15 thoughts on “You Could Vacuum Forever”

  1. Funniest headline ever, Waldo!

    In case anyone wonders what it takes to keep a house that size clean– a certain winemaking former British citish citizen living ’round these parts has a slightly larger house. She used to employ 3 housekeepers, and a House Manager to oversee the housekeepers (plus a butler, of course– I mean, who doesn’t have one of those!). Not surprisingly, the turnover rate in house staff was rather stratospheric. Not sure how many staff she employs currently, or if there’s even anybody left in the area who hasn’t already rotated through there.

    So Dan, I think you might have been able to get away with just a part-time housekeeper (plus the butler) for the 2700 sq ft house!

  2. I’m very curious about how it was that the 4500 square foot house already on the property came to be considered too small for them. Also, it’s interesting that simply removing kitchen appliances transforms a house into an outbuilding.

  3. The houses in these areas are getting more and more tasteless. Ginormous but on less than an acre of land. It’s like some lower class (new money) person’s idea rich.

    I recently drove down Old Ballard Road from Garth Road and as you get nearer to the Ivy Nursery there is this sudden explosion of “Glenmore style” huge houses (really large on no land). There’s one house in particular on the right side of the road (if you’re aimed toward the nursery) which resembles an Old English style Manor House with all the right details.

    The only problem is instead of being on (at least) 4 or 5 well landscaped acres and set back from the road with a half dozen or more mature trees, it’s right up there next to the road, just like some redneck’s double-wide trailer. At least the redneck and the double wide has a probably has a good excuse- trying to escape renting.

    What’s the rich person’s excuse? I think I’m going to start calling these gigantic houses on no land- “small penis insecurity banners.”

  4. A senior official with the Carlyle Group skating up to the edge of the letter of the law and being ostentatiously wealthy? I’m shocked, shocked!

  5. I see this and one of my thoughts are of all the people who will be employed by this wealthy person… builders, installers, craftsmen, landscapers, not to mention the housekeepers mentioned in the write-up. It’s their property and I’m happy to let them do as they please on it. It will help a good number of others in the process.

  6. Like Senor Rojo said, they aren’t building a truly obscene house and violating a conservation easement, they’re building opportunities for you and me.

  7. Like Senor Rojo said, they aren’t building a truly obscene house and violating a conservation easement, they’re building opportunities for you and me.

    Yeah, it’s like he’s the Prince of Albemarle and we are all his vassals. In a way, it’s a privilege for us to serve him. A warning to the would-be maid, though: whatever you do, don’t run the vacuum cleaner while the Prince is sleeping. It sends him into a wild rage to be disturbed.

    Some call it building a mansion, but we, the little people of Albemarle, who seek only to serve, call it Building Opportunities. Thank you, Your Highness.

  8. It would be nice of all the carpenters, plumbers and other contractors around town to boycott this project and focus on the umpteen million others around town. Won’t happen, but it’d be nice.

  9. Oh come on, Senor Rojo. The tacky nouveau riche in this area are notorious for underpaying their employees. And they see the local employment pool as an endless resource from which to select and fire staff, ad infinitum.

    They move here and all they do is piss and moan about how everybody is tying to rip them off– yet they happily pay 10x as much for the same goods and services in NYC because there it makes them feel important. It’s not like a huge group of people will soon be benefiting from their benevolence. More likely they’ll be nickel and diming the good citizens of Charlottesville to death.

  10. It’s a simple matter of property rights with regards to the house itself and a matter of supply-and-demand regarding the labor it will require.

    Frankly, I am more disgusted by the prejudice of some holier-than-thou “neighbors” who’ll never even see the place than by the size of the thing. And yes, I mean prejudice: the house isn’t even built yet, but a bunch of you are pre-judging it. If the couple paid for the land and the construction of the house meets all zoning and easement requirements to the letter, then who is anyone to tell them “Oh wait, actually your easement isn’t strict enough because it was written in 1992, so we’ll make it tighter for you today because we think we won’t like it.” That is absolutely wrong. The rights to life, liberty, and property are inalienable. I am always struck by the ease with which so many goody-goodies are willing to trample property rights…the right to do what we please on our own property so long as it does not take away from the rights of others. The zoning laws and easement requirements are enough.

    And the wages that people earn working the house (so long as they are legal) will be dictated by supply-and-demand, not by what some of you think should be the wages. If the people are truly underpaid, then they shouldn’t work the job. I’ve seen plenty of help wanted signs in stores recently… enough to know that people have at least some choice in the jobs they take. If the people don’t need the work, they won’t take it. Once again, a bunch of you who think you know what’s best for everyone else is trying to determine a job’s proper wage when supply-and-demand does a much better job of it than any of us ever could.

    The thousands, if not millions, of dollars pumped into our community by this project are much more worthy of our praise than any government handout ever could be.

    Please stop being so prejudice and mind you own business.

  11. Señor Rojo, with all due respect, I think it’s kind of a stretch to claim this has anything to do with “property rights” or claim that people opposed project to this are “Prejudiced”.

    After all, is it part of one’s property rights to make lasting legal agreements about what happens to your land? The original owner made a legal agreement with good faith that exactly this sort of thing would never happen. New evidence suggests that he was even assured that no one would be allowed to build a “guest house” either. What about his rights to make sure his original easement agreement is honored?

    Secondly, everytime I hear someone justify something purely because it’ll “create jobs” it occurs to me how foolish and short sighted that viewpoint is. After all, there are many kinds of jobs and projects our community might be better off without. For example, should we build a nuclear power plant in the city to create jobs? Maybe the mountain Monticello is on would be perfect for a Granite Quarry? Maybe we could have a facility that designs biological or chemical weapons? For that matter, prostitution and drug dealing both create lots of jobs for lower income people. Maybe we should legalize both? Don’t worry, I, won’t call you a racist if you object to any of these innovative job creating strategies.

  12. I said “prejudiced.” I did not mention “racist.” I said “prejudiced” becasue people are making judgements about this project based largely if not entirely on square footage and not on actual plans, which may or may not be tasteful. Regardless of taste, I don’t think it’s our place to try to tell people how they should use their land as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others. Every one of the land use projects you mention would have legitimate obstacles because of how it affects others’ rights in tangible ways. I am not justifing this “purely because it’ll create jobs.” The jobs are one beneficial side-effect. The primary justification is that when somebody buys property (in this case with easements in effect), that person should be able to expect that the letter of their agreement be upheld. From all I’ve seen, the letter of this easement is that one legal house be allowed on the property. The other building would legally be an outbuilding. If that’s the legality of it, then that’s it. The spirit of what the previous owner wanted back in 1992 should have been written into the easement. If it wasn’t, that’s his own failure. A future owner should not have his rights taken away because the previous owner wasn’t thorough enough in the legalities of the thing.

    If the letter of easements isn’t taken seriously, then easements themselves can’t be taken seriously. They can keep changing with the whim of the latest nosy-neighbor. Instead, we should honor easements by sticking to the words they actually contain, not the words we want to add after the fact.

    (Reminds me of the the constructionist vs. contextualist debate when it comes to the Constitution)

  13. From all I’ve seen, the letter of this easement is that one legal house be allowed on the property.

    This is exacly the kind of smart-aleck legal mumbo-jumbo and twisting of intent that we’ve come to expect from people with more money to pay lawyers than they do common sense. Like taking out the kitchen means a house isn’t a house.

    Didn’t we get enough of this double-talk when we heard Bill Clinton ponder what the definition of “is” is?

  14. Am I right that the previous owner received a preety penny for the sale of the land that was eventually developed? Since he was entering into a legal contract, why didn’t he take about $200 dollars and have his own lawyer verify that the easement contract said in writing what he intended? Having lawyers review contracts is certainly not unusual around here; that’s why there are so many.

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