The original landscape of our neighborhoods is changing, and they’re changing fast. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not against new construction or remodels. Our neighborhoods have dozens of examples of successfully designed new homes and remodels that were never met with any opposition by any of their neighbors or associations because, although larger than the originally existing home, they had a defined architectural style and fit well with the neighborhood in its design. Design Review can and has worked.
So why the blatant attack from James and other Design Review Board members against neighbors and associations who are trying to protect the character of their neighborhoods? I can only think that maybe their egos are hurt by the public outcry against their inability to do their jobs.
At the hearing I watched on television, Design Review Board No. 2 Chairwoman Laura Friedman seemed to understand the absurdity of James’ comments by distancing herself from what he said and emphasizing the importance of a public forum where all residents can voice their opinions and concerns on any project.