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20200809 Simpson Residence Correspondance IN Cri7,5 fi r,,/,,---bFr-,-) JAN202021 111 July 1, 2019 B Dear Helen, I've been putting off writing this letter, because I had hoped we would be able to reach an agreement regarding the house at 65 Phila by now. However, I need to be realistic and move forward, if we aren't making further progress. I closed on my house here in Minneapolis today, and my plans to relocate back to Saratoga are fast approaching. I must be honest this is really disappointing for me, because I've developed quite an attachment to this property over the last year. A big mistake in real estate I'm sure, but it is what it is. The more I learned about the house, it's history, and the process it would take to bring it back to life,the more it felt like the right path for me. The house may be uninhabitable, with holes through the to the outside,floors collapsed to the earth, and rodent feces all over, but I can see what it once was and what it could be again. It just needs a LOT of work. As I learned more about the history of the house, I felt like I really did have a kindred connection to the original owner and builder of the house. I learned his name was Alexander Patterson, he was ar Irish immigrant, and a Civil War veteran who settled in Saratoga after the war. Our birthdays are even just a day apart. I can imagine building that house brought him a sense of pride, as well as a significant source of solace and refuge from the struggles that he continued to bear long after the struggles of war. I thought about this and knew I wanted to pursue every opportunity I could to get Mr. Patterson's house and return it to a stately home for friends and family to gather again. My friends in Saratoga Springs are like family to me and some of them have been there for me in those moments when I needed them most both while I was in the Navy and since I left active duty and have also sometimes struggled with those burdens that persisted since leaving active duty. I would love nothing more than having the opportunity to rebuild a piece of my second hometown's history, so that I can have a place for my family and friends to gather, like Mr. Patterson did before me. It would also be a way for me to give back to the city that took me in as one of its own,when I was stationed there on my own as a Navy recruiter and has welcomed me back year after year with open arms. As you can you can tell Helen, my emotional motivation was very high early on,which is why I waited nearly a year to take any action. I knew to do anything but, would be probably be foolish or lead to a poor decision. So, I put the idea on the back burner and waited several months before doing more research on the logistics,finances and ultimately if the property was still available. I put it all together, ran the numbers and was cautiously optimistic when it looked like my plan to restore the Patterson home might come to pass. I prepared to present my proposal to my family for some much-needed objective and likely critical feedback. As you've guessed, my family is of Irish Heritage (and a little Hungarian too), and not short on opinions nor sharing them openly. We're also quite close, and spend a lot of time together, whether breaking bread, helping each other with endless projects around our various houses or just playing outdoors. A decision to move back to New York is not one I made without significant thought and consideration, and one I certainly wouldn't do without my family's support. I don't mean to bore you with my family history, but I think it's important for you to know that as a single woman, I wouldn't be taking this project on alone. I am taking this on with my whole family, both my Brady/Fitzpatrick family in Minnesota, and my local family in Saratoga. That being said, my family did have a lot of questions and concerns. However, I answered most of them and we figured out the rest together. We're a great team and we've bought and sold five homes in the family in just the last few years and have corr.e together on some pretty extensive home improvement projects. Between my own skills as a homeowner, and support from my family and friends in the trades, I'm confident that Mr. Patterson's home will continue to be well cared for after any restoration is complete. I want you to be confident that any vision you've had for seeing this historic home brought back to life would be in good hands with me. But I'm getting ahead of myself again, because as I started out in this letter, I need to be honest and let you know that I need to move forward, if we're not able to make any further progress. I've started to look at other opportunities in Saratoga for restoration or renovation, but Mr. Patterson's house is still where my heart lies. I am hoping that this letter will provide you some insight on my perspective and if I'm lucky, maybe even persuade you to reconsider my offer. I believe that in its current condition and given the significant cost it will take to restore the property to an appropriate state, my last offer of $250,000 is reasonable for 65 Phila Street. Other homes in the area with similar square footage that are near your asking price are move-in ready and several even have garages adding additional vzlue in my opinion. For me to pay the same or even close to the same amount for the current state of 65 Phila doesn't make sense to me. Additionally, based on the current estimated value of a fairly well- appointed home with a bit more square footage on approximately the same size lot within a block from 65 Phila, it is very possible my home renovation mortgage would be upside down from the start if I paid more than $250,000 to purchase the home combined with the estimated restoration budget of zit least $250,000 plus contingencies. I am not a realtor and don't pretend to know the ins and outs of real estate, but I do know my budget, and the fact that my purchase price plus my cost of restoration can't exceed it. I appreciate you taking the time to read this letter and reconsider my offer. I hope to hear from you again. Either way, I wish you the best and hope that you will be able to lead that diamond out of the rough eventually. Sincerely, Colleen 02 To: Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission Chairperson Tamie Ehinger From: Sandra L. Chase, Registered Architect 258 Caroline Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Date: January 18, 2021 Subject: 69 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, New York, 12866 Two (2) Attempts to Purchase Property First Attempt to Purchase Property • October/November 2018 • Financing discussed with Sellers in a pre-offer conversation, at which time Seller was amenable to financing and seemed optimistic about the sale. • Submitted formal offer of$389,000 • Sellers rejected offer because they changed their minds and wanted an all-cash offer. Second Attempt to Purchase Property • June/July 2020 • My offer $319,000 Cash (full list price at the time) • Agreed between Seller and myself that offer was contingent upon me and my Engineer inspecting the property. Regarding inspection: o I had to re-schedule my Engineer three (3) times during this period. The morning of the first scheduled inspection, the Sellers said the engineer would not be permitted to inspect. o Next, the Sellers required: (1) Professional Engineer's license and resume, (2) multi-million-dollar insurances policies with Sellers indemnified, and (3) signed customized letter of indemnification before an inspection. I provided these to the Sellers before the scheduled inspection (within 18 hours of their requests) and subsequently they again denied the inspection. 1 o The Sellers then required a written statement that any 'product' (report or drawings) produced by my Engineer would become the property of the Sellers. After agreeing to their request, again, early in the morning of this inspection, they said they would deny access. It was the conclusion of myself and my attorney that the Sellers wanted the property sold 'sight unseen'. I was willing to purchase the property 'as-is', but not 'sight unseen'. • Additionally, the Sellers insisted that Helen Simpson should be the sole realtor — representing both Seller and Buyer. After this was put in the contract, I spoke with Helen about the inspection and complained that I didn't feel she was representing my interests; she said she was not my realtor! • Additionally, Seller showed me several times, on-location, the accessible parking behind the house by way of a shared driveway with 71 Phila Street. Off-street parking in this neighborhood is a significant asset. However, after my attorney conducted a deed search, it was revealed that there is no written easement agreement with 71 Phila Street. The attorney of the owner of 71 Phila said the driveway would not be accessible to 69 Phila Street owners. • I was willing to undertake this project despite the property no longer being eligible for the NYS tax credits as of April 1, 2020, which would have provided a tax credit for 20% of the rehabilitation costs, up to $50,000. Recently retired after a 41-year career as a professional architect, I looked forward to the prospect of successfully transforming this historic structure. 69 Phila Street was to be my private residence. As part of my due diligence, I spent nearly 100 hours: ✓ researching building stabilization techniques ✓ compiling drawings for the stabilization and renovations ✓ consulting with the Saratoga Spring Preservation Foundation where I was provided with valuable historic research, earlier engineers' reports/assessments, and state and federal tax credit information 2 ✓ discussing building stabilization with contractors and the technical staff of the Historic Albany Foundation (HAF) ✓ studying Saratoga Springs' design review (DRC) requirements ✓ meeting with City of Saratoga Springs Attorney's Office, and Planning and Building Department personnel ✓ starting the application for tax credits which begins with the NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) My schedule was to have the building stabilized before the winter of 2020-2021. The disappointing experiences with the Sellers left me with genuine sadness. Thank you. Cc: Amanda Tucker, City of Saratoga Springs Senior Planner 3 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org DRC Application Comment - 65 & 69 Phila Street From :Theresa Behrendt <tebehrendt@gmail.com> Tue, Jan 19, 2021 06:09 PM Subject : DRC Application Comment - 65 & 69 Phila Street To :jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it' s a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. Saratoga Springs,NY, Health, HISTORY,Horses . Allowing the destruction of historic buildings because of deliberate neglect is to endorse a practice of historic property purchasing, ignoring then capitalizing. I respectfully urge all steps available to be taken to prevent destruction of these two historic properties. Pledging to protect and preserve our community, Theresa Behrendt Sent from my iPhone .i. 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org Letter for the Design Review Commission 01/20/21 Meeting About 65 Phila St. and 69 Phila St. Properties From : Marketa Halova <marketa.halova@yahoo.com> Tue, Jan 19, 2021 08:05 PM Subject : Letter for the Design Review Commission 01/20/21 Meeting About 65 Phila St. and 69 Phila St. Properties To :jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> Cc : nbabie@saratogapreservation.org CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it's a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. To: Design Review Commission Date: January 19, 2021 Re: Opposition to Demolition Applications for 65 and 69 Phila St. Properties Dear Design Review Commission, Since the owners of the 65 Phila St. and 69 Phila St. properties purchased them years ago, they have neglected these vacant properties. The owners have not rebuilt these properties and they have not sold them to buyers who would have rebuilt them. The properties do not meet the Historic Review Ordinance's criteria for demolition. I oppose the demolition of these properties. Sincerely, Marketa Wolfe 37 Park Place Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org Fwd: 65 and 69 Phila St. Proposed demolition From : Lisa Shields <lisa.shields@saratoga-springs.org> Tue, Jan 19, 2021 11:50 AM Subject : Fwd: 65 and 69 Phila St. Proposed demolition To :Jennifer Merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> Lisa Shields Deputy Mayor 518.587.3550 x2514 474 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 From: "Beth Bronwyn" <bksbronwyn@gmail.com> To: "public comment" <public.comment@saratoga-springs.org> Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 2:49:55 AM Subject: 65 and 69 Phila St. Proposed demolition CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it's a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. My family has lived in Saratoga for over 100 years. I have scrapbooks of photos compiled by my grandmother and aunts that show how beautiful Saratoga once was (without trying so hard). Watching historic homes disappear as more and more flavorless boxes are erected in their place and green spaces being replaced by even more bland boxes is heartbreaking. Saratoga has been defined and made worthy of the tourism it attracts not just through the entertainment it provides, but for the atmosphere. If we continue to destroy that, we'll destroy what makes Saratoga special. Please don't allow 65 and 69 Phila to go the way of so many other old homes. Helen Case's greed-driven willful negligence has cost the neighborhood and Saratoga enough. No more taxpayer money should be spent to entertain this issue. Thank you for hearing me, Beth Confidentiality/Privilege Notice: This e-mail communication and any files transmitted with it contain privileged and confidential information from the City of Saratoga Springs and are intended solely for the use of the individual(s) or entity to which it has been addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or taking any other action with respect to the contents of this message is strictly 1/20/2021 Zimbra prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please delete it and notify the sender by return e-mail. Thank you for your cooperation. To: Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission From: Pam Funiciello resident of 116 Circular Street and owner/manager of 61 Phila Street Date: January 19, 2021 for Wednesday, January 20 Design Review Commission Meeting Re: Design Review applications#20200809 and 20200852 - demolition of 65 and 69 Phila St On behalf of myself and the other owners of 61 Phila Street, I again voice opposition to Helen Simpson's application for demolition of 65 and 69 Phila Street. If you haven't already, please read my December 8, 2020 letter to the DRC and the minutes of the April 5, 2001 DRC and October 27, 2004 Zoning Board meetings that were attached to my December 8th email. With other City minutes and records, they document the Simpson's disregard for the input and oversite of City officials as you work to uphold the laws, codes, regulations and practices intended to preserve our community as a place of historic beauty and heritage. This letter includes a pictoral history of the Simpson's neglect. There is no evidence that the Simpsons ever wanted to preserve the structural integrity, let along archetechtural and historical integrity, of the properties. Please look at these photos and see if you don't agree. The date on each numbered photo is the date on which it was taken. #1 October 25, 2014 #2 October 25, 2014 #3 December 7, 2020 _ W ., ^+� • i �, g^�1 i to L---- 4r __''. -- «k,,^ ice' r � „teno.,np+ rf ffi e.! ,e ms y.r .+ "'".7 'f ' 1 f ti ;Fi ,,1 ,,-,'Nr.,',44, 1::,-,::-.;.7..:-,,,,,,o;-41,„1.;-: , '-,,,' -:.4.:,„c,,,,,,y. : :;-, 74.,,..I.Ltiop4 - L a- ,:‘-;,)'.,' ',1!;;I.':;i:..,..:3?-);\:-:. ;-.1T-...4`,. , t . • J.r �"i ' e " „"7,'.,„,,, Pf } 7'i ++ r ++:.. ' }' 'i i. }`1r arvr N � � eat , }Nry M r " t 12 4. L •'«t... a - ... 7.17 , .r,.. v,o ..t. ' A•44...4.,. "''' 4 "'_ " a+I ,;.!.°: 4"„ ,-,-*--C, __,. ,,. 'e� , ,9r i" Photos#1 & 2 (above) J Back (NW) corner of 65 Phila These photos were taken when I called Helen Simpson to tell her that the back of 65 Phila had collapsed. Eventually, the opening was covered with chipboard. Chipboard is one of the cheapest plywood-type materials available and not intended to withstand outdoor exposure. Nonetheless, the Simpsons have consistently used it on both 65 and 69 for structural repair and maintenance including exterior walls and skirting. Photo#3 (above) Back (northern side) of 65 Phila The current condition of the repaired back section is difficult to see through the vines tangled in the wire fencing, but it's the unpainted gray chipboard to the left of the painted chipboard wall of the main building. #4 December 7, 2020 Photo#4: (on left) Back (northern side) of 69 Phila This photo is provided to give you a clearer image of the photo the Simpsons submitted with their application, which they notated: "Photograph (8): Unstable portion of brick wall at rear of building". Note that the "unstable portion of brick" is surrounded by i chipboard that is warping and peeling. Painted brick s ,, .s—+�M,_ ,,.,�•-. #LLQ �,,, Painted chipboard #5 December 7, 2020 4 ..�`';' / Photo#5: (on left) .,1j- f� Back (NE) corner of 69 Phila '1'1 `1F� i -`A'''''� a Note the extent to which chipboard was used for exterior walls r; � t �, :1 1pwhich I believe was installed by the Simpsons sometime after the .F" ,, , - ' April 5, 2001 DRC meeting when Helen applied for partial y"-;'" A/ " ] demolition of the back of 69. (Please refer to DRC minutes for the if Y /_.- �, 2001 DRC ruling on that request.) i' lit lTa 'i,, `ter , ;�, 's" , 3 ` ' �.+i r .. '1'4 t . ', ..',)1 m .\';' �1 ,\\ ' ;;,\,,`,,,,\:‘,,, ,\\i,,- 1 #6 September 27, 2016 y, \ \ ' 1 Photo#6 (on left) '''' ° 1r-1Materials at back of 65 Phila t y i s 7 `-1. -.' Case Simpson and an assistant began repairs in . , September 2016 in response to neighbors on Phila and ask:• 1 j „ Lafayette Streets making numerous complaints to the . �, 1 - I ill; ', 1�. A, City about sanitation issues stemming from the feral cats <_ '� k and pigeons living inside 65 and 69. (The accumulation ��� � ` ----I'M- L '" ��' a ' of dried pigeon excrement wafting from the properties .ate,. �� " , ' ;�°,'"`', was a health hazard and a complaint I heard from my . i���� �-" � '.,-.'"'lr v�, �eAi tenants.) On September 27, I spoke with Case about the '"' , a r! pigeonproblem. He told me he needed p g my permission to Alin r >illiawgntr put scaffolding up to access the hole in the cornice. I told him I'd be happy to grant him access, but just asked that he provide an insurance certificate. Photos# 7 & 8 (below) Materials at the back of 65 Phila Materials remain, untouched for 2 months. #7 October 13,, 2016 #8 November 7, 2016 ' ‘ . ;a; ./'"1:)* - wv\•_ \'' ' '' : " .4,. i I Ati e ,•,,,..,, fa - pi, 1a , ,J ,`�S 5 1 trlit �1 1 i .^ I Al •. T1LL— jl V Q�� �•IG -_� V, � ri f `! ,) i. � y ,1, , . l j.., 4,„, w '1 .. AI d 4 u ` I41'477 4'A Y imoolik , 5 fin.. 4 •. #9 October 13, 2016 --f +err.. ..-__- _'+ rr0. = Photo#9 (on left) ' Hole in cornice of 65 Phila Y_ ' This was one of the main entry points where pigeons - - - - y'-,-.= -- _ -'-- ' roosted. (Squirrels also got in here.) #10 November 27, 2016 Fr ' "Ar -; 1.-.' \ Photo#10 (on left) i \\ Ladder to pigeon roost (Taken by 61 Phila tenant) / / Apparently, the hole in the cornice was patched on November 27, i < � 2016. No insurance certificate was provided, but the hole was sealed . / up by the next day. ',��� , �/� i : Yup, that's a feral cat climbing the unattended ladder. Don't be fooled e xj % into thinking that the cats were sealed out of other entry points to the O .,,; /;�',% buildings. Maybe this cat just wanted a peek at the penthouse, since %/ ,, he usually resides in a garden apartment". (Sorry, but sometimes • ; � 4,4 ��)= ,,•- . . r''.r "you gotta laugh to keep from crying!") 1 , f 1 +1. :a,k4{�'7,;"...1,'-`‘'.3".4‘4,4,4,iet: #11 March 25, 2019 Photo#11 (on left) and Photo#12 (below) -,' = 1 Feral cat colony and other wildlife at 65 Phila 1 A feral cat population remains with easy access to basements. With Helen's permission, I set traps between November 2018 and March • 1\ I, 2019, in a "Trap, Neuter and Release" program to stop the growth of '"°V -- � '; _ - `" the colony. Homes were found for 4 kittens. 4 cats were trapped and 65 - 1 neutered at my expense. Helen declined to help with the costs, i 1 , r blaming my tenants for the cat problem by feeding them. Tenants of ,.• 1 f;• `/� 61 Phila don't feed the cats, and I routinely implore passersby not to ''' ° .•,,,-,:,..),.,,I.' do so, because of the mess and wildlife it attracts. With no human i • �------ —-� ! � 'r I, 1 , a'� t k` activity in or around an abandoned building, all kinds of critters seek .1' , ,j iv shelter. I've also notified Helen of rotting smells coming from 65 --- (*".' '" , : . ii=fillmnk• -- . i.44 .5. ' which I suspect was a dead animal. Nothing was done to investigate ;r (I r 1 ,_.il` p or remove the source of the smell. I can't imagine how you could E w n ,tN#�.':•"'" r>t6 show the building to a potential buyer with the summertime stench. ty- 4 i- 4*' #12 February 8, 2019 k.}:+ZS , . : l...Y.,_ 4. 5 �;4'-'k'34.. p, l' , , i i t .L� S y ' f.l,jil }' f Y' F. _ , 1 , !I ' ' it\; 1 j i „.,s e,leZ ;'4R•':, 1 ,r/ k .i ` si� . ,411,✓Y T t, ,.,n * 4. .......e-0:--- ;„- ':” , ',‘A.,,soMliw',-,:,- . OkIN '- ,L Igo ,t . ;. . .- b 1 4.y $�W J . .,, i, ` a ,r r ,c,„,-;:/.,,,,,i,�/yC' ..r _�.4.r ,,-c,� let , y yl�pCa'',- r Photos#13 & 14 (below) Chain link gates on porches of 65 and 69 Phila When the City required that the properties be secured from entry or trespass, this was the Simpson's architectural choice. When the fence when up at the front of the houses I told Case I wasn't happy with chain link, especially as porch gates. He told me that the City wanted it fenced. If I didn't like it: "talk to the City". #13 December 7, 2020 #14 December 7, 2020 t 5 iI . x, 4'�kn •`4 f f 14 *:11 �l .t ,? g .r 4 ti: ,..1):ii'''• 1:1„11: 714.i.7, rff:ill.it• . _ ,x.-r-7-7,- ar i' _. -- My family and I are regularly at 61 Phila. I was there every day when my parents lived there from 2003 to 2016. When there, it's common for people to ask about 65 and 69. Some are just courteous: "Did the owner die?" "What a shame that they let them deteriorate in such a nice neighborhood." Some are lifelong Saratogians on walks downtown. Some are tourists commenting on the amazing old houses that attract them to our city. Some are potential buyers. They ask permission to look at 65 and 69 from my yard. They tell of interest in buying and restoring them as a home or investment property. They ask what it's like to live in the neighborhood. A"For Sale" sign intermittently posted on the properties doesn't guarantee the properties are actually for sale. Before getting her real estate license, Helen would post a sign with her phone number. It's not uncommon for potential buyers to tell me that they've tried calling, but no one gets back to them. Others say offers are dismissed without counter. These interactions have happened as far back as 17 years ago and as recently as 2020. I'm confident there would be buyers interested in restoration, if the properties were appropriately priced and marketed. This is the current description of 65 Phila on realtor.com: "Best Location in the city!! Sold AS_IS. Comps average SF costs 241.00 =482,000. Comps 116 High Rock sld 11/2017 $400,000, 116 Catherine St. $225,000, 40 Warren St. 250,000, 184 Spring St 506,000. All comps are tear downs or total rehabs. Owner would like to sell 65 and 69 Phila St together. Package price is 600,000 Commission paid on 65 Phila St. Only." Helen, the sole listing agent, seems to believe "tear down" is a marketable option and a foregone conclusion rewarding years of ignoring and neglecting. Please don't let the Simpsons ignore City codes and regulations. Please make the years of neglect stop. Don't reward the Simpsons with demolition by willful neglect. Because, as to hardship? In hindsight, the Simpsons made a great investment in buying the properties. The fact that, they have since spent their money on taxes, fees, fines and development plans that consistently involve some sort of demolition or new construction, instead of recognizing and protecting their initial investment in irreplaceable historic properties is inexplicable. Thank you again for your commitment of time and energy to the betterment of our community. Law Offices of RONALD J. KIM, P.C. BY EMAIL January 19, 2021 Ms. Tamie Ehinger Chairperson City of Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission City Hall 474 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 RE: Simpson Application for Demolition of 65 and 69 Phila Street Dear Chairperson Ehinger and Members of the Design Review Commission: First, thank you all for serving on the DRC. Your service to this wonderful City is much appreciated and a testimony to its health. Currently when democracy is under enormous pressure, your commitment is part of the strong foundation that gives us all confidence that better days are ahead. Since the end of my term as Commissioner of Public Safety in 2009 and my involvement with the Zoning Board of Appeals from 1996 to 2004, I have never commented on an application before any of our important land use boards. I feel compelled this time, because I believe these applications must be denied in full because the applicants have consistently shown a contempt for this City and the historic neighborhood around Phila Street, and such behavior should never be allowed or rewarded. I was Chair of the ZBA in the early 2000's when the applicants came to apply for a zoning variance for one parcel in question. I vividly remember their application because they represented themselves as unsophisticated purchasers of a property, they now needed to demolish due to the exorbitant cost of restoration. I recall one applicant "tearing up" during the hearing while falsely stating they simply did not realize what they were getting into when they purchased these properties and now needed the ZBA to help them. The ZBA later heard counter testimony that the applicants have a long record of real estate purchasing throughout upstate New York. The ZBA properly voted to deny their variance. MAILING ADDRESS OFFICE ADDRESS PO BOX 318 3257 Route 9,Suite 5 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY 12866 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY 12866 EML: ron@ronaldkimlaw.com WEB:www.ronaldlcimlaw.com I TEL: 518-581-8416 I FAX: 518-583-9059 Upon becoming the Commissioner of Public Safety for Saratoga Springs in 2005, I watched as the applicants continued to thumb their nose at the City and their neighbors. At some point while I was on the City Council, I believe they "doubled down" on their purposeful blight of the Phila Street historic district. These alleged "unsophisticated applicants" bought the second deteriorating property now before you and came before the City Council to "rezone" and join the parcels so they could demolish the historically significant buildings and construct condominiums. Luckily, despite a very divisive City Council on most issues, we joined to deny their application. During my four years as Commissioner of Public Safety, in my oversight role of City Code Enforcement, it was clear to me that the applicants had no intention of being responsible property owners in a historic district. Sadly, over the last 20 years the applicants have NEVER done the right thing for the City, its historic district, or the Phila Street neighborhood. Imagine living next to these two properties for 20 years! Imagine the inherent risks of collapse, fire, or injury these properties pose to the neighbors in their current condition—all because of purposeful neglect by the applicants for 20 years! Finally, imagine what these buildings could be if the applicants had done the right thing, and restored them to their past glory. The applicants should not be rewarded now for their abusive, contumacious non- action that has allowed these properties to deteriorate in our historic district. Their calculating, dishonest "patience," which has inflicted great harm on the City, its historic district and the Phila Street neighborhood is disingenuous and repulsive in the extreme. I urge the DRC to deny in full these applications and the applicants. Thank you again for honoring our City with your time and commitment as volume s. -7 incere p o nald J. 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org 65 and 69 Phila From : Bourne Rigano <carbour404@gmail.com> Sun, Jan 17, 2021 08:09 AM Subject : 65 and 69 Phila To :jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it's a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. DRC Saratoga Springs, I am Bourne Rigano, my wife Carol and I own 64 Phila Street, directly across the street from 65 and 69. When we bought our property in the mid 1980's we recognized the distinct historical value of the area. Although it had been left to deteriorate for many years, we had a vision. Soon after, the City proposed the Library to replace C&B Sanitation, They kept their garbage trucks where the Library now stands. A wholesale fruit and vegetable warehouse operated where Thai restaurant is now. Several of the houses on the block were in derelict condition. Fortunately people with a vision bought into this area and proceeded to renovate. Through many years of hard work and personal sacrifice we watched as the neighborhood we helped to create rose from the rubble that it once was. That is with two exceptions. We have been hopeful for so many years that 65 & 69 would be brought up to the area standards. When the present owners bought the properties , they talked about renovating and even took some steps to initiate. On the east side of 69 Phila there is a new electric service entrance which was installed many years ago and never utilized. There are also a few windows that were replaced. They are not in historical compliance but it was an improvement. The owners spoke of renovating and renting as so many of the neighbors had done but that was about the end of improvements except what were imposed on them by the city to secure and stabilize the houses. At some point in between all the different plans and schemes, it seemed that they were aiming toward "Demolition by Neglect" . It has been a painful process to watch. To claim a Hardship is just the latest in the ongoing saga. How can it be a hardship when you could easily double or triple your purchase price. Any hardship that is evident is a self imposed hardship. We hope that the city continue on the current path to do everything in their power to help bring these properties up to the standards they are worthy of.. Sincerely, Bourne and Carol Rigano https://m.saratoga-springs.org/h/printmessage?id=116040&tz=America/New_York 1/2 1/20/2021 Zimbra https://m.saratoga-springs.org/h/printmessage?id=116040&tz=America/New_York 2/2 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org 65-69 Phila Street From :Annie K. <kras6@aol.com> Sun, Jan 17, 2021 12:34 PM Subject : 65-69 Phila Street To :jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> Reply To :Annie K. <kras6@aol.com> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it's a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. To Whom It May Concern: We are local residing landlords for 74 Phila Street, across from the property under review. We have been present and active in maintaining our property for near 20 years. We saw no attempt to maintain these 2 buildings. The only thing we witnessed was the resurrection of chain link fences to keep persons from trespassing. We are AGAINST the demolition of these buildings. We are in favor of properly restoring these buildings to occupancy condition. Thank you for properly overseeing our historic community. Sincerely, John and Annie Krasnicki kras6@aol.com 7 Bradford Drive Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-583-7248 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org Comments regarding 69 PHILA STREET From : Sandy Chase <sandychase007@gmail.com> Tue, Jan 19, 2021 06:26 AM Subject : Comments regarding 69 PHILA STREET ; 1 attachment To :jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it's a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. Good Morning Ms. Merriman, I'm taking the initiative to send you the attached memo to share my experiences while trying to purchase 69 Phila Street. This is a 'public comment' for the DRC meeting to be held this Wednesday January 20th. Please forward to the members of the DRC. Thank you. Sandra Chase, R.A. (347) 583 - 2678 cell 2021 01 19 DRC STATEMENT.docx 24 KB https://m.saratoga-springs.org/h/printmessage?id=116056&tz=America/New_York 1/1 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org 65 and 69 Phila Street From : Logan Smith <Iogan_s@hotmail.com> Tue, Jan 19, 2021 08:17 AM Subject : 65 and 69 Phila Street To :jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it's a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. Jennifer: I used to live on Spring St for a number of years before I bought my house over on Seward St. near the hospital. I would walk by these eyesores every day and wonder why nothing was being done about them. For all the regulation and zoning that this city has, how could these old and unique houses so close to downtown sit in decay for so long? I thought for sure there's been offers for these properties and to restore these historic buildings. And yes, there have been offers, but the landowners wanted to gouge whomever was trying to buy them. Now, I'm finding out that the landowners want to get permission to demolish these buildings after neglecting them for decades. Please don't let them do it. Hold them accountable for letting this property sit there for so long. These landowners have a track record for this sort of thing...please don't let them get away with it again. Thank you. Logan Smith 36 Seward St. Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 https://m.saratoga-springs.org/h/printmessage?id=116061&tz=America/New_York 1/1 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org Letter for DRC Jan. 20 meeting re Phila St. applications From : Barbara Lombardo <blomba9096@aol.com> Sat, Jan 16, 2021 10:12 PM Subject : Letter for DRC Jan. 20 meeting re Phila St. applications To :Jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> Cc : nbabie@saratogapreservation.org Reply To : Barbara Lombardo <blomba9096@aol.com> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it's a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. TO: Design Review Commission DATE: Jan. 15, 2020 RE: Opposition to demolition applications for 65 and 69 Phila St. The owners purchased 69 Phila St. in 1994 for $41 ,000 and the adjacent 65 Phila St. for $125,000 in 2002. Both downtown houses languished while the value of the lots have grown. The owners ignored their responsibility to rehabilitate these vacant properties or sell them to someone who would. This self-created hardship does not meet the Historic Review Ordinance's criteria for demolition. Sincerely, Barbara and Jim Lombardo 35 Park Place Saratoga Springs 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org 65 & 69 Phila Street From : Linda Robinson <Iindawhiterobinson@gmail.com> Sat, Jan 16, 2021 02:50 PM Subject : 65 & 69 Phila Street To :Jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it ' s a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. Hi Jennifer, I am writing in support of preserving the properties at 65 & 69 Phila Street. I have lived in this area since 1990. In the summer of 1985, I worked as a laborer rehabilitating a house across the street from these properties, and can remember families sitting on the front porch of these beautiful homes. I have lived downtown the past 5 years and I walk extensively, admiring the beautiful old homes, including these two homes. Our old structures are what attract people to Saratoga Springs. If these homes were to be demolished, it would be a travesty and we would lose a piece of history forever. Saratoga Springs is increasingly expanding, adding new homes, condos, hotels. We need these two homes to be rehabilitated to preserve the history and keep the balance of old and new in our city. It would be heartbreaking to lose 65 & 69 Phila Street. Best regards, Linda Robinson 153 Caroline Street Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-935-5713 https://m.saratoga-springs.org/h/printmessage?id=116038&tz=America/New_York 1/1 1/20/2021 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org 65-67 Phila St From : Carol Wells <cwcollection@hotmail.com> Sat, Jan 16, 2021 12:01 PM Subject : 65-67 Phila St To :jennifer.merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> Cc :funiciello <funiciello@aol.com> Reply To : Carol Wells <cwcollection@hotmail.com> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it's a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. Good morning Jennifer, My husband and I live it's 60 Phila St. Directly across the street from these 2 buildings. We have watched them disintegrate over the past 18 years. We chose to live downtown because we liked the historic fabric of the community - if we wanted to look at new buildings we would have moved to the suburbs. The owners have done absolutely nothing to try and preserve the historic fabric of these buildings. Demolition by neglect should never, never be tolerated. These owners have turned down reasonable offers for the building and they are certainly under no financial hardship. Please deny demolition of either of these buildings. Respectfully submitted, Carol Wells and Willy Browne Sent from Outlook Email App for Android SD ATELIER ARCHITECTURE L.L.c. 511 BROADWAY,2ND FLOOR SARATOGA SPRINGS,N.Y.12806 P.R.510 5873305/FAX 510 306 6040 SDATELIER.COM January 15, 2021 City of Saratoga Springs City Hall Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Re: 206 Nelson Avenue Attn: Design Review Commission and the Building Department To whom it may concern; I am writing to explain some concerns we have with the existing house structure and building deficiencies which were discovered upon having the building"opened up"This will impact the roof structure. The project was initially approved with the intent to retain as much of the original house as feasible-with the new addition to be designed to integrate and tie into the existing house. At this stage, the new addition is under construction and it is apparent that the existing roof structure has serious structural issues. In some locations, it is inadequate, under-sized and deficient to current building codes. It is rough sawn 2 x 6's rafters that are structurally inadequate. The existing walls are rough sawn lumber 4 inches out of plumb on the north side and the west side with the siding is acting as the sheathing. The stud walls are cut and butchered beyond salvaging. Our solution is to raise the plate height slightly from 6'-1"to 6'-5"and replace the existing roof rafters with a size(2 x 8)that will provide sufficient strength to the roof. In addition, it will allow for the proposed bedrooms to have an 8'-0" ceiling height with a slight slope down to the 6'-5" plate height. (as per the minimum ceiling height as required by code.) The historic returns on the gable ends will be replicated and the original walls will remain. Overall, this will not impact the overall size and aesthetic that was approved by the DRC. There have been significant attempts to retain the original foundation and walls as required, however the existing roof does not meet today's current codes and will not allow for appropriate headroom. We are bringing this to your attention at this stage so that it meets with your approval and will not raise questions or concerns in the future. Attached are the drawings reflecting what is proposed and attached photos. Respectfully submitted, Susan L. Davis, LEED—Green Associate RA(NY and Ct) SD Atelier—Architecture, L.L.C. www.sdatelier.com SD ATELIER-Architecture,L.L.C.,has been providing the highest quality of professional Architectural service for over 25 years. 4- i , 4 r 1 . �I��� �_ , �_,�,_ , x,',,11 _ 1... -IIIILEJIIII111_N._.II I '_ =I I� 6 -f r.ry cloc c..r..•.flr.•: Proposed West Elevation O i 4 C3f7G I.71 ‘','," —__ 0,T.O��PPI. y`_CO?D RR. h1 PATE Hf - -0 — m FP N O m U, © I J ,�T.C.\=Yl s C'U O -60SL\��, ST_ _==::=�T=_== Proposed Gable trim return c t f' 7 a...,Te i o. I -� I I I nvuu, r TO.,PPN 5F:Cn0 II — II SB'l \ II .A 1J w - ----- Proposed Section indicating proposed wall/roof SD ATELIER-Architecture,L.L.C.,has been providing the highest quality of professional Architectural service for over 25 years. Attached are •hotos describing_the existin• conditions. 49 N. �� 4)4,1 ,f4 `, : \� f d ,. • SII ?. f• ,: i;.t, ,4,."..... . joilli k !+. o #p [ Ir s w Facing North—indicating walls and existing rafters and low plate height Facing southwest—indicating low ceiling height • n 1. yea ti I ,i, le � ,ti. ', . 1; IN . -� 1, J �� l , .�, R Y " �_ ", l' , /.r YY, ,.a �` SPI' Y SD ATELIER-Architecture,L.L.C.,has been providing the highest quality of professional Architectural service for over 25 years. Law Offices of RONALD J. KIM, RC. BY EMAIL January 19, 2021 Ms. Tamie Ehinger Chairperson City of Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission City Hall 474 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 RE: Simpson Application for Demolition of 65 and 69 Phila Street Dear Chairperson Ehinger and Members of the Design Review Commission: First, thank you all for serving on the DRC. Your service to this wonderful City is much appreciated and a testimony to its health. Currently when democracy is under enormous pressure, your commitment is part of the strong foundation that gives us all confidence that better days are ahead. Since the end of my term as Commissioner of Public Safety in 2009 and my involvement with the Zoning Board of Appeals from 1996 to 2004, I have never commented on an application before any of our important land use boards. I feel compelled this time, because I believe these applications must be denied in full because the applicants have consistently shown a contempt for this City and the historic neighborhood around Phila Street, and such behavior should never be allowed or rewarded. I was Chair of the ZBA in the early 2000's when the applicants came to apply for a zoning variance for one parcel in question. I vividly remember their application because they represented themselves as unsophisticated purchasers of a property, they now needed to demolish due to the exorbitant cost of restoration. I recall one applicant "tearing up" during the hearing while falsely stating they simply did not realize what they were getting into when they purchased these properties and now needed the ZBA to help them. The ZBA later heard counter testimony that the applicants have a long record of real estate purchasing throughout upstate New York. The ZBA properly voted to deny their variance. MAILING ADDRESS OFFICE ADDRESS PO BOX 318 3257 Route 9, Suite 5 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY 12866 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY 12866 EML: ron@ronaldkimlaw.com I WEB:www.ronaldkimlaw.com f TEL:518-581-8416 I FAX: 518-583-9059 Upon becoming the Commissioner of Public Safety for Saratoga Springs in 2005, I watched as the applicants continued to thumb their nose at the City and their neighbors. At some point while I was on the City Council, I believe they "doubled down" on their purposeful blight of the Phila Street historic district. These alleged "unsophisticated applicants" bought the second deteriorating property now before you and came before the City Council to "rezone" and join the parcels so they could demolish the historically significant buildings and construct condominiums. Luckily, despite a very divisive City Council on most issues, we joined to deny their application. During my four years as Commissioner of Public Safety, in my oversight role of City Code Enforcement, it was clear to me that the applicants had no intention of being responsible property owners in a historic district. Sadly, over the last 20 years the applicants have NEVER done the right thing for the City, its historic district, or the Phila Street neighborhood. Imagine living next to these two properties for 20 years! Imagine the inherent risks of collapse, fire, or injury these properties pose to the neighbors in their current condition—all because of purposeful neglect by the applicants for 20 years! Finally, imagine what these buildings could be if the applicants had done the right thing, and restored them to their past glory. The applicants should not be rewarded now for their abusive, contumacious non- action that has allowed these properties to deteriorate in our historic district. Their calculating, dishonest "patience," which has inflicted great harm on the City, its historic district and the Phila Street neighborhood is disingenuous and repulsive in the extreme. I urge the DRC to deny in full these applications and the applicants. Thank you again for honoring our City with your time and commitment as volunt-- s. /,Sincere• I 2 nald J.