May have to build deck without permit. Need opinion.


Old 07-29-05, 11:36 PM
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May have to build deck without permit. Need opinion.

I have been trying to get a building permit from my county to build a deck next to my house. There was a septic tank issue. We had updated our old septic tank system to something new and improved. A composting toilet and greywater system. This system is compliant for years to come according to my state and federal contacts that we became friends with after talking with for so long during this septic tank ordeal. Well, to make a long story short the county took us to court over our composting-grey water system and WE WON. Well now they are refusing to give me a building permit because they say we do not have an approved system. My wife and I said that the judge said we did. The state and federal government say we do too. They say they dont accept the system. Just weird.

SO, here I am ready to build a code approved deck on our home. Just one problem, no permit, and unless I rip my current compliant and well working sewage treatment system with a holding tank, the county probably will not give me a permit.

My "buddy" said *&*# them, build it anyway. I tend to lean in his direction, but I could get into legal trouble. Not afraid of a fine, but if they ever had the right to have it removed, I would be--- well, pissed to say the least. I have been told that is extremely rare, but what else can I do.

Any opinion would be appreciated.

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Old 07-30-05, 05:55 AM
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Move or hire a good lawyer.
Old 07-30-05, 08:32 AM
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Think of it this way. You already have their attention. If you build the deck without a permit, they will probably fine you AND make you remove it. You have to get the first situation cleared up before you move on. Good luck.
Old 07-30-05, 04:20 PM
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they have you by the ....

short hairs. funny thing about local building inspectors. power goes to their heads and they think they are infallable. you already went to court and i suppose you must have incurred legal fees.

now, what i would do is take them to court (sue them). I'm not a lawyer, but you already have a precident and a legal position. At this point, they are harrassing you. I would sue not just to get the permit, but for pain and suffering brought on by their harrasment.

I would not build without the permit. Unless you get a legal action, they can (and probably will) make you tear it down. Even if you end up winning in court, they are within their rights to make you tear it down. Or worse...... have it torn down and add it to your property tax.

by the way, I would be very interested in hearing about your gray water system. would you please send me an email offline?

Old 07-30-05, 06:47 PM
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Like everybody else who has replied, I'm not a lawyer either. But (IMHO) you have a court ruling that says that your septic and gray water system is legal, even if it does irritate the folks at the County. Now you are one of their lightning rods. DO NOT boot leg a deck in without a permit. You are being watched, and they will do whatever they can to make your life tough. Play it by their rules. If that means taking them to court and getting a court order to tell them to issue the permit, then that's what you do.

Read jay_myself's post a couple more times. That's probably what it's going to take.
Old 08-06-05, 08:44 PM
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Word of advice already given here. DON'T build that deck without the permits!!!!! You have caught their attention, and they will retaliate and hit on any tiny infraction. Even if you battle, and win, ( you have only fought the preliminary engagements) and try to sell, you will be a loser because you do not have a permit for the deck. The seller can mandate that it will have to be ripped down at your expense. My brother had the same problem and it cause him more than the deck was worth to comply to their mandates only because it was so beautiful that it was the main selling point of the house.
Be warned and tread carefully.
Old 08-07-05, 07:12 AM
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Don't Build It

Someone from that office or their spouse or cousin...someone is driving by your house every few days or taking Sunday drives down your street, looking for construction materials
I'd say don't build it
You might want to post your situation in the Law sub-forum of the Real Estate forum here at DIY and see if anyone there has any suggestions on how to proceed

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