Professor Lisa Marie Coppoletta |
With leadership hoax and unsavory business practices by Lisa Prewitt, the public must understand her recent advocacy for personal financial gain at the Historic Preservation Commission.
Recently, her hands were also caught in the proverbial cookie jar. I had the opportunity to attend and speak at two of the last Historic Preservation Commission meetings on Zoom.
Now keep in mind the issues surrounding gentrification and Historic Preservation is what brought her to the city council ball, clearly stepping stones to a paid political county office so her hands don’t have to get dirty from landscaping anymore.
What I found troubling regarding HPC-20-22 was Prewitt’s refusal to play by the same rules she broadcasts as a feather in her cap.
Her video advertisement gives the appearance she crafted measures in our Land Development code that were groundbreaking.
This is a standard dance move: Lisa Prewitt is the one responsible for making positive changes occur.
The LDC aka Code Rodeo or Code SMTX was a community-wide movement and not just the Prewitt Tap Dance and Pony Show.
Moreover, Heritage Tree and Native American Artifacts protection have yet to be codified years later. Developers are held to higher standards than the city, TxDOT, CIP, and GAP Complete Streets Projects.
The nationally registered telephone company was pummeled on her watch.
She held up demolition delay as a reactionary stop-gap measure rather than implementing systemic long term change to be mapped out by the Land Development Code.
This would have required leadership, focus, and passion.
Prewitt broke the very rules she crafted on the City Council for her own financial gain.
Staff received a phone call regarding the work being conducted on the site and asked for a Building Inspector be sent to talk to the property owner. At the same time, a Code Compliance Officer called to let staff know that a Stop Work Order had been issued to the property owner for work being done without a Certificate of Appropriateness. Following these events, an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) was submitted.
The applicant began construction on two perimeter retaining walls located in the front yard of the property, which included the removal of the concrete steps located at the street level. While a COA is required for changes in design or material to exterior features, a building permit is not.”
The video playback makes it clear that the item was postponed because the landowner ejected himself from the meeting, and city staff acknowledged there was no receipt of “frantic emails.”
For example, a technology issue or lost connection. He was there one minute, and ‘oops was gone.’ Just like Prewitt’s passion to protect blocks from flooding.
And, the September 24, 2020 packet clearly states this action by Prewitt did impact Historic Preservation: “the removal of the concrete steps is not consistent with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation [Standard 2].”
The September 24, 2020 video clearly shows the Historic Preservation Commission wanted the steps constructed in the 1900s, 1930s or 1940s, that were removed without a Certificate of Appropriateness, put back the way they were when the home was built.
More troubling than Prewitt’s removal of historic steps without a Certificate of Appropriateness is the situation of the two retaining walls she is building that impact flooding. She is the Woods in the Historic District.
Our Land Development Code clearly states that one landowner cannot impact flooding on another’s property.
Commissioner Bob Holder is the MVP of this meeting because he raises an important question about the two 16 inch rock retaining walls.
The retaining walls have already been started to be built. Are they approved?”
According to the commission chair, “Not technically.”
I’m wondering from the applicant the retaining walls were built for what purpose?” ~ Holder
According to the landowner, they felt the retaining walls were important because their front yard was “literally washing away.”
“That’s what I was suspecting,” Holder replied. “I was wondering if the steps and the sidewalk would lessen the ability of the two retaining walls to hold back the runoff.”
City staff said, “I don’t believe that it will, but I’m not the landscape expert” and handed off the hot potato to Prewitt.
“I can take a shot at that thanks Bob for asking that question,” Prewitt said. “So, what I believe that you’re asking is by adding the additional sidewalk and the steps and the additional impervious cover would that lead to more water runoff into the street as opposed to having solid retaining walls across the property that would have vegetation so when it rained the water would be absorbed the retaining walls and soaked into the earth. Is that the question you are asking?”
“So you would be correct in saying that,” Prewitt continued when Holder confirmed that was his question. “But, I think what we are talking about here is maintaining the historical integrity of what the original homes looked like in this … in this era, and I think the answer to your question is yes, but it’s up to this commission to balance out if what is important here to have that historical integrity intact or to put more value on the impervious cover or the pervious cover on the property. So, that’s what you guys are charged with tonight. And, I thank you for asking that question. And, putting attention towards all the different aspects of this project including the sustainability of the land.”
Regarding Historic Preservation, Commissioner Holder asked, “The steps have been removed. Is there any guarantee that the steps would have a historic look to them?”
The commission was informed that the steps would have a modern look to them.
The performative contradiction of Prewitt’s advocacy at the HPC is congruent with the misleading still photos in her video advertisement regarding her alleged coalition of anti-Woods Apartments fist in the air freedom fighters.
Not one of the people pictured in the video with the exception of Melissa Derrick was involved in the Capes Camp issue.
These politicians in her advertisement are not the ones that brought Prewitt to the ball, they are her new dancing partners. Cinderella is now Effie Trinket.
Clearly, her personal financial gain is more important than her purported values of working with the land and the prevention of flooding.
The time is now to go to the polls and elect leaders who do not make the odds ever in their favor for personal financial gain at the expense of historical preservation and flooding in San Marcos, Texas.
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