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jiggyK

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About jiggyK

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  1. On Dickson, If what you say is true, then this proposed district is illegal. Under the due process clause of the 14th amendment, a commission has to notify property owners in advance of any activity on the proposed district. They also have to give the public and property owners plenty of notice even about each meeting they have to discuss the ins and outs of the district. If what you say is true then this cannot be upheld under law. What you are describing sounds completely insane and illegal. I don't know how it would be possible for this commission to have more authority that the city council. I'm completely unfamiliar with anything you've described. I definitely don't know everything there is to know about how historic districts are implemented and function, but everything I've learned about them so far (I'm in a master's program) is very different than what you have described. I'm simply amazed. I strongly recommend asking them about public notices and how exactly they operate as a rogue element outside regulation by the city government. That's like the police force taking over the city, doing what ever. That's truly wild.
  2. name='zman9810' post='1045994' date='Feb 3 2009, 01:26 PM']I thought I would bring this back to where it was originally being discussed. The stated intentions of historic districts aren't what my concerns are. Goals of preserving historic structures and making sure that new construction fits in are noble ones and very few people would argue against them. It is how historic districts are implemented and how they control what private property owners do with their own investments that is the concern. Just because regulations limit what people do with their property doesn't mean that it will prevent them from a reasonable return on their investment. These sort of regulations promote stability and consistency economically and in terms of real estate values. Also, it they can also serve to protect business owners from inappropriate developments that could be detrimental to their business. Furthermore, there are regulations already in place: zoning, building codes, setback, fire safety, land use, and on and on. Property owners have to operate under all sorts of regulations as it is. A historic district is made of non-elected individuals who answer to no one once they become commisioners. By being appointees they do not have to campaign and publicy state their positions on development issues. Their backgrounds and qualifacations are not up for public scrutiny. The only way to have recourse against a commissioner's whim is to take them to court. It is better to use the existing city ordinances and regulations to govern what goes on. Fayetteville already has detailed design standards and a very detailed planning process in place to deal with development along Dickson Street. If need be, another zoning classifaction can be put in place with stricter design standards. It is true that commissioners are appointed and therefore not required to speak publicly about their personal beliefs. However, historic commissions are supposed to represent a cross section of the community -- and that means the development community. Even though historic commissions are considered a legal body, their decisions are ultimately approved by the city council. So they do not operate in a vacuum. There is oversight. Also, commissioners must speak logically and argue their opinions rationally. They cannot simply say, "I don't like this, so I'm not going to vote for it." If this happens, it is highly unprofessional and the commissioner's position should be evaluated by the commission chair person. These commissions function as a majority rules body, so it would take several folks to vote against a development for it not to gain approval. What's more, if this district is created, it is not written in stone that it will be overseen by a historic commission. Fayetteville already has some historic districts, but I don't know how they're regulated/enforced, etc. Do you happen to know what part of the city government does this, if any? A historic district will be a way that elected officials can distance themselves from contentious development issues- they can simply say that they don't have an opinion on an issue because it is up to the historic district. That is not why we have a representative form of government. The city leaders chosen through the election process should be accountable and not be able to pass the buck to appointees. I think if a development issue gets contentious elected officials will have to take a stance on them. I don't know. Maybe not in Fayetteville, but in most places if things become heated people are pretty quick to take sides. Two examples of why a historic district could be detrimental to the area come to mind. When the owners of the old railroad depot on Dickson were renovating it they used a slightly different roofing tile than what had been on it originally. The replacement was still a high quality product and resembles what was on it. A local preservationist took them to task for this change. If the district has been in place and this individual had been part of it the depot owners would have had to change their plans at their expense for one person's opinion. In this example, you are speaking about one person, and one person is not enough to deny a building permit. Again, I am unfamiliar with how Fayetteville handles these things. I need to learn more in order to know what I'm talking about here. The second example is an instance that I recently read about that occured in one of the Hot Springs historic districts. A property owner bought an awning to replace three similar ones that had been damaged. Because it wasn't a exact replacement for what had been there before the district refused to let him put it up. Now the owner is in court fighting to get permission to put up the already bought awning. Because the chances of him winning his suit are slim, he will be out the cost of the awning he bought, the cost to purchase three more awnings plus the money and time spent in court fighting the district's decision. I don't know how Hot Springs works either. How the process is supposed to work is that before any exterior change of a building can be made, the property owner goes before the commission with plans of what they intend to do. This processes is known as applying for a "certificate of appropriateness". Once approved, the property owner is then able to get a building permit. Therefore, the person knows whether or not the changes they plan to make will be approved before they spend any money. Maybe Dickson St. doesn't need to be designated as a historic district. I don't know. I do know that Legacy looks embarrassing to the city. Also, it is sitting mostly empty from what I understand. Assume all of those proposed condo projects would have been built. How do you think those developers would be fairing now? And how do you think that part of town would look? It would look like a bad joke had been played on everyone. Developers aren't necessarily the smartest people in the world and don't always know what's best for them or the community they impact. Just something to think about.
  3. I understand your uncertainty regarding historic districts. Even though preservation commissions are supposed to be objective in their interpretation of design guidelines that have been adopted by a particular historic district, they are made up of people, and people have a tendency promote their personal agenda, for better or for worse. I can't imagine this person would have preferred you to "preserve" the vinyl siding on a house that did not have it originally. Maybe this person is poorly informed in what preservation does. Ultimately, the historic regulations that a preservation commission is supposed to uphold are formulated by the property owners within the district. The city cannot suddenly decide, "oh, we're going to create an historic district because...". It doesn't work that way. The city must be approached by a home-grown organization that has an interest in having an area protected by regulations. I don't know if there is a design review commission in Fayetteville. Do you have to apply for a certificate of appropriateness when you operate in the Willow Historic District?
  4. I didn't know that White Water Tavern was in F-ville. Last I checked that was a Little Rock establishment. I could be wrong. I did mean the Legacy and not the Divinity. Again, my bad. They were both his idea, right? I have to wonder what it means when a person like Brandon can build a place like Legacy in a city. I haven't met him, so I don't know his charisma and game-talking ability. He could talk an inspiring game. Nevertheless, he doesn't seem to be a favored son of F-ville. I've said all I feel the need to say. Improve the city the best you can. jiggy
  5. Historic districts are a way of controlling the evolution of a neighborhood or commercial district by protecting the existing historic resources and making sure that new development does not destroy the exiting fabric of an area. This is done by what is called a zoning overlay. Basically, all the existing restrictions stay in place (density, land use, etc.) and the historic regulations "overlay" the designated area. In order for this to happen, the city council has to pass an ordinance that allows for the city to create a new legal body of government. This legal body is what is called an historic preservation commission, or something along those lines. Commissions have to be made up of usually nine to twelve members from various professional backgrounds -- architects, developers, real estate agents, artists, historians,etc. in order to represent varying views. Once the commission is assembled (members are usually appointed by the mayor and council members) it sets about to identify the future district. Once the district's boundaries are set, then the commission must do a survey of the district. The goal of the survey is to determine what is unique about the district and therefore what is worth preserving. This is done by doing surveys of the various historic architectural styles that predominate the area as well as doing research as to the local significance of individual buildings (ones usually associated with influential people of local, regional or national importance) in the district (think Clinton Museum). Or the building could be a fine example of a particular architectural style or just be very well known locally and therefore be considered a local landmark (think of Old Main). Once this is done, the commission would have to work very closely with the community (or in this case, business owners) in order to hash out the specifics of the regulations. Once they are hashed out, the commission holds a meeting (that is open to the public) to adopt the regulations (must be done by vote) and then they send it off for final approval by the city council. That's basically how they work. As far as scaring off development, that is not the case. It has been shown that historic districts raise property values because of the market stability they create where they exist. Also, what's really at the heart of all this is bolstering civic pride. It is about appreciating the heritage of your city and being proud of its old architecture and other vessels from its past. This is a way to have a true sense of place, character and understanding of a city's identity. It's not about trying to freeze a place in time, because that's impossible. But, it's about protecting the best things about your community so that future generations get to appreciate them and learn about them. Hope this helps. Oops -- just realized that F-ville already has a commission in place from the first post!!! My bad!
  6. well, i don't care where it is now. i thought it was a micro brewery, too.
  7. where is granite city exactly? i know it's in rogers, but that's it. i'd like to make it up there sometime and try some of their beer (and food).
  8. i agree. property around here -- especially commercial -- is way too high. i've heard that that lot is both the gas station and the house behind it. but for 650 k i can't fathom what would be worth building there to justify buying at that price. it is pure greed and pure delusion on the seller's part. the only thing i could see making it worth while would be to have a whole foods build on the site and make rent from that -- if such an arrangement could be made. sellers asking such high prices will only slow development in this town. and something way cooler than a gas station could be built there. i say build some retail and restaurants on that lot and turn the beloved marvin's into a whole foods. i realize this is getting off topic, but i'm starving. i can't eat right in this town b/c of its lack of decent grocers. wal-mart is vile. the only decent thing is a mixture of ONF, IGA on the corner of laf. & college, and harps on weddington. but even then one has to go to the liquor store for spirits. in a modern town good food and drink can be found under one roof at a decent price.
  9. i go to taste of thai often and never see anyone in there. i'm going to check it out soon, though. they were probably banking in the renaissance being open by the original deadline. don't know if they will make it 'til it does.
  10. i couldn't agree with you more. my girlfriend and i live just east of college and north of sixth st. we walk downtown for food and drink, etc. and for the farmers' market. the quickest way downtown for us is to go up college where we have to negotiate that crazy 5-way intersection that has been in the news recently. once on the other side of east rock st. the sidewalk on the east side of college is right against the road. there is no division: you're walking literally one to two feet from the traffic that's whizzing through downtown. this is more than connecting a neighborhood to downtown; it's about safety. it's really hard to feel safe crossing archbald yell anywhere in the direct downtown area all the way down to sixth st. something really needs to be done about this.
  11. he's an interesting blog about our town/area that's come to me lately. good stuff. http://jonah-tebbetts.blogspot.com/
  12. ppl, thought there was already a topic on the botanical gardens of the ozarks but after scrolling through the nwa topic list twice, i gave up. anyhow, i'm posting this botanical garden tid bit here. a guy who works at the gardens informed me that there is going to be an "arkansas ozarks" themed area. and in said area of the gardens a visitor will see an old, dilapidated shack with a rusted-out car out front. i'm pretty sure he was serious, and i think it will be built soon.
  13. folks... just ate at mama dean's for the first time tonight... it's sooo effin' good. OMG. okay, that's all i'll say... too full to type anymore.
  14. there's a soul food restuarant that recently opened next to the asian market by el camino real. it's in a yellow building that used to house a mexican restaurant. it's called mama dean's, i believe. i haven't eaten there yet, but everyone i've talked to who has says it's the sh#t. they serve sweet iced tea in mason jars! and the owner keeps offering you food until you say you've had enough. so for those who like some down-home country cookin', give it a shot.
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