When: Monday, March 16th 2009
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Deer Park Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Speaker: Creola Washington - N. Chas. Zoning Inspector and William Holley – Code Enforcement - Deer Park

The Voice of the United Estates of Deer Park
Official Publication of the Deer Park Neighborhood Council
Vol. 15; No. 49 March 2009

by Julia Long

The information collecting for our history book is coming along well so far. This month's sample (included with this newsletter) concerns very recent events. That's because, in a very few years, what we do today will seem to people like long ago, and they'll be pleased we took the time to record it.

With the continuing problems in the national economy, one of the issues that affects almost everyone in one way or another is actual or potential loss of home value. For most of us, it's a very important part of our financial stability for our home values to remain high. You may be asking yourself why this matters if you have no present plans to move. Here's why:

1. For most of those of us who are near or in retirement, much of our savings is held in our house. Regardless of our plans, unexpected events can intervene. If I had a stroke and needed long-term nursing care, I'd need to sell my home to be able to afford a place of the quality I'd certainly want as a place to live. If I could live at home but needed nursing care there, I might consider a reverse mortgage: the kind of loan that pays the borrower each month and is repaid by the sale of the home normally only after the borrower dies. When I pass away, most of what I have to leave my children and grandchildren is in the form of residential property, so I want that to be worth as much as possible. When you stop to think how substantial a portion of your life savings your home may be, you may realize that you don't want that home to lose value now any more than you'd want stock investments to lose value.

2. Those who are younger may still have a substantial mortgage on their homes. If residential property values dip, the value of the house could possibly even drop below the amount of money still owed on the mortgage. This is a potential catastrophe for the young family.

We can't change the overall economy, but fortunately there are two things we can do to help support home values in Deer Park:

1. Maintain the look and feel of a quality neighborhood.
When streets become littered and homes become run-down with trashy yards, buyers are reluctant to purchase in the neighborhood. So home prices go down. We all need to take responsibility not only for our own property but also for reporting problems we see anywhere in Deer Park. At our March meeting, we are expecting Creola Washington (the Zoning Inspector for Deer Park) and William Holley (Code Enforcement person for Deer Park). We'll be finding out from them more about just what kinds of problems are actually illegal and can be reported to the city, and just how to report those.

2. Maintain a stable zoning environment.
When zoning remains the same, potential buyers have some confidence that they know what they are buying. They know they can purchase a house without fearing that business will move in near them and destroy their quality of life and their home values. The City of North Charleston has a Comprehensive Development Plan that indicates what kind of development should go on each piece of property, and at the present time the plan for Deer Park is very encouraging to home buyers. What could damage that buyer confidence? Even one piece of single-family residential property being rezoned for mobile homes or apartments or other businesses could damage it. No matter how innocent the one particular rezoning may seem, it sends out a powerful signal to the public that the zoning in that area is unstable and home buyers had better beware. And, no, don't imagine that we could just rezone the entire neighborhood for business, split up our friendships, and all move off in different directions. A lot with a house already on it represents added expense to a business and therefore may bring far less than we were hoping for. And there just aren't enough businesses expanding now for a large number of rapid sales. No, while one person who obtains a rezoning might (or might not) make a little profit; other people in Deer Park would suffer losses. At our April meeting, we are expecting a visit from Bill Gore of the Planning Department, the person who probably knows more about zoning than anyone in the city. This is our opportunity to learn more about just how stable our zoning environment is, and what we can do to keep it that way.

These meetings are very important. I hope to see you at both of them. We neighbors must work together to support and protect each other in this national financial climate. Don't get so focused on difficulties in stocks and jobs that you forget about about protecting your home investment.


Reba Isgitt, Dennis's mother, has been quite ill, and we hope she's resting well at home. We're also very glad that long-time member Esther Lee is at home and well after some surgery. Bobby Jameson has had several recent health problems and we're hoping that they are now, or will soon be, behind him.

Garbage Pick-up Schedule
Garbage: Every Wednesday
Leaves/Grass: Every Wednesday
Large Trash: Every Wednesday
(Please note that Thursday will be pick-up day when City Holiday falls on Mon., Tues., Wed.)
Recyclables: every other Thursday - Mar. 19th, April 2nd, April 16th

Key Personnel
City Council District 3:  Robert Jameson  824-1500
County Council Rep:  Elliott Summey  200-4244
Neighborhood Crime Watch Representative:  Volunteer Needed!!
N. Chas. Dispatcher: 745-1015
Housing Director:  Darbis Briggmann  740-2560
SPEED Team Rep.:  Jimmy Wagner  745-1069
Code Enforcement:  William Holley  740-2681
CAC Representative Membership:  Linda Brinson  553-8832

Board of Directors
President: Julia Long  797-0893
Vice President:  Dennis Isgitt  797-2455
Secretary:  Chandler Schwede  437-4736
Treasurer:  Linda Brinson  553-8832

Board Mbr. Apptd:  Beth Evans  437-4140
Board Mbr. Elected:  Susanne Azevedo  572-2321
Board Mbr. Elected:  Audrey Carpenter  553-7768
Board Mbr. Apptd:  Mary Hutson  553-4451

Newsletter Distribution:  Jimmy Mitchum  553-0665
                                          Jim Driver  553-0768
                                          Bill Lusk  553-1348
Newsletter:  Susanne Azevedo  572-2321
Disaster/ Preparation:  James Brown  553-4329
Sick & Sunshine:  Susanne Azevedo  572-2321
Voter Registration:  Douglas Azevedo  572-2321