Author Topic: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics  (Read 2638 times)

Peter Parker

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Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« on: March 04, 2016, 08:50:56 AM »
My home is listed as a "historic home" within a historic district in my town.  Such a home has numerous limitations imposed by the local government to preserve and protect the historic integrity of the district. These limitations on property rights are very costly in that they often require homeowners to limit the type of materials they can use on one's home, and limits the type of maintenance/construction one can perform on the home as well...

I'm a big proponent of respecting and promoting historic preservation--It's what makes our town unique.  But the burden/cost on the homeowner can be onerous.  That's where my badassity came in....

As a historic home, I learned that there are programs (tax breaks) available to those homeowners that are willing to contract with the City to maintain the historic integrity of their home...Finally, I thought:  A corresponding benefit to the restrictions imposed by the city.  The problem was, the City had not enacted the program....And it would take the City Council to enact such a program.

It took me 5 years of lobbying City Council members, electing more favorable council members, getting the City Manager onboard, and creating a ground swell/grass roots effort to get the City to "put it's money where their mouth was."  After 5 long years, the City enacted the program....and now I"m saving 65% on my property taxes AND my home is looking better than ever.  Others followed in my footsteps, and we now have over 30 homeowners participating in the program.

Politics on a local level is very, very interesting!


« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 08:54:15 AM by Peter Parker »

worms

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 06:01:54 AM »
Congratulations on your success!

When it comes to home repairs, though, remember that many old properties were built with local materials and only what could be brought in by horse and cart.  Local craftsmanship might have been variable but was often more at the "homesteader" end of the scale than the "cabinet maker" end - unless your home was built as a high-status dwelling in the first place.  All this means that using appropriate materials and methods is probably easier and cheaper than you might think and well within the scope of the enthusiastic DIYer.

In my place, the stock inputs are hydrated lime and linseed oil, both of which are cheap and easy to use.

FIREby35

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 07:37:57 AM »
I like local politics as well. I think it is fun to be involved but NOT be the candidate. Anyway, great job! That sounds like a huge project and a big success.

ubermom4

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 10:28:06 AM »
Congratulations!! Terrific job. Local politics can be extremely challenging. Personally, I think the 'historic preservation' folks can be doubly challenging.  Kudos for not giving up after so long. All of our communities depend on people like you to make an improvement. Thank you!!

Miss Prim

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2016, 12:10:42 PM »
Congratulations for sticking with it and getting the change!  You should go into politics now!  We need people who get stuff done.
                                                                                 
                                                                                                         Miss Prim

Peter Parker

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2016, 01:39:36 PM »
Congratulations on your success!

When it comes to home repairs, though, remember that many old properties were built with local materials and only what could be brought in by horse and cart.  Local craftsmanship might have been variable but was often more at the "homesteader" end of the scale than the "cabinet maker" end - unless your home was built as a high-status dwelling in the first place.  All this means that using appropriate materials and methods is probably easier and cheaper than you might think and well within the scope of the enthusiastic DIYer.

In my place, the stock inputs are hydrated lime and linseed oil, both of which are cheap and easy to use.

The Contract requires the homeowner to follow the Secretary of the Interiors Standard for Historic Rehabilitation.  These standards provide guidance as to materials and the types of modifications one can make on their property.  For the DIYer, it isn't that much of a problem--When you need to hire a contractor, they don't always like the standards....But since I've done most of the rehab myself, I haven't found it to be too bad....

Peter Parker

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2016, 01:41:07 PM »
I like local politics as well. I think it is fun to be involved but NOT be the candidate. Anyway, great job! That sounds like a huge project and a big success.

Yeah.  I agree.  It's nice to pick and choose your battles....And when you PICK a battle you can go all in!

Peter Parker

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2016, 01:43:03 PM »
Congratulations!! Terrific job. Local politics can be extremely challenging. Personally, I think the 'historic preservation' folks can be doubly challenging.  Kudos for not giving up after so long. All of our communities depend on people like you to make an improvement. Thank you!!

The beauty of this program is that both parties get something:  The city (historic preservation folks) gets a well maintained property....And I get tax breaks!  Win/Win.  Thanks for the kudos.

Peter Parker

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2016, 01:44:21 PM »
Congratulations for sticking with it and getting the change!  You should go into politics now!  We need people who get stuff done.
                                                                                 
                                                                                                         Miss Prim

Local politics can get a little ugly in our relatively small town.  I like to pick my battles and rally the forces as a citizen. 

Dicey

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Re: Badassity Through Historic Preservation and Politics
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2016, 04:54:08 PM »
I like local politics as well. I think it is fun to be involved but NOT be the candidate. Anyway, great job! That sounds like a huge project and a big success.
Oh, I so agree with you! When my friend ran for re-election to the City Council, she asked me to be her campaign treasurer. It was fun, and she won, but boy, that's about as close as I want to get. Another notch on my life experience belt, thanks to the fact that I'm FIRE.