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Tuesday 30 December 2003

feedback requested

Christi's brother built a green-housey kind of thing in the backyard of my Berkeley residence. Since then, several problems have emerged including lack of insulation, a leaky roof and most importantly, the ire of the Home Owners Association. Apparently, it had to be pre-approved by a Deisgn Review Comittee, a step I completely forgot about. We don't own our backyard. It is an "exclusive use common area" under control of the neighborhood association. According to the CCNRs, they get to review any major changes to the backyard and even have the right to enter to pull weeds. The HOA is meeting on January 20th to deicde if they are going to require that the structure be torn down. Ed, my next door neighbor came over to look at it today and said that since it was obviously temporary, that they could probably be persuaded to let it stand. We told him about Ellen's exploits as a composer and he seemed impressed and said he thought that it would prolly be ok and I should write a letter explaining things to the HOA. Any feedback on the firts draft would be appreciated. I don't have much experience in the ways of small governing comittees.

Dear Members of the HOA,

This letter concerns the temporary structure in the backyard of Unit N. First, I would like to apologize for neglecting to get pre-approval from the Design Review Committee.

This structure is intended to be temporary. Ellen Fullman is occupying my unit while I am away for graduate school. I will graduate in May 2005 and dismantle the structure when I return. Ms. Fullman is an internationally known composer and the inventor of the Long String Instrument. When I offered her use of my unit, she said it was too short for her instrument and we came upon the idea of extending the instrument into the backyard.

Ms. Fullman has performed around the United States and Europe. In 2001, in San Francisco, she premiered a 45 minute piece that she wrote for her instrument and the Kronos Quartet. She was recently featured in the cover story of MusicWorks magazine. I feel that her work is both important and incredible. Having use of the temporary structure enables her to continue this work while she stays in Berkeley.

We are willing to be flexible and to take steps to mitigate possible water penetration issues. I hope that given the temporary nature of the structure and the value of Ms. Fullman's work, that the board decides to temporarily allow the structure to remain.

Thank you very much,

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