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O/T Bld Cd Violation - Chapter 2

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by joe kuhn, Sep 23, 2007.

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  1. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Codes have been in effect since 1954 according to the lady at the front desk. Prior owner of my home built a shed and a screened in porch without permits. I inherited the responsibility when I purchased.

    My shed permit app was rejected because the shed is on a drainage easement. I asked about that with the ticketing inspector and he said not to worry about it. So much for his advice.

    Rejection wording says I can move the shed "or provide additional information showing that this structure can remain inside easement." That was pretty vague so I asked about that and he said there might be some document showing the easement has changed. The lady in the Recorders office in charge of research said easements are never changed. It was still there in her document. She knew what she was doing.

    Looks like I move the shed off the easement. I do have a source person on your survey - that company is still in business and I'm going to ask who's in charge of setting up and possibly changing easements.

    Porch app was rejected too. Since it's attached to the house I need cement piers that go at least 42 inches below grade, 8 x 8 inches wide. I checked and my cement pad does not have piers under it. Will change the drawing to reflect this, but the documentation isn't clear. It doesn't show spacing and it doesn't say how wide if the pier is round.

    I thought moving the shed was going to be tough. 42 inches below grade is enough to bury the dog, my high school pictures and anything else I care to get rid of forever - below the frost line.

    Wow. Prior owner really got me. He's dead now.
     
  2. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    In this case it's a pretty small porch; just big enough for a lunch table and some chairs, but we do like it. Considered tearing it down. There is some settling on the one side, but not much. I didn't really notice it until I asked the question - why would a porch need piers?

    We once jacked up a barn and tore out all the stanchions from our cow milking days. People that do that work are what I call mechanical engineers.

    I wonder how many piers I'm supposed to have. I can see it now. I put one in on each corner and then I'm told I need one in the middle on each side. Will call on spacing.
     
  3. alpine

    alpine TS Member

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    You have entered the "Twilight Zone" of the building inspectors. They will reject everything that is not 100% correct, and will not tell you why. When you go back and ask you will get 10 different answers, and all of those will be wrong.

    Obtain a supply of the pink liquid and know that you will live through it.
     
  4. Big Az Al

    Big Az Al Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    near Tucson Trap
    An old story, And I knew 2 of 3 participant's

    Envolving a COP of the old School.

    After the city had annexed another mile. The city inspectors where out giving grief to people doing work on county permits.

    The old COP gets a call to go rescue an inspector, as he was being held at gunpoint, (even those old dispatchers knew what asses those inspectors were!) she sounded like she could care less, according to the cop.

    So the cop gets there and finds yep the homeowner has a gun. Ask's what seems to be the problem?

    The homeowner say's, "This jerk does not have a clue at all about his job, or anything else and unless he signs off the permit I am going to bury him right here!

    The inspector say's, "I can't, the code is that the wiring will be no less the 14 gauge wire and he's used 10!"

    the old cop say's, "have a good day, and turns to leave"

    inspector "you can't leave me like this!"

    COP "If you knew your job I wouldn't be here, that's what I am going to put in my report when I get back the station." walks away.

    They haven't gotten any better since then!

    Al
     
  5. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    Joe, the prior owner didn't "get you". He probably was still under the mistaken impression that this is a free country. How does that prick building inspector know your concrete piers don't go down 42"? If he comes around again tell him he better have a search warrant.

    Big AZ Al, we had a jackass building inspector in this town that liked to push people around. He once stopped at an old mans house who was on the roof tuckpointing his chimney. He started squawking about how you needed a permit to do that. Old man told the sob to leave, and guy keep on squawking. Old man then got down and knocked the sob out. Laid him right out. The matter went to court and the judge fined the homeowner - $20. The judge then told the old man he could probably have the building inspector prosecuted for trespassing because inspector didn't leave property after being told to.

    Word got around town about the $20 fine and dozens of people asked if they could pay their fine up front and take a whack at the inspector.

    The old man was my uncle. He is a WWII vet, and he said he didn't fight the Nazi sobs to come home and be pushed around here too.
     
  6. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Inspector was next door on the roof inspecting a new shingle job. He probably called his office to see if I had permits. He told me on the phone he took pictures of everything.

    What can I do but comply? It's a challange staying above this one. There's no problem with the drainage back there and the porch has settled all it's going to settle. I went to high school with the county board president. I could write him a letter about the manner in which this was done.

    Who normally sets up drainage easements and modifies them when construction changes the topography?
     
  7. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Trap club is nearby?
     
  8. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Joe- You are now in a tough position. If you can find the right person in the county government to talk with, you might be able to find a reasonable compromise. Do not go to war with the county. If you try to attack them, they will attack back and they have something you want. You might ask for a 3 month extension on the time they stated the work had to be completed. Then in three months it will be too cold to pour footers and you might get another few months. This may give you time to work out the problem.

    Pat Ireland
     
  9. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Time is slipping away. I made the two week deadline for my original application, but now I must redo my drawings, which I can do easily - they're just drawings. What I put on my drawings is what I'll need to implement and that is where I need to be careful.

    I could change how the porch is attached to the house. The building inspector said the porch cannot be attached to the house in any way, else the piers are required. It's screwed on at the moment, but I wonder about taking the screws out and putting in some type of 'slip' foam like styrofoam. I'll have to ask. At the moment this seems like an easier job than digging out for piers.

    The porch is prefabbed metal so it's not going to become a room.

    LUG attorney? I'm deailing with the county here so that would be some county attorney. My counsin is a lawyer and he helped with the purchase of the home. I'll ask him about this.

    Everyone has been polite so far and I intend to keep my side of it that way.

    Thanks guys.
     
  10. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    The neighbor is doing that. We'll see how he fares.

    Building inspector said I could take all the screws out between the porch and the house so that it's not attached and then I wouldn't need piers. Sounds like a plan.
     
  11. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Joe; Check with local government on filing a application for a variance. This is .done through the ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals), most communities that have ordinances have a ZBA. You could ask for a hardship, being to tear down and rebuild would be a financial hardship. The fact that you were unaware of the situation would also be a factor. In Michigan a ZBA's decision can only be appealed to the Circuit Court, they can be granted for unusal circumstances and hardships. I would think you would qualify I chaired our local ZBA for 15 yrs. and would have voted yes in a similar situation.

    Don
     
  12. Jim Brown (the puller)

    Jim Brown (the puller) TS Member

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    Building inspectors in my home township are not township employees, but are state certified and set their own fees for inspections. There are seperate certifications for inspectors of commercial properties and inspectors of non-commercial properties. There are also inspectors for different phases of construction. The township cannot require inspection by a specific inspector, only that it be by an inspector certified for the correct phase and type of construction.

    An historical tavern was being remodeled and expanded into a motel. More than a million drywall screws were used in the construction. The inspector came in, circled THREE places with a magic marker where there was more than eight inches between screws, and refused to pass the construction, refused to allow three additional screws to be added to allow it to pass without returning for a new inspection and the additional $50 inspection fee.

    I'd like to know if the inspector in this story is a government employee or an independent contractor looking for more inspection fees to add to his Christmas fund.
     
  13. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    The ZBA is probably going to be hearing from me. In addition to the variance forms there's also an Easement Encroachment form I can fill out for my shed which is currently on the drainage easement. Topography opposite the easement changed completely when the farm field and hill behind us became a flat lot for a townhome. Their lot is now actually lower than ours. There's a 2 foot topographical map that's available to me that I can use as documentation for the shed problem...

    A call to the county to see what fees are involved in these forms is next.

    My cousin is looking up a county lawyer.

    I think one of my 'options' is practicality. How much work are these guys willing to do over a shed and a porch permit? It's not that much money. I've contacted everybody once. It's time for round two. Drainage guy is on vacation and his stand in commented on how 2 guys are now doing the work of 3. I cried a little tear over this after hanging up the phone.
     
  14. rick resko

    rick resko TS Member

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    joe when pennsylvania adopted "act 45", uniform construction codes, our little boro hired an independent inspection agency. during the first year the local inspector acted like a combination of attilla the hun, adolph hitler and jeffrey dahmer. in that first year there wer no major projects going on. just small remodeling projects etc. the grief he put these good people thru was appaling. being vice president of the boro council i took a lot of flack. the second year we had 2 buisness attempt to relocate to our town. one buisness was going to make a $ 500,000.00 investment by demolishing an old eyesore and putting up a new structure. the buisnesssman was also a personal friend of 18 years. this inspector effectively blocked this project for 5 months out of spite. my friend was about to bail out so i did the only thing i could do. i made the motion at the next council meeting and had the inspection agency fired. the new inspector is a joy to work with according to all the contractors i have spoken with. he is fair and thouough and will do inspections in the evening or on weekends if needed. i wish you well on your project. rick
     
  15. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Tom. This is a small porch that certainly isn't worth that kind of rework, even if I could pay that. We're talking about tearing it down. It blocks alot of light coming in the north doorway and the screens are a maintenance problem. Johnny wants more pavement to skate on... I figure a crow bar and a couple of hours would do it. The more I look at that porch the more problems I see.
     
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