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Who lives in Fairmount/Southside?


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#1 Doohickie

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 07:35 PM

We live out in the slums of North Crowley presently. Once I get some remodeling done we want to sell the house and move closer into the city.

We have this romantic notion of buying a home in Fairmount and living happily ever after. For people who live in that area, what advice would you give us? What are the downsides of the area? And really... what's the crime like?
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#2 angie013

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:39 PM

Loved living there! We rent our house in Fairmount and moved to Oakhurst last year. I lived in Fairmount as a single woman as well as a married one. We never had any major problems. The one issue we did have was auto burgulary. Because of the age of the neighborhood, most residental parking is on the street. That being said, my husband's work truck was broken into once.
I would love to move back to that area. The only reason we moved is that I got pregnant and we needed a larger house.
On a side note....our house in Fairmount just went up for rent...... smile.gif


Good luck!

#3 Fort Worthology

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 08:20 AM

Once you get a block or two off of Hemphill, the "crime" drops off pretty steeply. The Fairmount association and the FWPD has done wonders for the neighborhood. Where we are over on 6th Avenue, we have never had a problem. Even the worse streets (Lipscomb and Alston) are slowly-but-surely improving thanks to new home builders and such.

Being able to walk and bike to virtually everything we need is awesome (Fiesta on 8th Avenue down by Ryan Place, despite being a crappy suburban box in a crappy looking stretch of road, is actually not a bad grocery store, so even that's close by. And Fort Worth South is working on courting a real urban grocery store to open in the Near Southside.).

Just be aware of the rules of the historic district before doing exterior work on a house, and work with the Fairmount Historic Preservation committee and the Historic & Cultural Landmarks Commission early on, and it's no problem at all.

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#4 vjackson

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:34 AM

I have never lived in Fairmount, but lived in Ryan Place years ago. I have friends in Fairmount now and they love it, and I love visiting them. They have had two car breakins though, but the neighborhood is far from unsafe. It think Fairmount is simply FW's coolest neighborhood, especially now that Magnolia has really taken off. And gotta agree with FWology, it's a shame how that part of 8th has developed....so much potential squandered.

#5 sparq

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 03:49 PM

Fort Worthology – what urban grocery do you have in mind? Trader Joe’s? Fresh & Easy? Ah, distribution center may be out of question; I don’t know.

How about H-E-B Fairmount Market (35,000 square-feet with 25 dedicated car park spaces) – similar format seen in the Houston area (i.e., Buffalo Market – in terms of design).

I could also suggest ALDI as an option for low-budget grocery, unless otherwise.


#6 Doohickie

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:51 PM

I guess I need to spend less time online and more time fixing up our current dump so we can put it on the market. wink.gif
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#7 Fort Worthology

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 02:54 PM

QUOTE (sparq @ Apr 7 2010, 04:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fort Worthology – what urban grocery do you have in mind? Trader Joe’s? Fresh & Easy? Ah, distribution center may be out of question; I don’t know.

How about H-E-B Fairmount Market (35,000 square-feet with 25 dedicated car park spaces) – similar format seen in the Houston area (i.e., Buffalo Market – in terms of design).

I could also suggest ALDI as an option for low-budget grocery, unless otherwise.


It all just depends. Fort Worth South has used some photos I took of Royal Blue Grocery in downtown Austin as an example of what they'd like.

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I'm the guy who used to write Fort Worthology


#8 avvy

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:33 PM

I have lived on the south side for 7 years and the only crime problems were car break-ins while living at the Victory Arts Center between 2003 and 2005. It happened to me once.
I now live just south of the VAC, in a neighborhood that is not as upscale as Fairmount or certainly Ryan Place, and the only real issues are tagging (certain houses seem to be targets, not us personally or anyone on the block), loud radios in cars, and the occasional loud party from the neighbors. Security has never been an issue.

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#9 Doohickie

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 11:16 AM

It's pretty rare that I get over to that area.... maybe just down Hemphill but I don't know that I've ever really explored the neighborhood around there.

I came up with a new thought. First, a bit of background: We went to see this open house on Sunday. That was pretty close to being our "dream house" for Fairmount, although it does have foundation problems (which the seller will help with) and.... no garage. Looking at historicaerials.com, I see that in the 50s and 60s, there was a garage there. I'm not ready to put my house on the market yet so I can't put a bid in on this one.

But- as a thought experiment, let's assume I bought that house and the foundation issues were resolved. Next I would want a garage, preferable two-car (side-by-side or possible tandem if it fits better). What are the implications of wanting to put a garage up? What about fencing in the back yard? Could I put up a privacy fence? A chain link fence? Would it have to be all period-correct and stuff? Who has to approve it? Same with the garage: Would a garage with "period-correct" details be required? How close to the edge of the property could I go? (There is an alley at the back of the lot.) What about maybe building the garage myself on a professionally-poured slab? (I've done some Habitat for Humanity work and building a garage would be within what I can do.) Are there any implications if there is some shop space built into the garage?

The house had its problems, but if I can get my current home ready for market and that one was still available, I would seriously consider an offer on it. The downsides, assuming the foundation repair is management, don't seem too bad, and the house just really caught our imagination. If not that house, I'm sure we can find something similar.
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#10 John S.

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:44 PM

QUOTE (Doohickie @ Jul 13 2010, 12:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's pretty rare that I get over to that area.... maybe just down Hemphill but I don't know that I've ever really explored the neighborhood around there.

I came up with a new thought. First, a bit of background: We went to see this open house on Sunday. That was pretty close to being our "dream house" for Fairmount, although it does have foundation problems (which the seller will help with) and.... no garage. Looking at historicaerials.com, I see that in the 50s and 60s, there was a garage there. I'm not ready to put my house on the market yet so I can't put a bid in on this one.

But- as a thought experiment, let's assume I bought that house and the foundation issues were resolved. Next I would want a garage, preferable two-car (side-by-side or possible tandem if it fits better). What are the implications of wanting to put a garage up? What about fencing in the back yard? Could I put up a privacy fence? A chain link fence? Would it have to be all period-correct and stuff? Who has to approve it? Same with the garage: Would a garage with "period-correct" details be required? How close to the edge of the property could I go? (There is an alley at the back of the lot.) What about maybe building the garage myself on a professionally-poured slab? (I've done some Habitat for Humanity work and building a garage would be within what I can do.) Are there any implications if there is some shop space built into the garage?

The house had its problems, but if I can get my current home ready for market and that one was still available, I would seriously consider an offer on it. The downsides, assuming the foundation repair is management, don't seem too bad, and the house just really caught our imagination. If not that house, I'm sure we can find something similar.


Hi Doohickie,

This should answer all the questions you have: http://www.historicf...nguidelines.pdf It is the official design guidelines in PDF format for Fairmount-Southside.

Those with long memories might recall the "Fence" incident in Fairmount about 15 years ago. A lady with a property within the district boundary decided she wanted a chain link fence put up around the front of the property. The fence was put up without submitting the fence project to the design review committee so the neighborhood association and design review committee requested that the new fence be removed and a period appropriate fence put up in its place. As I recall, the whole thing ultimately was taken to court and a ruling was given requiring the owner to remove and replace the fence with a design appropriate version. The neighborhood association, in a goodwill gesture, offered to help defray the costs of a replacement fence and furnish labor, and afterwards the matter faded away from the local news.

All I do distinctively remember is that a certain neighborhood "activist" in our Samuels Avenue neighborhood (Fort Worth's oldest) made multiple copies of the newspaper coverage of this "Fence" incident and then passed out copies to everyone in the neighborhood who would accept them. Of course, with the article also came angry verbal warnings that "we don't want a historic district on Samuels because you won't own your property anymore!" (citing the fence incident as proof of outside property control) It effectively killed any support for creating a historic district on Samuels Avenue down to this very day. I don't know how the Fence incident could have been handled any differently and the local paper seemingly sided with the distraught property owner and thus created a lot of local sympathy pitting historic preservation against private property ownership rights. (always a "hot button" issue in Fort Worth and Texas as a whole) Getting back to your original question(s), yes, if your property falls within the district boundaries, a garage and any other new structure(s) will have to meet district design guidelines but as I understand the neighborhood association is extremely helpful with homeowners seeking to improve their properties and will make compliance with guidelines fairly easy. Good luck with your efforts!

#11 Fort Worthology

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:31 AM

Doohickie-

Yes, you'd need to do a period-looking garage. They're not too hard, though - new garages get approved all the time in Fairmount, as long as they're in keeping with the historic building stock. Bungalow garages aren't usually all that ornate or complicated, but there are some details that are different on architecture of the period than today.

It will help everybody out if you go to the Fairmount historic committee (disclosure - I'm a member) beforehand to get suggestions and tell them what you're thinking. They'll be happy to help. It's the people who try to jam inappropriate designs down the neighborhood's throat and that do things without permits that cause the ruckus.

Seek guidance and approval from Fairmount HC committee first and it'll make the presentation to the city's Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission (which meets once a month - approval from HCLC is required for new construction and most changes to the exterior of historic structures) much smoother. HCLC will ask Fairmount's stance on the project.

http://www.historicf...p...5&Itemid=66

On fences - I'm not a fence expert. I believe that Fairmount is just like any other part of town in that respect: no fences in front yard more than 4 feet high (maybe 3 feet - don't recall) and no side/back fences over 6 feet (I think). Fences over that height require a variance from the city, but I think those rules are the norm across the city. Not sure about how chain link is handled, but I do know it's not exactly desirable. Definitely check with Fairmount and the city on that. Most stuff these days is wood or iron (usually simple designs - no really overwrought stuff).

Despite the reputation preservation districts have in this area, the vast majority of cases are really smoothly handled.

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I'm the guy who used to write Fort Worthology


#12 Doohickie

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:12 PM

Thanks!
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