Legal interpretations go on to say that Commissions must deal with the question of "whether a particular proposed alteration or construction blends aesthetically with existing buildings in the vicinity in order to retain the character of the particular streetscape." That is why it matters, and why the Commission is allowed to regulate, what kind of fence goes up.
Just wanted to give everyone a little more information about the Historic Preservation requirements.
So, jc_dweller, who previously claimed the historic ordinance wasn't part of the Zoning Code and the MLUL didn't apply, now wants us to believe a snippet of some “legal interpretation” tells us how the historic preservation requirements are to be read and interpreted. Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not persuaded by an out of context, incomplete quote, with no attribution or citation.
jc_dweller, I invite you to provide the citation for your quote, so we can read it fully, and determine what it actually says.
Selective quotation without a citation is a red flag for me – it is impossible to confirm any assertions made. Reminds me of the HPO and HPC's selective, out of context use of ordinance text, and in the process butchering the meaning. Their use of §345-71 G. 3., the “Standards for Reconstruction”, is a prime example. A single clause such as G.3., can't be read in isolation. The correct interpretation of that requirement is made by looking at ALL of the “reconstruction” requirements at §345-71 G. You have to take the section in it's entirety, just as you do any law, regulation or code.
Even without a citation, jc_dweller's quote does not support the contention that the HPO and HPC have authority to compel anything beyond “preservation”. Certainly not “re-creation”, “restoration” or “reconstruction”, which are never even mentioned. The quote addresses something different and limited – the need for “proposed alteration or new construction” to "blend aesthetically", in order to retain the character. The quote is silent about the means by which that is achieved.
As JoeGee pointed out in the first post in this string, it is patently evident from even a cursory look at the neighborhood that the ordinance permits new, modern construction – it is all over the place. All this new construction surrounded as it is by historic buildings must have met the criteria for “blending aesthetically”, otherwise it would not, could not, have been approved by the HPO and HPC.
Back now to original question about a new fence. If a historic front fence does not exist on a property, then a new front fence, aesthetically sympathetic, blending in with the neighborhood character, can meet the criteria – exactly as those new buildings do. Moreover, since section §345-71 G.1-5. of the JC Code severely limits the reconstruction of “fake originals”, a new, “non-fake” fence is preferable.
Listers, one thing you can be sure of is that Dan and the HPC try to bully home owners into installing expensive, fake, “historic-looking” fences and features. Unfortunately, they have the power to just deny your application – even if the grounds used are bogus, and the demands beyond their authority. That's how it goes down in JC, and always has.... There are ways to fight City Hall on this, but that's for another, much longer post.