Pet Peeves

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Shape Shifters

By Mark Crantz

Recently, the City Council asked Design Review Board members for suggestions to improve the design process that many residents, developers and architects think is currently too time consuming, restrictive and costly. Design Review members, under the advice of their attorneys, invoked their fifth-amendment rights not to incriminate themselves. They also added their second amendment rights to bear arms. No questions were asked, and everybody agreed the present design process was fine.

No, no, there were no attorneys or amendments present. The design board members were quite helpful. The members had a number of suggestions that would shift the shape of the design review process and make it better.

The first design review member went to the front of council chambers and shape shifted into Bob the Builder, from the famed TV cartoon. Surrounding Bob was his Can-Do Crew, who demonstrated positive thinking, problem solving, teamwork and follow through. It was a great shift and received a loud round of applause. The Can-Do Crew suggested that the sticks and flags used to stakeout a project are too small. It is difficult for neighbors to conceptualize the mass of what is going to be built. Bob the Builder suggested blindfolds for area neighbors. This simple change will end frivolous challenges to design size and expedite the process. The audience appeared to agree with Bob the Builder by shouting out “Can-Do, Can-Do” over and over at the end of his presentation.

Next up was a design review member who shape shifted into Tim Allen from the iconic sitcom “Home Improvement.” Accompanying Allen was tool time assistant, Al, along with neighbor, Wilson, who was partially hidden behind a fence. The wise ensemble suggested improving large building projects by giving builders the power of eminent domain. Any resident heard complaining about size, noise, weekend workers or stinky portable potties would be subjected to losing their own homes for the public good of developers. Attendees suggested expanding eminent domain powers to them, as well. A list of offending neighbors was hastily made. The city council deputized the audience to bring the scofflaw properties in.

The last design review member shape shifted into Bob Vila from “Bob Vila’s Home Again.” Before Vila could offer his design advice, an attendee shouted out that his show’s sponsor, Sears, was in bankruptcy. Vila looked shook up by the news but recovered quickly by informing the audience that the show had a new sponsor, Amazon, and he was busy building a love nest for Bezos’ new love interest.


Crantz tells the Indy that he looks forward to the sequel of “Fixer Upper.” It will be called “Fixer Downer.” The show will star Chip and Joanna’s kids putting back the walls to open concept living.

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