Saturday, September 1, 2007

Kicking back

My red and white blood cell counts are down this week. I knew I wasn't feeling great. :P My ambitious plans to unpack one or two boxes have been put on hold until I get some energy back.

I really need to find my camera so I can take some pictures of the house.

I pretty much have myself talked into fixing up the original wood windows. After reading many many many housing blogs I suspect that vinyl replacement windows are akin to 70s leisure suits.

Our local government has put together a "Plan Book" that suggests styles for folks fixing up their old houses. My neighborhood is made up almost totally of foursquares. There is much fear around here that the plan book is a tentative step into declaring our community historic and installing a review board. The next neighborhood over was declared Historic a few years ago and the review board horor stories are legendary. Proir to its historic designation, that neighborhood was a run down area where folks with little money could afford to purchase houses. Most of hte houses there are old Victorian places. A few years back people with more means started buying the houses and restoring them. Somewhere along the line the district was designated historic and the folks who moved to the neighborhood first - a very sore point among those residents - suddenly found htemselves having to get permission to do outside repairs with many of those repairs getting turned down because of inauthenticity.

If a house in that area had a non-historic repair or replacement done prior to the historic designation, then a similar repair or replacement is fine. The problem is when a tin roof needs replacing and the owners can only afford shingles the review board will tend to not approve the replacement. We had a very big case of just that in the past year. There is some quaking in fear and gnashing of teeth in my neighborhood because if I do decide to use leisure suit windows I want to be able to.

What bothers me the most about a historic designation here is the fear that our lovely community will disappear because people will no longer be able to afford living here. This is by no means a poor community but the reality is that historic houses require a certain affluence. Not everyone has the desire or the skill set to do the work themselves. Friends have been suggesting that I replace my windows as soon as possible before a review board gets set in place here.

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