Atchison Village Mutual Homes Corporation


Posted in: Atchison Village
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  • Respected Neighbor
  • Richmond
  • 9 Posts

I certainly understand why an aging Member would want to extend their unit horizontally so as to not have to use the stairs, but the above reply to the general manager's post is misinformed  if not downright hostile.


All regulations to historical properties are enforced by the local government, not the federal government and federal monies have no bearing on those planning decisions. In Richmond, changes to the exterior of the building would have to be approved by the Design Review Board. Additions are prohibited by Board motion, but if  the Board allowed room additions and you wanted to have your request for an addition heard before the Design Review Board, you  could pay the $7000 fee and have the Design Review Board make a decision on it. My personal experience with the Design Review Board is that they would not approve it because of our historic status.  Our new windows had to be approved by the Design Review Board and we had to negotiate with planners in chosing the style of the windows. Blisters are currently regulated by our conditional use permit. The planning department has ruled that porch lights and roofs are not character-defining features in our "Mini-Historic Document" and so the design review Board made the decision to  not regulate them. (To find out what our character defining features are, consult the "MIni Historic Document" which should be linked on our web page.)


Why did the Board pass a motion to not allow additions? This happened before I moved here but this is what I was told was the reasoning.


Our ByLaws and contract require the Corporation to pay for and execute all repairs to the structural componants and  exterior of the building including siding, roofing and earthquake retrofitting whether it is part of the original structure or an addition added by the Member.  At some point, Members made the case to the Board that since we all paid the same fees for 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units, people with additions were being subsidized by Members without additions.  The Board passed the motion in response to pressure from the membership.


2) More recently, we have had the relatively frequent expereince of termite infestations and rot migrating from additions and infecting the redwood buildings which normally don't have problems with termites. The treatments then become the financial obligation of the entire Membership.The Corporation has also had to re-build poorly constructed addtions at cost to all Members because of the wording in our founding documents. 


Not to say this can't be changed at the Atchison Village level, but if you did, you would still have the problem of convincing the Design Review Board.


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  • USA
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No General Manager was in place here in Atchison Village on March 5th when a post was made under that title.


In 2015 I spoke with Planning Department staff who explained at that time that for any exterior changes our Corporation could approve an applicaation and the Member would then go to the Planning Department of the City of Richmond.  If the request was under a "global permit" already reviewed like specific porch lights, doors, windows, security bars, blisters, PV arrays, it would be cleared to go to a regular Building Division permit. Other minor changes could be reviewed by Planning staff for approval/disapproval.  Major changes would go to the Historic Preservation Commission for approval or disapproval.


I would like Paul West to get a formal confirmation from the City Planning Department which of the above is true currently.   If so,  have the Corporation stop telling members that something "national" is keeping them from making any exterior changes so they don't even try.  It is AVMHC that is posting that limit, which is much broader than just additions, on flyers and Handbooks.


I have no idea which New General Manager (i.e. when this was posted) madew this statement.  AV is part of the Rosie the Riveter National Historic site, and we indeed are therefore under the guideines for national historic sites.  FYI, no changes may be made to the FRONT of the building or to the existing windows.  The reason for the prohibition against attachments to our homes, which said prohibition occurred sometime around 2003 or shortly thereafter, was due to the fact that many of the ones already added, had created dry rot between the original unit and the attachment.  PERSON MOST FAMILIAR WITH THIS ISSUE IS JOE CLARK, who used to be our Head Maintenance person.  In order to make changes to the side of one's building or the back, for the purpose for instance, of installing a window in the kitchen or an added window in the living room (like a large picture window) requires an application and permit from the City of Richmond Planning Office, and a special sub-committee whose name I currently forget, and the cost is $2500.00.  It is NOT prohibited due to historic site status, but it does require approval of our office and then the City Planning Office.  I speak from experience and knowledge . 

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  • Toni09
  • Respected Neighbor
  • USA
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So let me be clear i need to go to the city planning office pay and get the permit first and bring it to the office and order to make i?
Richmond, California 94801