Saturday, July 12, 2014

How To Get Screwed Over By....

Your local building dept.

Have your super nice guy, reasonable BI get freaking bought out by the city
and take early retirement....
I've been working on this stupid freaking project for a while now which is
taking a basement that has two illegal apartments in it and make it a single
legal apartment.

The code enforcement inspector was really reasonableish. He didn't make me
gut the entire basement. He let me keep both bathrooms and the drywall on
one side of each wall which also means I got to keep the non-load bearing interior
walls also.

After the initial demo we had a meeting and he laid out exactly what he wanted me to do and at what
point he wanted me to call him back to re-inspect.
Boom, I go to work, get really hurt, (my back) get really sick, (my liver unfortunately) and it ends up
taking a lot longer to get to the pre-agreed inspection stage.

 I call him back and SURPRISE he's retired!!!!

 Now the whole agreement was verbal between us, he was going to be the only BI at the job so I didn't think anything of it.

Where's The New Code Enforcement Officer?
For two months I've tried to get the new code enforcement officer out to check out the situation. That's three phone calls and three emails and one phone call to his aide. I hear nothing from the guy for two months. I get sick of waiting and email his boss with a very polite WTF?
The next day I get a phone call from the code guy who says its not his job and to make an appt.
with a regular inspector.

Regular Inspector 'no likey'
Today a 'regular' inspector comes out and freaking tells me this.
That he was sent out to tell me no, I can not actually finish the basement as an apartment legally...
that actually the zoning was never approved and that the building permit should never of been issued!!!!!!!!!!
I told him that, that seemed impossible to me as the building dept absolutely does not issue building permits without a signoff from zoning/planning. I swear I can remember getting a letter from the city saying the planning was approved.
He says that he thought he was coming out to look at a bare basement.

So, the building dept doesn't want this permit finaled and I've got a nice 3 bed 2 bath apartment that is ready for drywall(I think).

Because of my own slowness and the injury/sickness I only have a month and a half left on the permit.
I'm worried that they are going to jerk me around until the permit expires and then refuse to issue another one...

I got the inspector to unofficially look around today and he said that he thought the quality of the work was nice, and picked out a couple of small things I could fix. Point is, no health/safety issues. From what he was saying it sounded like he had a meeting with his superiors and they gave him a list of stuff to look at to try to deny me outright.

They wanted him to look at all the windows to make sure they were original and therefore under the historical building code (smaller openings allowed for egress).
I am supposed to have a meeting on Monday with the BI and the top dog at the building dept....we'll see how it goes I guess.
I need advice...what do y'all think I should do?
I feel like, to the best of my knowledge I've done the right thing and because the city early retired my BI I'm getting seriously F'd.
I think right now my only two options are:
1. Ignore city and finish unit illegally.
2. Go to meeting and hope for a reasonable accommodation.

Help,
Mads

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