Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quick Updates

Andus and I met with the City of Berkeley's planning office, and talked to them about the plans for the Delaney House and the Cheney Cottage.

Far from being difficult to work with, I've found the Planning Department to be relatively easy and clear. They have pretty clear requirements for what they want done, and they are pretty easy to talk to. We showed them the plans, discussed the houses, and explained how we were taking one blighted house, and one endangered historic house, and how we need to expedite the process to make it all happen in time.

Aaron, the City Planner we spoke with, is a good guy, and he tried to think of ways to make the process faster, and to figure out when we have to go before the Zoning Adjustments Board for our public hearing. It looks like it can all happen on time, assuming that we get the materials in to the Planning Department in a timely manner.

Tomorrow, Andus and I are meeting at the Ed Roberts Campus to go over the final changes, so Andus can submit the plans on Monday. The timeline seems tight but possible.

Tonight, Tom is on his way home from Raleigh, where he went for a conference about residential energy efficiency. I've had a couple days of an empty house (just me and the dogs) and no time at the Delaney House. It's been a nice break, but I'm itching to get back to 62nd Street and keep the work moving along. WE bought a hot water heater for the house - it was a kind of difficult purchase, because our long term plan is to put in radiators and use a tankless heater for both domestic hot water and for heat - so the hot water heater will be removed witin a couple months. But we need hot water, so we have a water heater to install.

The last piece of news: we got the keys to the Cheney Cottage. Andus has measured it and is going to make some recommendations on ways we might want to remodel it, but our current plan is to do very little to it. We plan to turn the two half baths upstairs back into one full bathroom (we think the people who live there will appreciate having a bathtub), and we plan to remove the wall between the front hall and the stairs that was added in the 60s (the original half wall is still there, with the top piece sticking out of the new wall - very bizarre). But we hope to keep the house mostly original, just with updated systems (and an updated location).

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