In 1973, we bought a 60-year-old termite-ridden house in old Salisbury. After re-siding and redoing much of the house, we received a certificate in 1977 from the “residents of Olde Salisbury” who appreciated our making Salisbury a more beautiful place to live.
Nineteen years later, we were annexed into West Square Historic District. Strangely, neither the house on the other side of our driveway nor the apartment building facing our driveway exit was included. We did not realize that we would be subject to sinister “drive-by inspections” until we received a supercilious letter telling us so from the Development Services Specialist.
Our terrible offense? We had our pecan tree cut down and hauled away (“rotten to the core”) without an approved certificate/permission slip. Her long diatribe ends with the request, “after the fact,” that we “simply plant a comparable tree as per guidelines.”
As taxpayers, were we asked for permission for the Fisher Street fiasco? For the meandering median on Statesville Boulevard? For gas money for “drive-by inspections”? Isn’t the truest meaning of develop “to advance,” and isn’t the best advancement quality of life?
With the immense problems we all face relating to a changing climate and economic meltdown, we must work to develop self-sustaining communities, i.e. solar energy for these drafty old houses, accessible neighborhood gardens and maybe laying chickens in our yards. And those of you who have the honor of titles:
Please take a course in public relations so that you might speak to your employers (taxpayers) in a more respectful manner. Also, save gas ó peep through our hedges to inspect us. Just watch out for the historic copperheads.
ó Claire Shepard
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