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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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Careful Red, you almost sound republican here. :lol:

Funny, that's exactly what I thought about all the white non-sportsmen wearing white fishing shirts and toting Anti-Wal-Mart yard signs at White Linen Night was that they looked like Republicans from The Woodlands. And in fact, they are doing very Republican things. They're waging a class war and imposing restrictions upon their neighbors. They're even apparently voting Republican. Many of these same people had anti-Sarah-Jackson-Lee stickers slapped on their shirts.

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Funny, that's exactly what I thought about all the white non-sportsmen wearing white fishing shirts and toting Anti-Wal-Mart yard signs at White Linen Night was that they looked like Republicans from The Woodlands. And in fact, they are doing very Republican things. They're waging a class war and imposing restrictions upon their neighbors. They're even apparently voting Republican. Many of these same people had anti-Sarah-Jackson-Lee stickers slapped on their shirts.

To be fair, many Democrats dislike SJL in the same way many Republicans dislike Rick Perry.

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The supporters were definately better organized last night. The majority of them were also more rational. The opponents suffer from an angry disposition that doesn't play well in that type of situation. The property rights argument appears to be losing steam because the supporters have a point that they have the right to maintain their investments and what they bought into. My version of property rights may not be your version. It can be argued both ways.

There's also growing realization among the Mcmansion types that no protection could mean that the little bungalow next door gets replaced in favor of density. The Heights has been lucky so far. However, take a little drive down west 15th street between the Blvd. and Shepherd...consider the townhomes being built over at the ole Ashland Tea House site or the condos currently planned for Studewood behind Someburger. Density is knocking on our door. That is the reality and it is probably a much greater threat than having your house burn down.

The count last night was roughly 40/30 in favor of stronger protections. Among the 30 who stated their opposition, four were from one property on Kipling, one was from the Houston Property Rights Association (who said he is actually a renter), one was from the Houston Association of Realtors, two were part of the trio of realtors who have formed the anti-preservation website, one worked for one member of that realtor trio and at least one was a Heights builder.

It seems as if the more the facts get out there, the more people are calming down. CM Lovell indicated at city council this week that a new draft is being compiled. I'll bet it will incorporate a lot of the suggestions that have been made. This is the sausage-making process that always occurs with the crafting of new legislation.

Think about what might happen with no protection and instead of misinformation about paint color, air conditioners and front porch lights, grab a sausage link and take part in the messy process to create a better proposal?

My house has had no protection for 90 f'in years! Guess what? It's still standing and being taken care of by someone who can't stand the thought of people taking away his right to decide what is best for his property. I'll be blunt. I have talked to very few people who know as much about what is historically and architecturally correct about my house that support this ordinance, and I doubt that you or s3mh do, either. These people think that adding 2 story additions to the back of a bungalow is architecturally appropriate. It's not. It looks like sheet! These are the people that want control of my house. This is not about architectural integrity and historic preservation. This is something altogether different. The people most devoted to their homes are all against this ordinance, including me.

Let me make something VERY clear. I have not calmed down. Be careful bringing your propaganda to my door, because I really am that angry.

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To be fair, many Democrats dislike SJL in the same way many Republicans dislike Rick Perry.

I can't for the life of me figure out how she keeps getting re-elected. I vote for whomever is running against her. I think I voted for Big Bird one time.

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My house has had no protection for 90 f'in years! Guess what? It's still standing and being taken care of by someone who can't stand the thought of people taking away his right to decide what is best for his property. I'll be blunt. I have talked to very few people who know as much about what is historically and architecturally correct about my house that support this ordinance, and I doubt that you or s3mh do, either. These people think that adding 2 story additions to the back of a bungalow is architecturally appropriate. It's not. It looks like sheet! These are the people that want control of my house. This is not about architectural integrity and historic preservation. This is something altogether different. The people most devoted to their homes are all against this ordinance, including me.

Let me make something VERY clear. I have not calmed down. Be careful bringing your propaganda to my door, because I really am that angry.

"These people" include me and I also don't like the camel backs. Those are what builders think are easy ways to increase square footage. They are the ones who want to bulldoze your house and mine.

Don't indicate that "all" people devoted to their homes are against this ordinance. I am like you in that I love our house and we take care of it. It is that love of our house that casues me to want to ensure that it is worth more than the land on which it sits. That will not happen unless the demolitions and incompatible construction by speculative builders cease.

We are not focusing on the angry that don't want to discuss anything at all. The attention is on the more reasonable who are willing to work together to hash out disagreements and develop a better ordinance. Not everyone, including me, will be entirely happy with the final product. It is expected that there will also be people, like you, who won't be happy at all about it.

Without stronger protections your 90+ year old house will be worth nothing but the land on which it sits. I have a right to not have that happen to my house. I also have a right to not have huge Mcmansions blocking the sun in the backyard and invading my privacy. Don't tell me your rights are more important than mine. That's not the Houston Heights I know.

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"These people" include me and I also don't like the camel backs. Those are what builders think are easy ways to increase square footage. They are the ones who want to bulldoze your house and mine.

Don't indicate that "all" people devoted to their homes are against this ordinance. I am like you in that I love our house and we take care of it. It is that love of our house that casues me to want to ensure that it is worth more than the land on which it sits. That will not happen unless the demolitions and incompatible construction by speculative builders cease.

We are not focusing on the angry that don't want to discuss anything at all. The attention is on the more reasonable who are willing to work together to hash out disagreements and develop a better ordinance. Not everyone, including me, will be entirely happy with the final product. It is expected that there will also be people, like you, who won't be happy at all about it.

Without stronger protections your 90+ year old house will be worth nothing but the land on which it sits. I have a right to not have that happen to my house. I also have a right to not have huge Mcmansions blocking the sun in the backyard and invading my privacy. Don't tell me your rights are more important than mine. That's not the Houston Heights I know.

Without protections, my 90 year old house has increased in value faster than in the historic districts. Don't make up crap and throw it out here expecting me to buy it. I live here. I know what is going on here. Your propaganda is intended for non-residents who do not know any better. As for your rights, they do NOT extend to restricting mine.

I won't waste my time explaining what the large homes built on my block have done to raise my property value, as you and others are being willfully ignorant on the subject. Besides, demonizing builders, realtors and McMansions is simply subterfuge on your part to justify restricting my property rights. Every time I bring up my right to preserve my property in the manner I feel is best, you go straight to bringing up builders and dozers. Well, it ain't working. I am not a builder or a realtor. That sign in front of my 90 year old house was put there by me!

If the final ordinance only restricts you and your neighbors, I'll be fine with it. If you want to spend the extra time and money dealing with extra reviews by the city, knock yourself out. But leave me out of it. The home values in my hood are where they are for a reason. We don't need your help screwing them up.

*A note about the stinkin' camelbacks. Look at your stupid architectural guide. That BS HAHC actually touts that crap as a way to conform to their restrictions. Don't blame the builders for that sheet. That is YOUR idea of attractive architecture. I have no intention of letting architecturally ignorant slobs obtain control over my house. And that makes you and your fellow supporters the opposition. I will fight every move you make on South Heights.

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Without stronger protections your 90+ year old house will be worth nothing but the land on which it sits. I have a right to not have that happen to my house. I also have a right to not have huge Mcmansions blocking the sun in the backyard and invading my privacy. Don't tell me your rights are more important than mine. That's not the Houston Heights I know.

First of all, you are absolutely correct that as the owner of your home, you are entitled to the right to its use and modification. Instituting voluntary deed restrictions so that nobody may tear down your house after you have sold it or otherwise moved on is a fairly easy process. These are your property rights.

It is also your right as a citizen of the City of Houston to engage in the political process to try to bring about new ordinances that are desirable to you, even if they may impair other citizens' enjoyment of their property. (The converse is also true! And you should be cautious when empowering a bureaucracy because powers friendly to your interests may not always be there to support you.)

But that's where your natural, human, and political rights stop where this issue is concerned. Unfortunately for your ill-conceived aesthetic imperative, your neighbors have the very same rights and are not acting uniformly in your interests...because it is their codified political right not to have to, and to act in theirs. Your attempt to usurp their rights to their enjoyment of their property in order to promote your own personal concept of aestheticism (which you yourself probably won't like if codified into law) is utterly asinine. I don't think Kant would approve.

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The funny thing is that this section of the ordinance prohibits Sue Lovell's "re-polling" of districts. Historic districts are either historic districts or they are not. If a historic district does not want to be a historic district, they must follow the process set forth in 33-222 et seq. There is no ordinance giving the City the power to "re-poll" districts. The City does not have the power to do so. Nothing in the revised ordinance gives the City that power. The City can't do it. It is just that simple.

You may be correct. Maybe the ordinance we have now has no re-poll provision. I guess that means that we leave the current ordinance in place, including the 90 day waiver that was agreed to by the petition signers. Ok?

Apparently you were one of those that spoke and argued against re-petitions. Frankly, that effort probably hurt your cause. The new ordinance (to be proposed) will supersede the old one and should provide for opting out. Your point is meaningless if there is new proposed language. If the proposed new ordinance does not include opting-out, you can be assured that the ordinance will fail. Otherwise the will of the neighborhood will be perceived to have been hijacked by a minority that uses unethical tactics. City council knows the score, and if they ignore it, they will suffer when they run for re-election.

Other speakers at the meeting whined that there should be no re-petition because their four years of work would be for naught. Well, guess what? If that's what the neighborhood thinks, that's what the neighborhood thinks - regardless of how long you've been trying to change our minds. Again, without a re-petition, you are disenfranchising the neighborhood.

The most troubling comment was that I shouldn't be allowed to participate in a re-vote because I live in a newer home. Hey! The proposed ordinance DOES affect me. Not only will it drastically change the character of my neighborhood, but I will have to apply to the Historical Commission too. It is specifically written in the current proposed ordinance that ALL structures in a historic district must apply for certificates of appropriateness. If I want to replace my porch columns, maybe the HAHC will make me put in craftsman columns, thereby ruining the architectural integrity of my home. This attempt to subrogate my vote is disgusting and should have been obvious to the HAHC committee.

Having said all this, I think City Council knows the score. The activists were well organized at this latest meeting, but their arguments fell flat and were self serving. I think our sides' comments, although less numerous, were much more logical than the ones from your side. You've been out-numbered at all the other meetings and you will be outnumbered again.

Edited by OutfieldDan
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Without stronger protections your 90+ year old house will be worth nothing but the land on which it sits. I have a right to not have that happen to my house. I also have a right to not have huge Mcmansions blocking the sun in the backyard and invading my privacy. Don't tell me your rights are more important than mine. That's not the Houston Heights I know.

The land that the 90 year old houses are sitting on is worth what it is today in part because of the re-development activity that has occured in the last 10 years. Not all of it "bad" as some would argue. I can recall land now selling for $250k that was once selling for $75k with a house on it ten years ago. You wouldnt be excited if I offered you $75k for your bungalow now would you?

While I'm not a lawyer, I'm fairly certain that the Heights currently has no "view preservation" codes as some coastal communities do. Without it, I believe you have zero(0) rights to protect your sunlight access by restricting your neighbors development. Its not that your rights are more important than anyone elses, its simply a fact that however unfortunate it sounds to you, that you as an individual, cannot take away the rights that I have as your neighboring land owner to folllow the existing codes and restrictions and develop within those guidelines.

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The land that the 90 year old houses are sitting on is worth what it is today in part because of the re-development activity that has occured in the last 10 years. Not all of it "bad" as some would argue. I can recall land now selling for $250k that was once selling for $75k with a house on it ten years ago. You wouldnt be excited if I offered you $75k for your bungalow now would you?

So your assertion that is that the demand for 90 year old bungalows, is driven by buyers that actively seeking out houses with adjacent McMansions? And that bungalow buyers would be less likely to purchase a home if the adjacent structure were a restored bungalow?

Maybe this is why Proctor Plaza and Norhill bungalow prices are so low and the neighborhood such a ghetto.

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It seems that the approach here is to bully and call names like school kids. I really do understand your position. I just don't agree with it. Therefore we will have to agree to disagree. This can be done without resorting to lobbing of insults along the lines of "ignorant slobs", references to other neighborhoods as ghettos and accusations of propaganda. There are actually very few people who have been posting on this topic. It's a discussion of about five with entries here and there from others like me who usually monitor posts, but don't chime in. I now know why. It's not really a discussion as much as it is a bully forum where the approach is to quash an opposiing viewpoint with personal insults.

I believe Houston has matured to the point of understanding the need for preserving its history through Houston style restrictions. Houston Heights is the one neighborhood in this city that is known for its history. The OSW and other neighborhoods have beautiful historical architecture worth preserving, but HH has the reputation of being Houston's "historic neighborhood." Many volunteers have put in countless hours over the last 30 years to make this neighborhood what it is.

Restrictions and ordinances affecting our property change all the time and they may change again this time.

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It seems that the approach here is to bully and call names like school kids. I really do understand your position. I just don't agree with it. Therefore we will have to agree to disagree. This can be done without resorting to lobbing of insults along the lines of "ignorant slobs", references to other neighborhoods as ghettos and accusations of propaganda. There are actually very few people who have been posting on this topic. It's a discussion of about five with entries here and there from others like me who usually monitor posts, but don't chime in. I now know why. It's not really a discussion as much as it is a bully forum where the approach is to quash an opposiing viewpoint with personal insults.

I believe Houston has matured to the point of understanding the need for preserving its history through Houston style restrictions. Houston Heights is the one neighborhood in this city that is known for its history. The OSW and other neighborhoods have beautiful historical architecture worth preserving, but HH has the reputation of being Houston's "historic neighborhood." Many volunteers have put in countless hours over the last 30 years to make this neighborhood what it is.

Restrictions and ordinances affecting our property change all the time and they may change again this time.

Thanks for reminding us that civility is essential for a forum to prosper. For some reason, the internet seems to encourage bravado. (Mea culpa.)

Preservation in Houston is different from other cities, in that we're attempting to save the historic properties of an already prosperous neighborhood. Other cities have dealt with run-down historic areas where redevelopment required economic encouragement. It's a new paradigm.

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I believe Houston has matured to the point of understanding the need for preserving its history through Houston style restrictions. Houston Heights is the one neighborhood in this city that is known for its history. The OSW and other neighborhoods have beautiful historical architecture worth preserving, but HH has the reputation of being Houston's "historic neighborhood." Many volunteers have put in countless hours over the last 30 years to make this neighborhood what it is.

I completely and totally disagree with you on this and resent your Heights-centric interpretation of Houston's history.

You don't seem to understand why people berate you on this forum. It's because you're being unashamedly greedy and self-serving, placing your neighborhood on a pedestal above all others, and not realizing how disrespectful that is of the people around you.

If you want to have civil and respectable discourse, you need to set the example.

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So your assertion that is that the demand for 90 year old bungalows, is driven by buyers that actively seeking out houses with adjacent McMansions?

That wasnt my point. The point revolved around my opinioin that from a property value/tax basis standpoint, "new" construction has added value to the Heights bungalows, not to mention the city tax coffers. I have had several neighboring bungalows restored/remodelled by their owners in the 10+ years I have lived here and not once was I knocking on their doors suggesting that they reconsider remodelling and rebuild. I let them do what they wanted to do between their property lines and the eclectic fabric of the Heights was preserved.

And that bungalow buyers would be less likely to purchase a home if the adjacent structure were a restored bungalow?

Thats a question that a realtor is more likely to answer better than I with statistics.

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It seems that the approach here is to bully and call names like school kids. I really do understand your position. I just don't agree with it. Therefore we will have to agree to disagree. This can be done without resorting to lobbing of insults along the lines of "ignorant slobs", references to other neighborhoods as ghettos and accusations of propaganda. There are actually very few people who have been posting on this topic. It's a discussion of about five with entries here and there from others like me who usually monitor posts, but don't chime in. I now know why. It's not really a discussion as much as it is a bully forum where the approach is to quash an opposiing viewpoint with personal insults.

I believe Houston has matured to the point of understanding the need for preserving its history through Houston style restrictions. Houston Heights is the one neighborhood in this city that is known for its history. The OSW and other neighborhoods have beautiful historical architecture worth preserving, but HH has the reputation of being Houston's "historic neighborhood." Many volunteers have put in countless hours over the last 30 years to make this neighborhood what it is.

Restrictions and ordinances affecting our property change all the time and they may change again this time.

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 and history of the Heights. It does no such thing. The ordinance allows hideous and grotesque additions such as camelbacks, while refusing hardiplank and aluminum clad windows on the basis that it is not period specific. It is hypocrisy. But, the part of your posts that really makes me angry is your glib assertion that I must submit to the authority of you and a few others simply because they've put in some time trying to take control of my property under the guise of protecting the historic Heights. You gloss over the fact that these pretty houses are our HOMES, where we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds or thousands of hours. You ignore the fact that this ordinance takes control of the biggest investment I have without allowing me a vote, and AFTER I bought here.

dbigtex brings up a valid point. Most historic districts are enacted in an attempt to arrest declining property values in old neighborhoods by designating them "historic". They usually have wide support as the neighbor hope to stem the decline and improve the neighborhood. The exact opposite approach is in play here. There have been tens of millions of dollars invested in the Heights without the need for an historic district. The statements of the supporters indicate that it is the investment in Heights property...often by way of new construction...that they aim to stop. Many supporters have claimed that the new builds are pricing them out of their bungalows. The intent of the historic district is to STOP the increase in property values, not increase them. Sure, they engage in doublespeak, claiming "studies" show increases, but those studies deal with neighborhoods in decline. The Heights most assuredly is not in decline. And, while the ordinance will not cause the Heights to decline, it will cause it to STAGNATE, as the money currently being invested in the Heights will move across the freeway to the North Side. Derelict and unappealing structures in the Heights will be protected from demolition. As Heights homeowners realize the time and expense of renovations and additions that must traverse the HAHC minefield, they will simply choose to move instead of update. Subconsciously or secretly, perhaps the supporters want this to happen. Perhaps they believe that when unappreciative types like myself sell out and move across the freeway, like-minded Heights lovers will move in. But, there are only so many who can afford to do this stuff, and many do not like the restrictions. This will cause home values to stagnate.

This cannot be stated enough. The supporters are taking a macro view of this whole thing, ignoring the individuals who actually own the homes. "The Heights is historic", they say. But, the Heights is an area filled with individual homeowners who must pay for those upgrades. All of them have budgets. When the tighter restrictions demand more architectural design fees, more expensive materials and more time consuming review and supervision, planned projects will be shelved. Not all of them. But, a significant number of them. Others will be delayed. As investment in the individual Heights homes slows or dries up, the area stagnates as a whole. Try applying the restrictive ordinance on a house by house basis...which is how the houses are owned...and see if your logic holds up. It doesn't. This is why I and others oppose this ordinance.

The worst part of this land grab is that, by and large, the Heights is not even historic in the strictest sense. Sure, there are some properties here and there that have historic significance, but not most of them. The fact that the "historic" ordinance allows for such grotesque modifications (as long as it is not on the front) acknowledges such. This ordinance is killing an ant with a hammer. It is a solution looking for a problem. And, it imposes restrictions on homeowners who neither want nor need them. There are names for people who believe it is OK to use the government to control others unnecessarily, and I intend to use those names. Because that is what is going on here.

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I just got back from talking to a neighbor who remodeled his home. Bearing in mind that we live in a non-historic section of the Heights, he was forced to present his plans to the Planning Department (apparently because South Heights historic designation was already in the works), then was denied a permit. He had to request a variance, submit a detailed plan, build a scale model of the proposed remodel (I know, I saw it), and petition the neighbors (we all signed off on it), just to get a permit. The crazy part was that he had to do this in order to get rid of a poorly done remodel by a previous owner. It was very expensive and time consuming. He had to stay an extra 2 months in the rent house in order to accomplish all of the City's demands. And this was for a remodel that the City employees told him would be welcomed in the Heights (it is).

Another interesting fact that the city people and a Heights Association board member told him. Because of the way the voting is structured, only 12% of total South Heights property owners approved the petition to make my neighborhood an historic district. For all of the accusations about misinformation, the supporters never actually give out real statistics like these. They claim a majority support the new ordinance, and that only builders and realtors oppose it. The fact is, 88% of South Heights property owners did not support the OLD LESS RESTRICTIVE petition, yet it was presented for approval. The neighbor I spoke of above was one of the signers. He has now signed a removal of his signature, as could be expected after being run through the wringer getting his plans approved.

My question to supporters on this forum: If 88% of a neighborhood oppose designation of the neighborhood as historic, do you still feel the designation and restrictive provisions should be imposed on them?

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The Heights most assuredly is not in decline. And, while the ordinance will not cause the Heights to decline, it will cause it to STAGNATE, as the money currently being invested in the Heights will move across the freeway to the North Side. Derelict and unappealing structures in the Heights will be protected from demolition.

Although the Heights has been at the center of this debate, what concerns me most is that tyrannical NIMBY minorities throughout the City that will have been empowered by this ordinance will be able to effectively block out the entire inner city, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Think the North Side is still going to be an alternate for investment? Think again. Until there is some sort of limit as to the geographic influence of HAHC, I'd be hesitant to invest anywhere in the inner city that might be regarded by anybody as potentially 'historic'.

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Another interesting fact that the city people and a Heights Association board member told him. Because of the way the voting is structured, only 12% of total South Heights property owners approved the petition to make my neighborhood an historic district. For all of the accusations about misinformation, the supporters never actually give out real statistics like these. They claim a majority support the new ordinance, and that only builders and realtors oppose it. The fact is, 88% of South Heights property owners did not support the OLD LESS RESTRICTIVE petition, yet it was presented for approval. The neighbor I spoke of above was one of the signers. He has now signed a removal of his signature, as could be expected after being run through the wringer getting his plans approved.

I have no idea where you heard the 12% number, but that's not how the process works. At the time of certification of an application (under the ordinance currently in effect), the owners of 51% or more of the properties in the affected area, owning in aggregate 51% or more of the area of the properties in the affected area, must have signed the petition. Up until the public hearing for the HAHC meeting at which the application was certified, signers could be removed or added. (Both happened.) Similarly, the edge boundaries could be adjusted up until the HAHC voted to certify the application. (This also happened.)

At the time of the vote, the HAHC certified that >51% of the ownership (in both senses) of the proposed historic district had signed to approve the application (and not rescinded their approval), as required by ordinance.. The remaining <49% or so may have declined to sign the application, eluded contact, signed and retracted, wanted to sign but never got around to it, hated the idea, or just not cared; we don't know how many fall into which category.

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I have no idea where you heard the 12% number, but that's not how the process works. At the time of certification of an application (under the ordinance currently in effect), the owners of 51% or more of the properties in the affected area, owning in aggregate 51% or more of the area of the properties in the affected area, must have signed the petition. Up until the public hearing for the HAHC meeting at which the application was certified, signers could be removed or added. (Both happened.) Similarly, the edge boundaries could be adjusted up until the HAHC voted to certify the application. (This also happened.)

At the time of the vote, the HAHC certified that >51% of the ownership (in both senses) of the proposed historic district had signed to approve the application (and not rescinded their approval), as required by ordinance.. The remaining <49% or so may have declined to sign the application, eluded contact, signed and retracted, wanted to sign but never got around to it, hated the idea, or just not cared; we don't know how many fall into which category.

Application for designation of an historic district shall be initiated by either:

(1)The owners of at least 51 percent of the tracts in the proposed district, which tracts shall constitute 51 percent of the land area within the proposed district exclusive of street, alley and fee simple pipeline or utility rights-of-way and publicly owned land, as determined by the planning official. In case of a dispute over whether the percentage requirements have been satisfied, it shall be the burden of the challenger to establish by a preponderance of the evidence through the real property records of the county or counties in which the proposed historic district is located or other public records that the applicants have not satisfied the percentage requirements; or

(2)The HAHC upon instructing the planning official to prepare an application for designation.

That's pretty much what angers those of us in South Heights. We've never seen nor been told how our neighborhood was recommended for consideration. Clearly, they did not have enough signatures back in 2007, since we were left out of the application that included Heights East and West. If you look at the list of properties that signed on to the application that is posted on the HHA website, it is clear that less than 20% of Heights South signed on. It would be nice if our elected officials would actually be honest enough to tell us how our neighborhood got included, but they have been way to busy trying to jury rig the voting process to be open and honest about it. Given current sentiment in South Heights, I feel strongly that option number 2 is how it happened. The 12% figure is probably the percentage of signatures garnered for the failed homeowner application attempt.

If you have access to the real numbers, I'd love to see them.

By the way, you never answered my question. If the number of supporters in South Heights was only 12%, would you support rejecting the application?

Edited by RedScare
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That's pretty much what angers those of us in South Heights. We've never seen nor been told how our neighborhood was recommended for consideration. Clearly, they did not have enough signatures back in 2007, since we were left out of the application that included Heights East and West. If you look at the list of properties that signed on to the application that is posted on the HHA website, it is clear that less than 20% of Heights South signed on. It would be nice if our elected officials would actually be honest enough to tell us how our neighborhood got included, but they have been way to busy trying to jury rig the voting process to be open and honest about it. Given current sentiment in South Heights, I feel strongly that option number 2 is how it happened. The 12% figure is probably the percentage of signatures garnered for the failed homeowner application attempt.

If you have access to the real numbers, I'd love to see them.

By the way, you never answered my question. If the number of supporters in South Heights was only 12%, would you support rejecting the application?

I have no special knowledge of the numbers. According to the staff report filed on the City web site "Pending Designation" page the numbers were as follows:

"Of the 761 total tract owners, 405 tract owners signed petitions in support or 53.22%. The total land area of tracts whose owners signed in support of the designation constitutes 51.27% percent of the total land area within the proposed district."

That staff report probably reflected the count going into the meeting. The boundaries were adjusted slightly during the meeting to maintain the legally required percentages. I know that some dislike the fact that the adjustment happened, but they would have liked a sub-majority even less.

And no, I would not say that an application signed by only 12% of the owners/ownership should be accepted. Once the application was accepted, the percentage "support" (whatever that means -- vocal support? grudging support? non-objection?) became legally moot.

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I have no special knowledge of the numbers. According to the staff report filed on the City web site "Pending Designation" page the numbers were as follows:

"Of the 761 total tract owners, 405 tract owners signed petitions in support or 53.22%. The total land area of tracts whose owners signed in support of the designation constitutes 51.27% percent of the total land area within the proposed district."

That staff report probably reflected the count going into the meeting. The boundaries were adjusted slightly during the meeting to maintain the legally required percentages. I know that some dislike the fact that the adjustment happened, but they would have liked a sub-majority even less.

And no, I would not say that an application signed by only 12% of the owners/ownership should be accepted. Once the application was accepted, the percentage "support" (whatever that means -- vocal support? grudging support? non-objection?) became legally moot.

Yeah, I finally found that report. I doubt the numbers are anywhere close to that today, with the proposed new rules on the table. The number one selling point back in 2007 to get people to sign was the 90 day waiver. They recited it over and over like a mantra. Funny (or not) that now they claim that everyone knew the 90 day waiver was never intended to be permanent.

I also found it ironic that the report used my house as an example of one of the styles of housing stock. Sucks that they are using my own house against me.

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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 and history of the Heights. It does no such thing. The ordinance allows hideous and grotesque additions such as camelbacks, while refusing hardiplank and aluminum clad windows on the basis that it is not period specific. It is hypocrisy. But, the part of your posts that really makes me angry is your glib assertion that I must submit to the authority of you and a few others simply because they've put in some time trying to take control of my property under the guise of protecting the historic Heights. You gloss over the fact that these pretty houses are our HOMES, where we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds or thousands of hours. You ignore the fact that this ordinance takes control of the biggest investment I have without allowing me a vote, and AFTER I bought here.

dbigtex brings up a valid point. Most historic districts are enacted in an attempt to arrest declining property values in old neighborhoods by designating them "historic". They usually have wide support as the neighbor hope to stem the decline and improve the neighborhood. The exact opposite approach is in play here. There have been tens of millions of dollars invested in the Heights without the need for an historic district. The statements of the supporters indicate that it is the investment in Heights property...often by way of new construction...that they aim to stop. Many supporters have claimed that the new builds are pricing them out of their bungalows. The intent of the historic district is to STOP the increase in property values, not increase them. Sure, they engage in doublespeak, claiming "studies" show increases, but those studies deal with neighborhoods in decline. The Heights most assuredly is not in decline. And, while the ordinance will not cause the Heights to decline, it will cause it to STAGNATE, as the money currently being invested in the Heights will move across the freeway to the North Side. Derelict and unappealing structures in the Heights will be protected from demolition. As Heights homeowners realize the time and expense of renovations and additions that must traverse the HAHC minefield, they will simply choose to move instead of update. Subconsciously or secretly, perhaps the supporters want this to happen. Perhaps they believe that when unappreciative types like myself sell out and move across the freeway, like-minded Heights lovers will move in. But, there are only so many who can afford to do this stuff, and many do not like the restrictions. This will cause home values to stagnate.

This cannot be stated enough. The supporters are taking a macro view of this whole thing, ignoring the individuals who actually own the homes. "The Heights is historic", they say. But, the Heights is an area filled with individual homeowners who must pay for those upgrades. All of them have budgets. When the tighter restrictions demand more architectural design fees, more expensive materials and more time consuming review and supervision, planned projects will be shelved. Not all of them. But, a significant number of them. Others will be delayed. As investment in the individual Heights homes slows or dries up, the area stagnates as a whole. Try applying the restrictive ordinance on a house by house basis...which is how the houses are owned...and see if your logic holds up. It doesn't. This is why I and others oppose this ordinance.

The worst part of this land grab is that, by and large, the Heights is not even historic in the strictest sense. Sure, there are some properties here and there that have historic significance, but not most of them. The fact that the "historic" ordinance allows for such grotesque modifications (as long as it is not on the front) acknowledges such. This ordinance is killing an ant with a hammer. It is a solution looking for a problem. And, it imposes restrictions on homeowners who neither want nor need them. There are names for people who believe it is OK to use the government to control others unnecessarily, and I intend to use those names. Because that is what is going on here.

Best post in this thread.

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I love how the historic district supporters constantly bring up the oppositions "misinformation tactics". If you want to prevent this tactic, make the ordinance clear.

I also have a nominee for self serving person of the year... there is a house on watson that is proudly touting their "say yes to the non voting ordinance change" sign in their yard. This house just recently went under renovations and added a second story (non camel back). Really. I mean Really.

Where can i get one of those "say yes to preservation, say no to historic district" signs? I'd like to proudly tout that infront of my original 25' bungalow. I am one of lucky few that is in woodland heights, but outside of the woodland heights historic district (which i believe is still pending). Hopefully when they try to take over our streets we'll be able to vote it down.

My wife and I plan to do renovations to our house, but to appease the HAHC i'm sure the difference in cost could possibly prevent us from doing them (if extended to our street). These would be tasteful modifications, that would in no way change the character of my block. I'd like to add a second story to back half of my house (both houses on either side of me are original two stories). This couldn't be done if governed by the HAHC rules, so i'd have to add a disgusting camelback addition and take up the rest of my yard. My yard is on the large side for the heights (6,350sq. ft) but this would leave no grass. That would be REALLY historic. Nobody ever spent time in their yards playing with their families in the 20s...

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Although the Heights has been at the center of this debate, what concerns me most is that tyrannical NIMBY minorities throughout the City that will have been empowered by this ordinance will be able to effectively block out the entire inner city, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Think the North Side is still going to be an alternate for investment? Think again. Until there is some sort of limit as to the geographic influence of HAHC, I'd be hesitant to invest anywhere in the inner city that might be regarded by anybody as potentially 'historic'.

Having lived in the East End for 25+ years, this is exactly my concern.

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People who buy into historic neighborhoods are in for the long haul. I doubt that speculators and flippers make better neighbors.

Oh, of course. Blame the people that bring new money into a neighborhood (at their own risk and not yours). How obvious. Why didn't anybody think of that before? :rolleyes:

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People who buy into historic neighborhoods are in for the long haul. I doubt that speculators and flippers make better neighbors.

Since you are a renter in Montrose, you can be forgiven for not understanding how Heights real estate generally works. For one, most Heights properties sell in well under 10 years. For example, on my block, only 4 homeowners have been here 10 years. I am one of the longest term owners at 6. This is likely longer than many neighborhoods, but in today's transient working world, few homeowners stay long term. Then there is your typical Heights buyer. They have money, but they do not want to spend it fixing up a home. They want it done before they get here. While there are a few of us who recognize the value of sweat equity (why do you think we oppose the restrictive historic ordinance?), we are in the distinct minority. Interestingly, it is likely to be flippers and speculators who have the time and resources to learn the ins and outs of the new restrictive ordinance, and who will use it to their advantage. So will renovators and architects, who will charge a premium for "knowing how to navigate the historic district rules". Things will still get done for those who are willing and able to spend the extra money. Only those of us who do not have those large sums to waste will be shut out.

Then there is the whole "historic neighborhood" thing. The Heights will not function like a small distinct historic neighborhood, such as Old Sixth Ward. It will be huge. Most people will not even realize what they are buying into until they plan their first renovation. Sure, there will be a notice in the closing papers, but most will not read it or contemplate its effect. It is the nature of home buying. Few people put much research into it.

Edited by RedScare
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Then there is the whole "historic neighborhood" thing. The Heights will not function like a small distinct historic neighborhood, such as Old Sixth Ward. It will be huge. Most people will not even realize what they are buying into until they plan their first renovation. Sure, there will be a notice in the closing papers, but most will not read it or contemplate its effect. It is the nature of home buying. Few people put much research into it.

This is worth repeating - to me, this is the crux of the issue and why it will not work out well..

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That wasnt my point. The point revolved around my opinioin that from a property value/tax basis standpoint, "new" construction has added value to the Heights bungalows, not to mention the city tax coffers.

There are those predicting wholesale market value collapse if this passes. To see if that concept has validity, we must consider what's driving the demand. You post implied that new construction is driving the demand for Heights bungalows. That without large out-of-character construction, prices would not be assending. Not sure I buy into that. Looking around... there are swaths with largely intact houses, as well as historic districts that seem to have plenty of demand sans McVics. Perhaps the price inflation isn't as rapid, but seemingly certainly still healthy, and above local and nationwide expectations. I just don't buy into the disaster mentality some do. Nor do I believe that new construction is the sole (or even primary) driver of demand in the neighborhood.

Thats a question that a realtor is more likely to answer better than I with statistics.

I don't have any stats either. But I've never seen "Next to a McVic" or "New construction next door!" or listed as a feature of a bungalow advertisement on HAR by said realtors. I'd suspect if that was driving the sales of bungalows, it would be touted up more often.

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There are those predicting wholesale market value collapse if this passes. To see if that concept has validity, we must consider what's driving the demand. You post implied that new construction is driving the demand for Heights bungalows. That without large out-of-character construction, prices would not be assending. Not sure I buy into that. Looking around... there are swaths with largely intact houses, as well as historic districts that seem to have plenty of demand sans McVics. Perhaps the price inflation isn't as rapid, but seemingly certainly still healthy, and above local and nationwide expectations. I just don't buy into the disaster mentality some do. Nor do I believe that new construction is the sole (or even primary) driver of demand in the neighborhood.

I don't have any stats either. But I've never seen "Next to a McVic" or "New construction next door!" or listed as a feature of a bungalow advertisement on HAR by said realtors. I'd suspect if that was driving the sales of bungalows, it would be touted up more often.

The market for bungalows is robust. I bought during the market crash. Prices came back a bit from the highs in 2007-08, but competition for bungalows was still fierce, even without builders in the mix. (Don't crow about builders being scared away by the historic ordinance. Builders couldn't get loans when I was looking.). I paid list price. Move-in ready bungalows in the 280-320 range are now being bid up by buyers, even with the threat of the coming of Stalinist historic preservation ordinance revisions.

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There are those predicting wholesale market value collapse if this passes.

Anyone predicting big changes on either side is making things up for shock value. The change will be subtle, except for the sudden drying up of new construction. As less money is invested in the neighborhood, prices will slow and stagnate.

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Anyone predicting big changes on either side is making things up for shock value. The change will be subtle, except for the sudden drying up of new construction. As less money is invested in the neighborhood, prices will slow and stagnate.

If this is true, what explains the growing values of homes in the Norhill that were posted about earlier? Historic, deed restricted and continues to grow in value. My friends who live in a nicely renovated 2/2 on 14th, which is a less desirable street due to the traffic, have seen their home increase in value to the tune of $50k in the 4 years since they bought it.

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If this is true, what explains the growing values of homes in the Norhill that were posted about earlier? Historic, deed restricted and continues to grow in value. My friends who live in a nicely renovated 2/2 on 14th, which is a less desirable street due to the traffic, have seen their home increase in value to the tune of $50k in the 4 years since they bought it.

I don't find $50,000 in 4 years to be particularly impressive, considering that my home in a non-restricted area has increased at twice that rate. In 2006-7, houses were appreciating at 8-10% on average in the Heights. Assuming that house was worth $300,000 at purchase, a $50,000 increase in 4 years is a little less than 4%.

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If this is true, what explains the growing values of homes in the Norhill that were posted about earlier? Historic, deed restricted and continues to grow in value. My friends who live in a nicely renovated 2/2 on 14th, which is a less desirable street due to the traffic, have seen their home increase in value to the tune of $50k in the 4 years since they bought it.

Yes, that would be my area. We have not modified my home since we moved in almost 7 years ago and it has increased in value almost double what your friends have experienced.

I went out of town for 4 days. We left Thursday and got home last night. In that time, a 3/2 down the street from me (renovated 3 years ago) put a for sale signb up in the yard. Today there was an inspector out there and I just checked HAR and it's "option pending."

There has been no stagnation in this area at all and, again, we already live by "rules" stricter than those everyone is so up in arms about. Not only do homeowners have to answer to the HCAC but they also have to deal with the neighborhood Board, which is sometimes in line with the HCAC and sometimes not. It has caused no slow down, no stagnation, no ghetto. This area is highly desireable and most houses (unless they've been totally jacked and ruined by cheap flips) sell very quickly. As a matter of fact, even the quick flip- some of you may remember the putt putt house on Melwood- sold quickly and the man who bought it has been lovingly making improvements to the home to rememdy some of the subpar work done by the flipper. So, yeah. No ghetto.

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For one, most Heights properties sell in well under 10 years. This is likely longer than many neighborhoods, but in today's transient working world, few homeowners stay long term. Then there is your typical Heights buyer. They have money, but they do not want to spend it fixing up a home. They want it done before they get here.

Yes! Absolutely. I was one of those buyers. Of course we wanted a little, charming, beautifully fixed up bungalow with a clawfoot tub and a big front porch. And we got it.

But here's a dirty little secret - that big front porch isn't original to the house. A developer re-did a plan-jane boring flat-fronted bungalow and built out a lovely, "craftsmanesque" porch. Which the neighbors across the street somewhat copied when they did their new front porch.

And the stone fireplace in the living room? Not even "actual" stone. It's a concrete substitute.

Judging from the oohs and ahhs we get from visitors, no one is the wiser.

The renovation probably wouldn't have passed muster with the committee, and that would have been a shame. It's a perfect example of a neighborhood-appropriate (though not "historically accurate") fix that improved the aesthetics on the block.

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There are those predicting wholesale market value collapse if this passes. To see if that concept has validity, we must consider what's driving the demand. You post implied that new construction is driving the demand for Heights bungalows. That without large out-of-character construction, prices would not be assending. Not sure I buy into that. Looking around... there are swaths with largely intact houses, as well as historic districts that seem to have plenty of demand sans McVics. Perhaps the price inflation isn't as rapid, but seemingly certainly still healthy, and above local and nationwide expectations. I just don't buy into the disaster mentality some do. Nor do I believe that new construction is the sole (or even primary) driver of demand in the neighborhood.

I don't have any stats either. But I've never seen "Next to a McVic" or "New construction next door!" or listed as a feature of a bungalow advertisement on HAR by said realtors. I'd suspect if that was driving the sales of bungalows, it would be touted up more often.

The people concerned about the effect of this ordinance isn't that they believe that having a "McVics" next door is a selling point. It's that having blight in the form of a rotting bungalow next door is a drag on property values. And if this ordinance makes it more expensive/difficult to renovate or repair, then the result will be (a) existing blighted properties will remain blighted longer, and (b ) currently serviceable properties may fall into disrepair. Those that recall what the Heights was like 15 to 20 years ago know that, without all these McVics around, the neighborhood wouldn't be nearly as vibrant as it is today.

The area bordered (roughly) by 6th, 11th, Studewood and Heights is mostly new construction, and it looks great. Pretty much everything is 2-stories with an alley-access detached garage. The houses are appropriate to the neighborhood esthetic if not historically accurate. (And all this was achieved without zoning.)

Many comments I read in support of this ordinance seem to be focused on preventing overly dense development, either too much house on a lot or lots that are too small. If you want to preserve the character of your block, convince your neighbors to sign up for minimum lot size and minimum building line restrictions. If your neighbors don't want to sign up for this, then imposing worse restrictions on them by ordinance is kind of a jerk move. Oh, and the comment that one "block-busting" house on the street prevents MLS and MBL is frankly BS. The MLS is set at the size that at least 70% of properties in the application area would meet (60% for historic districts). Ditto with MBL.

The plus side of this ordinance passing, at least in the short term, is that maybe more of the developers will come up above 20th street. We sure could use it up here.

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Yes, that would be my area. We have not modified my home since we moved in almost 7 years ago and it has increased in value almost double what your friends have experienced.

I went out of town for 4 days. We left Thursday and got home last night. In that time, a 3/2 down the street from me (renovated 3 years ago) put a for sale signb up in the yard. Today there was an inspector out there and I just checked HAR and it's "option pending."

There has been no stagnation in this area at all and, again, we already live by "rules" stricter than those everyone is so up in arms about. Not only do homeowners have to answer to the HCAC but they also have to deal with the neighborhood Board, which is sometimes in line with the HCAC and sometimes not. It has caused no slow down, no stagnation, no ghetto. This area is highly desireable and most houses (unless they've been totally jacked and ruined by cheap flips) sell very quickly. As a matter of fact, even the quick flip- some of you may remember the putt putt house on Melwood- sold quickly and the man who bought it has been lovingly making improvements to the home to rememdy some of the subpar work done by the flipper. So, yeah. No ghetto.

Norhill has stagnated. You're in denial. When we were deciding where to move inside the loop, Norhill was much less attractive than the Heights. The Heights benefits from new investment, new people, more diversity, and more going on. The Heights has evolved from it's dilapidated mid-70's character to what it is today with no government intervention. Not so with Norhill - because of too many rules, it's stuck in limbo and consequently it's not as nice. The reason for the stagnation is HAHC and your Board. The main reason for my opinion about the proposed changes is that I don't want to live in a Norhill type neighborhood. I use Norhill as the prime example of the wrong way to go all the time. It's a credible argument.

Edited by OutfieldDan
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Norhill has stagnated. You're in denial. When we were deciding where to move inside the loop, Norhill was much less attractive than the Heights. The Heights benefits from new investment, new people, more diversity, and more going on. The Heights has evolved from it's dilapidated mid-70's character to what it is today with no government intervention. Not so with Norhill - because of too many rules, it's stuck in limbo and consequently it's not as nice. The reason for the stagnation is HAHC and your Board. The main reason for my opinion about the proposed changes is that I don't want to live in a Norhill type neighborhood. I use Norhill as the prime example of the wrong way to go all the time. It's a credible argument.

That is odd because the price per sq ft for bungalows in Norhill was pretty much on par with the Heights when I was looking to buy. Norhill has never been the Heights. Norhill is closer to the highway (45), is bordered by crudy Main St. and does not have the same amenities. The housing stock is all small bungalows. There are no larger historic Victorians, Queen Anne, etc. like in the Heights. And lot size is almost uniformly 5000 sq ft. Heights is 6600 and up. Heights has 11th st, 19th st, jogging trail, parks, playgrounds etc. Norhill has a small park and the esplanade. Norhill has actually done quite well considering its disadvantages compared to the Heights.

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Yeah, I finally found that report. I doubt the numbers are anywhere close to that today, with the proposed new rules on the table. The number one selling point back in 2007 to get people to sign was the 90 day waiver. They recited it over and over like a mantra. Funny (or not) that now they claim that everyone knew the 90 day waiver was never intended to be permanent.

Is a list of all of the supporting homeowners that signed the list for Heights South available for public record? I would be interested in viewing that approval list but haven't seen such a list online. Is anyone knowledgeable of its location or how I can have access to the list?

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Is a list of all of the supporting homeowners that signed the list for Heights South available for public record? I would be interested in viewing that approval list but haven't seen such a list online. Is anyone knowledgeable of its location or how I can have access to the list?

I'm sure it is available as part of the petition for historic district status. I would contact HAHC and request it under the Freedom of Information Act (you probably have to appear in person to request it). I know that the group organizing the opposition probably has one, since they are collecting the affidavits withdrawing support for the petition for presentation to City Council(over 15% of petition signers have retracted their support, dropping the support well under 51%). There is no legitimate reason for the list to be kept private. Early on, the list was not available, but I'm sure it is by now.

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I'm sure it is available as part of the petition for historic district status. I would contact HAHC and request it under the Freedom of Information Act (you probably have to appear in person to request it). I know that the group organizing the opposition probably has one, since they are collecting the affidavits withdrawing support for the petition for presentation to City Council(over 15% of petition signers have retracted their support, dropping the support well under 51%). There is no legitimate reason for the list to be kept private. Early on, the list was not available, but I'm sure it is by now.

Can people withdraw from a petition which has already been submitted? Wouldn't a new petition be necessary?

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Can people withdraw from a petition which has already been submitted? Wouldn't a new petition be necessary?

They can up until the public hearing, which has already been held. So, really, at this point, the retractions are merely to show City Council that support for the new ordinance has severely eroded. Hopefully, they take notice.

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i didn't buy in Norhill because of the restrictions... this was just one year ago.

Also to the statement of "those buying in the historic districts are in for the long haul". What is your point? Your intention of staying in a location for a longer duration shouldn't give you any more rights than someone who plans to live there for just a few years. I guess your more important than them?

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So your assertion that is that the demand for 90 year old bungalows, is driven by buyers that actively seeking out houses with adjacent McMansions? And that bungalow buyers would be less likely to purchase a home if the adjacent structure were a restored bungalow?

Maybe this is why Proctor Plaza and Norhill bungalow prices are so low and the neighborhood such a ghetto.

I believe the demand for bungalows in the Heights is driven by the ability to purchase a house that currently meets their needs in terms of size and price, and is also in a nice area. I believe the area has been made nice, not by those people remodeling the bungalows, but by those people who have invested large sums of money in improving the area with new construction. The new construction was a signal to people to buy up the smaller homes as the values are going to increase because of the new construction. The new construction mixed with people improving older homes to be livable is what has driven demand throughout the heights. To think it is just bungalows driving demand is dishonest at best. The value of the bungalow is that it is a home that meets a single professional, or a married couple, either young or old, for the time being. Families, those with kids, are generally seeking out the larger homes and making the larger investments. The drive in property value has been driven by the new construction, and the ability to purchase in an area that is improving.

The ease of selling a bungalow is also not because of its historic nature. It is always easiest to sell the smallest/cheapest home in a nice area, than it is to sell the largest/most expensive home in a nice area. Demand for the cheapest home in the nicest area will always be highest, it is driven by people wanting to say that they "Live in the Heights."

If you take away the new construction, you are left with exactly what Red is saying will happen. Your left with stagnation because the new construction has driven the area for years. The bungalows will always sell....there will always be someone looking for a small home in a nice area, but the fast appreciation days will be over.

I oppose this not only because of the property rights that are being stolen out from under the landowners without any real say, but also because I like money. I like to make my money while I do nothing. Passing the ordinance will mean I will make less money, while at the same time having to answer to a bunch of people who think they know better than I do what I should be able to do with my property.

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I don't have any stats either. But I've never seen "Next to a McVic" or "New construction next door!" or listed as a feature of a bungalow advertisement on HAR by said realtors. I'd suspect if that was driving the sales of bungalows, it would be touted up more often.

Nearness to new construction is very frequently mentioned in listings. It's probably the most common thing mentioned on the listing of the vast majority of the lower value properties in the neighborhood, suggesting that the realtors at least, think that its probably a significant factor creating demand and driving up the base land values.

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Is there an organized opposition group to the proposed amendment? A website maybe? I have been out of the loop and was not able to attend any of the meetings, but would like more information regarding how to oppose the proposed new historic district/amendment. Thanks.

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