Sunday, September 2, 2007
After reading the Aug. 19 article in the Pilot & Today informing us of the city's intent to leave the future of your property in the hands of the city (historic preservation ordinance), I am outraged.
Who is the constituency that this council represents? There is a relatively small group of people clamoring about property owners who are improving their property, and for whatever reason this small group of people doesn't like it, they want to decide what you can or can't do with your property. It reminds me of the quote: "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, too."
For the record, my home is over 50 years old and I will be impacted by this ordinance. I took my time to search the public records of Routt County to see the impacts of this regulation on council members and those mentioned in the article. From what I could determine, only Councilman Steven Ivancie would be affected.
The basis for this purportedly stems from preserving the character of Old Town. Councilman Towny Anderson is fortunate that he got his before the owners of the original Steamboat Lumber facility could not knock down that neighborhood blight. I have lived in Old Town my entire life, and I can only think of one property that detracts from the character of the neighborhood. There, the owner inherited the property and turned it into a nightly rental.
It is bad enough when council feels compelled to infringe upon others' property, but what really turns my stomach are the people in this town who believe they have some right in telling others what they can and cannot do with their own property. Obviously they are not old-timers. Those property owners bought and paid for that property - not the city, not the city staff, and not the city's committee.
Remember the saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"? I would like to add: ": and not in some city-appointed committee!"
Every home is different, what will this regulation require? Talk about subjective and arbitrary requirements and enforcement. Can you imagine the bureaucracy, time, delays, costs, architects, permits, meetings, phone calls:unbelievable!
In the past I have been counseled to simply not complain about an issue but offer alternatives. Here is my alternative: If the rehabilitation, fix-up or replacement of an old house is so offensive, then I suggest those individuals leave. If you wanted to live in such a controlled environment, there are several covenanted subdivisions in our valley. Go buy a place there, and then I will support your right to tell your neighbors what to do. Council does not have to enact anything and it preserves my freedom of choice. I choose to tear down my house, you choose to move. It seems more fair than regulating a specific group of properties and letting all the other citizens "pay" nothing. So, council, how can you penalize some and reward others?