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Updated Frequently 
Special Report Reprint from Tallahassee Reports.com (click)
Historic Preservation Process Raises Questions
Part I of a Two-Part Series...  This Reprint includes Source Documents

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Original article published in TallahasseeReports.com:
Historic Preservation Process Raises Questions
Click Here for Part II of our Two-Part Series, Entitled,
Billion Dollar Theft Planned By City?  
Part II of the Two-Part Series...  This Reprint includes Source Documents
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Use this link to go to the original article published in TallahasseeReports.com:Billion Dollar Theft Planned By City?
City Legal Staff Sent to Work for City Contractor

Partisanship of City Attorney Office Questioned
(read more)
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Public Records Request "Refused" by City.  
CAO claims need to review every email manually to review for possible exemptions.  (note:  all exemptions can be sorted electronically, or through staff's email file folders) (READ MORE)
City Attorney's Office Admits Applicant Substitution Scheme Designed to Evade Property Owners' Approval

Written Admission:  An illegal applicant substitution manipulated by an assistant City Attorney  through the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation was designed to evade the Tallahassee Land Development Code requirement of "advice and consent of the property owner(s)."

$25,000,000 THEFT-IN-PROGRESS

This kind of arrogance on the part of our City Attorney is certainly "beyond the pale", to use Commissioner Mark Mustian's words from another occasion related to Historic Preservation in Tallahassee.
CITY ATTORNEY & ROGUE CONTRACTOR WORKING TOGETHER

It is time to get vocal and demand the removal of our City Attorney and his two staff involved in this theft.  Further, no one in Tallahassee needs to have a rogue private contractor operating through the City and County budget constantly conniving to take anyone's property rights without consent.  This contract with the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation must end.
 (Read More...including the original letters....)
Public Records Statute Violated?
"public records" censored...critical text deleted?
 

Did City Attorney's Office Illegally Remove Text From Email Prior To Release?

September 9, 2008, 10:51PM:  An email from Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Director Wayne Tedder to Assistant City Attorney Linda Hudson was sent quite late, the night before the critical vote by the Architectural Review Board to strip property rights wholesale from nearly 500 property owners in Lafayette Park.  Her response, shortly before the meeting, explains how she sees the property rezoning taking place, laying out a plan to follow....(read more...including photo of suspected altered email)
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RELATED ARTICLE in TALLAHASSEEREPORTS.COM:
Another Public Records Request "Refused"--more City Attorney's attempts at withholding public records.  (Click to go....)
INSIDE PAGES:

Warning: Limbs may fall!
Tallahassee Water Oak Tree is Removed.  Loss of a Giant.

ARB Grants & SINS Issue July 20, 2009

CLICK HERE IF YOU MISSED OUR SPECIAL APRIL FIRST EDITION!
 

LaughingPark, A Fairy Tale

ARCHIVED MAY 18, 2009 EDITION

ARCHIVED JUNE 1, 2009 EDITION (Lafayette Park Neighborhood Association VOTE TIMELINE ISSUE!)

ARCHIVED JUNE 7, 2009 EDITION (HISTORIC PRESERVATION LOSES IN SUPREME COURT)

CONTACT LINKS

LETTERS PAGE:  NINETY VOICES!

ORIGINAL WAKE UP CALL

LEGAL NOTICE TO CANCEL MEETINGS AND PUT APPLICATION INTO ABEYANCE



PETITION PRESENTED TO MAYOR JOHN MARKS

MYERS PARK STORY:  THE ORIGINAL USE OF HPO AS A LAND USE WEAPON


MYERS PARK EXPERIENCE:  SIX YEARS OF HPO AND THE EFFECT ON IMPROVEMENTS

INDEPENDENCE DAY '09

ARB Grants & SINS Issue July 20, 2009

Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation:  Incompetent & Irresponsible

Tribute to Former City Commissioner Debbie Lightsey-- A courageous woman who saved our neighborhood!

Free Money!  Reprint of Tallahassee Reports' article  One, June 3, 2011:  Historic Preservation Process Raises Questions (ARB Taken over by private contractor)

Billion Dollar Theft Planned by City?  Tallahassee Reports' Article Two, July 4, 2011

Long Range Target Issue Updates Page on Code Rewrite for neighborhoods (not updated after 5-27-2011)

Sept 9,2008 email censored before release.  Public Records Law violated by CAO in Spring 2009

CAO staff sent to work for private contractor--Taltrust

Public Records Request "Refused" by City Attorney Office


 C
oming soon:  A summary of key people who have participated in the three-year Lafayette Park Historic Designation and HPO Rezoning.  We will be providing a list of each and every Architectural Review Board member with relevant information. We will provide the names of the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department staff and their roles in the ongoing application.  Neighborhood members of the LPNA and their acts will be included, as well as neighborhood members and their actions to prevent the wrongful rezoning of our properties.  We will include a summary of key members of the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation, with emphasis on those whose roles are intertwined in the ARB.  The various applicants who have gotten on and off the original applications, with pertinent questions as to their motivation in screwing their neighbors will be included.  The members of the City Attorney's staff will not be left out.

Every drama needs a playlist.  If you are looking for a guide to this one, tune in soon for full exposure.  Samples of the individuals to be included, in no particular order:
Assistant City Attorneys Hetal Desai and Linda Hudson, applicants Peter Harris, Kathy McGuire, and Jim Pfost, Planning Administrator Russell Snyder, ARB Staff Michael Wing.  Also:  City Commissioners who ducked and those who stood up, and many, many more....

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ARB Membership Violates City & County Code 
Wrongful appointments of contractor personnel further unbalance advisory board....
Every Decision of the ARB since their appointment is a defective decision and must be re-visited once a new board is appointed.

The real problem here is the City Attorney: His obvious incompetence, inability to control a runaway staff and lack of impartiality under the law renders Mr. James English unfit for continued public service in the City of Tallahassee.  READ MORE.....

PHOTOCOPY  EXCLUSIVE!

False certification on the original application--see photo below...
This certification form was provided by the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation, a City Contractor, to Mr. Jim Pfost of 510 Beard Street, Tallahassee for his signature on the application they were preparing for Lafayette Park Neighborhood.  He signed it.  The Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation willingly used it.

This outright lie, by Mr. Jim Pfost,  that he was the "official representative" of the legal owners of approximately 500 properties in Lafayette Park was accepted by Mr. Michael Wing (Executive Director employed by the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation) and used to prepare the Nomination for Historic Preservation for the Lafayette Park Neighborhood, with The Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation as the co-applicant.  By Tallahassee Land Development Code, section 318b, "The Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation or the architecture review board may initiate placement on the local register, but only with the advice and consent of the property owner."

By accepting and using this patently false certification in lieu of legal owner permission, on what ultimately became a public document, the Executive Director, Michael Wing, of the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation began a process that harmed hundreds of owners and residents of Lafayette Park, and continues to this day, years later, as a second substitution of the application continues on it's legally-deficient journey through to the City Commissioners of Tallahassee for approval.  In the first substitution, Mr. Jim Pfost, once again, claimed a fact that was untrue:  he was not a legal property owner in Lafayette Park Neighborhood.

This journey includes a substitution of the original substituted application with a new application containing, once again, a revised applicant name and revised Owner Awareness Form, in order to continue to evade the property owner requirement as mandated by code for an application originated by the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation originated this application.  Their name was on the original.  The process originated with them.  By Tallahassee code, each owner's permission is required on that application.  Switching names does not change this legal requirement.

We resoundingly condemn the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation for the lack of integrity of their Executive Director, their weasel-like substitution of a different application in place of the original, with no legal notice, and their continued indifference to the codes of the City of Tallahassee and Leon County, as long as they seem to be able "to get away with it."

Furthermore, we resoundingly condemn the City of Tallahassee City Attorney, Mr. James English and his staff members, primarily Linda Hudson and Hetal Desai, for continuing to support flagrantly illegal practices on this application and process to the severe detriment of  our City of Tallahassee and Tallahassee Citizens.  Mr. English, your department, your reputation, and legacy are badly soiled by your repeated and continuing failure to serve the citizens of Tallahassee responsibly.

The Terrible Lie That Started It all:
The Terrible Lie That Started It ALL

For a detailed step-by-step timeline of the Lafayette Park Neighborhood Association's lies, evasions, promises and even the re-drawing of their neighborhood boundaries to get rid of lifelong neighbors who did not agree with what was going on, click here:  (lpna-timeline-edition)

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RE:  BILLION-DOLLAR THEFT--Update News!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011:  Lafayette Park Doomed

The Final Pressing Question

Going into the City Commission meeting Wednesday night, there remained one very important, immediate question on this issue:  Are the City Commissioners part of this or ignorant? 

The perfect test was presented with agenda item #9, a re-appointment of two of the most egregious violators of the supposed impartiality of the Architectural Review Board: 

One, Geraldine Seay,  received the $100,000 grant and loan gift, which would certainly appear to compromise her votes, ethically, and the other, Randy Lewis is an "extra" TTHP board member, in violation of the code. 

Both members voted for the sham applications for Lafayette Park in which all the historic property forms were nearly blank or 25 years out of date. 

Both accepted counterfeit owner permission forms with non-owner signatures, for the same Lafayette Park applications

Commissioner Mark Mustian volunteered that as long as their actions were not "beyond the pale" he was going to vote for their re-appointment.  Commissioner Nancy Miller chimed in with support and Mayor Marks, likewise.

Apparently, for our current City Commission, no wrongful action, however much in violation of the codes or ethics or "right" is "beyond the pale." 

Thus we have our answer:  The City Commission is solidly a part of this plan to steal the property rights from fifty thousand adults in Tallahassee in the next few years. 

And, also, for starters, we now know Lafayette Park is doomed.

Thank you for the clarification, Commissioners.
Mark Daniel, July 6, 2011

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Grim Outlook for Private Property Rights

Manipulated Citizens' Workgroup Suggests
Weak Improvement for Proposed Code Change

In a final meeting marred by casual substitution of two members, the COT Historic Preservation District Ordinance Revisions Workgroup voted against any provision to allow property owners to opt out of any proposed rezoning overlay. 

During the June 23rd meeting, the member who entered the workgroup via "Meyers Park HOA", (but who, in reality is a board member of the the city contractor, Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation) went on an interesting rant to convince members that the US Constitution prevented anyone from opting out of a rezoning in Tallahassee. 

How did George Washington and Thomas Jefferson know this was going to come up, so as to put it in the Constitution?  And, how come they printed two copies of the Constitution, one with and one without this clause for Tallahassee?  I ended up with the copy that doesn't mention Tallahassee HPO anywhere.  Darn my luck.

Mr. Michael Hines, the representative of over 300 Lafayette Park property owners representing approximately 67% of properties within the proposed Lafayette Park Historical Preservation District, wrote the following to Assistant City Manager Jay Townsend:

"Based on final meeting of subject working group and recommendations voted on, I doubt very seriously that I can support any proposed Ordinance that is designed solely from Group's work.  As I suspected, the level of support for due process rights of private property owners was spurned...."

There was non-committal response from Mr. Townsend.

The ordinance revisions are now in the hands of the City Attorney Office.  We know how they manipulated property rights in Lafayette Park three years ago, so we can realistically expect a code carefully designed to strip all property rights from every owner who happens to own property anywhere in Tallahassee that someone in the TTHP covets..
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Lest WeForget...August 6, 2008  Three years ago...a Reminder

August 6, 2008:  On this date, the Tallahassee-Leon County Architectural Review Board opened a public meeting with the announcement that a decision had been (privately) made (in violation of the Sunshine-in-the-Government Laws of Florida) to alter a publicly-advertised application for the nomination of Lafayette Park as an historic district, substituting applicants and inventing a counterfeit Owner Awareness Statement, which made "Owner Awareness" a lie, and allowed rezoning with no owner permission.

Thus began a process that continues today:  The theft of private property rights by a cozy power empire within the Tallahassee City Attorney's office, in collusion with a private contractor who has co-opted and taken over the Architectural Review Board.  

Today, we re-dedicate our commitment to see a correction of this abuse of power and violation of the public trust. We are determined that every one of the perpetrators shall be brought to justice.  We are committed to the restoration of sanity in our code of ordinances and to the elimination of the "power and control for the sake of power and control, and secrecy for the sake of secrecy" mindset of the City of Tallahassee government.  

At this time, we wish to pause and remember the friends and neighbors who have passed away in the intervening three, long years, without ever seeing the dark cloud of this control scheme removed from their lives.  We wish their families well and like to believe these departed ones are in a sunny, bright heaven where City Attorneys and self-appointed "know betters" will be far, far away.
Funky Fence on Miccosukee Road-February 15, 2011 by Mark Daniel



Did the Architectural Review Board Have a Private Meeting Prior to the First Public Meeting on the Lafayette Park Neighborhood Designation?

Read below, and then go to the archived minutes in an earlier issue:  Read the first two pages of the August 6, 2008 meeting minutes and ask yourself if the discussion appears to be an ad-libbed, but staged, discussion to put comments in the record to justify substitution of the historic designation application with another?
(click here to view August 6, 2008 meeting minutes)

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The Architectural Review Board starts the first meeting on the Lafayette Park Historic Designation by disclosing a decision and course of action without any public discussion or vote!
EXPOSED:
The Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation (TTHP) demonstrates they haven't got the ability to be a contractor for the City & County historic services.


 The TTHP put together the 1800-page + package of historic site survey forms for the Lafayette Park Neighborhood historic district nomination.  These forms are so far below any conceivable standard of acceptability, and so far below any gauge of professional product, it is time to demand the removal of this contractor from public funding.  It is, in fact, time to demand repayment of the funds they have already received over the years for failure of performance.

The board of directors of this organization, in their irresponsibility and failure of oversight, has put the lie to the word "trust" in their name.  This is a brief article to expose the incredible sham of these forms--more than half were essentially blank with little more than addresses and virtually all of the required historic information left blank.  The board of directors of this organization presented this package of forms in the Lafayette Park application as substantiation for an attempted rezoning our private properties without our permission and in many cases, without our knowledge. 


This action by the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation has caused us huge expenditures of time and effort in defense of our properties,  permanent harm to our neighborhood and neighborhood relationships, and severed our trust in the City.

The 456 forms in the application averaged 4 pages each:  a two page historic structure form, conforming to the Florida Master Site File guidelines (FL dept of state), and an accompanying map and photograph.  The difference in quantity from the number of properties in the neighborhood (475) is due to a choice by TTHP to lump several condominium properties into one undefined survey with no owners listed, as if it were one person's property.

This summer (2009), I decided to do something that the Architectural Review Board, the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department, The Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Commission and the Tallahassee City Commission never bothered to do before moving forward with the attempted theft of our property rights:  I read these forms.  I obtained a digitized copy of the application through a Public Records Request, and went through each house number on each street in the Lafayette Park Application.  Read on to see what a travesty I found....

Read the complete story, in detail, with examples of the forms....click here.

Architectural Review Board Issue: Their sins; their $$ grants...
Special Issue Dedicated to the Architectural Review Board

LPNA Vote Timeline Issue--exposing the flaws

LPNA "vote" Timeline Issue

May 18, 2009 Issue:  Secret City Attorney meetings, Public Record emails,
LPNA membership claims, actual HPO support graphic

May 18th Issue


June 7, 2009 Issue:  Supreme Court Affirms HPO unconstitutionality!
Supreme Court Issue
Future of Historic Preservation in Tallahassee:

Lesson learned from a 4-day trip to Wilmington, NC's historic district:  I saw the future of historic preservation in Tallahassee:  20% of the historic district is gorgeous as a result of babying by the moneyed leisure society and commercial interests.  The remaining 80% is rapidly deteriorating into a slum--every house needs so many obvious repairs, it's inevitable they will all fall down within 20 years from neglect.  The decline is well on the way.  The first impression is already of a slum. 

They use the same national-based plan as every other city. The effort to get approval on simple, everyday maintenance-oriented repairs or improvements is insurmountable.  Average owners who have a busy life with kids, jobs, and all the trappings of everyday life cannot become paperwork experts in historic preservation.  Truly sad.  It's bureaucracy over function...just like Tallahassee.  

If we don't get rid of ARB board-review restraints on ordinary, reversible projects such as awnings, screens, landscape features, decks, handicap ramps, roofing, and all the other aspects of a house that get replaced every twenty years or so, we will see less and less work of any kind being done on irreplacable historic properties in formally zoned districts.

The problem is trying to tell people what to do when they didn't "buy into" the idea in the first place.  You can't make someone spend time and money and more time on a house when they're being forced into someone else's idea of petty, miniscule micro-management.

Historic Districts should only become a district when each and every homeowner agrees to it.  They should not have to be 100% swept into a district without agreement.

Tallahassee's City Attorneys and Planning Department do not accept that people have rights, and consequently are destroying the historic fabric of  our town by shoving "preservation" down our throats.  What a shame.  What we need is a new City Attorney and a new Planning Director, and we really need to get rid of that contract with the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation.  


Code Committee News of Note:
Deliberate Ethical Lapse on Part of City Attorney?  A planned subterfuge?  Deception tarnishes the LRTI committee!
Deception Further Tarnishes Architectural Review Board
A CALL FOR RESIGNATION
Private Property Rights At Risk

In attachment #7, for the first meeting of the code-recommendation committee, the list of the committee members is provided.  Mr. Fred Gaske is listed as the representative for the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation.  When a contractor for the city gets to have a representative sit in on code revisions which will ultimately benefit that contractor, it's a suspect situation.  
(see:  http://www.talgov.com/planning/zoning/historic.cfm)

When that same contractor, Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation, gets a second representative on the committee, and one which is a former Chairman of the Board of the contractor and is still serving as a board member, then we know the soup is contaminated and likely poisoned.  This Board member of TTHP is on the committee as a member of "Myers Park HOA".  Somehow her overriding role as a contractor just sort of didn't get mentioned.  This member,  Valerie Jean Conner, is also playing another "undercover" role in our City's crooked Historic Preservation Process:  
http://www.historiclafayettepark.com/archive-aug-6-09.html
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Following is an anecdote I had the pleasure of hearing twice. ..
Mark D.
CONTINUED DOMINATION OF TLCPD BY CITY ATTORNEY OFFICE

There was a recent round of meetings held this Winter and Spring of 2011, with a citizen's workgroup, to discuss various alternate terms and conditions of a potential new code for designating neighborhood historic districts.  Mr. Tedder was the "official leader"--chairman and moderator, of the group.  He had staff support, which included Ms. Hudson.  During one meeting, one of the citizen-members of the group asked Mr. Tedder what his thoughts were as a Planning Director in regard to implementation of a complex topic.  Before Mr. Tedder could reply, the true puppet-master of this workgroup spoke up sharply, "Mr. Tedder has no opinions on this matter." 

Thus, Ms. Hudson made sure no one would ever doubt who was running those meetings again; and, Mr. Tedder never offered another opinion.