From $9.95


Statistics

Users
Total: 31,151
Visited Last 30 days: 144
Forum Messages
Total: 20,772
Last 30 days: 10
Forum Evaluations
Total: 24,154
Last 30 days: 0
Journal Entries
Total: 5,297
Last 30 days: 12
Connections
Total: 15,167
Last 30 days: 3
Downloads
Total: 82,474

Journals

Name
Tanglewood Colorado Springs, CO
113,690 Visits | 954 Posts | 2,486 Pix | 42 Videos
The-Last-Rodeo Angel Fire, NM
24,078 Visits | 266 Posts | 426 Pix | 4 Videos
Z-Oen Dayton, OH
5 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
washougalhome Washougal, WA
677 Visits | 22 Posts | 124 Pix | 0 Videos
MadeByMelissaPdByChr... Berea, KY
64 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Geosynthetic-Systems
57 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
vanphuccity Ho Chi Minh, AL
69 Visits | 2 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
MCKAY-ICF-BUILD Oconomowoc, WI
111 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Car-Rentals-in-Udaip... Delhi, AL
135 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Art-Camacho New Braunfels, TX
869 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Quijada-project-Lake... Lake Havasu City, AZ
172 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Port-Townsend-Build Sherman Oaks, CA
152 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
MesaBarnHouse Mesa, AZ
1,323 Visits | 33 Posts | 46 Pix | 0 Videos
LalcoInteriors1 Mumbai, AL
169 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Stan-Tol Winter Springs, FL
254 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Metal-Buildings Conroe, TX
355 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
benson-bondstone-hom... Coeur d'Alene, AL
320 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Demetrius Kansas City, KS
405 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Genes-Job Cocoa, FL
500 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
NorthPoleHome North Pole, AK
38,639 Visits | 40 Posts | 177 Pix | 0 Videos
See all journals...

Current Top-Rated Posters

RatingPosts
Steve0.002
James in Beaumont, TX0.002
Timmy Weeks0.001

Your site is great!
John M., Erie, CO

Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.
25,000 pages of free owner-builder resources.  We accept no ads.

A few comments from the new guy


Filter by date: and/or Keyword



Reply... Subscribe to this topic

2009 Merit Award Winner

Terry's Forum Posts: 74
Interview Answers: 80

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Terry in Phoenix / Oracle, AZ on 3/28/2007


I perused a number of the posts on the AZ board. A few comments:

Maricopa County and permits/inspections: They have become obstructionist in the last few years. I know a number of builders and contractors who have to wait often months on permits. Their inspectors are literally now looking for a fight in many cases. Case in point: A couple of weekends ago I was doing a replace/repair for an owner on a house a few blocks from mine. Phoenix sent out an inspector about the 40-yard dumpster on the driveway. This guy started in on the owner and then on the drywallers, painters, me (electrical and pool plumbing) etc. I had this guy ranting about no permits when there were no changes to the electrical system of the house, just new fixtures in existing locations. I had to jump on him pretty hard. He threatened to call his supervisor but then backed down when I called his bluff and said, "Sure. Let's get him involved too!" I am so glad I'm not building in Maricopa County.

Pinal (Oracle) so far has been a breeze relatively. What issues have arisen have been easily and cheaply resolved. Wash setbacks from 50 to 5 feet took 10 minutes on the lot. The inspector for footings (retaining walls at this point) and masonry work was easy to deal with. His biggest complaint was finding the lot!

Next up, utilities. Anyone know someone who does gas line cheap? The electric and water I'll run myself. 16-foot telephone pole to the meter, 2 1/2" IMC to RNC burial to the building for a 200-amp service. 1" PVC water line. Septic is planned as an on-grade mound due to poor percolation (the lot "soil" is mostly decomposed granite rock).


Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 3/29/2007


Welcome.

The cheapest way to do the gas line would be to run PE from the meter to the house. No joints. Just make sure you provide a locator wire.

I have heard similar horror stories about the Phoenix area. I know from experience that too often the inspectors abuse their authority until called on it, especially if they are some young kid with little or no construction experience. One doesn't have to really know anything about construction, just able to pass the test which is based on the code book.

Pinal County is easy to work in, except Casa Grande but they aren't bad. Usually problems have been resolved over the phone when trying to get a permit.

Reply...


C's Forum Posts: 5

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By C in Chandler, AZ on 4/5/2007


Terry,

I am trying to pull a single-family custom home permit in Chandler. We are coming up on 10 months and five rejections so far. The latest issue is that I have to obtain a street cut and encroachment permit to connect to a sewer main, even though the Public Works department has already agreed to stub the sewer to my property line when they expand the road in front of my property in the next few months. I am to the point that I have had to hire an attorney to negotiate with the city over the issuance of the permit.

It's not that any single issue that Chandler has raised is unwarranted. The issue is that every time we submit, we get completely new redlines that were never commented on before. 

If the inspectors are half as bad as the Planning and Development department, I suspect that my home will take two to three years to build.

Think long and hard about building in Chandler. I wish I had.

Chris

Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 4/5/2007


Unfortunately this is not an unusual case. Too many times the plans examiners will reject the plans without letting all concerned departments review prior to sending the plans back for corrections.

I would suggest you call your elected officials and raise a stink.

Reply...


C's Forum Posts: 5

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By C in Chandler, AZ on 4/5/2007


Dale,

There were signs that this was going to be difficult very early on. I own three acres in central Chandler. The property is one of 26 "ranchettes" that the city has grown around. Since it is zoned AG-1 (one home per acre) I wanted to split the property, and I am still working toward that end.

In my initial meeting with the City Planning Department, literally the first words out of their mouths after describing what I wanted to do was "Well, LEGALLY, we can't stop you." What was unspoken was that, administratively, they will do everything they can to prevent me from building a low-density project. When I filed my minor land division paperwork, they required me to give them the right of way for almost an acre for the road expansion. They also wanted me to pay to redirect my property access to a side road. This would have cost me (in infrastructure costs plus land dedications) over $200,000. So I withdrew my lot-split plans.

What they want is for these properties to be purchased by one developer and then rezoned for much higher density, either four homes per acre or apartments. Chandler is approaching built-out status, and the city wants to ensure they have as large a tax basis as possible. They can collect more on four homes than on one.

Unfortunately, they don't seem to understand that, if they want to dictate what is built, then they should just purchase the property outright. Regardless, I will continue to grin and bear it. They are getting serious about acquiring land for the street expansion, and I am requiring them to acquire and build a road as part of the purchase agreement. Once that is complete, I will refile my lot-split and get this other lot sold.

Reply...


Justin's Forum Posts: 125
Journal Entries: 103
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Justin's Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Justin in Chandler, AZ on 4/5/2007


Chris

I have a lot in Chandler and so far haven't had any problems with the lot split. I guess I will pray that the plan review goes well. Luckily we don't have any street expansions or any other issues that may tie it up.

Have you owned that property for a while or did you just purchase it with this intent and all of this surprised you? We run into this a lot in land development where cities want you to do their dirty work for them or will make your project a nightmare unless they get their underlying agenda accomplished whether it be widening streets, connecting sewers or whatever they want the developers to pay for. Cities and utilities make the developers do so much and they are portrayed as the bud guy, but it is the cities and utilities that require it. Darned if you do . . .

Best of luck!


Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 4/5/2007


Arizona has become a poster child for uncontrolled growth gone from bad to worse.

Our cities formerly invited growth with outrageous incentives to developers. Then reality hit and there wasn't the infrastructure to support existing residents let alone all the newbies they had just encouraged to move in.

Some of the government reaction has been knee-jerk and stupid (to be kind about it). Current owners are penalized for letting someone new move to town. So now the state's 'smart growth" laws are kicking in where "new activity' is suppose to pay for itself, but there isn't always a means for addressing inequities within their process, fees, or rules.

Realistically, our state is staring disaster in the face. Their "assured 100-year water supply requirements' are based on old rainfall averages locally and snow in the nearby mountains and the Rockies for the Colorado River.

March was as much as 20 degrees above average temperatures with below-average rainfall. That looks to be the start of a long, hot, dry summer to me.

Reply...

2009 Merit Award Winner

Terry's Forum Posts: 74
Interview Answers: 80

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Terry in Phoenix / Oracle, AZ on 4/9/2007


All I can suggest with regards to working with Chandler (or anywhere else for that matter) on permits and inspections is go to these loaded for bear. If you are personally submitting, know enough about code and your plans to push back when the city redlines stuff. Just because they are employed by the city and "in the business" so to speak, does not make them experts necessarily.

The retaining walls I'm doing are a case in point. I drew the plans one way, the county made minor changes and approved the permit, I began the work and the inspector came out showed me a totally different drawing and said, "This is what we inspect to. What you have won't work." Rather than argue right off, I asked him what he'd take for a fix. He wanted an engineering approval. $250 later I had stamped drawings from a structural engineer (they are a lot cheaper if you already have done the majority of their work for them). That made him happy; I got signed off. He was also a lot easier to deal with the second time around. I got the impression he got the message he was not dealing with a rank amateur.

I can tell you if they object to anything else down the road they're going to have to do more than just say they don't like it. Don't let officious morons hold up things. Make them explain everything. Cite code right back at them. Above all, do not be intimidated or let them intimidate you.

If they come up with different variants of redlining on drawings, point out their inconsistencies. At that point question (politely) their competence and ask to see the supervisor. A problem here is that the city/county officials all-to-often think that someone who is not a "pro" is simply so incompetent that they can buffalo them with the bureaucracy of the system.


Reply...


C's Forum Posts: 5

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By C in Chandler, AZ on 4/10/2007


Terry, I appreciate the advice.

I am frustrated but not intimidated. The ace in my back pocket is that, eventually, they will need to buy 6,700 sq. ft. of land from me for the road expansion. I know that they have the power of condemnation and eminent domain, but a contested eminent domain case can take a year or more to resolve, and usually, the government entity does not fare well in court. Yes, they ultimately get the land, but they pay a heavy price.

The latest saga is this: Last month, they rejected my building permit (for the fifth time) because I showed a sewer tap connection where the city will place it, on my property line, once the road construction project begins.

Their reasoning for the rejection was that, since the sewer tap doesn't currently exist, I need to provide civil engineering, plus apply for an encroachment and street cut permits as if I were going to tie into the sewer main on my own dime. After appealing to the Director of Planning and Development, we reached a compromise where the two permits would be approved but would not actually be pulled.

So I spent a couple grand getting the whole sewer tap engineered and signed off by a civil engineer. We worked with the engineering firm that is designing the road expansion to ensure that my sewer line was aligned perfectly with where they were going to place the tap. I turned in the encroachment/street cut permits last week. 

Yesterday, the Public Works Department called to say they rejected the permit, because where I showed my sewer tap was exactly where the city was going to place the sewer tap. She said that both taps could not be run in the same place.

I explained to her that I would only need one tap but that the city was requiring that I get the permit, even though the city was ultimately going to do the work. She said that I need to get a letter from the engineering firm they hired to design the project verifying that my plans won't interfere with their work. Ughhhh, rocket scientists they are not.

What frustrates me the most is they're requiring me to coordinate the Planning and Development Department with the Civil Department with the Public Works Department for their project. I am going to give the city until June 1st, and make one more bum's rush to get my permit issued, and if that doesn't work, I'm putting this land on the market and moving on to greener pastures.


Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 4/10/2007


How long have you owned this property? How much value have you added? Is the market in the area strong enough to support a good profit?

Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 4/10/2007


One thing field inspectors are NOT suppose to do is "field engineer". If your approved plans don't meet their idea of appropriate, they are suppose to take that up with the plans examiner, not you, the contractor, or the engineer of record.

Reply...


C's Forum Posts: 5

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By C in Chandler, AZ on 4/10/2007


I locked the property up in June, 2004 (closed in December, 2004) and yes, we have had tremendous appreciation since then. That is what is kind of intriguing. With the gains on this piece of land, I could pay off my current mortgage on the house I have owned for 15 years plus put enough away to fund my children's college (assuming they don't want to attend an Ivy League school.)

Fiscally, it would probably be the smartest thing to do, but I know I will still have the owner-builder itch.


Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 4/10/2007


Maybe it's time to weigh the project for its merits. Sometimes O-B's get a little bullheaded about a particular piece of dirt.

It sounds like it will be awhile before the road/sewer project is finished. So you might want to resolve the right-of-way issue, unload the property, pay down your current mortgage and find another piece of land with less downside.

Reply...

2009 Merit Award Winner

Terry's Forum Posts: 74
Interview Answers: 80

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Terry in Phoenix / Oracle, AZ on 4/10/2007


Dale, I am well aware that inspectors are not supposed to "engineer" anything. But, I would rather have his opinion or suggestion on what he wants to sign off on the permit. If that is a cheap suggestion or not too much work I'm going that route for the signature. 

With 220 feet of retaining wall and nearly 11 cube (990) block and ten yards of concrete invested (not to mention steel, a backhoe, mortar, etc.), I was hardly going to let $250 stand in the way of completion.


Reply...

2006, 2009, 2010 Merit Award Winner
Contributing Editor

Michael's Forum Posts: 181
Interview Answers: 51

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Michael in Cave Creek, AZ on 4/10/2007


Have you tried talking to your city councilman or woman? Sometimes it is amazing what a phone call, email or letter to an elected official can do to get the attention of the department heads at City Hall. Do you know if your council member has neighborhood meetings? If so, attend a few and get to know him or her.

Some points for writing the letter or email. If you elect to use a letter, send the first letter via first class mail. Wait one week, follow up with a phone call. Then follow up with certified mail with a return receipt. (This gets their attention, but can be perceived as threatening - which may be bad this stage)

1.  Keep it short (no more than two pages).

2.   Be polite and non-threatening. Point out that this is for your personal home.

3. Express that you are frustrated with lack of coordination among departments. Acknowledge staff who have treated you courteously and professionally.

4. Briefly describe the facts causing your frustration.

5. Ask for the help you need, e.g. a meeting with the City Manager to coordinate issuance of the permit among departments, etc.

If you do this well... you will be in instant contact with the city's key managers and they will likely work with you to resolve your issue (if technically feasible, legal and safe).

Good luck!


Reply...

2007 Merit Award Winner

Dale's Forum Posts: 380
Interview Answers: 59

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Dale in Richland, AZ on 4/10/2007


I agree that sometimes the most expedient thing to do is follow the field inspector's advice. Especially if that will get things to another phase and another inspector won't be coming along and challenging your actions.

I suspect that a good number of building inspectors who are former contractors who would agree with your personal unstated assessment that the plans examiners are bureaucrats and idiots.

Reply...



Reply... Subscribe to this topic

Copyright 1997-2018 Consensus Group Inc.