Hill Historic District
the historical commission makes decisions about repairs and it doesn't
include people from the community, how does designation give the community
more power as the architect claimed earlier?
of the proposal have said that it will enable them to go through town
and notify the PHC when they see something they don't like. There's a
tremendous potential for abuse here, where the advocates have a great
deal of power. Is there any guarantee that the PHC would not allow this
abuse of power?
safeguards exist to prevent abuse of the historic district system? Example,
there are many examples of neighbors targeting each other for personal
reasons and using historic district or L&I as tools to harass. What
recourse would a property owner have against repeated, capricious or malicious
reporting of possible infractions? Furthermore, what safeguards exist
against caprice or (by some measure) excessive strictness of individual
members of the board in making a permitting decision? (the common example
is of a new member who happens to be particularly fond of a color scheme
and uses new influence to enforce unduly strict rules.) (another example
is of contemporary murals to combat graffiti or for artistic reasons).
the past the Historical Commission seems to have "caved in"
to allow variances for "important" people even in historic Ritt-Fitt.
In particular, the owners of the McIlheany building received a variance
despite neighbors protest on the noticeable rood structure. Why is this?
Are certain structural changes acceptable?
rules of the Historic Commission have shown to be porous. What assurance
do we have that influential groups or individuals will be permitted to
bypass the rules?
controlling what someone does to the outside of their building a "partial
taking" of private property for a supposed "public good?"
and Doesn't the 5th Amendment require "due process' and "just
compensation for this to happen?
the PHC says it will be more "lenient" about permits for non
contributing buildings, doesn't their own choice of terms send a message
about their own choice of terms and send a message about the HC's approach?
Many of these questions address very specific situations. Without knowing the subject property's address or having photographs showing the existing conditions, it is difficult to give answers that take into account every instance that may occur on every building. If you have any follow-up questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Historical Commission directly at 215-686-7660.
The questions were grouped into broad categories. Click the category to see that group of questions and answers.
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