N. Virginia Ave. Green Home Builder ‘Wouldn’t Do It Again’
May 9, 2010
For several months we’ve been reprinting the trials and tribulations of Wendy Koch, a USA Today writer who is documenting her experience in building a new energy efficient home on North Virginia Avenue. The articles have been among the best read in the Falls Church Times, and Wendy has encouraged us to continue to feature them.
Wendy and her husband originally planned to move into their new house last March. That didn’t happen, and in fact they still haven’t even knocked down the existing house, much less started building the new one. Delays in obtaining permits from the City are a big culprit. Perhaps funny to everyone except the Koch family is what I assume to be a typographical error in Wendy’s latest column in USA Today. She writes:
If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t opt to build a custom, green-certified home. The process has been more costly and troublesome than we expected. We spent more than a year in design and the past four months in the permitting process. We expect to break down this month.
Well, we certainly hope you don’t “break down” this month, Wendy. Instead, we hope you will “break ground.”
City Councilman Dan Sze read about the Koch family’s frustrations in our series and commented to Wendy last March:
Hi Wendy. I can feel your pain. Something is not working here and it should not be to the detriment of your plans. Please feel free to send me a private email detailing your take on what is not working and I pledge to help resolve the issues that will allow you to build. As the “green guy” on City Council, I can do no less.
Wendy replied that she could certainly use Sze’s help, as she was ready to pull out her hair. But help or not, as of this week the old house remains standing.
Wendy tried to get permission for us to reprint her columns in full, but learned that we would have to pay USA Today $500 for the privilege. Since that’s a fair chunk of our annual budget, we’ll just continue to provide the links. Click here for the latest.
By George Southern
May 9, 2010