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Author Topic: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit  (Read 805 times)

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Offline Sedgehammer

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Ok, filed for the permit. Reviewer emails me back and says 25' minimum distance from property lines zones agriculture. I'm at 18'. I replied asking him if since we live in a development and the covenants say 10', which one is the go by. I'm assuming it's the development covenants, otherwise why wood it even mention it. He did say I can ask for an exemption, but i'm waiting on his reply.

Anyone have similar experiences?

Offline Mike W

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 12:06:28 PM »
Can't speak to Oklahoma as I have never worked or dealt with those local agencies.  I have been a self employed general contractor since 94 and licensed in multiple states,

What I can speak to in all those states, during site development, there is some lots that are restricted by CC&R's, those are development guide lines and not all of them are legal or enforceable, more rather a guild line to maintain harmony within such developments.  With all that said, Zoning always trumps CC&R for the more stringent criteria,  CC&R's may enhance additional restrictions, but if Zoning or Code is more stringent, that code shall apply

We have been successful in obtaining variances when needed, just have to jump through the hoops..

Best of luck 

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2021, 08:35:18 AM »
Finally was able to talk to someone in permitting. $1,200 application fee, need 10 of the neighbors legal descriptions, addresses and phone numbers, why without this variance how it wood make an undo hardship, why our property doesn't allow it to be built somewhere else. They wood meet on the 20th of May to discuss/decide. of course the money isn't return if it's a no.

Have 11/16 of a mind to just build it. every other building we built without a permit. they've done their mill rate inspections of this area and nothing was said.

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2021, 11:01:21 AM »
Ok, filed for the permit. Reviewer emails me back and says 25' minimum distance from property lines zones agriculture. I'm at 18'. I replied asking him if since we live in a development and the covenants say 10', which one is the go by. I'm assuming it's the development covenants, otherwise why wood it even mention it. He did say I can ask for an exemption, but i'm waiting on his reply.

Anyone have similar experiences?
The neighbor pulled a fast one several years back. The zoning set back from property line was 35 feet. He told the zoning guy that I was ok with him building a pole building. The zoning guy give him a variance and he put it up like 3 or 4 feet from property line. I talked to the attorney about it and the bottom line is $$$ if I wanted to do something about it. My point is you can do anything you want or go against the covenants and it depends on how much money or how bad they want to take you to court. You could roll the dice and build but be prepared to go to court. 

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2021, 11:35:44 AM »
Ok, filed for the permit. Reviewer emails me back and says 25' minimum distance from property lines zones agriculture. I'm at 18'. I replied asking him if since we live in a development and the covenants say 10', which one is the go by. I'm assuming it's the development covenants, otherwise why wood it even mention it. He did say I can ask for an exemption, but i'm waiting on his reply.

Anyone have similar experiences?
The neighbor pulled a fast one several years back. The zoning set back from property line was 35 feet. He told the zoning guy that I was ok with him building a pole building. The zoning guy give him a variance and he put it up like 3 or 4 feet from property line. I talked to the attorney about it and the bottom line is $$$ if I wanted to do something about it. My point is you can do anything you want or go against the covenants and it depends on how much money or how bad they want to take you to court. You could roll the dice and build but be prepared to go to court.
Ouch. Can't pull that one. Hard to believe they didn't do a follow up with you. Here they need the addresses and names, as they will send a notice out. 
I understand on the part about the possibility. I had a friend that always said if you're going to speed, be prepared to pay the price......

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2021, 01:38:54 PM »
I had to apply for a “special exception” to build my pole building as it is larger than 600sqft. They sent a special invitation to each of my 11 adjoining neighbors to attend the meeting at the city. Thankfully, nobody wanted to chime in. 
But I did have set back considerations  I had to stick with. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2021, 03:02:32 PM »
You could go ahead and build, I have no idea what enforcement is like in your area but but our regional district nazis  would be all over it like stink on a wet dog. They would likely insist it be removed with a court date for non compliance. No  insurance and title could not be transferred with an illegal building onsite. My landlord wants to build a carriage home on the back of the large lot, next door neighbor is fighting it tooth and nail.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2021, 04:32:28 PM »
Sawguy21
That very thing happened here. The owners built a nice, big garage without a permit and their HOA pitched a fit. The city came in with an excavator. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2021, 07:35:22 AM »
Experience will likely vary significantly by town, not just by state. I sit on our town's zoning board of adjustment (we hear variance requests, business permits, etc... stuff out of the ordinary). In Vermont, abutting landowners have zero say in set-backs or variance applications on someone else's property. Although zoning boards might consider their opinions - but we don't. Land is plentiful in my neck of the woods, so set-backs are rarely an issue with buildings. We seldom deny any permit request nor any of the few variance requests we hear. I've never heard of such an enormous application fee. That's highway robbery.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2021, 07:53:27 AM »
A friend of mine was putting up a barn and someone asked if he had a permit. He held up the rifle he had been shooting and said it was down the barrel of his gun, but it would be coming out too fast for him to read. :D
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2021, 09:09:13 AM »
my dad bought a newish 2 car 2 story garage from the plumbing inspector in Wilbraham Ma for i wanna say $100.. maybe it was a grand but i think a hundy.  i will have to ask him.  deal was you take it down.  plumbing inspector felt he was connected enough not to need a permit but it didnt pan out that way.  i remember having some really good forts within the pile of scattered rusty nail lumber for atleast a year when i was 3ish.  mom didnt love that.

i have to say the plumbers misfortune was my blessing. it absolutely directed the initial course of my life and now my son's.. because that garage definitely defined much of my early trajectory.  its funny how a building can become so much more than that in time.
Psalm 37:16

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2021, 09:31:05 AM »
Is this a battle that's worth it, a zoning variance?  Over a distance of 7 feet?  

If you build it, they can penalize you many ways.

If you ever want county power or utilities of any kind, that requires a permit, or they won't allow the final connection at the meter.  Been there, done that.
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Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2021, 09:47:57 AM »
A friend of mine was putting up a barn and someone asked if he had a permit. He held up the rifle he had been shooting and said it was down the barrel of his gun, but it would be coming out too fast for him to read. :D
My dad had built a new heifer shed for our farm in 77. without a permit of course. The local busy body turned him in. They sent out an inspector and my dad was happy to meet him. The inspector said that he couldn't house cattle in it since it was too close to the creek (200' from, but standing in the creek was better), but he could store machinery in it. My dad says "whew, i'm lucky" building inspector "why is that". My dad " i'm not housing cattle in it, i'm storing them". Inspectors face turned red and he muttered a few things and left. Never came back...... :D

The queen told my ancestors to leave england or face death. we're a stubborn lot and don't do well with tellin...... ;D

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2021, 09:51:52 AM »
Is this a battle that's worth it, a zoning variance?  Over a distance of 7 feet?  

If you build it, they can penalize you many ways.

If you ever want county power or utilities of any kind, that requires a permit, or they won't allow the final connection at the meter.  Been there, done that.
Yes and no. It's our land and we should be able to do what we will. We have no banker over us. With that said, I wood prefer a permit, as it makes things easier, so we'll go through the steps. I think we'll get it.

Yes, I'm aware, but they haven't on the 3 other structures we've built

I already have power there, so don't need a new hook up. The rural cooperative isn't as progressive as OG&E. so they don't require permits, yet.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2021, 10:47:55 AM »
I'll just give you what I went thru getting my sugarhouse approved.
I went to buy a building permit with a drawn up plan (by me) in hand, for a 16x24' sugarhouse. I was told that because there was no main structure on the property I had to apply for a variance. I then went to the planning board to get scheduled for such. This was all in early May 2003 I was told the next planning board meeting was the next day, but I could not be added because I had to submit 7 days ahead. I then submitted to get on the June board meeting. June was cancelled because 2 members would be on vacation. I got on the schedule for July. All neighbors within 1/4 mile were sent a letter telling them to appear if they wanted to comment or protest. The meeting arrived and about 8 neighbors were there. Nobody spoke against it, but the board then put it on hold. During the next 3 months I had to attend the planning board meeting to answer more questions.
Just a few comments here, The nearest property line was about 200' eastward from the proposed site. The road was 400' from the sugarhouse, with 250' of that being woods. The sugarhouse was being built on a rise about 1/4 of the way back into the property on a 15 acre parcel and with about 200' to one property line and over 370' to the opposite line.
The board finally gave their approval on the Monday before Thanksgiving, 2003, in the mail. I got my permit on Tuesday and I hired an excavator which was there the day before thanksgiving. I had a pit dug, 4' deep to pour a foundation for the evaporator and 4' deep trench all around the place big chunks of broken sidewalk on which I was setting my ground contact treated posts.
I then proceeded to build my pole style sugarhouse, working every day after work until 9-10PM everyday. I built my own trusses out of rough sawn 2x6 top cord and 2x4 bottom cord and webbing. On 12/31/03 I had a crowd there to help raise the rafters and set them.
I'll shorten the story now, and go to 4 years later. I found out that agriculture building didn't need any permits. I confronted the codes guy, his reply was "I thought you just wanted to know the structure was going to be sound", Bull, he just wanted to make sure it got on the tax rolls. While I didn't keep track of my time, I did have the cost of all materials used in the construction. I paid $4,600 for it, the assessor put it on the tax rolls at $24,800, for a 16x24 pole barn with board and batton siding, + $250/acre, when it was just woods it was $50 an acre. . After 2 years my syrup sales were high enough that I could get an Ag exemption, which brought my taxes down to slightly under 1/4 of what they were.
All of those hoops I had to jump thru held me up, I would have started construction late May or early June and would have been finished before October, rather than working super long hours, under the generator lights for about 4-5 hours most nights from late November until early March.
Ever since that I've been hyper critical of much of what the planning board and the permit office do.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2021, 11:16:44 AM »
little people in those big important offices.  its all BS.
Psalm 37:16

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2021, 11:20:15 AM »
I was visiting a friend in a small and isolated community, most people whizzing by on the highway are unaware of its existence. We heard a backhoe working so I asked him what they did about permits. "Well, we are SUPPOSED to get permits from the regional district but you know what, if we need a septic tank we just get the hoe and put it in." :D He said the building inspector wouldn't come back after being being shown the door by a shotgun although they run could into problems with the assessor. No fire department, no insurance, they are on their own.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2021, 02:30:12 PM »
No fire department, no insurance, they are on their own.


thats pretty much the price of meaningful freedom.   volunteer only FD, no trash pickup, no law or at least not much beyond doing a parade cruise where you never exit the car.. and a whole lotta crazy.  the property appraisals on my road are done by two elderly folks in an unmarked car via 20 second glance out at the end of each driveway because theyre scared.   i asked who they were the first year and asked them to raise my assessment a bit so my equity would go up.  nearly double the property value cost me like $15 a year property tax. 

we cannot get fire insurance and places get lit here all the dang time. a burning house is sort of like a block party. sometimes its a neighbor burning the place next to him, sometimes its a neighbor burning his own.  in fact where i sit now was once a trailer that its owner burned in a dispute with his wife then buried the carcass out in the back.  and ive buried it more. 
Psalm 37:16

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2021, 09:25:55 PM »
I have developed 3 city subdivisions, and found that covenants were up to me to make stick.  People just ignore your covenants, and if you let one person break them, they are done.  Zoning regulations are something else, they are enforced by the city and they have their own attorneys.  And you dare not break their rules, or you will get no occupancy permit, and no one can move in your house. Sell it and someone moves in, you will be hearing from their attorneys.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Permits, Ag Zoning, Development Covenants, Building Without a Permit
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2021, 09:52:52 PM »
I have developed 3 city subdivisions, and found that covenants were up to me to make stick.  People just ignore your covenants, and if you let one person break them, they are done.  Zoning regulations are something else, they are enforced by the city and they have their own attorneys.  And you dare not break their rules, or you will get no occupancy permit, and no one can move in your house. Sell it and someone moves in, you will be hearing from their attorneys.
You got that right. One attorney told me he had many developers that have the same problems I did. He basically said if your not making anymore money selling lots in the subdivision do you really want to be spending money trying to enforce stuff. It happens all the time 


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