Posted on : 13-Sep-2010 | By : Amber | In : general complaining

Ok…so, we live in a historic district. We don’t live in a historic HOUSE, mind you, but we live in the historic DISTRICT. While this comes with some snob appeal, and marginally better property values, and no yards, and houses so close you can hear your neighbors pass gas, it also comes with a set of “regulations”, ’cause the city doesn’t want us messing up the historic value of our non-historic house.

We needed to replace some windows in the back sun room. You see, the folks who added that sun room figured that they didn’t need actual windows if they put storm windows in the bare holes and called it a day. We, however, got tired of air conditioning the entire neighborhood, because basically we don’t like a lot of our neighbors that much, and handy-dandy-carpenter man goes to put real windows in where the storm windows used to be.

Now – you need to understand something. To do ANYTHING in a historic district other than repair where the IT would be visible from a public place, you have to submit plans to the committee for architectural something or other, go before the city council, beg for the right to make your home livable, hopefully get approved, then go get a building permit. THEN, and only then, can you do what you wanted to do, or something maybe close to it.

So, here’s where it gets fun, y’all. The windows in question are in the BACK of the house, on the FIRST floor, behind a PRIVACY FENCE, facing an ALLEY.

Before P. gets the first window replaced, the city is here with a stop order. Yep. Stop order. Siding’s already been ripped off, window’s out, the whole nine yards and we gotta stop immediately and do the whole city – committee – council – permit thing.

Now, I thought that would be considered a REPAIR, since, ya know, the whole outside air conditioning thing. It was broken, as far as I was concerned, since I don’t consider my heating and air conditioning floating into the atmosphere to be the natural order of things…but apparently the city thinks otherwise. I think they should come pay my utility bill, and then it wouldn’t be so “oooh, you can’t do this, ’cause the alley way is a public street, and someone might SEEEE, and then the historic value of your non-historic house would be destroyed because of your eco-friendly windows, and we all know that historic value is more important than energy conservation”.

Freaks. I hope they like looking at the big old naked back of my house, ’cause, you know, we can’t put the siding back ’till it’s been aproooved…..

P.S. I totally first typed pubic street and not public street. Make of that what you will.

Comments (8)

Your city has it’s head up it’s rectum. I know how slowly city councils move, so I wish you luck before the snow flies!

Why…yes, yes it does!

I used to regularly call them the Port Norfolk Gestapo.

Mojo to ya’ll with having to deal with them.

So fix what you can until you can do it all. A “stop work order” doesn’t mean you can’t make it weatherproof. No sense in letting the back of your house fall into the dog poo. To many of us let the locals and feds push us around like we have no rights at all. Time to stop all that nonsense. Unless the city sends out a S.W.A.T. team that knows more than I do (doubtfull) I’ll do what I want with my own property. This isn’t a third world country (yet).

“yet” being the operative word…

I like browsing your site for the reason that you can constantly bring us new and cool stuff, I think that I should at least say thanks for your hard work.

– Rob

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