Last month I was invited to participate in a Window Advisory Committee set up by the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission. This may sound a bit esoteric to many of you, but some important issues were discussed that pertain to our historic neighborhoods.

Here’s some background. We have 35 designated historic residential neighborhoods in the City of Phoenix. You can find out where they are here. These neighborhoods fall under Historic Preservation Overlay Zoning meaning that they are subject to Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.

So if you live in one of those neighborhoods and you want to make a change to the exterior of your house, you need to pass it by the Historic Preservation Office to get either a Certificate of No Effect or a Certificate of Appropriateness.

This may sound like a huge bother to some people, but this provision of getting the Historic Preservation Office’s permission to remodel the exterior of your house house ensures that the historic integrity and character of that neighborhood is maintained.  And yes, this effects home values too, in that if the historic integrity and character of the neighborhood is preserved, the higher the home values.

Here’s another piece of background that will come in handy in this story.  Recently, with the big emphasis on energy efficiency and actual financial incentives that are available for making your home more energy efficient, there is a wave of people who are interested in replacing their windows with more energy efficient ones.

The problem is that the payback for replacing your windows is over 20 years.  It’s way too expensive and there are lots of other things you can do to make your house energy efficient before replacing your windows.

Currently, you need to get a permit to replace your windows.  Even if that is the only thing you’re doing, you need to get a permit.

But because of staff cuts, the City is having a hard time enforcing the “get a permit for your window replacement” rule.  So the City Council, led by Councilman Tom Simplot, proposed to do away with this rule “when the window opening is not enlarged or lessened, windows are not being closed off or new openings cut, or the replacements are the same time as the existing window” according to a report by Historic Preservation Officer Barbara Stocklin.

Well, that sounds all well and good, except when it comes to historic properties in historic neighborhoods.  Windows, you see, are an extremely important part of the historic character of a house.

So if the City does away with the requirement to get a permit for window replacements across the board, it means that the Historic Preservation Office would no longer have any say whatsoever in what kind of windows people put in their historic homes.  And this would be bad bad news for historic neighborhoods, whose integrity and character would slowly degrade as people replace windows willy nilly.

This is why this advisory committee was formed, to address the question of the replacements of windows in historic homes.

The advisory committee unanimously agreed that historic homes SHOULD be required to get a permit to replace their windows and should be required to get a Certificate of No Effect or a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Office.

So we adopted this recommendation by the Historic Preservation Office staff:

“The city continues to issue building permits for window replacements including “window replacement only” projects, for HP designated properties only.”

But another issue came to light at our advisory committee meetings and that is that it is absolutely free to get a Certificate of No Effect or a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Office.  For most other approvals from the City it costs anywhere from $75 – $1080 or more.

The Historic Preservation Office is currently solely funded through the General Fund.  But the staff proposed setting up a fee structure for their design review process, similar to other City departments, if only to fund the enforcement that they do already in historic districts.

The proposed fee is $350 for Certificates of Appropriateness and no fee for Certificates of No Effect.  The difference lies in that Certificates of Appropriateness require a public hearing and a lot more time and effort from Historic Preservation staff and Certificates of No Effect are issued on easy cases where people follow the Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.

The advisory committee has recommended that the City Council vote that the City continue issuing permits for window replacements for designated historic districts and also to implement the proposed fee for Certificates of Appropriateness.

Finally, if you live in a historic district and are interested in doing something with your windows and are wondering what in the world the Historic Preservation Office would approve, you’re in luck! The staff drafted an interim Guide to Window Repair and Replacement for Historic Properties and it is very simple and easy to read and understand.  The advisory committee has voted to recommend its adoption, with a few minor improvements, by the City Council as well.

If you agree with the recommendations of the Window Advisory Committee that I’ve listed here and you live in a historic district, PLEASE contact your council person and tell them so!  We need all the support we can get to make sure the Council adopts the recommendation of the required permit and fee for designated historic districts in their meeting on June 6.  Permits and fees are never popular, but I hope you understand why they are important in this case.

If you live in District 7, contact Councilman Michael Nowakowski at 602-262-7492 or council.district.7@phoenix.gov

If you live in District 8, contact Councilman Michael Johnson at 602-262-7493 or council.district.8@phoenix.gov

If you live in District 4, contact Councilman Tom Simplot at (602) 262-7447 or council.district.4@phoenix.gov

If you’re not sure what district you live in, take a look at this map.

And if you have any questions, opinions or concerns, please chime in on the comment section!

Photo Credit: The excellent original windows of the Sandra Day O’Connor house, which has been preserved and moved to Tempe’s Historic Society Museum. Read more about the architect of this house, DK Taylor, here.  Photo by the author.

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30 Responses

  1. Sorry, but I could not be more opposed. Does replacing a broken window require a permit as well, or is it preferable to have it open to the elements (or even better, non-period-authentic plywood?) until some City staffer decides the replacement is ‘acceptable’? This just seems like a way for people who are of a mind to do so to control the lives of others (see also: HOA) in locations where this wasn’t already forced into the CCRs. And if this ridiculous bureaucratic intrusion is still in place when my neighborhood is up for ‘historic’ designation, then I’ll be the first to be fighting against it.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Hi Richard, no, you wouldn’t need a permit to just replace a broken window, if you did it with the same kind of glass that was already there. Living in a designated historic neighborhood comes with privileges (i.e. a 40% reduction in your property taxes) and responsibilities (complying with the Historic Preservation design guidelines). If you don’t want to maintain the historic integrity of your house, then you shouldn’t live in a designated historic district. And unfortunately, you won’t have much to worry about, chances are, with our State property laws as they are, we will not be designating any new historic neighborhoods any time soon.

  2. John says:

    “Living in a designated historic neighborhood comes with privileges (i.e. a 40% reduction in your property taxes) and responsibilities (complying with the Historic Preservation design guidelines). If you don’t want to maintain the historic integrity of your house, then you shouldn’t live in a designated historic district”

    Thats a rather asinine statement. There are plenty of people who live in historic districts who lived there before they were designated “historic”. Since when do you have the right to tell me what I can do with my windows? Do you pay my mortgage, my taxes, my upkeep? Are you going to pay for the “proper replacements” instead of what I want to replace them with for energy efficiency?
    Its this type of control that is just another example of people trying to control my property. Its my property, as long as I keep it up and not an eyesore to the community, BUG OFF!!

    • Taz Loomans says:

      John, there are actually some funds available to help people with proper replacements of windows. And I suppose the mentaility of “it’s my property and I can do what I want with it” is exactly what detracts for neighborhood cohesiveness and a sense of community. Yes it’s your property, but when you live in a designated historic district, there are some guidelines to follow to keep the historic integrity of the neighborhood. It’s not about taking your rights away, it’s about having people work together to create and maintain something special on a level that bigger than themselves.

  3. matt says:

    The tax reduction is not automatic. If you do not have the tax privilege, either by choice or because you haven’t gone through the red tape and hassle of getting the reduction, would you still argue the same way? In that instance, you aren’t getting any of the privileges of historic for the costs of limited use. What about homes, such as mine, that are located within a historic district but aren’t deemed to be “historic contributors” to the neighborhood? Should my use be limited simply because my house is located in a neighborhood of older homes?

    Regardless of what they do, the Historic Preservation Office needs to come to a consensus on these types of things and to which modifications the rules apply. Depending on who answers the phone or email that day, you may or may not need any permission to replace an exterior door. Some days it applies to door changes and some days the rules only apply to modifications to the structure. The guidelines are not exactly a model of clarity either. I haven’t asked about windows yet, but I’d imagine the responses would be similarly equivocal.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Matt, their new Guide to Window Repair and Replacement lays out clearly what rules apply. The HPO is aware of the perception that they are inconsistent and unclear in their provisions, and they are trying hard to be more transparent and do outreach so that people understand exactly what’s required and acceptable.

  4. matt says:

    Way to dodge my questions. 🙂

    I’m glad that they are looking for transparency and consistency. I appreciate what HPO does and that owners of historic properties are stewards of something special and unique in Phoenix. But if my neighborhood is designated historic because the vast majority of the homes are period revivals built from 1915-1930, why should my transitional ranch that was obviously built post-WWII be subject to the same red tape? The only historic thing about my house are the houses surrounding it. When my neighborhood applied for historic designation, my home was expressly identified as a non-contributor. So why should HPO tell me what to do to maintain historic integrity? If I am a non-contributor, how am I helping maintain the integrity of our neighborhood?

    If somebody takes advantage of the tax reduction, then I see why they should have to abide by the historic preservation rules. That’s a straightforward quid pro quo. But if a homeowner doesn’t get the benefits of historic designation, is it really fair to impose strict use limitations on their property?

    I personally tried to get HPO to approve an exterior door based on my reading of one of their online rule books, but they were exceedingly difficult to work with, were inconsistent, and basically refused to help me. The inconsistency of the employees was more of a problem than the written rules being unclear (although I am a lawyer so I excel at reading poorly drafted rules). One person says doors need approval. One says doors need no approval. Nobody returns phone calls. So I put in the door without any permits or official approvals. I got one person at HPO to confirm in an email that I didn’t need permission to replace a door so I’m safe from any future enforcement action.

    I didn’t have time to go round and round with them. My original wood door was badly warped. An elderly woman could have kicked it in it was in such bad shape. There were inch-wide gaps all around the thing. It was a safety issue and an energy use issue, which in my opinion, trumps historic preservation.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Matt, I’ll try to get clarification on your question about what rules apply to non-contributing houses in designated districts. I’ll also try to get some answers for you on your poor experience with the HPO regarding your door.

  5. John says:

    “I suppose the mentaility of “it’s my property and I can do what I want with it” is exactly what detracts for neighborhood cohesiveness and a sense of community. Yes it’s your property, but when you live in a designated historic district, there are some guidelines to follow to keep the historic integrity of the neighborhood. It’s not about taking your rights away, it’s about having people work together to create and maintain something special on a level that bigger than themselves.”

    Like I stated before, I didn’t choose to live in a “designated historic district” It chose me. I am so tired about hearing about “neighborhood cohesiveness and a sense of community”. What does my purchasing Home Depot’s lower priced vinyl windows or having to purchase special higher end wood framed windows from a contractor have to do with neighborhood cohesiveness? Not a damn thing.

    My yards are the nicest and most upkept yards in the neighborhood, my home is extremely well kept. Why do you assume that I do not have the funds to replace my windows? It is exactly this type of exclusionist thinking that mandates what you think you can “FORCE” me to do as a home owner.

    And by the way, when my neighborhood became a “historic district” NO ONE ever asked my input into what “guidelines” there were “to follow to keep the historic integrity of the neighborhood.”

    What exactly are your qualifications to make this decision? Are you an “Educated Historian” with an MBA in architecture or other like experience? Or are you another person who has deemed themselves a historian and knows whats best for the rest of us? Be honest with yourself and the rest of us.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Wow John, I admit that I am taken aback by your tone. I am a licensed architect with a Masters in Architecture and ten years of experience practicing architecture, but I’m not the person who is telling you what to do. The Historic Preservation Officers at the City of Phoenix who came up with the guidelines I am sure have the qualifications that you are looking for. But I do know this much: if you replace steel casement windows with vinyl ones, it detracts from your home’s historic integrity, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. And the more individual homes degrade their original character, then the more the entire neighborhood suffers.

  6. matt says:

    Thanks. I hope you can get further than I did.

    It really is a shame to watch houses in my neighborhood get “renovated” and the unique architectural elements ruined. Personally, I have more problem with what occurs on the inside of homes, but that is outside the purview of HPO. I do feel for those who didn’t choose historic though. One of my neighbors has been in his house since about 5 years after it was built in the early 30’s. He bought a “new” house and is subject to these rules.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Matt, at least your friend has the benefit of increased and steadier home values because he’s in a historic neighborhood. But I do understand that it can feel onerous to comply with HP design review when you never signed up for being in an HP designated area. Overall though, I think it’s important to have HP designated areas otherwise we would lose a lot of the remaining historic character in Phoenix, a city which has lost so much history already.

  7. Donna says:

    I constantly find it interesting that people are so opposed to rules & regulations when it means they cannot do whatever they want to do and seem to take it personally. It appears to me to be something my children & I both suggested to me/my parents…but everyone else is doing it or going there. Now you must admit that was not true, nor is it a viable form of argument. We have rules & regulations to help provide order.

    So while you may not agree with this suggestion of still requiring permits for windows in historic districts/homes, have you considered that some of us do agree with the proposal? Every time I see a poor replacement of windows it saddens me. They are obvious and cheap looking in comparison to the originals in my estimation. A historic district is required to have at least 70% of the structures be contributors. Every time improper exterior modifications are done to an existing contributor, that number decreases. And over time, a district could lose its status. Do you think that is good/right? Do you want to be a contributor to the demise of a historic district just because?

    As for my credentials, I own a contributing property in a historic neighborhood, I have a MA in historic preservation, and work in an over 100 year old building that has original double hung windows that work.

    I am ever mindful that anything that might need to be done to this building must take into consideration the Secretary of Interior’s guidelines as well as the City of Phoenix HP department’s guidelines. As with my home & my place of employment, I am the caretaker entrusted to preserve and protect its heritage which is most apparent through its “eyes” on the hood — its windows!

  8. Donna says:


    I meant to tell you that I thought you provided an excellent summary of the process & the reasoning behind the window permit proposal. Having attended one of the meetings (not sure if Matt, John, or Richard did), I know how difficult this decision was.

  9. Bob Graham says:

    Wow, Taz, it sounds like you have now chosen sides in the “preservation” versus “modernization” camp in your adaptive use debate! And some are none too happy!

    Right on the mark Donna, we all need to realize that our private-property actions have an effect on the community.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Hi Bob, I think in this specific case, in residential historic neighborhoods, it makes sense to adhere to a set of guidelines to preserve the quality of that neighborhood to prevent things like vinyl windows as cheap replacements of original wood or steel windows. I think there is still room for contemporary innovative design within the guidelines as well, for additions in the back and such.

  10. John says:

    “Wow John, I admit that I am taken aback by your tone.”

    Really? Every reply of yours to my posts have insinuated I could not afford replacement windows and that my property is an eyesore.

    “But I do know this much: if you replace steel casement windows with vinyl ones, it detracts from your home’s historic integrity, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.”

    Once again an insult as to my intelligence.
    As a matter of fact, I hold a Phd from MIT in jet propulsion and an MA in environmental sciences.

    I happen to know for a fact given the epa rating of the new vinyl windows with argon gas can reduce home electric cost, thus lowering our use of electricity and helping the environment. The original steel casement, single pain windows are tremendous utility wasters and are not very green. I chose the right to replace my windows with new improved technology that will help my costs, the environment and our dependence on polluting fuels.

    So for all the poor, “its impacts my historic home” people, GROW UP! Your energy wasting effects my planet, a much more important “neighborhood” than the “historic” neighborhood you live in.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      John, it is true that at the end of the day, single pane historic windows are not energy-efficient. But it is also true that replacing windows has such a slow rate of return, i.e. the amount of energy you save is quite small compared to the initial costs of replacing the windows. Doing other things like adding exterior shading in the form of trees and reducing the amount of gravel in your yard and adding more ground cover can yield virtually the same results as replacing your windows. If you take a look at some of the other posts on this blog, I and others have written extensively on how to reduce energy consumption in your home. Energy efficiency was something that was at the forefront of our discussions at the Window Advisory Committee and we determined that are several ways to do a historically-appropriate window replacement AND increase your energy efficiency. It doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario. But historically-appropriate and energy efficient window replacements are more expensive. This is not to imply that you can’t afford it, but I know I couldn’t afford it. In the 1960s duplex that my husband and I renovated we consciously chose NOT to replace the single pane windows knowing that we could spend that money a ton of other ways to save energy.

  11. Donna says:


    Despite your tone, remember, anger or outrage is not a method to use to prove a point. We are suppose to be a civilized people but I’m slowly beginning to wonder. I prefer debate. This provides the opportunity to discuss & air opinions. Yes, each side is trying to persuade the listener, but we should include good solid facts. We should not be YELLING…I’m right, you’re wrong! Taz has offered her opinions and the rationale for a decision & proposal.

    I have historic windows. I maintain my historic windows. I do not believe that they or me are energy wasting by keeping them. Why? Because for over 40 years I have practiced conservation in order to lower my carbon footprint (ok…we didn’t call it that in the 70s). I recycle, I seldom buy new, I use public transportation or walk, I keep my thermostat in the summer at 84 & in the winter at 68. I planted lots of trees to shade my house. I buy locally & grow much of my own food. In other words I compensate. Do you? I hope you don’t think my questioning is attacking you personally. Rather I hope that you agree that we can have differing opinions, yet still have an intellectual discussion. And the key is discussion. Yes, you can offer personal examples, but as I mentioned previously, not everyone agrees with your stance. I acknowledge that & I accept that. Can you accept my position whether you agree or not? I think that that is what Taz intends.

    By the way, when I lived in another state in the early 80s, the power company had a campaign to reduce energy use. How? By insulating the roof, the floor, and providing sunscreens for the windows. Never was the replacement of windows suggested since studies showed then, as now, most of the heat transfer is through the roof & floor.

    And don’t forget, replacement of something that exists also means that something will be thrown away or discarded. Does that not generally contribute negatively to the health of the earth by increasing our landfills?

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Donna, thank you for pointing out that historic preservation proponents can very easily be energy-efficiency and environmental responsibility proponents as well. And thank you for encouraging public debate on this matter and trying to get beyond anger so we can all move forward.

  12. matt says:

    I don’t have a problem with the guidelines. But nobody has addressed my concern based on my experiences. If my doors and windows are a safety hazard, why should I have to sit and wait for weeks for HPO approval that may not ever come because they are, as you pointed out, understaffed?

    And if I am a non-contributing property, what does it really matter? My house isn’t the reason why the neighborhood is even historic in the first place.

    As for energy use, my electric bills went down approximately $35 a month after changing my doors, which was close to a 25% reduction. I agree that maintaining historic features is more environmentally friendly in some ways just to keep things out of landfills, but if my features have outlived their useful life and must be replaced, why do I have to wait for weeks to get HPO to act? Why do I have to wait for weeks to get them to even decide what their own rules govern? Waiting to change something structural for aesthetic purposes can admittedly wait. But points of ingress into my home cannot wait unless I want to be the victim of the property crime that is fairly common in my historic neighborhood. There is no consideration in the rules for issues of health and safety.

    Personally, I believe there should be something in the rules that forces HPO to act. For instance, if I make a request and they do not respond within a set amount of time, then I can move forward without approval. There should be incentive for HPO to do their job quickly before punishing me. And when the request deals with a potential safety issue, then HPO’s fuse to act should be very short.

    As for affecting neighboring properties, letting dilapidated features sit while you wait for HPO to respond negatively affects property values, just as removing historic features does.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      Matt here is a response to your questions from HPO officer Barbara Stocklin:

      Regarding your non-contributing property:
      “You bring up a good point. A house that post-dates the period of significance for the historic district and is a non-contributor to the historic district should have more leniency in terms of window replacements, and we are working to clarify this in the window guidelines. For example, a 1970s infill house in the Roosevelt Historic District is and will likely always be a non-contributor to that historic district so a window replacement for that property should have more leniency in terms of alterations such as window replacements. However, keep in mind that when most historic districts were designated 15 years ago or more, the period of significance for these historic districts were somewhat arbitrarily cut off in the 1930s even though the original build-out of these neighborhood were typically in the post World War II era. In these cases, the period of significance for the historic districts needs to be extended out to reflect the original build-out of the neighborhoods (typically late 1950s or early 1960s), and most of the ranch houses can then be re-classified as contributors to these historic districts. We are currently working on updating the period of significance for the older historic district designations in coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office (which will also make some of the ranch houses in historic districts currently classified as non-contributors reclassified as contributors and potentially eligible for historic property tax reclassification as well). In those cases where houses are currently classified as non-contributors BUT are potential contributors (either because they will become contributors when the period of significance is extended OR they are non-contributors due to unsympathetic alterations which could potentially be reversed), they would be subject to the same review as contributing historic properties.”

      Regarding historic homeowners that don’t take advantage of property tax reductions:
      “All owners in historic districts should be subject to the same design review standards since there is a collective benefit from living in a historic district. Generally-speaking homes in historic districts appreciate and have higher values than homes elsewhere in the city – and this is due to the unique character and quality of well-maintained and well-preserved historic homes. If the appearance or quality of construction in historic districts erode, even if it is house by house, eventually so do the historic character and property values for the entire district and for everyone living there. Also keep in mind, that if one homeowner makes insensitive changes – such as replacement of wood double-hung windows with vinyl sliders – the house then becomes a non-contributor to the historic district which is difficult to reverse later (for a subsequent owner who maybe wants the tax reduction). Again, this erodes the character of that district for adjacent homes and ultimately for the entire district. Also, it is important to note that if too many houses in a historic district become non-contributing properties to a historic district, at some point the entire historic district can lose its historic district status. Owners of historic houses need to view themselves as temporary stewards of a historic house that is there for the long-term, and part of a larger community investment in a historic neighborhood.”

      Regarding the fact that you didn’t hear back from the HPO on your door replacement:
      “We are working on updating all of our historic district design guidelines – not just for windows. The current guidelines are not specific enough on some issues – like windows and doors – and are outdated. Once a comprehensive update of the design guidelines is complete, there should be more specific information out there in terms of what needs and does not need approval for all work items and improvements a property owner would consider. For the record, door replacements DO need historic preservation approval. Our office policy is to return all phone calls and emails within 24 hours. If you have not received a response within that time frame, please call or email me personally at (602) 262-7468 or barbara.stocklin@phoenix.gov. I sympathize with emergency situations (like a door kicked in by a robber), but we do have a walk-up counter that is open daily from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. A door replacement can be reviewed and approved same day over-the-counter. Also, most deteriorated conditions – such as a rotted door or window – do not occur overnight and are not unusual for historic districts. The bottom line is that change out of a door or window still requires design review and approval. Keep in mind it is our goal is to help your historic building retain its historic character and value, and that the design review process is intended to provide historic homeowners with technical advice and guidance to help you do just that – it is an added benefit and service available to a historic property owner even if it does place some additional burden on the property owner.”

  13. matt says:

    Taz-thank you for the information. I really appreciate it.

    As for non-contributors, even if my house is old enough to be considered historic in another district, it is still not period for my neighborhood. My neighborhood is historic because of the period revival houses. If my house were in the North Central area, then fine, it is consistent with the period of significance for the neighborhood as a ranch home. But if my neighborhood is special because of the Tudor Revival homes, again, why does my ranch home matter?

    Too bad for Barbara that I was told via email that no approval was necessary and my door has been replaced already. I realize that rotted doors do not happen overnight, but when the deterioration occurred while the house sat vacant for several years, I had to do something. My neighbors are all happy that somebody is even in the house and making improvements even if I did not have the approval that I was told before I didn’t need (and now apparently do need).

  14. John says:


    That’s exactly my point. I had an estimate from an “approved”contractor to replace my windows with a vinyl/wood framed replacement. Total cost= $32,500. The same look windows through Home Depot, Pella vinyl/wood combo = $7,250. Both look almost identical. Yet, should I choose not to go with the approved vendor, then all matters of hell reignth down on me.


    I don’t think its as much a matter of of anger at the situation as it is at the way Taz approached her answers. These were not nice debating answers, but filled with scorn. “there are actually some funds available to help people with proper replacements of windows. And I suppose the mentality of “it’s my property and I can do what I want with it” is exactly what detracts for neighborhood cohesiveness and a sense of community. ” and “on a level that bigger than themselves.” and “t doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. ” It is precisely comments like these that can inflame issues.

    As to my carbon footprint, I bicycle 12 miles to work everyday, even in 112 degree heat. When I am forced to drive, I drive a Prius. I have solar hot water and have insulated floors, roof and walls. I have installed in floor radiant heating for winters and use a swamp cooler for summers. I leveled the swimming pool that was in my yard when I moved in and planted 12 shade trees as well as grass. I have sealed every opening in my home that allows energy to escape and install all CFL lighting. I recycle EVERYTHING!

    I will recycle my old, energy wasting windows in a green house I plan to build, so that I can grow my own organic wheat germ and vegetables. I compost my clippings. I only buy products in cardboard containers that are compostable.

    This is what I do to help our planet. That’s what “environmental science” (my MA degree) is all about.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      John, I apologize for some of my admittedly snarky remarks at your comments. In my defense, I felt a little bit attacked by your comments. But that does not excuse my inflaming the situation further. I applaud your excellent efforts to help our planet. We could learn a lot from you. I’m glad some of these issues have been brought to light to show where HP could better meet energy efficiency goals.

  15. Realize that I don’t necessarily agree with Taz on this issue or some of the nit-pickies of HP; but John, you’re not the only one here that can flash a Brass Rat, so from one Beaver to another: you sound like a douche.

  16. […] of the building permits that Planning and Development is eliminating are permits for water heaters, window replacements in neighborhoods that are not designated historic, and landscape irrigation installation. The idea […]

  17. Resident says:

    I know I’m years late to this party, but in my neighborhood, the windows aren’t the deterioration of the neighborhood, but the new houses built on previously demolished houses are the problem. The historic committee has ignored empty land, so people are putting houses that look so out of place. I will take a vinyl window over a McMansion all day, every day.

  18. Window Man says:

    I am half and half with this permit situation. I offer replacement windows in Norfolk, VA and I do agree that people should be allowed to make their own choices about when and how to replace ones windows; however, people often make disastrous decisions along the lines of throwing away the old and making things new. Historic homes should not use vinyl windows,

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