October 20, 2008

OB Sentinel makes late comeback - Pilot 1 - Sentinel 1

When the Virginian Pilot trumped the OB Sentinel I took the local paper to task for inaccurate and in my opinion, incomplete reporting. In a recent editorial the paper responded, noting the mistake and efforts they had made to contact the owner and find out more about his plans. It is unfortunate the owner didn't respond as he did to the Pilot. The Sentinel took note of the debate over legislative mandates for the historic homes in the town:
At the end of the day, the reality is that the property owner has a right to do whatever he wants as long as it is permitted by state and local ordinances and rules. He didn't stop rules from being put into place that would protect the historic district - other property owners over the years have been vocal in their opposition to any rules that would dictate what they can do with their properties.

Unfortunately, some Cottage Row owners haven't realized yet that part of the value of their property is derived by its inclusion in this historic neighborhood only as long as it maintains its original character.
While I believe that there should be rules controling the look of homes in this district and have pursued such rules, it is hard to blame the families who own these cottages for not wanting to add additional rules to the already difficult task of maintaining 100 year old homes. Their point that their part of the town looks great and its the rest of the town that needs to clean up its appearance is difficult to argue with, especially in the face of so little change in the district in the last few 30 or so years. The owners have been doing a pretty good job of protecting the district up to this point. If they decide rules will help or if they can longer protect the district without them then lets adopt rules. Until then I think we need to thank them for their efforts and take the other suggestion that Sentinel made to heart:
If it is possible, now that the local economy is mostly lemons, and things aren't as hectic as they have been for the past several years, maybe it is time for local governments to take time to consider what they want their jurisdictions to look like in 20 years and begin planning for that future - even if it means taking steps to preserve the past.



At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try cleaning up south Nags Head for starters.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger dukestarco said...

Solution again is let the homeowners decide for themselves. They can make their own rules and leave the Planning Staff and the Town Commissioners out of it. They can form a HOA, hire a planner or lawyer and the town can just clean up any language that is ambiguous. If they want a historic district they can ask for it. If not, leave it alone. . Why is it that Government always feels it knows best. My favorite Ronald Reagan quote " I'm from the Government and I am here to Help".

At 6:27 PM, Blogger BOBXNC said...

I have been described as "never having met a regulation I didn't love" and I do believe there is a role for regulation in creating communities but in this case it just isn't justified. There is no problem, the owners have done a great job of maintaining the look of the cottages. There are threats to the district and by the time people recognize that they would benefit from the protection that rules can provide there may be some loss, I still can't see imposing rules on people who are already doing everything right. It just doesn't make any sense.
Thanks for stopping by.


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