Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lucky duck

At least, I feel like a duck. We got all that rain on Thursday that cooled things off, but brought out the mosquitoes-- apparently my choice is 75º weather with mosquitoes, or 105º weather without. Can't have both. Then Saturday was looking clear and bright when the dog started freaking out. That usually means more rain. And not just rain. Storms. From Saturday evening through last night, we had nonstop rain, with a lot of thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure. It really battered all the plants.

So that's the duck part-- and the lucky part? Bit of a long story, so here goes...

I mentioned a while back that our neighborhood was finally named to the National Register of Historic Places. It's very exciting! I looked on the state's and the National Park Service's websites to make sure we weren't going to need special permission to make exterior changes. No permission needed, so I went on my merry way continuing to chose colors and whatnot.

And then it occurred to me that I hadn't checked city guidelines. We have one other historic district, and I discovered that it requires residents to make formal requests for any exterior changes, including color schemes. And get this: the commission approves these requests by granting a required "Certificate of Appropriateness." Jeez Louise. More dealing with the city. Shit. Shit shit shit. (Whoops! Language like that won't get me any Appropriateness certification, now will it?)

The thing is, I'm not worried about the historic color correctness of our choice. What I was concerned about was the consequences of the possibility that we may only paint the facade; and I was doubly concerned about the painting of brick, fearing that they'd tell me to strip it, or leave it.

I went back and forth. Do we just paint and claim ignorance? Do we ask and hope that we're approved? Do we do nothing?

I finally sent an anonymous email (I'm a pansy. I know this.) to the city planner. And guess what? National Registry is honorary only; our other district is concerned with preservation. No approval necessary.

Now we can paint and paint to our heart's content without the prying eyes of the city.

Whew.

Meanwhile, you can probably guess, the rain meant cool weather, but zero exterior work done at all. I unpacked some boxes of clothes with the puppy watching from the bed with a big stupid puppy grin on his face. He couldn't believe his luck, getting to spend all day on the bed.

See? Lucky ducks all around.

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Tough choice... mosquitos or heat! I'm glad you don't have any problems with the city and painting, either!

A. said...

We were doing dueling posts - that's funny.

Green Fairy said...

You're not the only one who does anonymous e-mails to the city; I send them regularly, on everything from parking restrictions to fence permits. I want to know the lay of the land before making a decision, without strange eyes prying into my projects.