Daily Archives: January 10, 2014

Well if it’s the official Greenwich Time real estate columnist, it must be true

Greenwich Time’s Ken Edwards calls 34 Burying Hill Road “the sale of the week” and provides this glowing description:

Coming in at 95 percent of original asking price was my “Sale of the Week” at 34 Burying Hill Road, also known as Little Sky Farm. Going to contract in just more than a month on market with no price reductions, this sale at $4,750,000 was a very respectable showing of value that was obviously noticed. The property was priced to sell — and sell it did.

I had a different take on  the matter back in 2012, but what the heck …

Here’s what I said then:

You'll get this house when you pry it from my cold, stiff fingers

You’ll get this house when you pry it from my cold, stiff fingers

When you’re not in a hurry, life is easy

34 Burying Hill Road, a 1960 house last renovated 24 years ago in 1998, asked $5.950 million when it was offered for sale in April, 2011. It’s ben a year now and the owners have looked around and discovered that they’re still there so they’ve taken action and reduced their price 5% to $5.695 million. That should shake some timid buyers from the trees.

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Is that a pole in your pocket or are you just watching TV?

 

Home for the holidays

Home for the holidays

Polar Vortex freeze doubles porn viewing in Maine.

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Obama: “I can override Congress, so why not the Supreme Court?”

We won't be needing this any longer

We won’t be needing this any longer

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a stay of a federal judge’s ruling striking down Utah’s ban on gay marriages, pending a full court review. That displeased the King, so today  Obama ordered the federal government to ignore the court’s decision and to recognize those marriages immediately.

Ted Cruz, who, unlike the present occupant of the White House, really is a constitutional scholar, warned liberals today  to be wary of cheering this lawlessness on.

 [F] rom giving relief from departation to some young unauthorized immigrants to enforcement of drug laws to waiving rules for Obamacare, the president has acted by executive fiat in defiance of the rule of law. “We are a nation of laws and not men,” said Cruz. “If we had a system where a president can pick and choose what laws to follow at utter whim … that is seriously dangerous.” Cruz said the liberal media refuses to accurately report the threat to liberty of the Obama presidency, and makes excuses for the president’s overreaches. But, he said, “If you’re a liberal, if you’re a Democrat, if you’re a reporter for the New York Times, maybe you’re saying, `he’s my guy. I root for my guy. I don’t like some of the things he’s doing but he’s basically my guy so he’s OK.’” But Cruz warned those with that mindset that they ought to contemplate that their “guy ain’t gonna be there forever. If this president has that power so does the next one and the next one and the next one, and my message to all the Democrats and all the liberals is, what do you think about the next president, maybe a Republican, having the power Barack Obama has as a president who is not bound by the law?” “If you love liberty, that should concern you greatly,” said Cruz.

I used to make this argument to useful idiots like Dollar Bill, until I realized that his ilk do not love liberty, and therefore see no danger.

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So THAT’S where Walt’s been this week

C'm 'ere, big boy

C’m ‘ere, big boy

I was kidnapped by lapdancers dressed in ‘miniskirts, stilettos and Daisy Duke shorts”

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Too late to ask Paul Walker, I suppose

 

 

Missed opportunity

Missed opportunity

Speeding stars present puzzle to scientists: what got them moving?

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Three sales reported

Still having difficulty with the new listing reports but here are three houses reported sold today.

70 Baldwin Farms Rd

70 Baldwin Farms Rd

70 Baldwin Farms, $2 million. Sold for $2.2 million in 2002.

64 Howard Rd

64 Howard Rd

64 Howard Road, Michelle Marsh’s “country” home, sold for $2.250 million. She paid $2.775 for it in 2004 and put a lot of money into it, but I think she got bad advice on this – the market hasn’t dropped that much, she just overpaid to begin with.

 

32 Edgewater Drive

32 Edgewater Drive

32 Edgewater Drive, Old Greenwich, $1.170 million. The new owners may want to attend Tuesday’s FEMA meeting. Probably should have attended the previous one, before buying here, but that’s just me being catty.

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Usually it’s the other way around

Battery BoosterTeen charged with battery.

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The P&Z is back for more

Diane Fox's seaside cottage

Diane Fox’s seaside cottage

In the face of widespread opposition – unanimous opposition, so far as I could tell – at its last public hearing on flood zone limitations, the Planning & Zoning Commission has not only broken its promise to “listen to what we heard tonight” but has actually gone back to the drawing board and doubled down, expanding its power to condemn your house without compensation. There’s a public hearing scheduled for this Tuesday at 7, where you can vent and be ignored. Who won’t be there? If history is our guide, every single one of your elected representatives, from Peter Tesei down the lowliest member of the RTM Land Use Commission. Why are Greenwich property owners letting this happen to them?

Here’s what’s happening: The P&Z already has a “50% rule”, meaning that if a homeowner spends 50% of the value of his house – the structure, not the far more valuable land – on repairs or improvements, he must bring the entire house into compliance with current P&Z regulations on coastal areas. That means a new house, essentially.

 

Not content with this, the P&Z, in accordance with its stated intention to eliminate all non-complying homes from Greenwich as quickly as practicable, now proposes a 25% rule, specifically applicable to flood damage
Here’s the rule as of today: Substantial Damage” means damage of any origin sustained by a structure whereby the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
Here’s what your employees at P&Z want now:

 

P and Z proposes to add the following: Substantial damage also means flood-related damages sustained by a structure on two separate occasions during a 10-year period for which the cost of repairs at the time of each such flood event, on the average, equals or exceeds 25 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred.
 This goes way beyond FEMA requirements and, as noted, is a spit in the face of all the property owners who attended last November’s FEMA workshop. P&Z “employees”Diane Fox and Katie Blankley enjoy doing that.
The other change your P&Z wants to accomplish next Tuesday power to force homeowners to pay for outside consultants who will be hired by the P&Z to challenge your application. This won’t just slam Old Greenwich homeowners, although they will certainly be punished for daring to request doing anything with their property, it is intended to hit every property owner anywhere in town.
Tuesday night’s your chance to yell and scream. Will these people listen? Not voluntarily; bring pitchforks to improve their hearing.

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Florida next?

 

We'll just keep our yacht club, thank you

We’ll just keep our yacht club, thank you

Stamford kills Bridgewater’s headquarters deal. I never thought much of using $115 million in taxpayers’ money to lure the world’s most profitable hedge fund from Westport to Stamford, but turning down a 750,000 sq.ft., $800,000,000 project with the jobs and taxes it would bring seems counterintuitive for a city struggling to attract corporate tenants.

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He probably wanted to leave early to avoid the traffic jam on the GW Bridge

Oregon governor cuts short interview when questioned about the failure of his state’s version of ObamaCare and his aide’s alleged improprieties: “I know nothing!”

The interview was cut short, however, soon after KATU asked about Kitzhaber’s knowledge of problems with Carolyn Lawson. Lawson, who as Chief Information Officer was responsible for the website’s technical development, resigned for “personal reasons” in November.

The governor claimed he didn’t know of problems with Lawson until late last year.

But in December 2012, Rep. Patrick Sheehan sent an email to the governor’s office that KATU’s Investigators recently unearthed.

The email questioned Lawson’s decision-making, accused her of presenting fraudulent testimony in a legislative hearing and speculated about her ties to Oracle, the company paid tens of millions of dollars to help with the project’s technical aspects.

Kitzhaber denied having seen the email, despite his legislative director having responded “You have raised some serious allegations, and I will make sure that we get his into the right hands in addition to the Governor.”

Kitzhaber told KATU on Thursday that the allegations never made it to his desk.

“In late October was when I first learned about the problems,” Kitzhaber said. “I had (the email) come to my office, but I didn’t see it.”

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And how much for preserving the limestone facade?

 

Pie$e by pie$e

Pie$e by pie$e

Bids for the new firehouse have come in “at budget” and a contractor will be named shortly. That’s fine, and I’m glad to hear it, but this part referring to the limestone facade that we painstakingly preserved and are still storing, all as a meaningless, but expensive nod to the historical society crowd, caught my eye:

Tesei said that after reviewing the bids, contractors have indicated that it may  not be possible to use the 70-plus year-old slabs of limestone that were part of the facade of the original headquarters. Part of the new project was to incorporate the limestone as an historic element to the building.

It was pointed out at the time (here, among other places) that taking off the limestone piece by piece and reusing it would be far more expensive than demolishing it along with the rest of the building  and replacing it with “new” (most limestone’s at least a couple of million years old, so “new” is a figurative term), but the preservationists wanted a symbolic victory so Tesei, at taxpayers’ expense, gave them one.

Now we know what we already knew: it was a waste of money.

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The EPA now claims the authority to change a state’s borders, and has done so

Jackass pass, Wind Rivers. I climbed this in 1973 little realizing that the name would become a memorial to future rulers

Jackass pass, Wind Rivers. I climbed this in 1973, little realizing that the name would become a memorial to future rulers

The EPA? Yes indeed, they just decreed that a million acres in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains belongs to the Shoshones, according to the Clean Air Act. For the first couple of hundred years of this country, we had a constitution, and the powers of government were strictly delineated. In a way, they still are today, but those powers have all been assumed by Obama.

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