Author Topic: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street  (Read 27099 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
    • MetroJacksonville.com
The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« on: March 28, 2016, 03:00:05 AM »
The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street



Preservations Save Our Springfield (SOS) shares their side of the story that led to the unfortunate demise of 439 East 1st Street.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2016-mar-the-sad-saga-of-439-east-first-street

Noone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4061
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2016, 04:42:44 AM »
SMART demolition?
File an Ethics complaint. Next meeting of the Jacksonville Ethics Commission is 7 days out. I believe 4/4/16 at 5 pm. 1st floor city hall. Just hand it to Carla Miller. Open to the Public. Due process?
Visit Jacksonville!

mbwright

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2016, 08:40:15 AM »
It seems like there are absolutely no consequences for the illegal demos.  For what has been spent over the years, several homes could have been restored.  $50K goes a long way, and would generate property tax income for the city.  A vacant lot with a lien simply does not, and I would guess lowers the property value of the remaining homes, since the neighborhood is less complete.

strider

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1933
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2016, 09:31:47 AM »
Here's another thought.  Since the rear addition was talked about for month, actually, the whole house was, and a COA was obtained, would not the removal or demolition of the rear enclosed porch have to follow standard protocol?  Would not a permit have to be obtained before the work was done? Since the cost was known to be over $2,500.00, would not a Notice of Commencement be required?

The city has gotten demolitions done without permits and Notice of Commencements (NOC) in the past.  They simply call the demolition an emergency, supposedly meaning an eminent threat to public safety and then have the demolition contractor fill out the permit with a cost of $2,450.00 or $2,495.00, just shy of the NOC requirement.

But this demolition did not start out as being an emergency, now did it? It wasn't, at least as we are told, an "eminent threat to public safety" until after the rear porch was removed.

Of course, we all know that the city never intended to follow it's own laws so why bother with little things like permits?

If you live on the South Side or Mandarin, you may think that the loss of another old house means nothing. No worries, I understand.  But the fact that the City employees and Mayoral appointees so blatantly ignore the very laws they are charged with enforcing should mean a lot to you. It should be showing you exactly why this City is not living up to it's potential.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 09:34:03 AM by strider »
"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement." Patrica, Joe VS the Volcano.

menace1069

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2016, 12:22:48 PM »
Here's what I don't get...people upset about houses being torn down, houses that have sat vacant for years with no attention. Obviously, no one cares except those complaining about them being torn down. maybe the whiners need to start purchasing these houses one by one and renovating/preserving them instead of letting them sit for years decaying.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the older Victorian houses in Springfield. They are beautiful and I can see how awesome they once were and what they could be restored to be. If I won the powerball, I would buy blocks of homes in Springfield and restore them.
But if no one is buying them and they are just sitting there decaying, what good are they? How long are they expected to sit there? Until the "right" person comes along? Pffft. If the preservationists cared so much about them, then start collecting private donations and renovate them one by one and then sell them. Move on to the next one.
Stop whining and start doing.
Just my .02 worth...
I could be wrong about that...it's been known to happen.

sheclown

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2016, 12:34:51 PM »
Here's what I don't get...people upset about houses being torn down, houses that have sat vacant for years with no attention. Obviously, no one cares except those complaining about them being torn down. maybe the whiners need to start purchasing these houses one by one and renovating/preserving them instead of letting them sit for years decaying.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the older Victorian houses in Springfield. They are beautiful and I can see how awesome they once were and what they could be restored to be. If I won the powerball, I would buy blocks of homes in Springfield and restore them.
But if no one is buying them and they are just sitting there decaying, what good are they? How long are they expected to sit there? Until the "right" person comes along? Pffft. If the preservationists cared so much about them, then start collecting private donations and renovate them one by one and then sell them. Move on to the next one.
Stop whining and start doing.
Just my .02 worth...

I guess you haven't been paying attention.

PSOS HAS been handing over houses to those who have the resources to renovate them.  We HAVE been doing Make it Happen events to help houses before they get to the point of being "an emergency".  We HAVE been doing these things and the pages of Metro Jacksonville have our story.

However the point is NOT what the preservationists have failed to do, but rather what the city has failed to do and that is to follow its own ordinances. Ordinances which REQUIRE the protection of historic properties.

Perhaps if corruption wasn't rampant in this town, there would actually be money available for saving these old houses.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 12:37:40 PM by sheclown »

Non-RedNeck Westsider

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4724
  • Politically Agnostic
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2016, 02:22:18 PM »

This is so surreal that I have a hard time believing that people can be so shortsighted.

When you work to find a common solution, so many things are possible. 

Here's one right off the top of my head:  Since the city seems to have all of these 'funds' available, why not invest it back into the city?

Anyone who has ever done a remodel knows that it is more expensive than a new build. They're expensive.  But it seems that demos aren't exactly cheap either, at roughly $40k per the 2 estimates. 

A great program for 'homeowners' would be something similar to what Detroit has done with it's decaying stock:  Put the homes in the hands of those who plan on living there, offer a streamlined grant application tied into the apparently severely bloated 'demolition budget' for $25k-35k worth of free money, offer assistance into federal rehab money and get these homes fixed with the only caveat being something akin to the 1st time buyers program, that you have to personally live in the home for 'x' amount of years to recoup the money. 

I'm sure something could be set up with the lenders to loan the additional money up front with the knowledge that there is funding in escrow to be paid at a later time, and if the buyers default, then they default on the total and the grant  money stays with the city, because I also hate the way the city gives money to developers up-front.
[/quote]
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
-Douglas Adams

strider

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1933
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2016, 05:33:01 PM »
People have been and still are trying to figure a way to work with the city to stop the nonsense.  But as can be seen from this demo, some within the city just don't get it and probably never will.  There is much more to be said about this issue and as it can be, it will be said.

Meanwhile, back in 1998, the auction did exactly what the post above suggests.  Later, they had a facade grant program and a SHARP grant program, both funded from federal dollars as gap money to help make it more desirable to fix up your house here in Springfield or buy one to fix up.  The funds were "earned" by living in the house for x number of years. 

The mothballing ordinances were part of the interaction between a few in leadership positions who "get it" and the preservationists looking for a way to buy time for the at risk houses. It was set up such that the City could mothball rather than demo, but demo is the "ultimate solution" to MCCD still.

What is also interesting is that the majority of the more recent demolitions where done so badly, legal wise, that they resulted in lawsuits.  While I do not have the real numbers, I hazard a guess that the real, all up costs of the last several demolitions in Springfield was up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars range each when one adds in the personnel costs, the legal cost, the demolition and the lawsuit settlement costs. Then after all that money spent, the lot is still contaminated and not generating the tax dollars it could have been had the house remained and some amount of that demolition cost spent to make it attractive for rehab.  In fact, one on 2nd street was slated for rehab by the City with NSP3 funds when Kimberly Scott took it down using NSP3 funds. Which do you think is better?  A contaminated empty lot or a nicely rehabbed house generating property tax dollars?

Apparently, some in the city think a costly empty lot.....
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 05:36:33 PM by strider »
"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement." Patrica, Joe VS the Volcano.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4724
  • Politically Agnostic
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2016, 05:56:31 PM »
I'm also, admittedly, all for conspiracy theories.

Could there be a collective agenda by those in the know who may be actively assisting the area in an effort to force it to lose its historic designation?

Remove some bureaucratic red tape, swoop in as the overall, average home price plummets even further and buy swaths of urban land for pennies on the dollar and sell the package off to a developer for a complete redevelopment.   I'm sure the contract for the rolling-fine amnesty agreement is already written.

It's a lot to tie together, but I wonder how much of the property in the area can be tied directly (or indirectly) to those in prominent positions?
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
-Douglas Adams

Noone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4061
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2016, 04:06:54 AM »

If you live on the South Side or Mandarin, you may think that the loss of another old house means nothing. No worries, I understand.  But the fact that the City employees and Mayoral appointees so blatantly ignore the very laws they are charged with enforcing should mean a lot to you. It should be showing you exactly why this City is not living up to it's potential.



Welcome to the Neighborhood.
Anyone else feeling sorry for the..............
Some observations from the 3/28/16 EPB Water Committee meeting and the EPB Air Odor & Noise Committee meeting.

The Chair of the EPB Water Committee is Bobby L. Baker, P.E. From the 3/28/16 Deptartment report EPB Water Committee handout by Terry Carr under Water Quality Studies.
        -Shellfish Areas: The 2 year data collection for the Shellfish areas has been completed. The data was presented at the Timucuan Science and History Symposium in January. A final report will be prepared by May 31. WOW! What happened to Waterways? Sort of like the Backroom deal FIND meetings. We are so LOST.

        Another Water Committee handout for Feb. 2016 data.
Total number of well construction permits issued: 112
Total number of Irrigation well permits issued: 14
Total number of Domestic Potable & Public Supply well permits issued: 26

Some observations from the EPB Air and Noise Committee handouts. The Chair is Lucinda Sonnenberg PH.D
Number of open burning complaints: 30
Validated open burning complaints: 2
Referred to enforcement: 0
NTC's Issued: 0

Odor- Complaints: 10 Validated: 0
Air Pollution- Nuisance: 0 Validated: 0
Air Pollution- General: 6 Validated: 0

There was more information on other issues discussed. This was my first committee meeting. Want to know when the next Education & Public Outreach committee meeting is.
All the Rules are changing.
Visit Jacksonville!




« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 04:50:33 AM by Noone »

Noone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4061
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 04:26:24 AM »
I'm also, admittedly, all for conspiracy theories.

Could there be a collective agenda by those in the know who may be actively assisting the area in an effort to force it to lose its historic designation?

Remove some bureaucratic red tape, swoop in as the overall, average home price plummets even further and buy swaths of urban land for pennies on the dollar and sell the package off to a developer for a complete redevelopment.   I'm sure the contract for the rolling-fine amnesty agreement is already written.

It's a lot to tie together, but I wonder how much of the property in the area can be tied directly (or indirectly) to those in prominent positions?

Awesome post!
This IS happening on our Waterways.
Visit Jacksonville!

JaxUnicorn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2016, 08:26:46 AM »
I'm also, admittedly, all for conspiracy theories.

Could there be a collective agenda by those in the know who may be actively assisting the area in an effort to force it to lose its historic designation?

Remove some bureaucratic red tape, swoop in as the overall, average home price plummets even further and buy swaths of urban land for pennies on the dollar and sell the package off to a developer for a complete redevelopment.   I'm sure the contract for the rolling-fine amnesty agreement is already written.

It's a lot to tie together, but I wonder how much of the property in the area can be tied directly (or indirectly) to those in prominent positions?

Except very few people want to buy/develop in Springfield.

Where do you get your information Murder_me_Rachel?  Ask any realtor and he/she will tell you the available homes in Springfield has dwindled to almost nothing.  And I know for a fact there are MANY new homes being built right now in the neighborhood.
Kim Pryor...Historic Springfield Resident...PSOS Founding Member

strider

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1933
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2016, 08:31:50 AM »
Actually as far as Historic Districts go, based on the current sales of rehabbed historic houses, those needing renovation and even new construction, Springfield is pretty darn popular.  Older and more affordable than the other historic districts in Jacksonville, Springfield is attracting buyers from pretty much every walk of life.  Jaxunicorn is correct, and while the buyer base for all historic districts is a smaller group than say those wishing to buy in the burbs, Springfield is one of the few urban core communities that is considered "hot" real-estate wise. 

Which is why it is so wasteful to demolish rather than save the potential tax base.



"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement." Patrica, Joe VS the Volcano.

mbwright

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2016, 09:00:20 AM »
So, will Kim' DEMO' Scott have a positive impact on neighborhoods?  What are her qualifications for this this job?  I bet I (and many others) could do a much better job.   

JaxUnicorn

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
Re: The Sad Saga of 439 East First Street
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2016, 12:50:46 PM »
So, will Kim' DEMO' Scott have a positive impact on neighborhoods?  What are her qualifications for this this job?  I bet I (and many others) could do a much better job.

Amen to that mbwright!!!  She's obviously not qualified because $1,000,000 in NSP funds were mis-used under her watch.
Kim Pryor...Historic Springfield Resident...PSOS Founding Member