Daily Archives: February 24, 2009

Obama speaks – Cabinet winces

 

"I put up with Bill for 30 friggin' years just so I can have a front row seat for this crap?"

"I put up with Bill for 30 friggin' years just so I can have a front row seat for this crap?"

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More FAR madness

 

Franklin Bloomer and friend in approved carport

Franklin Bloomer and friend in approved carport

Greenwich is blessed with floor area ratio regulations (FAR) that purport to establish the ideal size house for every zoning class. These were dreamed up, as far as I can tell, by Riverside resident Franklin Bloomer and he has fiercely resisted any attempt to modify them to adjust for non-conforming lots or even common sense. In fact, he has met every voiced opposition with new, more stringent rules, as if to prove that he was just being nice to the rest of us the first time. 

 

FAR regs are the reason you can’t use your attic in new construction, why houses built on one acre non-conforming lots in the RA-2 zone can have carports but not garages (this is also true of under-sized lots in Old Greenwich), why you now need site plans and must incur engineering fees to build a ten-foot-square addition to your house, etc. etc. etc. The lunacy and waste are truly appalling but not to Franklin Bloomer or, apparently, the RTM, which keeps reappointing him FAR Czar. 

I recently noticed that one of my creek neighbors was forced to stop a construction project. It seems he dared to punch a hole in the foundation of his house so that he could walk from his basement to the creek. So what? you might ask. How does that affect anyone but him? It doesn’t make the house any larger, does it? Of course not, but in Franklin World, it’s a violation of the Bloomer Code so all work must S-T-O-P! NOW!  Did another neighbor turn him in or did Franklin, on one of his bicycle  inspections along and through the creek mud discover this egregious breach of social contract himself? I don’t suppose it matters. What does matter is that we bring sense to these rules but, alas, the new town plan (Franklin’s against that, too, because his personal blessing wasn’t sought before going public with it) will only make things worse.

No one except their owners likes huge houses, but the FAR doesn’t prevent them. What it does do is impose unnecessary expense and hardship on modest sized houses on modest sized lots. You may think you agree with these regulations – wait until you decide to add a sun porch.

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Finally, a spot of good news: Hinckley Yachts still sailing!

AADN001207 I was delighted to receive an email from someone at Hinckley telling me that my depressed posting, based on a Bangor Daily News article about this wonderful boat builder foundering was “overstated”. Seems the Bangor Deadly News, as it’s referred to up there, mistook the glum news of one of several Hinckley yards closing for the demise of the entire enterprise. Not so, says my correspondent, and I couldn’t be happier. I have never had the pleasure of actually sailing a Hinckley but these boats have brightened my life considerably just from being able to appreciate their beauty, whether sailing past, far away on the horizon or in port. Gorgeous boats – may they always sail the seven seas.

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Here’s a shocker: TARP ripe for fraud!

Billions and billions of dollars. I’m so disappointed to learn this.

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Peter Schiff vs. Dodd?

Hey, anyone would be better than Dodd. A libertarian would just be icing on the cake. If I understand the situation, Schiff  isn’t running but supporters want him to. Whatever – here’s a link to the Schiff for Senate folks and you can figure out what’s what. What I want to know is, does he have a cozy Irish cottage?

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Property coming on the market at 12 Wyckham Hill?

12-wyckham-hillThe Greenwich resident arrested today for killing a 79-year-old man has a house here in town at 12 Wyckham Hill. It was for sale for a long time, but despite starting at only $3.375 million (Wyckham never has commanded decent prices) and dropping as low as $2.975 the listing expired, house unsold, in June of 2008. It’s obviously a sad tragedy for both the victim’s family and the perpetrator’s, but turning to business, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this house coming back up for sale. The killer, chiropractor William Lindemann (no relation to Greenwich horse killer George Lindemann, I don’t think) is already a convicted felon – Medicare fraud – and is bound to be needing some money for lawyers fees soon. Here’s what Greenwich Time has to say about his troubled past:

In 1997, Lindemann was indicted on fraud charges after a federal investigation in Brooklyn, N.Y., linked him to insurance schemes involving organized crime figures, according to published reports.

In the schemes, insurance was collected for patient visits that never took place or for treatments never given, and medical information was provided for false claims in lawsuits.

According to information on the Web site of the New York state Office of the Professions, Lindemann’s license was suspended in 2001 for 24 months, and he was placed on probation for three years.

Lindemann admitted to having been convicted of seven counts of felony mail fraud, according to the Web site. It is unclear whether he served time in prison.

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Graphs and statistics

Reader Krazy Kat sends along some interesting links to Case- Shiller graphs. This one is for the NYC area (warning: bad news):

Then there’s this one, predicting a final fall of 40% from peak pricing. That ought to cheer you up!

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