Monday, October 22, 2007

Parking Permit Program, meeting held

A meeting was held last Thursday to discuss the Council Draft version of the Joaquin Neighborhood's parking permit program. The meeting was held primarily for South Joaquin residents, who listened, provided feedback, and voted. The vote was 20 - 13 in favor of the permit program. Concerns were focused on visitor parking, and the implementation of the plan.

There were some points that I feel need further explanation. First of all, the basics of the permits. A permit entitles you to park in a particular subdistrict, and owner occupants can get 2 free, and purchase one other. The permits will be "hanging" meaning they can be transferred from car to car as needed. So, if you have a driveway that holds 2 cars, and you have 3 "cars" of visitors, you can use those permits for your visitors, and still be able to handle everyone. Permits for owner occupants are not car specific. They will be for tenants.

Another issue--businesses must be located without the technical boundaries of the neighborhood in order to be eligible for permits. So, Central Business District businesses won't be eligible. That includes all University Ave located businesses.

Things that I feel we need to change, or improve:

  • I feel the amount of free visitor "one day" spots available to each address needs to be increased. These will be a print-off the web sort of permit. The current plan gives 6 a year per address. That just isn't enough.

  • I will probably recommend that instead of having 3 subdistricts within South Joaquin, there would be just 1 overall district. This would make it easier for folks to visit friends, home /visit teach, etc.

  • I plan to recommend an "appeal" process which could enable residents with special circumstances to request additional permits, or perhaps more "visitor permits."
  • I plan to request a program which would allow local church buildings to request non-enforcement periods on streets immediately surrounding their buildings.

I am still hoping for input from each of you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joaquin park news!

I should be trumpeting this in the streets--the Council approved the purchase of the last remaining home/lot needed to finish up our new Park at the corner of 4th east and 4th north. The sales contract has been signed, the Council allocated the funds, and closing will come shortly. The house, which has been owned by the Oveson family, is the last link we needed. Our park will be nearly .90 acres, and the city could, if desired, expand that to the south, though I'm not going to hold my breath. The city will take possession November 15th, which gives the family time to empty out the home of any desired objects, etc. City staff is preparing requests for demolition bids, and that will likely occur this winter.

Definitely great news.

PS Don't forget the neighborhood meeting tonight at 7pm in the Farrer Library.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Historic Tax Credit can help you preserve your historic home

Something that has helped me a great deal in preserving and fixing up my home, which was built in 1919 is Utah's tax credit for historic preservation. In essence, it has helped me wipe out 2 years income taxes. It is worth your exploration, and use.

What is the Utah Historic Preservation Tax Credit? A 20 % nonrefundable tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic buildings which are used as owner-occupied residences or residential rentals. Twenty percent of all qualified rehabilitation costs may be deducted from taxes owed on your Utah income or corporate franchise tax.
Example: $22,000 in qualified rehabilitation cost = $4,400 state income tax credit.
Does My Building Qualify? Buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which, after rehabilitation, are used as a residence(s) qualify. The credit is not available for any property used for commercial purposes including hotels or bed-and-breakfasts. (If the historic B&B is also owner-occupied, this portion of the rehabilitation may qualify.) The building does not need to be listed in the National Register at the beginning of the project, but a complete National Register nomination must be submitted when the project is finished. The property must be listed in the National Register within three years of the approval of the completed project. Staff of the Historic Preservation Office can evaluate the eligibility of your building and provide instructions on nomination requirements. For more information about the National Register see
What Rehabilitation Work Qualifies? The work may include interior and/or exterior repair, rehabilitation orrestoration, including historic, decorative, and structural elements as wellas mechanical systems. All of the proposed, ongoing or completed work must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and be approved by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Depending on the historic conditions and the specifics of the proposed rehab work, some examples of eligible work items include:
-repairing/upgrading windows -plumbing repairs and fixtures -refinishing floors, handrails, etc. -repairing or replacing roofs -compatible new kitchens & baths -reversing incompatible remodels-painting walls, trim, etc. -repointing masonry -reconstructing historic porches -new furnace, A/C, boiler, etc. -new floor and wall coverings -electrical upgrades
Necessary architectural, engineering, and permit fees may also be included. The purchase price of the building, site work (landscaping, sidewalks, fences, driveways, etc.), new additions, work on outbuildings, and the purchase and installation of moveable furnishings or equipment (window coverings, refrigerators, etc.) do not qualify for the credit.
All of the work must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation (Great Illustrated Guide from the NPS) or the tax credit cannot be taken on any portion of the work. A complete application should be submitted to the SHPO as early as possible. The state law requires application and approval by the SHPO prior to completion of the project.
It is strongly recommended that the application be submitted before starting work. Any work begun without prior SHPO approval is done at the owner's own risk. Once work is underway, changes to bring the project into conformance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation can be difficult, expensive or occasionally impossible to make.
(The National Park Service has prepared an online course to help building owners identify the tangible elements or features that give historic buildings their unique visual character. Reading this will help you make design decisions regarding your historic house.)
Photographs showing all areas of work (interior and exterior) prior to the beginning of the rehabilitation and any construction drawings or other technical information necessary to completely understand the proposed project are also required as part of the application.How Much Money Must I Spend to Qualify? Total rehabilitation expenditures must exceed $10,000. (The tax credit applies equally to this first $10,000.) The purchase price of the building and any donated labor cannot be included. The project must be completed within 36 months. (There is no limit to subsequent $10,000+ projects; separate applications are required.) When Can I Claim the Credit? The credit may be taken for the tax year in which the project was completed and the SHPO approves the rehabilitation work (and a National Register nomination, if needed). A unique certification number will be issued to the owner at that time. Credit amounts greater than the amount of tax due in that year may be carried forward up to five years. Are There Any Restrictions Placed on My Building? All work done to the building during the rehabilitation project, and for three years following the certification of the project, must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Please consult with the State Historic Preservation Office if you have any questions. What if I Already Have Approval From my Local Landmarks Commission?The local review process will be helpful to tax credit application process but state law requires application to the State Historic Preservation Office. Local preservation commissions sometimes have different requirements and other considerations than the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. To qualify for the state tax credit, all of the work must meet the Standards and receive state approval. Application for the state tax credit must be made before the project is completed, preferably before work even begins (see above).
How do I Claim the Tax Credit? The original completed and signed form TC-40H, Historic Preservation Tax Credit, must be attached to your initial state income tax return. This form will be provided by the SHPO when the completed project is approved. If you carry forward an excess portion of this tax credit, you must attach a copy of the signed, original TC-40H form, with the new carry forward amount, to your subsequent tax return(s). Note that carry forward amounts must be applied against tax due before the application of any historic preservation tax credits earned in the current year and on a first-earned, first-used basis. Please consult with the State Tax Commission if you have any questions. Original records supporting the credit claimed must be maintained for three years following the date the return was filed claiming the credit.For More Information or an Application, Contact:
Nelson Knight at (801) 533-3562State Historic Preservation OfficeUtah Division of State History300 Rio GrandeSalt Lake City, Utah 84101fax: (801) 533-3503

Friday, October 5, 2007

Voting Record as it pertains to our neighborhood

During election seasons, I get asked quite a few questions by various people. One of the recent questions was regarding Steve Turley's voting record on the City Council as it pertains to our neighborhood, specifically. I did some research, and here are the results.

Purchase Rehabilitation projects turn eyesore & problem properties, and drug houses into comfortable homes that families can live in. Steve has voted against the following projects in our neighborhood:
· July 18th, 2006: 631, 637 & 659 East 350 North.
· March 1st, 2005: 746 East 200 North.
· Dec 20th, 2005: 541 East 300 North.
· May 4th, 2004: 386 North 400 East
· Nov 23rd, 2004: 258 East 300 North

Other issues:

July 2004: Voted against strengthening minimum parking requirements for rental dwellings.

October 2004: Abstained from voting on the update of Provo City School Board Districts to reapportion school district boundaries. (This change gave the downtown neighborhoods their own representative on the Provo School Board)

April 20th, 2004: Voted against purchasing 368 North 400 East, and 444 East 400 North for the purchase rehabilitation program or a future park for the Joaquin neighborhood.

April 5th, 2005: Voted against approving the Home Program, the American Dream Down-Payment Initiative, and the Community Development Block Grant Program for the 2005-2006 Fiscal Year. (Funds were included in this for improvements at Memorial Park and Sidewalk repair)

2005: Voted against changing the General Plan Designation on 200 North from Collector road to a neighborhood street.

April 18th, 2006: Voted against enacting temporary zoning regulations to limit lot coverage in one-family residential, and residential conservation zones. (Preventing more people from paving entire back yards for parking)

March 21st, 2006: Voted against a resolution approving the HOME program, the American Dream Down-payment Initiative, and the Community Development Block Grant Program for the 2006-2007 Fiscal Year. (Funds were included in this for purchasing land and developing our new park at 400 East and 400 North and for Sidewalk repair)

March 20, 2007: Abstained from voting on HOME program and American Dream Down-Payment initiative.

March 20, 2007: Voted for using money that had been previously allocated for Joaquin's new park to buy property located at 362-365 N 400 East, despite having voted against the initial allocation in 2006 which provided the park funds.

April 17, 2007: Voted against modifications to the HOME purchase plus, Home Improvement Loans, and down payment assistance programs to modify their terms. (Allowing the available funds to last longer)

*Information provided by Provo City Council Minutes/Records