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Re: window replacement - historic district
#17
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Bamb00zle wrote:
light12v, I've left a lengthy PM for you. I'd have posted it, since I think everyone should know how the HPO and HPC operate and what might done, but the post was just too long. The situation is difficult, but I think there are several possible approaches to improving things. No guarantees though....

Thank You.
Please take a look at my reply to Papadage in the other HD thread here.
Sent you PM response also.

Posted on: 8/8 10:05
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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light12v, I've left a lengthy PM for you. I'd have posted it, since I think everyone should know how the HPO and HPC operate and what might done, but the post was just too long. The situation is difficult, but I think there are several possible approaches to improving things. No guarantees though....

Posted on: 8/6 23:22
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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Bamb00zle wrote:
I've bolded the critical clause they ignore:

If historic windows have deteriorated to a point precluding repair, rehabilitation or restoration, based on documentation submitted by the applicant, or a field inspection by the Historic Preservation Officer, replacement windows may be approved under a Certificate of No Effect if they match the historic windows....

This clause specifically refers ONLY to historic windows that have deteriorated. Everything following in that sub-section of the code is exclusively about deteriorated historic windows. The code is totally silent about replacing existing NON-historic windows in historic buildings. Replacing NON-historic windows with fake, “historic looking” windows isn't “preservation”. You can't preserve something, here a historic window, that doesn't exist.

So what is that section of JC code about? It describes what you must do when you have a deteriorated, existing historic window. You retain (preserve) as much of the original, historic window as possible. Everything of the existing historic window that can be saved must be “preserved”. Parts that are beyond repair must be “restored.” It means that if part of an original, historic window can't be repaired, you can't tear out the entire window. You must “restore” the beyond repair part and keep all the rest of the window.

For example, consider an existing historic window with a sash so badly deteriorated it can't be repaired. The sash holds the windowpane and moves when you open the window. The code allows you to make a new sash (or part of it), essentially identical to the historic sash, and use that “restored” sash to repair the existing, historic window. Only the “beyond repair” part, the sash, is “restored.” The rest of the window must stay and be preserved. That's “historic preservation.” As it is custom work, it can be (is) very costly, and you should carefully consider that before you buy a house in a historic district.


When HPO and HPC demands go further than “preservation” activities they are misapplying the code and acting outside their lawful authority. And when they leave critical clauses off sections of code they are supposed to know and correctly administer, thereby changing the meaning of the code, that is plain, willful abuse. It is damaging to property owners, it ignores the State MLUL, and it raises serious legal risks for the City with Federal Housing Law. The City should put a stop to it.


*A note about definitions of “restoration” and “reconstruction”:
Although similar, the words “restoration” and “reconstruction” have particular meanings when used in Historic Preservation Codes and Guidelines. The best definitions (clearest, most precise, easiest to understand) are found in the Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines for Historic Preservation. Updated guidelines were released earlier this year. The JC Historic Code specifies the Secretary's Guidelines as the standard the JC HPC shall follow.
See: https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/treatment-guidelines-2017.pdf

In the JC Historic Zoning Code, the definition for “reconstruction” (§345-6. - Definitions) is so badly expressed it doesn't make sense. It seems a typographical error was made repeating part of the wording from the definition for “restoration.” That's a problem because when wording in a law, regulations or code is poorly expressed and not “understandable by a person of common intelligence”, the law or regulation (or part of it) is invalid.


Thank you for clarifying these points about windows for ALL Jersey City properties contained within the municipality's designated Historic Districts.

Regarding your words of caution when considering property purchases in a Historic District [Highlighted Above]:

What advice do you have for those of us already residing on the Westside who purchased Homes prior to having this Municipal HDO Ordinance [devoid of appropriate guidelines] imposed upon us, without our permission, BWO a myriad of blatant Illegal Procedures [including but not limited to eradication of our property rights] employed by this current Administration in their unrelenting Quest for Gentrification on a grand scale?

When a Municipality simply eliminates key elements [property owner permissions] from the Federal & State Historic Preservation program guidelines that they then defer to, [gutting the State MLUL/ Federal Law & simply ignoring the mandate of an updated MasterPlan] they create an untenable situation of the Perfect Storm for AMPLIFIED Abuses!

Should Jersey City Taxpayers be bled out completely to shoulder additional Multi-Million$ costs associated with the resultant litany of Budget-Busting Lawsuits coming down the pike ???
[as the Direct consequence of This Mayor's Bad decisions plus his Administration's sloppy Work-Product and Improper Handling of their Fiduciary/Legislative responsibilities.]



Posted on: 8/4 17:55
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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I want to clarify a point in my post about the JC Historic Code requirements for historic windows. In the event anyone uses it for some reason subsequently, I want to be 100% accurate. In my previous post I used the word “reconstruction” instead of “restoration”*. The Jersey City Code at §345-71. L. 1. b. i. uses “restoration.” That section of the historic preservation code is regularly abused by the City.

The key points of my post don't change at all: 1.) The HPC and HPO's lawful authority is limited to regulating “preservation.” 2.) “Historic preservation” is only possible if something still exists from the past. 3.) HPO / HPC demands that owners use new, fake, “historic-looking” windows to replace NON-historic windows isn't historic “preservation”, so is outside their limited authority to compel.

The HPO and HPC abuse that section of the historic preservation code by ignoring a critical clause. In so doing they make it seem the code applies to replacing historic and NON-historic windows in historic district houses. It doesn't, and the clause they ignore shows it doesn't. Ignoring a critical clause isn't just a mistake, it's willful abuse, and it ought to stop. I've bolded the critical clause they ignore:

If historic windows have deteriorated to a point precluding repair, rehabilitation or restoration, based on documentation submitted by the applicant, or a field inspection by the Historic Preservation Officer, replacement windows may be approved under a Certificate of No Effect if they match the historic windows....

This clause specifically refers ONLY to historic windows that have deteriorated. Everything following in that sub-section of the code is exclusively about deteriorated historic windows. The code is totally silent about replacing existing NON-historic windows in historic buildings. Replacing NON-historic windows with fake, “historic looking” windows isn't “preservation”. You can't preserve something, here a historic window, that doesn't exist.

So what is that section of JC code about? It describes what you must do when you have a deteriorated, existing historic window. You retain (preserve) as much of the original, historic window as possible. Everything of the existing historic window that can be saved must be “preserved”. Parts that are beyond repair must be “restored.” It means that if part of an original, historic window can't be repaired, you can't tear out the entire window. You must “restore” the beyond repair part and keep all the rest of the window.

For example, consider an existing historic window with a sash so badly deteriorated it can't be repaired. The sash holds the windowpane and moves when you open the window. The code allows you to make a new sash (or part of it), essentially identical to the historic sash, and use that “restored” sash to repair the existing, historic window. Only the “beyond repair” part, the sash, is “restored.” The rest of the window must stay and be preserved. That's “historic preservation.” As it is custom work, it can be (is) very costly, and you should carefully consider that before you buy a house in a historic district.

This reading of the code is fully consistent with the “preservation” purpose and language of the MLUL. “Restoring” only the beyond repair part and keeping all other parts of an existing historic window, to make the window fully operational, is “preservation.” Mandating such work is within the HPO and HPC's limited authority under the MLUL enabling “preservation” provisions.

In contrast, activities that are not “preservation”, for example, requiring that owners replace NON-historic windows with new, fake, historic-looking windows are beyond the HPO and HPC's limited authority allowed by the MLUL. Reflecting this limitation the JC Historic Code is completely silent about the replacement of existing, NON-historic windows in historic buildings. There's not a word about that situation anywhere in the code. There can't be because municipal zoning codes can't demand things that aren't permitted by the MLUL. And clearly, when a law or code is silent about something it can't be read to compel the thing about which it is silent.

When HPO and HPC demands go further than “preservation” activities they are misapplying the code and acting outside their lawful authority. And when they leave critical clauses off sections of code they are supposed to know and correctly administer, thereby changing the meaning of the code, that is plain, willful abuse. It is damaging to property owners, it ignores the State MLUL, and it raises serious legal risks for the City with Federal Housing Law. The City should put a stop to it.


*A note about definitions of “restoration” and “reconstruction”:
Although similar, the words “restoration” and “reconstruction” have particular meanings when used in Historic Preservation Codes and Guidelines. The best definitions (clearest, most precise, easiest to understand) are found in the Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines for Historic Preservation. Updated guidelines were released earlier this year. The JC Historic Code specifies the Secretary's Guidelines as the standard the JC HPC shall follow.
See: https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/treatment-guidelines-2017.pdf

In the JC Historic Zoning Code, the definition for “reconstruction” (§345-6. - Definitions) is so badly expressed it doesn't make sense. It seems a typographical error was made repeating part of the wording from the definition for “restoration.” That's a problem because when wording in a law, regulations or code is poorly expressed and not “understandable by a person of common intelligence”, the law or regulation (or part of it) is invalid.

Posted on: 8/3 22:16
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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sullyx wrote:
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limak116 wrote:
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K-Lo2 wrote:
Hasn't Steve Nuding retired.


Seems like it. I called the number I could find on google but got no answer. Left a voicemail a few days ago. If anyone knows who has "taken over" for him please let me know.


SMFH maybe read Ryan Vincent's reply below?!


Yes, I saw that. Was looking for confirmation.

Posted on: 7/14 13:09
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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limak116 wrote:
Quote:

K-Lo2 wrote:
Hasn't Steve Nuding retired.


Seems like it. I called the number I could find on google but got no answer. Left a voicemail a few days ago. If anyone knows who has "taken over" for him please let me know.


SMFH maybe read Ryan Vincent's reply below?!

Posted on: 7/14 12:36
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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K-Lo2 wrote:
Hasn't Steve Nuding retired.


Seems like it. I called the number I could find on google but got no answer. Left a voicemail a few days ago. If anyone knows who has "taken over" for him please let me know.

Posted on: 7/14 9:09
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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Bamb00zle wrote:
You do need to follow the “rules”, which you can find in the JC code at 345-30 and 345-71. Since it's a part of “Zoning” other general provisions apply as well, found throughout the Code and State Laws. Although you must follow the rules, rest assured Dan and the HPC won't do the same. They'll ignore the bounds of their authority, which are limited to “historic preservation”. Instead they'll demand the sun, moon and stars and won't give you a permit till they get what they want. The devil in understanding all this is in the details, which are widely mis-understood and applied. Read on if you choose, and you might learn something about the way the HPC and HPO operate in Jersey City.

First, you need to understand a little about the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL). The MLUL is the enabling legislation from which the City draws its limited authority to regulate “historic preservation.” “Preservation” is the key word used in the applicable sections of the MLUL . Why is the word “preservation” so important? Well, in matters of historic preservation the enabling MLUL limits the regulatory powers it grants municipalities to preservation and ONLY preservation. “Reconstruction”, “restoration” and other such activities are NOT mentioned in the MLUL, and are, therefore, EXCLUDED as activities the City has any authority to compel.

So what about the word “preservation” in particular? Here we turn to the ordinary, obvious meaning of the word. It is plainly apparent it is only possible to “preserve” something that currently exists. The term “historic preservation” itself makes reference to something that is from history – that is, something that exists from the past. Conversely, if something does not exist, there is nothing to “preserve”. Put another way, if a historic feature no longer exists, then it can't be preserved. A fake, historic-appearing, replication of some non-existant feature or aspect of a building might be made by “reconstruction” or “recreation”, but those activities are not “preservation.”

With all that as background now to the matter of window replacement. First, take a careful look at the wording of the City code. It's found at 345-71 L. 1. b. I'll reproduce here for ease of reference, and have added the bold for emphasis of a key clause:

L. Additional Regulations for Alterations and Additions to Buildings and New Construction.
1. Windows.
b. Replacement.
i. If historic windows have deteriorated to a point precluding repair, rehabilitation or restoration, based on documentation submitted by the applicant, or a field inspection by the Historic Preservation Officer, replacement windows may be approved under a Certificate of No Effect if they match the historic windows in terms of configuration, operation, details, material and finish. Variations in details will be permitted if such variations do not significantly affect the visual characteristics of the historic window, including the shadow effect of muntins and sash on the glazing. In evaluating "significant" effect, other factors to be considered shall be the age of the building and its architectural quality, as well as the extent of reduction in the total glazed area of the proposed sash compared to the existing sash. For narrow wood windows (less than fifteen (15) inches wide), the reduction shall be limited to ten percent (10%); for wood windows, fifteen (15) inches or wider, the reduction shall be limited to six percent; for metal double-hung windows (of any size), the reduction shall be limited to ten percent (10%).
ii. In buildings less than thirty (30) years old, the replacement windows need not match the historic window in terms of materials. The finish, however, must match the finish of the original windows. On secondary facades, windows which are visible from a public thoroughfare need only match the historic windows in terms of configuration and finish.
iii. Proposals for replacement windows which do not meet these conditions will require a Certificate of Appropriateness

You'll notice the words used are about historic windows that STILL EXIST, although perhaps in such a state of disrepair that it is no longer possible to make them serviceable through means of repair, rehabilitation or reconstruction. Please note that the word reconstruction is used here to in reference to something that still exists, and needs to be preserved. It is not referring to the construction of something completely new where nothing presently exists. This latter use of “reconstruction” has a technical definition found in the definitions section of the Code, and more clearly in the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Historic Preservation.

So, if your historic windows still exist, they must be preserved (by means of repair, rehabilitation or reconstruction). If your historic windows can't be preserved you're going to have to replace them with essentially identical, fake “historic” copies. And those copies don't come cheap. $3,500 a piece for long, parlor-level windows last time I checked, and that was a couple of years ago.

Now to “non-historic” windows in an old building. This situation is very frequent because many of the houses in the historic districts had the original wood windows removed and replaced, often by aluminum windows, at some past time. Obviously, the historic windows are no longer present, so they can't be preserved. It is notable that the Code is completely silent on the situation of replacement of a non-historic window in an old building. There isn't a word about it. But there is no mystery in that, it is exactly as you'd expect. City Codes can't include wording that is inconsistent with the City's limited power to regulate. The City does not have the legal authority to order or require the replacement of non-historic windows by historic windows in an old building, so words to that effect aren't in the Code. Recall the City can only regulate “preservation.” Ordering someone to replace a non-historic window with a fake-historic looking window would not be “preservation”, it would be “restoration” or “reconstruction” – and is therefore outside the City's authority to require.

Nevertheless, if your existing windows are not historic, then this is where the “demand the sun, moon and stars” hits you – Dan and the HPC will try to have you believe they have the authority to demand that you replace those non-historic windows with “fake historic” ones. And worse, if you are unlucky enough to have had your long parlor-level windows bricked up sometime in the past, well then they'll try to make you restore those long window openings as well. More expense.

These activities are not “preservation” of an existing historic feature. They are “restoration” of the building to its appearance from time time in the past. These kinds of demands by the HPC and HPO are beyond their legal authority to regulate “preservation.” All the definitions are in the Code. Again, better definitions are found in the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Historic preservation. The latter definitions are much clearer than the City's, particularly the one for '”restoration” which is so badly written in the JC Code as to fail the “understandable by a person of common intelligence” standard.

As I've noted previously, the HPC and HPO get away with this abuse of their authority because many homeowners simply give in to the demands. It's expensive, time consuming and a hassle to take the HPC and HPO on. And you can't count on ANY support from our esteemed council persons. They're too busy doing the bidding of the Mayor. You can fight, but you'd need to hire an attorney intimately familiar with all the detailed requirements of zoning law. That's expensive, often more that the cost of the work and so the City gets its way. For owners who can't afford the expensive, extensive work demanded, well they often just sell, driven out of their neighborhoods by the heavy handed and abusive use of these zoning codes. That's how it goes down in JC – always has, probably always will.....
So SAD, however TBT, keepin it REAL

Posted on: 7/13 13:37
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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Hello.

I'm new to JC List. Just figuring out how it works, but I wanted to get this info out there: My name is Tim Ryan, my company is Ryan Vincent LLC, and, yes, Steve Nuding did retire, but I bought the business from him, after working with him the last year. (I did this after a 30+ year career in NYC construction management). I have great references for anyone who would like them.

My phone number is Steve's old one: 201 978 3609. So please call, text or email me at timryan33312@gmail.com. I'd be happy to help you all. And please pass the word!

All the best,
Tim

Posted on: 7/13 11:46
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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Hello.

I'm new to JC List. Just figuring out how it works, but I wanted to get this info out there: My name is Tim Ryan, my company is Ryan Vincent LLC, and, yes, Steve Nuding did retire, but I bought the business from him, after working with him the last year. (I did this after a 30+ year career in NYC construction management). I have great references for anyone who would like them.

My phone number is Steve's old one: 201 978 3609. So please call, text or email me at timryan33312@gmail.com. I'd be happy to help you all. And please pass the word!

All the best,
Tim

Posted on: 7/13 11:46
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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Hello.

I'm new to JC List. Just figuring out how it works, but I wanted to get this info out there: My name is Tim Ryan, my company is Ryan Vincent LLC, and, yes, Steve Nuding did retire, but I bought the business from him, after working with him the last year. (I did this after a 30+ year career in NYC construction management). I have great references for anyone who would like them.

My phone number is Steve's old one: 201 978 3609. So please call, text or email me at timryan33312@gmail.com. I'd be happy to help you all. And please pass the word!

All the best,
Tim

Posted on: 7/13 9:21
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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Hasn't Steve Nuding retired.

Posted on: 7/12 16:48
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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Thank you very much. Stephen is the guy I keep hearing about.

Posted on: 7/12 16:31
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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You didn't ask but here's the name of THE contractor for installation of windows in historic districts. He will file all the necessary permits, etc. and knows just what kind of windows you will need:

https://www.buildzoom.com/contractor/stephen-nuding

Posted on: 7/12 14:27
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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You do need to follow the “rules”, which you can find in the JC code at 345-30 and 345-71. Since it's a part of “Zoning” other general provisions apply as well, found throughout the Code and State Laws. Although you must follow the rules, rest assured Dan and the HPC won't do the same. They'll ignore the bounds of their authority, which are limited to “historic preservation”. Instead they'll demand the sun, moon and stars and won't give you a permit till they get what they want. The devil in understanding all this is in the details, which are widely mis-understood and applied. Read on if you choose, and you might learn something about the way the HPC and HPO operate in Jersey City.

First, you need to understand a little about the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL). The MLUL is the enabling legislation from which the City draws its limited authority to regulate “historic preservation.” “Preservation” is the key word used in the applicable sections of the MLUL . Why is the word “preservation” so important? Well, in matters of historic preservation the enabling MLUL limits the regulatory powers it grants municipalities to preservation and ONLY preservation. “Reconstruction”, “restoration” and other such activities are NOT mentioned in the MLUL, and are, therefore, EXCLUDED as activities the City has any authority to compel.

So what about the word “preservation” in particular? Here we turn to the ordinary, obvious meaning of the word. It is plainly apparent it is only possible to “preserve” something that currently exists. The term “historic preservation” itself makes reference to something that is from history – that is, something that exists from the past. Conversely, if something does not exist, there is nothing to “preserve”. Put another way, if a historic feature no longer exists, then it can't be preserved. A fake, historic-appearing, replication of some non-existant feature or aspect of a building might be made by “reconstruction” or “recreation”, but those activities are not “preservation.”

With all that as background now to the matter of window replacement. First, take a careful look at the wording of the City code. It's found at 345-71 L. 1. b. I'll reproduce here for ease of reference, and have added the bold for emphasis of a key clause:

L. Additional Regulations for Alterations and Additions to Buildings and New Construction.
1. Windows.
b. Replacement.
i. If historic windows have deteriorated to a point precluding repair, rehabilitation or restoration, based on documentation submitted by the applicant, or a field inspection by the Historic Preservation Officer, replacement windows may be approved under a Certificate of No Effect if they match the historic windows in terms of configuration, operation, details, material and finish. Variations in details will be permitted if such variations do not significantly affect the visual characteristics of the historic window, including the shadow effect of muntins and sash on the glazing. In evaluating "significant" effect, other factors to be considered shall be the age of the building and its architectural quality, as well as the extent of reduction in the total glazed area of the proposed sash compared to the existing sash. For narrow wood windows (less than fifteen (15) inches wide), the reduction shall be limited to ten percent (10%); for wood windows, fifteen (15) inches or wider, the reduction shall be limited to six percent; for metal double-hung windows (of any size), the reduction shall be limited to ten percent (10%).
ii. In buildings less than thirty (30) years old, the replacement windows need not match the historic window in terms of materials. The finish, however, must match the finish of the original windows. On secondary facades, windows which are visible from a public thoroughfare need only match the historic windows in terms of configuration and finish.
iii. Proposals for replacement windows which do not meet these conditions will require a Certificate of Appropriateness

You'll notice the words used are about historic windows that STILL EXIST, although perhaps in such a state of disrepair that it is no longer possible to make them serviceable through means of repair, rehabilitation or reconstruction. Please note that the word reconstruction is used here to in reference to something that still exists, and needs to be preserved. It is not referring to the construction of something completely new where nothing presently exists. This latter use of “reconstruction” has a technical definition found in the definitions section of the Code, and more clearly in the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Historic Preservation.

So, if your historic windows still exist, they must be preserved (by means of repair, rehabilitation or reconstruction). If your historic windows can't be preserved you're going to have to replace them with essentially identical, fake “historic” copies. And those copies don't come cheap. $3,500 a piece for long, parlor-level windows last time I checked, and that was a couple of years ago.

Now to “non-historic” windows in an old building. This situation is very frequent because many of the houses in the historic districts had the original wood windows removed and replaced, often by aluminum windows, at some past time. Obviously, the historic windows are no longer present, so they can't be preserved. It is notable that the Code is completely silent on the situation of replacement of a non-historic window in an old building. There isn't a word about it. But there is no mystery in that, it is exactly as you'd expect. City Codes can't include wording that is inconsistent with the City's limited power to regulate. The City does not have the legal authority to order or require the replacement of non-historic windows by historic windows in an old building, so words to that effect aren't in the Code. Recall the City can only regulate “preservation.” Ordering someone to replace a non-historic window with a fake-historic looking window would not be “preservation”, it would be “restoration” or “reconstruction” – and is therefore outside the City's authority to require.

Nevertheless, if your existing windows are not historic, then this is where the “demand the sun, moon and stars” hits you – Dan and the HPC will try to have you believe they have the authority to demand that you replace those non-historic windows with “fake historic” ones. And worse, if you are unlucky enough to have had your long parlor-level windows bricked up sometime in the past, well then they'll try to make you restore those long window openings as well. More expense.

These activities are not “preservation” of an existing historic feature. They are “restoration” of the building to its appearance from time time in the past. These kinds of demands by the HPC and HPO are beyond their legal authority to regulate “preservation.” All the definitions are in the Code. Again, better definitions are found in the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Historic preservation. The latter definitions are much clearer than the City's, particularly the one for '”restoration” which is so badly written in the JC Code as to fail the “understandable by a person of common intelligence” standard.

As I've noted previously, the HPC and HPO get away with this abuse of their authority because many homeowners simply give in to the demands. It's expensive, time consuming and a hassle to take the HPC and HPO on. And you can't count on ANY support from our esteemed council persons. They're too busy doing the bidding of the Mayor. You can fight, but you'd need to hire an attorney intimately familiar with all the detailed requirements of zoning law. That's expensive, often more that the cost of the work and so the City gets its way. For owners who can't afford the expensive, extensive work demanded, well they often just sell, driven out of their neighborhoods by the heavy handed and abusive use of these zoning codes. That's how it goes down in JC – always has, probably always will.....

Posted on: 7/12 12:37
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Re: window replacement - historic district
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No. You cannot assume you're ok. You have to go through the process. Even if you think you've found windows that are "close enough", they could force you to remove them if they don't deem them proper. That's even after you install them.

It's best to just bite the bullet and do it the correct way from the start. It may seem like a hassle, but you'll likely create a larger hassle by not following the regulations.

That's my two cents.

Posted on: 7/11 16:03
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window replacement - historic district
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Hi all,

I am interested in replacing the old inefficient windows in my unit that face the street. This is in Hamilton Park where there are obviously historic district rules regarding stuff that faces the public. As long as the windows are the same style as the others in the building I am assuming I am ok? Also, any recommended contractors that would specialize in these types of old buildings? Thanks

Posted on: 7/11 15:46
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