In the Times-Call dated Sept 14th is a story that is a classic example of the monster government has become.
A woman purchased an historic home that comes with specific restrictions with the historic designation.
She put a lot of money into this home and now wants new energy efficient windows.
The Historical Preservation Commission did not approve the change per their own set of rules approved by the city.
The woman appealed to the city with her story.
The city council listened and I suspect know, deep in their hearts, that this country is built around individual rights and private property.
Thus, because they didn’t want to say “no” outright, the city council remanded her complaints back to the Historical Preservation Commission to reconsider based on hardships. I was on this commission and it has no expertise or objective method to determine hardship. This woman paid over half a million for the home and purchased at least two new gas furnaces. That doesn’t spell hardship to me -
but we each have our own priorities and needs. Neither the city council, nor the HPC are authorities on either.
To recap - a level of government, creates rules and then is willing to change them for specific reasons which could include a sympathetic story, a promise to increase the tax base, or in really bad cases a bribe.
This is what happens when you govern to the wishes of the majority vs govern to protect the smallest minority – which is the individual.
This homeowner should figure out how to remove any restrictions, lose the landmark dedication on her home and do what she would like with her own property. A good governing body would ease this passage for anyone.