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Old 04-07-2013, 05:06 PM   #1
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


When I designed and built my dream house, I promissed my wife I would add a screened porch a little later. Well 25 years have passed and I finally felt I could justify the cost and time. After months of planning, days spent creating detailed drawings, and advice on the phone from a Twp. Zoning Officer, I finally took my drawings and permit app. to the zoning office for my 12X20 screen porch. What I was told by a young girl who could not have graduated high school more than a year or two was unbelievable. First of all, she said I needed a plot plan from a Certified Cival Engineer In order to be sure I was not over any set backs. and that would cost me between $700 and $2500. (the est. for the whole porch was only $4,000) She did not care that my small, 1500 sq. ft. rancher set dead center of my 4 acre property and the closest set back line was 135ft. She then said if I did not put a roof over my deck I would not need the Certified Plot. IT'S THE SAME FOOT PRINT!! I guess my wife will have to do without her porch as I will not justify the stupididy. I later found out from a large reputible builder that the girl had no idea what she was talking about and the problem is a recent water run off law that requires a study by a CE when creating any cover over the land. I/E my 240 sq ft porch roof or a 20 acre Wallmart parking lot. It dosen't matter. Where do these people come from?? Is there no common sence in Government?? At this point I have no idea if the Twp. knows what they are doing. Does any one out there have any suggestions?

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


I would build the deck and cover it later, these new laws are just crazy. Here if you build a storage on a commercial lot you have to have a holding pond for the run off. There is a commercial building going up close by and they have dug their holding pond but guess what, if there is a lot of rain, the holding pond and the area around it will be under water. The place where it is, floods easily and there is a drainage ditch not more than 20 feet from it at the same depth.

The reason it is crazy to me is if there is a building there or not the same amount of rain and run off unless the ground is sand.

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


You wait 25 years to want to do this project and now want to blame someone else?

Instead of getting upset....ask to talk to a supervisor....if that fails, ask for a copy of the regulation that she is citing.
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


make an appointment and speak with the department head (not sure if in your area this is the building official or not) and see what's what. There is EPA storm water regulations that have been enacted that affect lots of your size and even smaller. We have to deal with that in Massachusetts. Find out what the regulations are you have to meet. And just remember there will be even more regulations in 5 years than there are today.

Sometimes the decision makers can use common sense. Good luck!
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


I found when dealing with building and code inspectors " it's easier to apologize than to ask permission"
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


and sometimes this is the results of not doing what you were permitted to do ....

http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...edward_hopper/
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


more government is always better.
if you do not agree with that just look at history and what this country was found on
so lets take a survey which state will secede first?
i say Texas they already have their own power grid and some cities have no zoning. that is why a high dollar house can be next to a roller coaster lol

one thing for sure is they will have to guard their borders because that is where the true Americans (and me)will be trying to get in but hopefully legally
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


Plant two rows staggered of fast growing pine trees to block your home from view from the road, and build the porch, taking pictures of every step along the way, especially the footings and below grade support. If you get popped, tell it to the judge. Assuming he has a brain, he will see the wisdom in your approach and maybe give you a small fine.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:20 AM   #9
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


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Plant two rows staggered of fast growing pine trees to block your home from view from the road, and build the porch, taking pictures of every step along the way, especially the footings and below grade support. If you get popped, tell it to the judge. Assuming he has a brain, he will see the wisdom in your approach and maybe give you a small fine.
I don't recommend this approach. The issue isn't local inspectors, its the EPA. You really don't want to get on their radar. Things could be worse for the OP: because of the new regulations designed to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, there are dozens of vacant lots around here that were platted years ago and now are too small to build on.

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Old 04-08-2013, 07:16 AM   #10
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


Something doesn't seem right. You talked to the township zoning officer on the phone, so that person should be familiar with what you are trying to accomplish. Call that person back and ask them about it. It is part of the process here to get a zoning permit, and to do that you need a plot plan with setbacks, dimensions, location of drainfields, etc. They calculate the impervious cover and approve/disapprove the addition based on a maximum of 15% coverage. There is sometimes a requirement to show elevations and flood plain proximities, especially if the lot is close to a waterway or has some unusual geography. You're not in a flood plain are you? After the zoning permit is approved, then you can get a building permit usually without question. I'd ask for a copy of the zoning ordinance that prohibits the building. Sounds to me like the young lady you've dealt with is mistaken. I've had to deal with some zoning officers like that. You just need to be tactful, and educated.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:11 AM   #11
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


Pretty much the way it works here as well, except we don't need a zoning permit (whatever that is). However, we don't have any regulations at all dealing with impervious cover on a residential lot. But even if the OP is subject to such regulations, I really find it hard to believe adding his porch would exceed the limit on a 4-acre lot.

A couple of years ago, the county tried to implement new zoning regulations that would limit the amount of your wooded property you could clear cut, based on its slope (more Chesapeake Bay protection crap aimed at controlling runoff). A petition forced the issue onto the ballot and it was soundly shot down.

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Old 04-08-2013, 08:15 AM   #12
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
Pretty much the way it works here as well, except we don't need a zoning permit (whatever that is). However, we don't have any regulations at all dealing with impervious cover on a residential lot. But even if the OP is subject to such regulations, I really find it hard to believe adding his porch would exceed the limit on a 4-acre lot.

A couple of yeas ago, the county tried to implement new zoning regulations that would limit the amount of your wooded property you could clear cut, based on its slope (more Chesapeake Bay protection crap aimed at controlling runoff). A petition forced the issue onto the ballot and it was soundly shot down.

zoning is a big issue where I'm at, lots of combined lots that need to be turned into one lot before any additions can be made etc... months sometimes waiting to get started on a job....one of the biggest setbacks
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:01 AM   #13
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
I don't recommend this approach. The issue isn't local inspectors, its the EPA. You really don't want to get on their radar. Things could be worse for the OP: because of the new regulations designed to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, there are dozens of vacant lots around here that were platted years ago and now are too small to build on.
Is that the same EPA that is owned by the Oil Companies that allowed spilled petroleum products to pollute Louisiana beyond recognition?
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #14
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


Yeah, it's the same one. But against the EPA, an individual homeowner has no chance. Too expensive to challenge them.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:48 AM   #15
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Another dream squashed by government regulation


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Is that the same EPA that is owned by the Oil Companies that allowed spilled petroleum products to pollute Louisiana beyond recognition?
your from Maryland? I have family and friends from Louisiana and it is not polluted beyond recognition. please keep i'll informed remarks to yourself.

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