A friend who shall remain nameless called. He lives in the county
in a different state. He launched into a small addition with no
permit. He has it framed and dried in. He received a letter from
the county ordering him to cease and desist. He called wondering
what they can do to him if he just keeps going.
I didn't really have an answer. I did tell him that if there was
a need for the electric company to do any work on the service,
they would not perform without permit approval. Other than that,
what can they do? This guy is a bit of a renegade. I explained
about the yes, sir/no,sir - gee, I'm sorry approach. He's headed
a bit more along the my castle, my kingdom, damn the torpedoes
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
Other than fines in addition to costs for the permits they could refuse
COO or even order the property put back in its original state. Being
the cease and desist order is issued, the question of his being outside
a jurisdiction requiring permits is almost certainly settled against
him. At this point its only how onerous the particular regulations are
and how punitive they care to be assuming he chooses not to cooperate.
Undoubtedly, eventually it could lead to that in virtually an
jurisdiction if the recipient were stubborn enough. Just how far one
could push it would depend entirely upon the locals--if they've gone far
enough to issue the order, it would be unwise to ignore it, certainly.
The town I lived in didn't have an inspector.
But, you still had to goto city hall,
and get a permit for any work around the house.
Had nothing to do with getting it right...
it was just "legal extortion".
There are, or course, a few putzes for inspectors, but often the inspectee
makes them that way. Follow the code, do what he wants, things go smooth.
Don't curse or demean him or his position or the laws he has to uphold no
matter how dumb you think they are.
We have a state licensing inspector/examiner with a reputation for being a
hard assed p***k. I think he is a heck of a nice guy. When I had to call
him to have some people tested in a short time frame, I had my concerns.
When he answered the phone, my first words were "I need your help". The man
helped considerably, gave me all the time I needed and we got the job done.
I'm asking because (as you may have guessed) I'm wondering if the cost of
non-compliance will make the cost of non-compliance look like peanuts in
comparison. I suspect it doesn't matter to the maverick in question, though.
But in the non-compliance situations, the fees involved are always
peanuts compared to fines, costs of tearing things down, attorney's fees
if one decides to dig their heels in and fight city hall, etc. etc.etc.
The city limits expanded out to and around my Grandfather's house in
the 1950's. The city notified him he would have to have an 'indoor'
bathroom. He was happy with what he had and told the city off, in no
He fought with them and then; eventually built the bathroom. It had
all the current features, tub, sink, toilet, mirror. All the fancy
stuff. He did not connect the plumbing to the city.
He returned to city hall and told the bastards: 'now make me hook is
Eventually he did.
Hear hear, most inspectors are professional and the work is demanding. Lots
of paperwork and dealing with people with a bad attitude is not easy. There
are strict guidlines that the inspector must follow but, if you look hard
enough you can almost always find infractions. When the people I'm dealing
with are co-operative I usually work with them to solve the problems and move
on. There is plenty of work without having to return to a site.
Tony Hwang wrote:
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