Sorry, no DIY video today. After doing more window work today, I spent four hours in a marathon Historic Preservation Meeting, and I'm just too pooped to produce a mini-vid tonight.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Sorry no video. Not sure I am more sorry for you or the folks who had to appear before such a marathon session. Perhaps something could be done to streamline the process of historical commission and improving properties in Aycock and other neighborhoods.
It was extra long last night because we had to squeeze last month's agenda in with this month's (there wasn't a quorum for the June meeting).The hearing process is cumbersome in order to protect people's property rights. It's a consitutional requirement of due process, so I don't mind being deliberate when we're making decisions about people's property.We could streamline the process by loosening up the guidelines, but Greensboro's are already quite a bit looser than many cities', and I don't think most historic neighborhoods want to go that route.Much of the commission's time is taken up with requests that are clearly not within the guidelines, so we have to go through the whole hearing process and deny a request for a project, then hear them at a later meeting once they've got their ducks in a row. It's frustrating for property owners.That tells me that if we did more education and public outreach, we might have shorter hearings because more people would submit requests that we can grant on the first go-round.And on that score, the commission voted last night to form an education and public outreach subcommittee!A lot of time is also taken up by after-the-fact requests, frequently made by people who know the guidelines but decided to ignore them and do work without permission. Some cities handle this by charging hefty fees ($200) for after-the-fact applications.Greensboro doesn't do this, but I wonder whether it wouldn't cut down on after-the-fact applications.
More publication and education on guidelines and process would definitely be a good thing.
There's an old saying that mentions something about... "if what you are doing isn't working..."It might take a while for the message to get across, but such a fine would be effective for such applications.Kudos on the outreach subcommittee. Long needed.Hoggard
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