In case you were wondering...

In case you were wondering...

This blog exists to encourage all those who have ever wanted--and needed!--a tiny getaway close to home. A workshop, playhouse, garden shed, sanctuary, mini-greenhouse, studio, home office; whatever it is you need, it IS doable, with some sacrifice, imagination, and compromise.

It helps if you're handy, too.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dot your i's, cross your t's...AGAIN, even if you thought you had already...

This probably shows just how much fun today was. Mind you, we'd checked the building codes, called City Hall, and talked to the president of the P & Z commission--no problem, or so we thought. Appears to have been a communications problem somewhere!

The guy who issued the stop work order said we had to submit a site plan, and they needed to have inspected the foundations and what-all...(eeek, there's sort of a building on them now!)

I hardly got a thing done all day but dealing with inspectors, officials, permits, and forms. And telling the same story over and over about 4 or 5 times. And sweetly suggesting they update and clarify their website info on codes...(the wee tiny deck was what caused the problem, I think. You don't need a permit for a shed under 120 square feet, which ours is, but decks do require one, and "sheds don't have decks." Even one that's only a 4 x 5 feet, thereabouts, extension to put a couple of folding chairs on, siiigh.)

But all's well that ends. Here's the building permit we weren't supposed to need. :-P

We're back in business, I now know the nice new P & Z guy a lot better (he asked if I'd be willing to serve on the commission!), and the City building guy, and I know to go direct to City Hall, in person, no matter what, because no matter how well you think you've researched the thing, no matter if you're sure you have all your ducks in a row, you've overlooked something or there's a conflict of opinion, understanding, or interpretation.

Later, the very nice, very conscientious City councilman/president of the P & Z commission made a special stop by the house to see what on earth was the problem. (He'd been told it was fine, too, but eep, who knew the tiny deck could be a glitch?) When he left, after viewing the shed and decklet, we were both still scratching our heads a bit...

But full speed ahead, tomorrow, "God willing and the creek don't rise," as my dad used to say! (By the way, Joseph said it helps that I'm a sweet little silver-haired lady with big blue eyes. I don't know about that, but I DID keep my cool better than either of the guys!)


  1. Ah governments in all their wisdom... nothing like showing up in person. I am loving what is happening with the cabin... well worth the all the extra effort. Have you been reading Walden?


  2. I'm still not sure where the problem was; the building guy thought it was bigger than 120 square feet with the outdoor storage added, so I went out and measured tonight. No, still 112 square feet. So must be that Sheds Don't Have Decks.

    And I read Walden years ago, Elizabeth! (Wasn't it required reading in the 70s? :-P) I'm reading Thomas Merton right now, though not quite ready for a monastery. Tempting sometimes though.

  3. So... will you accept his invitation and be on the commission?

  4. I doubt it. I served on a city board for 7 years--my own term and filling out someone else's. I've attended some of their meetings, too, and things got a bit more stressy than I need to deal with at this time in my life!

  5. Picky, picky people! In my daughter's neighborhood (s. California) somebody wanted to edge their garden with a mix of three different brick colors. Someone objected and he didn't get to. Another wanted palm trees and was told no. How picky do people get? That's why we are right in the middle of 40 acres with neighbors who feel the same. We do end up with some who hoard trashy stuff or even some who think they can come out here to dump their unwanted goods but overall we have a freedom people in town don't. There is always a tradeoff and at least you know someone isn't going to get away with some horrid structure in your neighborhood.

  6. Omigosh, different colors of brick was out? And what's one more palm tree in California?!

    I DO appreciate it that there are codes that make sure things are done safely and that we don't have horrendous eyesores, junkers, dumps in the neighborhood (not always cleaned up promptly for some reason.) Enforcing those codes is a thankless job! (And unfortunately some things slip through the crack, especially demolition projects. There was a lovely old 3 story brick apartment building on our main street, complete with inviting screen porches and big white columns to support them. Apparently it was easier to tear them off than to repair or keep them up, so now there's this three story cube with sorry looking doors leading nowhere, and an abomination of a stoop tacked on. UGH. Wish they could have stopped THAT.)

  7. Very glad you didn't let this little hiccup stop you (as if anyone could stop you!) and it's all come together so well and perfectly for you!

  8. It WAS a little scary! Mark was sure it would work out, and he was right, bless the man...



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