Land Mark And The Mysterians


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The View From Argyle Heights By Homeowner Harry (Another in a series of observationsabout life in West Midwood as it is lived today…or maybe not)
Thanks to the glorious submission fashioned by Jeff Ewingand Ron Russo of West Midwood, along with Robin Redmond of FDC and NicoleFrancis of Beverley Square West, the Historic District Council has agreed towork with them to fashion a proposal for the NYC Landmarks Commission. Their aim is to make ALL of VictorianFlatbush one gigantic Historic District. Or as Ron says, “Joe, those in the know call it an HD, so get with thelingo, dude.”
If you have notkept abreast, visit the link at www.westmidwood.org. Or go to www.hdc.org/6tocelebrate_2012.htmand by all means see the article in the Ditmas Blog at http://ditmasparkblog.com/neighborhood-history/the-historic-district-council-celebrates-vicotrian-flatbushor save yourself a lot of time by reading the article in the March issue of theWest Midwood Newsletter by Ron, Jeff and Joe Mislowack.

So the time hascome to consider “What’s In It For Me?” now that the eventual land-marking ofWest Midwood looms – perhaps only “years away,” according to Ron. While I am usually a proponent ofland-marking (Duh! I majored in History), some compelling counter-argumentsgave me some pause, so I thought it was only fair to give voice to those whooppose or have concerns about this initiative. So I solicited comments from one train cut to the other anddistilled them into the Top 10 Reasons for and against land-marking. Frankly, though, some of these couldhave been listed under either column:
West Midwood Should Be Landmarked Because:

West Midwood Should NOT Be Landmarked Because:

1. The Landmarks Commission moves very slow – this will prevent my wife from getting quick approval to spend more money on home remodeling.

1. The Landmarks Commission moves very slow – I don’t want to wait forever to get approval for home improvements.
2. Property values increase.



2. Property value increases don't matter to me because I intend to be buried in the back yard.

3. An end to remuddled homes.


3. Yesterday's remuddling is tomorrow's fancy architectural trend. I mean why can't I cover my house in zebra flesh or redo my chimney in a Titan missile silo motif if I want to?

4. No more multiple dwellings rising unexpectedly next door.



4. But zoning already prevents McMansions, doesn't it?


5. An existential boost for homeowners, knowing their property has been recognized as worth preserving for its link to our history.


5. I am already filled with self-worth: just ask the IRS and those freakazoids who send me water bills so high, they must think they’re supplying single malt scotch.


6. When debate is closed on the land-marking issue, the neighborhood can devote more time to discussion of truly important matters, like garbage, and that weird light hovering over my roof.

6. When debate is closed on the land-marking issue, the neighborhood can devote more time to discussion of my water bill. And garbage.


7. If we landmark “West Midwood” that nut job Joe Enright can’t get it renamed “Argyle Heights”.



7. But if we landmark West Midwood, we won’t be able to rename it Argyle Heights which would boost property values 20% by having “Heights” in our name.


8. By filling in the gaps in the hit and miss pattern of historic districts, we will prevent "The Man" from lobbying for zoning variances to build monstrosities in the neighborhoods not landmarked.


8. Under the guise of "preservation", "The Man" ships West Midwoodians (Midwoodites?) off to Fiske Terrace where we are forced to try and figure out where their “terrace” is.

9. Maybe it would be a good thing if frustrated remuddlers sold their homes to preservation-minded purists.




9. Foes will become so incensed that after selling, they'll move south of Avenue H and conduct night raids against fortified positions along Rugby Ridge and Argyle Heights.


10. If we become an historic district, maybe everyone will stop lumping West Midwood in with Ditmas Park.



10. If we become an historic district, we run the risk that everyone will stop lumping West Midwood in with Ditmas Park.

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