01/03/2012 08:45 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2012

A 'Landmark' Backlash: Do San Francisco's Historic Preservation Rules Go Too Far?

Susan Beckstead stepped out of her sky-blue, three-story classical revival Victorian on Pierce Street -- the one with bay windows, dentil and egg-and-dart molding, a modillion cornice and balustrade-lined flat roof -- to show a visitor around her 120-year-old neighborhood bordering Duboce Park in central San Francisco.

Across the street her neighbor was finishing a $1 million remodeling of his 1898 taupe-colored, three-and-a-half-story Queen Anne Victorian, a process that so far has taken a year because of delays in getting permits. At the opposite end of Beckstead's block, workers toiled on the roof of a pink, 1905 Queen Anne triplex, where restoration is still under way a year after the initial permit application, owing in part to a dispute with neighbors over the appropriateness of a proposed street-facing dormer window.

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