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Although this gentleman's situation is unfortunate I don't see that the town is being overly hard on him, although the bleeding heart journalism certainly implies that it is. Do his circumstances warrant special treatment? No, not in my opinion. It would be great if they'd cut him a financial break but the fact is that he did the work without a permit...Illegally. Ignorance of the law or the situation is not a good defense, even if you have cancer. I'm sure this gentleman wasn't dying of cancer when he was illegally working without a permit.

If the city writes this off, the next homeowner is left to deal with the unchecked and potentially unsafe conditions that may exist behind a pretty coat of paint and nice trim. That certainly isn't fair to the next owner. If the city writes this off they're absorbing a huge amount of liability.

I'd propose that they waive the penalties, charge him the normal price for a plan review and permit, and inspect the work for compliance with the applicable codes. That would be a fair resolution.
 

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Although this gentleman's situation is unfortunate I don't see that the town is being overly hard on him, although the bleeding heart journalism certainly implies that it is. Do his circumstances warrant special treatment? No, not in my opinion. It would be great if they'd cut him a financial break but the fact is that he did the work without a permit...Illegally. Ignorance of the law or the situation is not a good defense, even if you have cancer. I'm sure this gentleman wasn't dying of cancer when he was illegally working without a permit.

If the city writes this off, the next homeowner is left to deal with the unchecked and potentially unsafe conditions that may exist behind a pretty coat of paint and nice trim. That certainly isn't fair to the next owner. If the city writes this off they're absorbing a huge amount of liability.

I'd propose that they waive the penalties, charge him the normal price for a plan review and permit, and inspect the work for compliance with the applicable codes. That would be a fair resolution.
They should have an inspector come out, check that everything is safe, and waive the fee's. If certain things need to be changed then fine, but that's insane. He's dying of cancer and is a veteran. He should get a break.
 

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They should have an inspector come out, check that everything is safe, and waive the fee's. If certain things need to be changed then fine, but that's insane. He's dying of cancer and is a veteran. He should get a break.
Thereby establishing a precedent that if you're sick and/or a verteran then the law does not and should not be equally applied. :huh:

As stated, I'm all for waiving the penalty fees.
 

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I have to agree w/KC
Reduce some of the penalties, he did come forward to clear it up
But you can't just waive the costs/permitting/inspection process
How many people are out there with similar issues?
Once you waive fees your are setting a bad precedent
Then every person who has an issue will use that as an excuse

The press does love to play up their own angle
 

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What did he do that he's special? Tragic that he's dying, but he should pay everything, fines and all.

This author is very clever about getting sympathy for this man. If you read the article fast, you think he's a Vietnam vet.
 

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Unfortunate but unavoidable. The permits and fees are just a small part of what his expenses would be if there were a fire. His insurance could claim the unpermitted work was the cause of the fire (and probably would) and refuse to pay. If it is now finished, the least they will require is an inspection. That means walls get torn apart for the inspection.
 

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"Marine veteran of the Vietnam era and a retired correction officer, built a home 10 years ago and then ran out of money before finishing the basement. The town gave him a certificate of occupancy that says he could live in the home, but that the basement was unfinished. He later finished the basement, but never got a permit for the work. He says he never knew he needed one and forgot about it.

I am also a Vietnam veteran and I think he should pay all the fines due.

1. veteran
- was used to rules and regulations

2. correction officer - see #1 above.

3. built a home - see #2 above.

4. basement was unfinished - see #3 above.

he never knew - see #4 above. I learned in the military: If it moves, salute it!
If it doesn't move, salute it anyway, just to be safe.

Be safe, G
 

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subtract the overtaxes they charged him the last 5 years on a home that was over appraised. infact do that for all of us that lost 50,000 in home values.
 

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My house hasn't decreased in value as far as taxes go
It was taxed at FAR less then the selling value
And the housing market was very strong 5 years ago
Matter of fact even a little over 2 years ago
Anyone & everyone has the right to contest their taxes if they think their house is appraised too high
 

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what about all these home buyers builders that went through the legal process of getting permits and their home is rotting from an unseen circumstance that the inspector failed to catch ????? believe me there is alot of that . houses rotting from a bad design but was passed by the inspector... should the city reimburse those people ?? we need to be consistant if were going to throw fines around. if the city wants responsibility from homeowners they have to be resposible to. if inspectors were private contractors and not govt workers they would be gettting ripped for this. . :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A little more detail would be helpfull for me to create an honest opinion.
Did finishing his basement consist of 2x4's, romex and sheetrock or did you rip out columns, add headers and other structural changes ?

That town, Mamakating - is in the paper alot for things like this. The latest is a group of Hasidics are staying in an old hotel complex, which they are using as a girls camp, which has been declaired a "fire-trap" about a month ago and asked to evacuate, but ignored the town.

The local building inspector in the town i live in told me about leach fields (i forgot how many and how big, but it was more then acouple) which are right near wells people use for their water which Mamakating keeps sweeping under the table.

From the little i have read about the town (and have heard from the local inspector here and a guy i work with), i think its a situation which needs to be looked at in the preception of the enviormment.

If a town is run like the wild-west, something like this seams to be wrong and is doing nothing more then tring to generate money. If the finished basement whent through structural changes then i would agree that plans should be provided and the rest of the red-tape, but if the guy just sheetrocked and ran some outlets and lights, give me a break.

If the town was run like the a hospital, eveything is accounted for, then yea - sock it to him.

The "i didnt know or i forgot" can get old, i cant see that flying and also the point the only reason he "turned himself in" is because of his condition rubs me the wrong way - if he was fine and this permit ordeal came up, would be be the "honest citizen" and turn him self in ?


what about all these home buyers builders that went through the legal process of getting permits and their home is rotting from an unseen circumstance that the inspector failed to catch ????? believe me there is alot of that . houses rotting from a bad design but was passed by the inspector... should the city reimburse those people ?? we need to be consistant if were going to throw fines around. if the city wants responsibility from homeowners they have to be resposible to. if inspectors were private contractors and not govt workers they would be gettting ripped for this. . :thumbsup:
Cheers.
I was gonna help a friend plumb a house a few months back, turned down the offer for personal reasons (he wanted a hack job just to make some money, off me and the owner) and another friend of mine did the job (non-plumber, he does windows and siding for a living - hes not a dope). The friend that did the job "gave it his all" but here is one example of what he did and the plumbing inspector (who is the same as the framing inspector) passed.

Cealing has 2x4 joists (1-1/2 x 3-1/2).
He came down an intearior wall with a 1-1/2 pvc sink drain line (or vent, i cant rember), drilled out about 4-6 of the 2x4 joists to run the line horazontal through them. Being you cant slide the pvc thought there he had to sleave and glue a bunch togeahter (this point is not my friend aproching this wrong, which he did in my opinion, but the inspector). Again, this is though a 2x4 joist with an old attic above which has been turned into livable space. Both the framming and plumbing passed.

ok, heres another (the attic livable space thing reminded) :)
The upstairs (attic) looked to be a small hall way which had two small room on the end which where opened up with a dormer so they could be turned into bedrooms and a bathroom, all of this on 2x4 joists. The span is around 10 foot. The inspector let it fly. I cant rember what the NY-Book says about spans, but i cant imagen that this is ok. Theres no question the holes my friend drilled to run the 1-1/2 line have caused a real structal issue, but it passed the framming and plumbing inspection.

If the owner goes to sell, and the buyer gets an inspection and these things are cought and "failed", is the town gonna foot the bill because the original inspector just didnt care (the things here can not be considered a slip or mastake, this inspector is blind or just does not care) ?

This cant be the only house which this inspector has been in.

I would agree with your quoted post, oldrivers.
People will say, yes - they should take responsibility, but when reality comes, 98% of the time it will not happen and some lawyer will get the town or whatever out of it.



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