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Preservation Historic district siding question

Twinsmom4

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Hi we have an old garage which needs new siding and we live in a historic district. The old siding was not original and it was rotted cedar shake. The garage is to the rear and can only be seen if you are in an alleyway. Not visible from a named street. For budgeting reasons we are using engineered wood panels which resemble cedar plank but the planks run vertically rather than horizontally. The city want us to fit it horizontally but it is not designed to be hung that way and will not have a warranty. Any suggestions how we can get around this. I feel we have compromised so much here and they are being pedantic. Thanks
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
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That's the nature of historic districts. The largest residential historic district west of the Mississippi is about 3 miles away from me, and there have been people who challenged the rules. They lost.

I'm actually surprised that the historic district you're in allows engineered wood panels and doesn't require real wood siding, to be honest. If I were a betting man, I'd be betting on the historic district here. They have a lot of pull.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
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Oh... disclaimer: I'm not a planner, just a bystander. And my experience is only what I've heard locally.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
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Can you send a sample of the proposed engineered wood to the Commission (through their staff) for them to see what you are trying to do? It's true that it's up to them but I think a solid explanation of the spec and also photos photos photos to show how not visible this is to the street is super important!
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
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Why are you using a material that is not designed to be hung the way the City wants? And quite frankly the "budgeting reasons" generally falls on deaf ears for most historic districts who are actually interested in maintaining historic character. You realize a lot of value by being in a historic district. Does the City have any old Sanborn maps or other resources that indicate what the original siding was? Also a lot of places don't care about whether it is visible from a street or not. It's about character. You said it's on an alley which is a public way so even that argument is a bit suspect. Have you looked into cementisous (hardi-plank) siding? Sometimes a commission may be more amenable to that material, particularly on a secondary structure.
Let us know if you have any other questions and how it goes.
 

Gedunker

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[OT]in my experience, preservation commissions that toe a strict line tend to lose political support. Mayors/managers and council persons typically didn’t care to get repeated grief from the public denied by the preservation commission.[/OT]

That's the nature of historic districts. The largest residential historic district west of the Mississippi is about 3 miles away from me, and there have been people who challenged the rules. They lost.

I'm actually surprised that the historic district you're in allows engineered wood panels and doesn't require real wood siding, to be honest. If I were a betting man, I'd be betting on the historic district here. They have a lot of pull.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
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in my experience, preservation commissions that toe a strict line tend to lose political support.
In my area, the historic district is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city, because they toe a strict line. It took more than a generation; I first got to Texas in the 80s shortly after the district was established, and that area was really sketchy. Now it's a literal showplace.
 
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Doohickie

Cyburbian
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There was an early test case where an owner put a chain link fence around her yard when the code only allowed for picket fencing. The district sued her and won; she had to take her brand new fence down. As a good will gesture, the district paid for the picket fence around her yard.
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
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1,806
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26
In my area, the historic district is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city, because they toe a strict line. It took more than a generation; I first got to Texas in the 80s shortly after the district was established, and that area was really sketchy. Now it's a literal showplace.
Here, here! Take Savannah, GA for example. Yes, the rules are strict but they are strict for a reason ... and unless you inherited your home in the historic district or you've lived there since before it was a HD, you should have understood that coming in. That's WHY you/ people want to live there -- BECAUSE of the regulations that have maintained the character of the district.
 

RandomPlanner

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Also, we are not in the business of getting around the laws. On the contrary, most of us here work hard to pass the best regulations for our communities and to abide by them.
 
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