caliber.

EDIT - There is only one set of townhomes that I know to be of poor construction...the rest are just townhomes, which I am not a fan of personally, but even they are not poorly made.

Edited by Marksmu
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As someone who lives north of 11th, I find it a sign of incredible progress (which is obvious when I go jogging) that someone south of 11th could actually make atheclaim that they live on the "good side" without being laughed off the board.

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I think that all historic districts should have a real vote. Let all the homeowners cast their vote, and if a majority support it, then it can stay in place. Seems fair and simple to me. S3mh is going to say "you had your shot, blah blah blah" but if you honestly believe the support which you claim is there, why not try to help get this vote to happen? The most likely reason you don't support having a fair vote, is because you think the results would be different... and that in itself says more than any of the rhetoric you attemp to pass as facts.

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Im still awaiting the names of some of the evil builders who are building "add water Italiante-ish boxes" b/c I do not know where these are being constructed. I walked nicholson from 19th to Heights and saw only a few townhomes that I know you would object too....

Please, if these awful homes are so prevalent I would like to know who is building them so I can invest some cash in them - b/c they obviously have figured out how to big junk and still manage to charge $600K for them...thats a hell of a awesome business model in a state where the builder mandated warranties are only 1 year.

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Im still awaiting the names of some of the evil builders who are building "add water Italiante-ish boxes" b/c I do not know where these are being constructed. I walked nicholson from 19th to Heights and saw only a few townhomes that I know you would object too....

Please, if these awful homes are so prevalent I would like to know who is building them so I can invest some cash in them - b/c they obviously have figured out how to big junk and still manage to charge $600K for them...thats a hell of a awesome business model in a state where the builder mandated warranties are only 1 year.

So, here we go again. When you can't make a good argument against the HDs, set up a strawman argument that you can hit out of the park to claim victory.

Here is what I said:

What you are seeing in the HDs is a lot of very high end redevelopment. Outside the HDs, you are seeing the add water Italiante-ish boxes that make a quick buck for a builder, but provide no lasting value for the neighborhood.

You take that statement and apply your own meaning to it to try to defeat an argument that I have not made. Strawman. I never said anything about townhomes (although I could have as they are becoming prevalent on the west side on streets like Alexander and Dorothy, which you include in your area that is "outperforming the HDs"). I never said anything about the quality of construction either. I was talking about architecture. That is why I reference Italianate (and misspelled it too) design. Builders in the Heights have taken the New Orleans version (like this one: http://www.crt.state.la.us/hp/laheritage/VictorianEra/Color/Ital5.jpg) and made it their "go to" design because they can build the same simple box over and over that can fill up a small lot (usually two or three full sized lots that get chopped into 3-5 3000 sq ft lots) with as much sq footage as possible and create "individuality" by putting up silly looking different ornaments on the front exterior of the house like those goofy pre-fab corinthian columns that are usually mixed in with another style on the front porches. It is that lack of architectural integrity, the lot-line construction, and the mish mash with other odd random styles that keep the non-HDs from realizing the same value as the HDs (compare http://search.har.com/engine/1031-Tulane-St-Houston-77008-6844_HAR86133472.htm with http://search.har.com/engine/1522-Columbia-St-Houston-77008-4535_HAR60853497.htm). Packing in houses like sardines is great for a builder in the short run, but having a front yard, separation between houses, and original craftsman architecture provides real value to the neighborhood that will last beyond the current boom in the residential market.

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Finally concurrence that this HD argument is not about history at all, it's about architectural preferences and personal metrics on value, that is, how everyone should spend their money on their home. This argument thus will always end up about a citizen's property rights. The strawman here is the historical premise.

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So, here we go again. When you can't make a good argument against the HDs, set up a strawman argument that you can hit out of the park to claim victory.

Here is what I said:

What you are seeing in the HDs is a lot of very high end redevelopment. Outside the HDs, you are seeing the add water Italiante-ish boxes that make a quick buck for a builder, but provide no lasting value for the neighborhood.

You take that statement and apply your own meaning to it to try to defeat an argument that I have not made. Strawman. I never said anything about townhomes (although I could have as they are becoming prevalent on the west side on streets like Alexander and Dorothy, which you include in your area that is "outperforming the HDs"). I never said anything about the quality of construction either. I was talking about architecture. That is why I reference Italianate (and misspelled it too) design. Builders in the Heights have taken the New Orleans version (like this one: http://www.crt.state...Color/Ital5.jpg) and made it their "go to" design because they can build the same simple box over and over that can fill up a small lot (usually two or three full sized lots that get chopped into 3-5 3000 sq ft lots) with as much sq footage as possible and create "individuality" by putting up silly looking different ornaments on the front exterior of the house like those goofy pre-fab corinthian columns that are usually mixed in with another style on the front porches. It is that lack of architectural integrity, the lot-line construction, and the mish mash with other odd random styles that keep the non-HDs from realizing the same value as the HDs (compare http://search.har.co...HAR86133472.htm with http://search.har.co...HAR60853497.htm). Packing in houses like sardines is great for a builder in the short run, but having a front yard, separation between houses, and original craftsman architecture provides real value to the neighborhood that will last beyond the current boom in the residential market.

Its not a straw man argument. You said that the new builders and building the cheapest houses to make a quick buck and get out. Its not true. It is a lie. The quality is identical, the building materials are identical, the craftsman ship is identical. What you do not like is the look of them. It's your right not to like the look of everyone's property...its not your right to force them to change their house to meet your approval.

I personally do not like the smaller lot sizes and I would never own one...I live on a 6600 sq ft lot and it is way too small...I think the subdividing of lots smaller than the original platted 4400sqft should be stopped...The streets really can't handle the density in their current widths - especially across most of the west side of the Heights where the streets are extremely narrow....So I reckon we can agree on one point. Too many houses tucked in together does not look bad - but all those cars parked on the street does look bad. So we will agree on one point. - Subdividing lots is bad.

The price discrepancy between the two homes you have posted there are quite simple when viewed with an open mind and without the mental gymnastics of your personal preferences...1) Lot size. The dirt value alone represents approximately $140,000 in price difference (3300sqft lot vs 6600sqft)...$550 vs. $799 --(add $140K for dirt) were now at $690 vs $799. 2) square footage....2400 sqft vs 2900 sqft....average cost of new construction $140-$160/ft (avg $150 *500 sqft) = $75,000 so now were at $765,000 vs $799K....3) - a remodel costs more than new construction...there is demolition and then the cost of bringing old up to new standards. 4) Location. The Columbia house is zoned to the better schools and in the more developed (less transitional) side of the Heights....easily making up the $30K remaining difference in asking price.

When its all said and done the two houses actual value are nearly identical...the differences are not architecture, or preference, they are PURELY economic. One has more yard, more square footage, and a better location. You prefer the look of the awful McCamelback, and I prefer the look of the other....Why should your preference win over mine? That seems VERY selfish.

Edited by Marksmu
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Its not a straw man argument. You said that the new builders and building the cheapest houses to make a quick buck and get out. Its not true. It is a lie. The quality is identical, the building materials are identical, the craftsman ship is identical. What you do not like is the look of them. It's your right not to like the look of everyone's property...its not your right to force them to change their house to meet your approval.

I personally do not like the smaller lot sizes and I would never own one...I live on a 6600 sq ft lot and it is way too small...I think the subdividing of lots smaller than the original platted 4400sqft should be stopped...The streets really can't handle the density in their current widths - especially across most of the west side of the Heights where the streets are extremely narrow....So I reckon we can agree on one point. Too many houses tucked in together does not look bad - but all those cars parked on the street does look bad. So we will agree on one point. - Subdividing lots is bad.

The price discrepancy between the two homes you have posted there are quite simple when viewed with an open mind and without the mental gymnastics of your personal preferences...1) Lot size. The dirt value alone represents approximately $140,000 in price difference (3300sqft lot vs 6600sqft)...$550 vs. $799 --(add $140K for dirt) were now at $690 vs $799. 2) square footage....2400 sqft vs 2900 sqft....average cost of new construction $140-$160/ft (avg $150 *500 sqft) = $75,000 so now were at $765,000 vs $799K....3) - a remodel costs more than new construction...there is demolition and then the cost of bringing old up to new standards. 4) Location. The Columbia house is zoned to the better schools and in the more developed (less transitional) side of the Heights....easily making up the $30K remaining difference in asking price.

When its all said and done the two houses actual value are nearly identical...the differences are not architecture, or preference, they are PURELY economic. One has more yard, more square footage, and a better location. You prefer the look of the awful McCamelback, and I prefer the look of the other....Why should your preference win over mine? That seems VERY selfish.

Show me where I said that the construction was cheap. You can't. That is because I never said that. You had to construct that argument for me because you cannot make a good argument that bad architecure is a good thing. Believe it or not, the vast majority of people in our society appreciate things like architecture, art, music, theater, etc. and do not sit in their house all day listening to talk radio and watching the ticker on their investments. If you have no appreciation for architecture and only see dollar signs when walking through a neighborhood, that is too bad. But that does not mean that historic preservation ordinances are invalid. People do have a right to restrict construction in order to preserve historic architecture. They do it all the time all over the United States.

As for the price comparison, the point is that without the demos of historic homes, lots are being kept in tact and are not being divided. That means that each lot gets built out with more value (750k to 1 mil plus) rather than chopped up into smaller and less valuable faux Italianate boxes (400-600k) that will only see real appreication when builders run out of room to build more. Also, no one is going to pay $550k for those houses. They have been listed for weeks. That is a builder pie in the sky price. They will probably sell for 450-500k. The columbia house is zoned to Field. Tulane is zoned to Love. No one paying 500-700k is going to send their kid to Field or Love. School zones are just a bonus in the Heights. Anyone with the money to get into the Harvard or Travis zone can afford private school anyway.

And what is really selfish is the practice of destroying the historic architure of the Heights just so a few builders can make a few extra bucks by building the same box with a different set of ornaments on the front rather than taking a little more time to do a quality renovation/addition to the historic houses (face it, after the ordinance passed, the builders and realtors in the Heights are still making big money). That is what it boils down to. Despite all the cries of doom, the HDs are getting built out with very expensive houses at a pace that has not slowed at all since the ordinance passed. That is because the burden of the ordinance is negligible and is outweighed by the value it brings to the Heights. The market has spoken and it is not bothered at all by the ordinance.

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"Hardy plank all over an old bungalow with block and beam foundation will just mean foundation problems for the foreseeable future. Hardy plank is too heavy for block and beam."

Hardie siding weighs approximately 1-1.5lbs more per sq ft than traditional wood lap siding. I would like to see a bungalow in the Heights that has never had issues with it's piers, specially brick and mortar ones (which most are).

And about all of this this Histerical District Vote nonsense...how could the COH ever consider what they did as a vote when the envelope said SURVEY and any SURVEY that was NOT returned was an automatic YES?

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telling people that a majority appreciate architecture/art/etc on a forum with the word architecture in it... where you are consistently the minority view, is humorous.

Also nearly your entire post is your opinion, quit trying to pass off your opinions as facts, at least try to take some of the cold hard facts out there and distort them to make your point. Just because you say "the market has spoken", "burden of the ordinance is negligible" etc, doesn't make it so (others will strongly argue the opposite).

Let me give you an example... I'm just going to make something up to rebuttle your statement about hardie plank...

- although hardie plank weighs more, real wood has a higher absorbtion rate so in humid wet houston the wood will often weigh more than its hardie plank counterpart.

Now I have no clue if this is true or false.. but I want it to be true so I said it with absolutely no support.

You are right about one thing for sure, people definitely have a right to restrict construction for historic preservation. The word that your not really paying attention to in this sentence is "People". The "people" have NOT spoken (I know your going to say there was a fair chance but that is a blatant fabrication). The only way to see if the "People" want to restrict contruction would be to have a fair vote, why is it that the "preservationist" don't want to have a straight vote? Norhill is a great example of people (the majority) who got together and put in Deed Restrictions to restrict contstruction. How can you not see the difference in those two approaches and why one really angers people and the other is okay?

Edited by SilverJK
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What you are seeing in the HDs is a lot of very high end redevelopment. Outside the HDs, you are seeing the add water Italiante-ish boxes that make a quick buck for a builder, but provide no lasting value for the neighborhood.

You presume that a camelback has lasting value?

You presume that highly inefficient houses built 80-100 has lasting value in a world that is increasingly about being more efficient?

How can you presume to know what will be valued 10, 15, 20 or farther in the future?

"Hardy plank all over an old bungalow with block and beam foundation will just mean foundation problems for the foreseeable future. Hardy plank is too heavy for block and beam."

Hardie siding weighs approximately 1-1.5lbs more per sq ft than traditional wood lap siding. I would like to see a bungalow in the Heights that has never had issues with it's piers, specially brick and mortar ones (which most are).

And about all of this this Histerical District Vote nonsense...how could the COH ever consider what they did as a vote when the envelope said SURVEY and any SURVEY that was NOT returned was an automatic YES?

I didn't want to respond to that comment, cause when you think about it, it doesn't make any sense. as you point out, you're talking 1-1.5 lbs/sf difference in weight. How much exterior surface does a typical bungalow have? I don't even know, but I imagine a big honking piece of granite stuff in the kitchen (over one specific spot in the foundation, rather than evenly distributed around the house) is probably a bit worse on the foundation. How many old block and beam foundation houses in the heights have granite counter tops? Hell, most of the houses built 90-100 years ago were never built to hold a washer/dryer, or a refrigerator, it's not like those are feathers. These days refrigerators weigh about 200lbs on the light end and 450 on the heavy side, I can promise you that over the years they've gotten lighter than they used to be. My parents had a refrigerator from 1939 that my parents maintained up until last year when it broke (imagine that, a refrigerator working for 73 years!). I helped them move it, let me tell you, it was probably the heaviest appliance I've ever moved. I was shocked at how heavy it was.

It's pretty ludicrous when you think of the argument that siding evenly distributed around the exterior of a house would ruin a foundation, if that were true every house in the heights would have a caved in kitchen.

Regarding brick veneer on the older houses, if the houses in the Heights with brick are like mine over in Eastwood, the brick is on its own foundation.

Edited by samagon
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As for the price comparison, the point is that without the demos of historic homes, lots are being kept in tact and are not being divided. That means that each lot gets built out with more value (750k to 1 mil plus) rather than chopped up into smaller and less valuable faux Italianate boxes (400-600k) that will only see real appreication when builders run out of room to build more.

This is a fine argument, but there was already a mechanism in place to ensure lots were not further subdivided and current setbacks were maintained. Many blocks in the Heights already had MLS and MBL restrictions (voluntarily entered into), and the process to establish MLS and MBL restrictions is not overly cumbersome, requiring signatures from only 51% of the property owners.

The HD's accomplish very little that couldn't be accomplished more democratically and more amicably by MLS and MBL.

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telling people that a majority appreciate architecture/art/etc on a forum with the word architecture in it... where you are consistently the minority view, is humorous.

Also nearly your entire post is your opinion, quit trying to pass off your opinions as facts, at least try to take some of the cold hard facts out there and distort them to make your point. Just because you say "the market has spoken", "burden of the ordinance is negligible" etc, doesn't make it so (others will strongly argue the opposite).

Let me give you an example... I'm just going to make something up to rebuttle your statement about hardie plank...

- although hardie plank weighs more, real wood has a higher absorbtion rate so in humid wet houston the wood will often weigh more than its hardie plank counterpart.

Now I have no clue if this is true or false.. but I want it to be true so I said it with absolutely no support.

You are right about one thing for sure, people definitely have a right to restrict construction for historic preservation. The word that your not really paying attention to in this sentence is "People". The "people" have NOT spoken (I know your going to say there was a fair chance but that is a blatant fabrication). The only way to see if the "People" want to restrict contruction would be to have a fair vote, why is it that the "preservationist" don't want to have a straight vote? Norhill is a great example of people (the majority) who got together and put in Deed Restrictions to restrict contstruction. How can you not see the difference in those two approaches and why one really angers people and the other is okay?

If internet message boards were an accurate representative sampling of the population, Mitt Romney would have won the election 86% to 14%. This forum, at least the Heights section, is much more about development than architecture. And I am very much willing to stipulate that among developers, the HD ordiance and historic preservation are disfavored by 86% to 14%. But to claim that this message board is evidence of any broader pulse of the community is very funny as most people are afraid to come on here because of the lack of civility of many of the frequent posters. I have seen on other real estate message boards where people who got into it over something were told to "take it to HAIF".

Anything said about a market is opinion based on facts. The facts are that builders are doing very expensive renovations/additions and new construction in the HDs. If the ordinance was such a burden, the markets would reject these properties and let them sit vacant until someone put a few bucks into them to make them habitable for a rental. But that is not what is happening. Real estate in the HDs is gold. It is just a different kind of gold that is not as easy as knocking down and building an Italiante box. But, that is just a benefit to the neighborhood.

And as for the quantum of proof challenge, no one on here has ever met your standard. In fact, according to some of your allies, you cannot even opine on the HDs because you do not live in one. But if you want to pretend that the listings on HAR and all the port-a-cans and dumpsters lining the streets in the HDs do not exist, then that is fine with me.

As for the last point, we live in a representative democracy. When you buy land, you do not become a super citizen who is entitled to direct democracy whenever a government seeks to regulate historic preservation. There is a huge difference between historic preservation and deed restrictions. Historic preservation is an ordinance passed by an elected representative municipal government. Deed restrictions are covenants between land owners that cannot be enacted or repealed by the municpal government. The historic preservation ordinance could be repealed by City council tomorrow if they wanted. City council does not have the power to void deed restrictions just because they think they are a bad idea.

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Real estate in the HDs is gold. It is just a different kind of gold that is not as easy as knocking down and building an Italiante box.

You mean... Less valuable gold?

And your last statement is just classic S3mh. Basically you are saying that it is okay for the government to tell you how to use your property...but from everything you have said in the past on here... it is clear that you only feel this way when it supports your cause. The government (the one you support so strongly on this) is the same one that "gave" walmart all that money that you are so angry about. Its okay for them to tell me how to modify/restore/preserve my house that I OWN... but

it isn't okay for them to allow a walmart to be built on land that you DON'T own? Classic S3mh.

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.....I have seen on other real estate message boards where people who got into it over something were told to "take it to HAIF"....

Another s3mh fabrication or have you found another Heights forum on this scale? More likely you wandered into one of those community hen boards with 3 posts per month or one primarliy used by real estate agents with agendas.

EDIT:

Here ya go, this one is perfect for you......http://www.ultimateheights.com/forums

Edited by fwki
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As for the last point, we live in a representative democracy. When you buy land, you do not become a super citizen who is entitled to direct democracy whenever a government seeks to regulate historic preservation.

You don't know what rights a person does or doesn't have, additionally, you've displayed that you really don't care about the rights of others.

When you buy land, you are protected by the Texas Constitution.

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You mean... Less valuable gold?

And your last statement is just classic S3mh. Basically you are saying that it is okay for the government to tell you how to use your property...but from everything you have said in the past on here... it is clear that you only feel this way when it supports your cause. The government (the one you support so strongly on this) is the same one that "gave" walmart all that money that you are so angry about. Its okay for them to tell me how to modify/restore/preserve my house that I OWN... but

it isn't okay for them to allow a walmart to be built on land that you DON'T own? Classic S3mh.

That makes no sense at all. It is entirely consistent to want some sort of land use restrictions to keep Walmart and Ainbinder from building suburban strip malls in an urban neighborhood and to also want the City to have a strong historic preservation ordinance. The city of houston is a huge and complex governmental entity. There is a long list of things they do that I like and a long list that I don't like. I am not precluded from having one list because I have another.

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Another s3mh fabrication or have you found another Heights forum on this scale? More likely you wandered into one of those community hen boards with 3 posts per month or one primarliy used by real estate agents with agendas.

EDIT:

Here ya go, this one is perfect for you......http://www.ultimateheights.com/forums

There are maybe a dozen active posters on this message board and about a half dozen that keep posting about historic preservation over and over. And the post I saw was from a comment from someone on swamplot, which has . It was very funny to see how others view this message board. And there are way more than 3 posts per month on boards like Heights Kids Groups and some of the new "my block", or whatever it is called, neighborhood message boards. All of which have way more participation than the half dozen who have claimed HAIF's Heights message board as their private anti-historic ordinance chat room.

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You don't know what rights a person does or doesn't have, additionally, you've displayed that you really don't care about the rights of others.

When you buy land, you are protected by the Texas Constitution.

Sure, just because I say some one has or doesn't have rights doesn't make it so. The courts determine what people's rights are:

"A municipality has the constitutional power to regulate the use of private property in the interest of historic preservation." Mayes v. City of Dallas, 747 F.2d 323, 324 (5th Cir. 1984); Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104, 132–34, 98 S.Ct. 2646, 2662–64, 57 L.Ed.2d 631 (1978);

Edited by s3mh
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Sure, just because I say some one has or doesn't have rights doesn't make it so. The courts determine what people's rights are:

"A municipality has the constitutional power to regulate the use of private property in the interest of historic preservation." Mayes v. City of Dallas, 747 F.2d 323, 324 (5th Cir. 1984); Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104, 132–34, 98 S.Ct. 2646, 2662–64, 57 L.Ed.2d 631 (1978);

I don't pretend to know law, you do, among other things, I really don't care to get into a discussion where I know nothing, and you know nothing about the topic.

So I'll say, only time will really tell whether those are applicable.

Edited by samagon
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I don't pretend to know law, you do, among other things, I really don't care to get into a discussion where I know nothing, and you know nothing about the topic.

So I'll say, only time will really tell whether those are applicable.

Ok. You don't pretend to know the law and don't want to get into a discussion about the law, but post about the Texas constitution and are a sufficient authority to tell me that I know nothing about the law. That sounds fair.

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That makes no sense at all. It is entirely consistent to want some sort of land use restrictions to keep Walmart and Ainbinder from building suburban strip malls in an urban neighborhood and to also want the City to have a strong historic preservation ordinance. The city of houston is a huge and complex governmental entity. There is a long list of things they do that I like and a long list that I don't like. I am not precluded from having one list because I have another.

You still don't get it. You are saying "government has the right" when something meets your needs, but for the ainbinder deal, where the government was doing what they thought best you said it was an aweful/evil/destructive/devaluing/uneven tire wear causing thing... so which is it, does the government have the right to tell people how to use land or not? You and your cronies faught tooth and nail to stop walmart... that the government supported, but you don't like people fighting to stop a historic ordinance (that was never fairly voted for).

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Ok. You don't pretend to know the law and don't want to get into a discussion about the law, but post about the Texas constitution and are a sufficient authority to tell me that I know nothing about the law. That sounds fair.

Unlike you, I know my limits. I posted my simple thoughts on the subject, you pretend to be able to dig deeper into it.

I don't believe you know squat about law, you have demonstrated in many subjects which you opine that you don't know as much as you think you know. I refuse to enter a discussion where I know I am unarmed, and I feel strongly that you are equally, if not less armed.

You can think of it what you will (just as I have done), it's no skin off my back.

Or perhaps, we can go a different direction, and you can explain why those references have any direct impact.

Edited by samagon
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You still don't get it. You are saying "government has the right" when something meets your needs, but for the ainbinder deal, where the government was doing what they thought best you said it was an aweful/evil/destructive/devaluing/uneven tire wear causing thing... so which is it, does the government have the right to tell people how to use land or not? You and your cronies faught tooth and nail to stop walmart... that the government supported, but you don't like people fighting to stop a historic ordinance (that was never fairly voted for).

So, the principle is that you can either always think that government knows best when it comes to land use decisions or that government never knows what is best when it comes to land use decisions? Or is it that you always have to side with people who are fighting against the government? Or is it that you have no good argument, but are valiantly trying to find one?

I am all for government being involved in land use decisions. I am for government being involved in Historic Preservation. I am for zoning and for strong application of the existing land use restrictions under chap 42 and the design manual. I support the historic ordinance, but think that the city did not enforce chap 42 and the design manual on Walmart and should have better land use restrictions on the books to keep developers from turning choice real estate into cheap strip malls with insufficient infrastructure. And I am against 380 agreements that reward a developer for taking down apartments and replacing them with single story retail when the rental rates in the city of houston have gone up 18-19% in the past year. None of that is inconsistent. It is entirely consistent.

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Unlike you, I know my limits. I posted my simple thoughts on the subject, you pretend to be able to dig deeper into it.

I don't believe you know squat about law, you have demonstrated in many subjects which you opine that you don't know as much as you think you know. I refuse to enter a discussion where I know I am unarmed, and I feel strongly that you are equally, if not less armed.

You can think of it what you will (just as I have done), it's no skin off my back.

Or perhaps, we can go a different direction, and you can explain why those references have any direct impact.

You can't have it both ways. You can't tell me that I do not know what I am talking about but refuse to back it up. All you are doing at that point is making a personal attack, which is weak.

The case law I posted shows that it is well settled law that historic preservation laws enforced by municipalities satisfies constitutional substantive due process. In the simplest of terms, it means that a municipality does have the right to enact and enforce historic preservation laws. It is possible for historic preservation laws to be a regulatory taking, requiring the municipality to provide compensation to an affected land owner. But, that has not been alleged by anyone against the historic ordinance. the lawsuit has some argument about procedural due process that is more directed at the formation of the districts. That is really an argument that ends up asking a judge to second guess how a municipality enacts its laws and runs afoul of separation of powers. So, you can't just hold up a copy of the constitution and get rid of historic preservation laws.

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