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Mrs Julia Valentino is Simmerville's new spokes sim since a couple months. She resides a large house with her husband and their 2 daughters, and a dog named Tobbietoo.

Your opinion?
Share your opinion related to this article. Is it right to require an agency to control builds? Please post here.
Only the first 10 comments will be put on this page.
April 16 2004, Mayor Haley Miller, ...
Absolutly NOT! What a horriable thing to have to live with. I am the mayor of HaleysVille and that is the most Revulting thing I ever heard of. Some of the families need 2 stories because of their always growing children.
The people of simmerville should pull together and stand strong!
September 21 2003, Jessica, ...
I think that's a HORRIBLE idea! I'm my hood's architect and I know that architecture is all about expressing your creativity and you can't do that with building restrictions unless you're an extremely patient multi-millionaire!
It is true though that some houses need limits because they look awfull, but I don't think that's the way to do it!
Jul 28 2003, Frederick Archebald, Sackville
I fully agree that this neighbourhood needs smartening up. This new sceme is sure to improve on this and make it a better place to live for all of us.
Jul 26 2003, Anthony Troy, Simborough
Dear Mrs Valentino, I truly think this an absolutely great idea. I'm very aware of neighbourhood beauty and appearance schemes. After the plague in Simborough when everyone was evacuated and all houses destroyed we did not have many problems. There were only a few families and the utmost care was taken. However as more sims have moved back here the same problems as are occurring in your neighbourhood are occurring here. I cannot wait to find out about the financial transactions so that Simborough can take on a similar system.
Jul 26 2003, Angela Gobelin, Simmerville
Well, I do agree that we needed some restrictions, but wouldn't it been easier with a less ambisious law? I mean after reading the letter, and now this very article, I know that I will hire that consultant right away instead of counting tiles and rooms and that kind of complications when adjusting our gorgeous home. Money is of course not a problem (at least not on my behalf) but things used to be a bit easier.
Jul 25 2003, Bonnie Hedgewood, Simmerville
Congratulations to the Hood Council for making a respectful decision! I think this hood is pretty bad concerning the houses, and I would miss a more common expression, better gardens, a certain distinct look and choice of colours and more. Maybe this is what we all need to get proud of our hood!
Jul 25 2003, Cassie Moulino, Simmerville
I disagree so much! I am a Hood Council member (parents representative) and nobody ever asked me about this subject before the law was effectuated. Families with many kids will often need to add a small room at the time, and they can not afford a fee of §1000 each time they get a new baby! This system is meant for wealthy families only, and not suitable for a diverse neighbourhood!

New building restrictions
July 25, 2003 - by Bimbo Nobrain Loveless

Not long ago Simmerville residents were allowed to add a room or even a full story to their house without asking anyone. The new Hood Council has given us a new law prohibiting this kind of activity!

April this year Simmerville elected a new Hood Council. Among their first tasks were to beautify our neighbourhood. In charge of this operation we find Simmerville's spokes sim, Mrs Julia Valentino.

- I simply realized that many houses were nothing but ugly! I don't want to point out a specific address, but a house that could be seen from my own lot was a typical example of how bad a house can get when the owners adds one room at the time without having a larger plan. When that family recently moved and their home was demolished nothing could stop me from opening a bottle of champagne! Such an awful building put up by that unemployed and not very talented husband!

Oh, for a second... I mean, I happen to live on a neighbouring lot, but no husband built there...

- That's ok, I know you added a few rooms to your house as well some time ago, but it doesn't look that bad because your house is pretty small.

Well, my home is the most trendy home of Simmerville! You would have known that if you visited your neighbours before announcing they live in a small house! 

[Oh, cool down NL... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ...] 

Mrs Valentino, do you think that Simmerville builds are less planned than builds in other neighbourhoods?

- Probably not. That's why I agreed to being interviewed on this subject. I've been driving through several other hoods, and they often have their own style and charm, but many of them also have houses that look as if they turned out differently than they were planned. Surrounded by a great garden those strange houses can hide some of their mistakes, but I assume that more hoods than Simmerville might want to be ahead of this development.

So how will the new community law concerning adjustments of existing Simmerville builds apply?

- I ... We - the Hood Council - have decided that we all want to live in a neighbourhood of beauty and harmony, therefore we now declare that any major modification to existing houses and other builds must be approved by an real estate agency certificated by the Hood Council. This takes effect in the neighbourhood including Old Town, but will not affect other areas - as of yet.

So you have delegated this responsibility to a newly established company?

- Yes, the Hood Council announced as of June 10th 2003 that this business will be taken care of by the local real estate agency Builds&Bills, ran by Mr Bertrand Montpellier. We get a better control, but we also get a new business established in our hood. The deal with Builds&Bills is valid for 1 year, then we will evaluate the entire law.

Applying rules
A letter with the full set of rules has been sent to all Simmerville residents. I'll try to bring a concentrate from that letter here.

The rules are pretty simple, you just need to know what changes can be done without involving the consultant from the local agency. Because you can still do a lot of smaller changes without consulting the local agency.

When you want to do major changes to your house, then bring your plans or requests to a meeting with the local agency. The agency will assure the quality of all changes, and help you with design and construction and eventually even suggest colours and materials.

Small changes - no consultant needed
You can still do many small adjustments as often as you like without consulting an agent; such as adding or removing doors, windows and indoor stairs. You can also still replace the covering of existing walls, floors and roof.

Inside your house you can do small adjustments even to the walls like dividing an existing room into 2 smaller rooms or removing one wall to get one bigger room, or other similar adjustments. There is a limit though as you are not allowed to do more than 10 operations per 25 days, meaning you can add 10 wall tiles, or remove 10 wall tiles, or move 5 wall tiles (remove 5 + add 5). You must wait 25 days until you do another small adjustment. Such operations must be reported but are free of charge.
Concerning changes to your outer walls they are limited to wall covering and adding, moving or removing doors and windows. Moving any outside wall is considered a major adjustment no matter how few tiles that are to be changed.

Adjusting garden plants and trees: no consultant required.

Major changes - consultant needed
You are up to a major change if you plan more than 10 operations, if the adjustments will affect more than 2 rooms, or if the changes affect outer walls. Adding or removing more than 10 wall tiles or floor tiles, or moving more than 5, is considered a major change. There is no limit to the number of walls/floors adjusted other than the agency's fee.

A garage, shed or other small garden builds do apply by the general 10 operations law. Garden builds will normally be major adjustments because they often include outer walls.

Adding a 2nd story or building a brand new house can not be done without consulting the agent.

How much will you be charged? *)
The cost will of course depend on the agency's policy, and on the adjustments made to your home.

In Simmerville the cost is based on house area, §500 per 1000 sq.ft. 
1 meeting with the agent will be included per §500 fee.

If you start with an empty lot and order a house covering 3500 sq.ft, the basic fee will be §2000, including 4 meetings. A 1800 sq.ft. house will result in a fee of §1000. A major adjustment of your existing home (say you want to remove 12 wall tiles) might cost as little as §250.

Be aware that this fee will come on top of the general material costs.

*) How can you get charged? Simmerville has developed a very simple system allowing financial transfers between households. The items needed will be available in the STUFF section early August 2003.

Photo top: this house doesn't exist, it's just an illustration meant to show a house that was extended room by room.