It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Fall starts tomorrow. It is my favorite time of year. Fall doesn’t last long enough and there are so many fun things to do. I really enjoy fall hiking, biking, and photography.
Here are fall pictures were taken in previous years around St. Paul. My Fall goal for 2018 is to find new pictures in St. Paul.
Aging doesn’t have to mean moving. Some older Americans choose to age in place. A home with stairs in it isn’t a bad thing. Walking up and down stairs is great exercise. In fact, some people go to the gym and use a stair stepper and climber equipment to strengthen their legs.
Stairways can be kept safe with lighting, and railings. No-slip strips can be put on indoor or outdoor stairways.
I read an article that states that 66% of ninety-year-olds have trouble with stairs. That means that 34% of 90-year-olds can handle the stairs. Taking the stairs whenever possible at home or work is a great way to keep legs strong for those who want to be in the 34%.
Here in St. Paul we have zoning laws and building codes. The zoning laws make it hard for businesses to operate in residential areas. When business owners want to circumvent the rules they can get a variance.
The way the variance system works is that nearby property owners are notified of the request and if they do not protest, complain and testify en masse the variance is granted. In fact, even if they do protest it may still be granted.
The variance system is kind of backward. Persons asking for a variance do not have to get the majority of neighbors to agree to it, instead neighbors have to protest it. Sometimes those neighbors are tenants and they don’t have a say.
There are many examples of this throughout the city. Business owners get variances that allow them to operate even though zoning laws and other laws forbid it. As homeowners, our property rights are constantly under siege as variances allow them to be taken away.
St. Paul residents need to understand that their next door neighbor could buy up neighboring properties, tear down some houses and convert their home into a business that generates noise, traffic and that might give off unpleasant odors. That is what can be accomplished with variances.
As property owners, we have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of our property. When a neighboring homeowner is granted a variance the neighbors sometimes lose that right.
I published this back in September of 2008. By that time we were well aware of the recession and that the housing market had crashed. Some of those vacant houses in St. Paul were demolished and some are still vacant and owned by the city and by banks too.
There are currently 615 registered vacant buildings in St. Paul. 565 of them are single or multiple housing units. Not all vacant houses are registered. There are over 64,000 houses in St. Paul.
The number of vacant registered building in St. Paul continues to grow. Currently, there are 2031 registered vacant buildings in St. Paul. Most of the buildings are single family homes and Duplexes. No one knows how many vacant homes there are that are not registered. Some of the registered homes are for sale.
Many need repairs. Some don’t appear to be salvageable as the city has cited them for numerous code violations and it simply costs more than the structures are worth to do everything that the city thinks should be done.
There are vacant houses that have been vacant for years. Will they sit empty forever? The owners do pay taxes and there is no law that says the property has to be used or occupied.
Having a problem with a vacant property? Follow this link the complaint department. (the city reorganized their website and the link is broken)
Are vacant houses a problem? What is it like to live next door to a vacant house? Would you buy the house next door if it were for sale?
There are numerous varieties of fresh apples at the Saint Paul Farmer’s market which is open today. I like the chestnut crabs and the honey crisp the most. The apple orchards are open now and you can never have too many apples. I like to make applesauce, apple butter, and apple pie. I dry some apple slices too.
Apples are low sodium and have no added sugar. They are gluten-free with no high fructose corn syrup. They are also high fiber and apple pectin apparently or at least currently is good for rats and maybe humans too.