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Discussion Starter #1
I need a opinion I respect- from a plumb.
Signed proposal to have Licensed builder "construct ranch house for 125k" work to be done workmanlike manner. Designer to b ******. Cost excludes permit fees. Hankshake type deal between 2 70yr olds.
So 165k later- he almost pd in full- 1 week before final or days before- I learn the gravel drive and parking has city ordinance new in 2007 calling for cement parking not gravel and I don't have 3k to do it.
I find out the same ordinance states the following " Building permit shall not issued unless site plan detailing parking , drives and encroachments submitted and approved"
Build permit was issued to builder and there was no such plot site plan with drives ever submitted with print-

I am trying to get the builder to ask the inspector to grant a "minor modification" to the still unsubmitted plot site plan allowing gravel since it is a postage size 4000 sq ft lot.
He could just inital it and give me the occupancy permit which I fear he will not until I pop for a drive made out of cement and a 20 x 20 cement parking slab.
Here's the kicker- the builder is a former board member in this city, knows everybody and I think but will check-had the HVAC mech inspector install the HVAC on the house .
Now I learn he also got a illegal permit showing no drives , n parking and he verbally assured me I could landscape later with gravel.
What the heck is the smart thng to do- wait until final and see if I get the occupancy or call them Monday and open can worms. This house is for a handicapped child of mine who does not drive or have a license so parking was not even thought of once he got the permit. And builder knew I tapped my 401k and mortgaged my house to the max to remain lien free and have zero cash or credit left. Motown
 

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well your first mistake was not having a DETAILED contract between builder and customer( I am assuming you), so you have nothing in writing on what the builder was to supply and the cost....and now it blew up....yeah I know you dont want to hear it, but WTF..WHY? would you do it, even after how many threads about contracts and handshake deals.....


well whats done is done...so the question is what end result do you want? the final inspection and CO so you can move your kid in? or do you want to try and go after what seems like a connected builder with the town?...
you dont have much of a leg to stand on and the only leverage would to hold back payment but you said your almost paid in full...
so try and get the CO without any of the driveways and try to change the sight plan with the town, you may want to consult a lawyer to see if any of the false paperwork could help you out and what legal recourse you have...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the kick I deserve- just looking to get the kid in there - just looking for a common sense approach to take to city fathers employing this inspector and wondering if they can say permit revoked and I am up ****s creek.
 

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already googled it-unless u can prove corruption a city can not be sued for illegal permit issued by employees but article says best interest city to settle. I recommended a settlement a minor modification be granted to allow gravel and maintain consistancy of 100 yr old homes in area and reduce flooding from impervious cement. waiting now but they stalling see what i do . figure they know they wrong and i got em. but what to do with the dirty pricks.
 

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already googled it-unless u can prove corruption a city can not be sued for illegal permit issued by employees but article says best interest city to settle. I recommended a settlement a minor modification be granted to allow gravel and maintain consistancy of 100 yr old homes in area and reduce flooding from impervious cement. waiting now but they stalling see what i do . figure they know they wrong and i got em. but what to do with the dirty pricks.
if you can get the CO the way you want it..In your case I would consider it best out come your gona get with out spending on a lawyer to persue anything..
how much do you owe the builder?
 

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Are you only dealing with the city's building department on this? Can you go to the city council and explain your situation to see if any kind of variance can be granted? By the way, I'm no expert on legal matters like this, just remember hearing about a similar issue where a city council granted a variance in the code to allow for undue hardship on the potential homeowner. Might be "going over the head" of the inspector/building department, but I have heard of this being done before.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Best idea yet thanks. I will see what happens in the next few days- Hoping to get a temp occ permit due to frost - should be able to pave in gold in 6 mo if we dont go on strike too. My whole point is the inspectors. Think I'll fight this battle when less skin in game and kids future not at risk.
 

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Best idea yet thanks. I will see what happens in the next few days- Hoping to get a temp occ permit due to frost - should be able to pave in gold in 6 mo if we dont go on strike too. My whole point is the inspectors. Think I'll fight this battle when less skin in game and kids future not at risk.

Been there. I am a municipal inspector and have been for years. I also deal with Zoning, business license, plan review, etc.

It is not uncommon to require "hard surface" driveways in municipalities. We have for years.


If your outline it is correct they cut their throats. The problem is if they wish to push it you may have legal fees and they could tie you up in court.



1) Fill out a F.O.I.A. request, (federal law) for all documents, permits, notes, reviews, E-mails dealing with this project. This can help show them you mean business. If when they reply you find they don't have a "site plan" that shows your driveway (if as you say they require it) you have a leg to stand on.


2) Attend a board meeting, which are public. Bring this information along and present it. Your municipal board can grant a "variance" based on your request. It may be easier if you plan on putting one in, and have a timeline for them stating when you would complete the driveway. I would not mention the "disability", often people with disabilities can benefit with a smooth access.


3) if this fails "kindly" inform them you are left with no choice but to speak with an attorney and find out why they violated their own requirements and issued a permit for this location and you may also turn to the new channels and/or social media with the information you have.



PM me if you wish.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks- this bucket list item- for a kid who had 4 yrs of college pd for when he was 5, who became ill and couldn't be 4th generation plumb- was implemented when his landlord - a multi millionaire builder local boy- offered to "help" us by building a small house so yes this was a handshake deal between 2 old men . I don't think many builders would build 900 sf these days.
He got mad at me for a few items I changed and thus became short with me due to his age and large projects. Yes he admits he did not submit ordinance required site plan showing drives existing and planned and parking. In my attempt to resolve this I read the entire city ordinances for Village. I found a "minor modification" definition and clause stating one could be granted by code offical only -simply by initialing it on the site plan- so I texted builder the chapter verse of this clause-and asked him to ask inspector to agree and to submit something so he could initial this- I have not heard back from builder in 6 ays and when I called sat evening his phone went to voicemail so I fear what is possible-thus wrote this plea. I like the guy and I used him cause we were both old school and I pray he is addressing this with his people at city hall- but I will use your plan which I did think of also- and get a copy of everything. I must ask - as a certified weld inspector- I am not allowed to inspect my own welds----if I find out thru documents the city Mech inspector installed my furnace and gas piping- and inspected it - should I mention this ?This builder is so connected at city hall he tells them what to do alot of times. Thanks for taking the time to help.
 

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Mech Inspector.

Fair question. The few project I did in my jurisdiction before I put my tools up, I contacted a State Inspector to come and sign off. I had to wait a week or two. But it kept things above board.

I would pose it as a question. More ammunition.
 
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