County building codes, permits, inspections...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dragonfly, Aug 27, 2011.


  1. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I have had a week of pure bureaucratic insanity, at it's absolutley finest!
    It really all started quite innocent enough...
    I filed a complaint regarding an "open range" rancher that had chosen to use his 2 bulldozers to move things...(.My bad!)
    Like roads, trees, parcel markers, that sort of thing. He even went on and dozed BLM lands! Originally, he says was "trying" to "smooth" out the dirt roads in the area, so he could get his water trucks in to his cattle ponds...I have NO problem with that at all...
    ( I was told that any fencing I put in, must have no less than 5 strands of double barbed wire, or, IF the cattle damage the fencing, you have NO recourse against the rancher?)

    BUT...when he and some other 'dingleberry' chose to destroy the whole roads for a one mile section of land, effectively shutting off all traffic into and out of that section...now that's a problem.
    But, once I actually saw what had been done, the "PLOT" thickened!
    He also tried to "divert" the "natural runoff of rainwater", that is trapped in the area, on both east and west sides by mountains...It ends up flowing south and going over a canyon wall into a creek 600 feet below. We get a LOT of water when it pours! (A fantastic water fall, well... it was!)
    He actually cut the road some 30 inches deep, by 40 feet wide, diagonally and re-directed the eastern wash area to his cattle pond area.

    Now a couple problems with that:
    1) It's against State and Federal Laws to do that without a State and Federal permit. He never applied for was issued one by anyone.
    (it's complicated!)
    2) His cattle pond is located on the west side, and it's UPHILL, by at least 50 feet! It would take a wall of water about 60 feet high to get there!

    No one knows IF it was the rancher or his hired hands that did it...
    He admits he was the one that had it done though.
    Ok, well fix the road....easy right?
    Nope!
    Let some person that really HATES his job as a County Code Enforcement Officer, go there. Toss in a lot of problems such as: NO maps, and no signs , and NO real roads.... in the area!
    Now he's "irritable". ( just what you want. an irate code officer!)
    After several phone calls, 6 or 7,( long distance!) and a number of emails, it was supposed to be settled...It wans't!
    I would meet with him and the rancher on the site, some time in September, to discuss why the road was messed up, and what I wanted done to repair it.. I had to ask, "well, were you able to get in"? He said: "Yes" " I had no problems, and I don't see any reason for the complaint".
    I asked again, ( ok, so I'm stubborn!) "So, what type of vehicle were you driving that made it easy for you to get in there"?
    He answered: "a 4wd. truck"
    I told him I own and drive a number of Dodge vans, only, and asked if they could get in...He simply said: "No"! Well,... all I wanted is the road "restored" to the condition ( not great mind you) as it was, BEFORE it was torn up.
    No one understands that "reasoning".
    It's out of my hands and out of control at this point. ( common sense is gone!)
    Ok, so how can I get in there with a water trailer, say a 500 gallon size, a 21 ft. travel trailer and a utilty trailer...NO! You can't! He took out the only OTHER road that might have been accessible, to the 620 parcel, 1 square mile section/area. Hmmmm, Interesting idea.
    Ok, so tell me this then, Can a large semi-tractor with a 12 x 60 mobile home get in there...Definitely not! (I'm pushing my luck now!)
    Why not? The road is "messed up" and now there is a mud bog where the dozer had removed the "hard pan" surface, leaving it soft and uncompacted, loose dirt exposed, then it rained....
    Uh huh...I see. He had to admit to get in, he went "off road" and up an "incline" on the eastern mountainside, to get past the "dug out areas".
    Repeatedly, I am asked what I wanted done. The county does NOT maintain any of those roads in the area.
    I asked ( carefully ya know?) why am I paying the county taxes?
    CRAP! That evidently was the wrong thing to have done, especially now!
    I guess it's to pay the salaries of those that work for the county, and mine is not to be asking "stupid" questions.???
    Yeah, ok, so I pushed his buttons! I never said I was an angel!

    Then it really took on a LIFE all it's own. At this point I send another letter/email to the county supervisor, ( his BOSS) and inform them that it's worse than they know, we now longer now even have a fire department any closer than 35 miles...in another county and NO, they won't respond! They do NOT care.

    It went from bad, to oh boy!
    Now it's getting serious. I was directed to another "inspector" (in the building codes and permits section!) that works for the county ( of course) and I get "read the riot act"!
    You see, I had bought and had a (derelict) mobile home moved up there on the far north end of my site, until I can get the surveyor back out and I can find the REAL boundaries of the land.
    Now I'm in "it", up to my proverbial eyeballs!
    No permits? No HUD inspections? No concrete slabs? and No tie downs?
    Uh no...why?
    WELL,...That's really bad for you then....!
    Then, (unknowingly this time) I poured gasoline on a raging fire!
    I simply stated well, you see, the mobile home in question is "stripped". No wiring, no plumbing, only walls and doors. No sinks, no toilet, no shower, no tub, nada, zip, zero! I only got it to keep tools and posts, and lumber, and fencing inside out of the weather, while I did work on my land..(It does rain, it can snow, and the winds do blow!)
    OH CRAP! He went beserk on me! (The word medevial comes to mind about now!)
    What? With NO permits?
    Huh?
    For what?
    1) You need to "SUBMIT" a "PLAN" first...(PLUS all fees for permits and to submit!)
    2) Get a "legal" survey done, not the $200 "location of lot" type,
    NOT the $600 one where you get markers every 100 foot type.
    No, you need the $1,200 one! Where you get a copy of the plot maps ( I already have !) the surrounding land/s and all roads. ( what roads?) Then it has to be "submitted" to the County, before you can even "camp" out on the land! (say what ???)
    Not even a TENT is allowed without a permt! ( uh yeah sure, ok Tiger!)
    In for a penny....!
    I go all out, whole hog now,....
    ( Here, and up north some people say they are going to come to Phoenix and arrest me for harassment, and others says I'll be arrested the next time I go up there, and spend time in jail!)
    I wasn't too worried, as I used their own county website against them....(may not have been a great idea, but, after all....)

    Anyway, in 2006 the illustrous State of Arizona "adopted" the: "INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODES". ( anyone want to go there?) ( I hope this is NOT the same one GE used in Japan?, or the Chinese used to build schools, apartments and bridges?)
    Now in 2008, the genius people that work in Coconino County, also "adpoted" that set of building codes. ( a bit slow they are)
    However, this is AUGUST of 2011, unless I am seriously mistaken?
    They have few codes in PDF files for reading on their site, and NO printed materials, or "handouts", for anyone. Interesting idea, again....!
    So, I spent ALL night, (4+ hours) writing and submitting a Q and A form and sent it to the county for my "required" information on all kinds of:
    Permits, Codes, Fees, Inspections, days county inspectors are avialable, etc. etc. About 200 or more questions, which I posed to them for answers. That should really endure me to them by now, ya think?
    I spent the rest of that night reading all their PDF files on their website and discovered all kinds of wonderful things.....

    It is now illegal for me to "occuopy" any travel trailer or mobile home that was manufactured before 1976 (I was "informed it was 1978, reflects good inspector training on current law/s!) Unless, it has a permit/s for inspection, then a HUD inspection, then IF it passes, ( it won't), I can then move it to my land...Despite the fact that it is a legally licensed trailer, by the Arizona State Motor Vehicle Department.. No big deal.
    State always TRUMPS county,...right? Maybe not!
    ( I keep heaing an echo of: "You're in trouble now boy, you're in Boone County Kentucky"!) Shivers run up and down my back!
    My travel trailer is a 1968, 7 feet wide and only 21 feet long...
    HUD, now requires the travel trailer to be no older than a 1976, and to be 8 feet in width, and 24 foot long, NOT counting the hitch or tongue! Hmmmm.....
    Really? Are these people serious?
    ( boy are they serious! Seriously looney!).
    They are stone NUTS!
    Then as I read further, there is a clause that reads that "NO HUD" or "cerificate of occupancy" or "permit is required", "IF, "I do NOT "occupy" the trailer for "100 days or more", "consceutively"! They DID NOT bother to mention that! ( well one inspector failed to!)
    Seems as IF they are "stacking the deck" in their favor.
    I understand that, they are paid by the county and it's their job to create chaos and havoc! Maybe they work on the "BROWNIE POINT SYTEM"?
    Meanwhile...more reading continued to reveal a lot of weird things...

    Like they say: that any mobile home over 54 feet in length, must have 4- 1 1/2 inch wide stainless steel straps over it, to be set into the ground at no less than a 4 foot depth, and the mobile home must be placed on a concrete slab with inset "tie downs", with no less than 4 per end.
    The slab ( no thickness dimenisons are stated) must be no less than 2 foot wider than the mobile home, and no less than 2 foot longer. ( Ok, I can see that!) However,...This is "justified" because, "studies" have shown that this iswhat is required on the East and West coasts and up in Alaska...? I'm in the desert! No hurricanes. No Tsunami's, maybe a dust storm,. We get VERY VERY few tornadoes here!
    But, wait for it.....
    The foundation required for the concrete slab alone is completely outlandish!
    It is to be: no less than 30 inches deep, and 8 inches wide!
    That's a LOT of concrete! A "soil compaction test" may be required ( especially if you UPSET the boat or inspector/s!) and has to be done by a State and County "certified", independent engineering firm!
    Oh yeah?...bring it on!

    So, being the "inquisitive type, I just had to inquire, ( yeah I can be like that!) what the county law requires as far as the "slump" of said concrete and what type of hangers or tie downs are required by law.
    Oh, when the trailer has actually passed all of it's inspection, permits and fees paid ( always!) Then ONLY a inspector can set the trailer in place...??? An inspector here and up there, is NOT qualifed as a licensed contractor, so I have discovered. They may have a degree in business or english...NOT licensed by the STATE by any means!

    So much for licensed State contractors and mobile home companies..
    Oh, and did I forget to mention, NO trailers in this state I have EVER seen, were on slabs had straps or even tie downs anywhere from the east to the west from the south, and now the north. Nor even in another close county ( yavapai) (town of Ash Fork) that sits just 4 miles south and has hundreds of mobile homes (occupied!) sitting there.

    Ok, now Im getting the FEELING that this is all about money, and sharing the wealth...I've figured it out, all these county people are related to the ones that will be coming out to do the inspections, all the contrators and so forth! I've seen that before!
    Not in this big of a county mind you, but it's always the same.
    We used to call them: the "good ole boy's club"). "Nepotism" anyone?
    I asked about a permit for septic and sewage...
    That really opened up a can of worms! Sheesh!
    In the end, I explained to the County people that it would be far cheaper for me to build a 4 story commercial building in downtown Phoenix or even in Scottsdale, for that matter!

    But, I managed to get some information, which is ludicrous!
    I am NOT allowed to even buy ( permits required!) or set up, a poly holding tank for wastes that can be pumped out, unless a common septic system is not possible to install. So, I had to go one further...I asked about using a "Composting Toilet System" ( I thought I'd shot the POPE!)
    I have a $1,500 Sunmar brand composting toilet. They are NOT allowed in that County! ( the inspector LIED!) Yes they are, according to the County Health department, that issues those permits!
    But, they don't want them around!
    The permit fees for a poly holding tank ( not inspection that's extra) is only $300.
    The permit fees for a common septic system is $500.
    The permit fees for a composting system is ( good luck) $1,000!

    I was told that I also have to have a greywater waste system . That was a bold faced lie by the county inspector, as told to me by the health department, IF I have a septic system that's all that is required. Now, IF they get pissed at you, be prepared for their wrath!
    The first inspection fee is $380, BUT, if for ANY reason they do not like what you have and you are required to make changes, that's another $280! But, you have 6 months or you start all over from "GO".

    I was also informed that ALL composting systems have a "fault", that leaves 60% of the waste or "blackwater" liquids to be dealt with...?
    Say What? I guess "Sunmar" is stooopid!???
    When I asked ( politely too!) about an "evaporator system" or a "solar distillation system", for any and all waste greywater, they replied that they had NEVER heard of such a thing before! Uh...ok!
    God help me!
    Then, we got into solar panels, systems, batteries, requirements for fireproof and freeze proof storage buildings, ( can't have batteries in your house or below it) and they have NO clue.
    But By GOD, they DO have PERMITS, Fees, and Inspectors for them!

    They have permits for your entire water system: pipes tanks, pumps and even the water heater! Your pipre have to be 4 feet BELOW the freeze line...? They have requirements for wood stoves ( yeah, I knew that!) but also for UL LISTED propane stoves, heaters, and any and all items that are used, even if "only for decoration"...? HUH?
    What? Yup, even REFRIGERATORS! Permit required and PAY them fees!
    They can inspect and issue legal permit requirements on: coleman stoves, lanterns of all kinds, kerosene/hurricane lanterns, even candle holders, and BBQ's! Forget even getting a permit for one of those "patio heaters"!
    You are NOT allowed to have a patio or overhang, or "any other" "appertunance" that extends beyond the actual dinensions of the mobile home's structure. You cannot have solar panels, TV or Internet satellite dishes attached to the roofing. All of thsoe require permits and inspections and must be "solidly" mounted to the ground, within "unspecified at this time", distances! The county requires them to be "anchored" and requires additioanl permits and fees, for each and ever one!...
    Gee, Who'd a thunk it ya'll
    You should see what permits, and rules and regulations and INSPECTIONS and FEES, they require for a log home or cabin, or even a free standing storage or tool shed!
    These people are NUTS!

    I cannot get an answer that makes ANY real sense, so I tried doing a time and cost estimate of what they require up there....
    (estimated) Time: 1 1/2 to 2 years at the least, 4 or more years on the outside. ( required for: all permits, fees, and inspections)
    $12,000 minimum ( mobile home) $16,000 for a brick, block, wood building or log cabins. (Any additonal "out" buildings, sheds, carports, water tanks, wood or propane heating and cooking devices/units, solar or wind power generating systems, batteries, septic systems and everything, BUT the actual building, are EXTRA costs!)

    Some of the "laws" they want people to "comply" with, ONLY actually apply to those people/residents that actually live in Flagstaff, the county seat. It has to do with cold weather...like having NO less than "R-38 insulation" in the exterior walls!

    Now for a change, a bit of humor is in order....
    Of the approximately 50+ mobile homes, cabins, shacks, campers, trailers, and whatever else you could imagine up in the area, which reaches out for some 20+ square miles....
    NOT 1 of them has ever had a single permit issued. No inspections ever have or will be done. Each and everyone of them has an illegal ( by county law) septic/sewage disposal system. Now for the really funny part: they all work!

    From my standpoint, I'll disappear for awhile, county elections are coming up again....then, when the "wind shifts", I'll be up there and do whatever I want, the way I want, and at my own leisurely pace!

    ( I did scare the crap out of the health department lady though...
    I told her: that "I'd go along just to get along" and put in a common style septic system, exactly as they prefer....BUT, when it rains and all the sewage gets caught up in the massive water runoff, and goes over the edge of the canyon in a great waterfall, and ends up not only in the creek where people live and fish, but also into their water table, that a number of cities and towns have wells in, I HOPE they are NOT living anywhere south of me.....That would be seriously nasty!)
    Can you say: "E-coli"?
    This is what I am dealing with!
    Ignorant and refuse to be "educated" or, totally stupid, and their way is the ONLY way!
    I can see there is a grand need for soil engineers, enviornmental engineers, and scientists....or, we are headed into a major cat-tas-trophe!
     
  2. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    MOVE !!! As things are going you will die from a heart attack long before the SHTF. jmho ....... sorry
     
    dragonfly likes this.
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The trick here is to SEND ALL these Inspectors up to see the Guy, with the .50 Barrett, and if they won't go you can always sue them, for "Dereliction of Duty" and "Selective Enforcement". If it is good for ONE, it is good for ALL. ...... YMMV.....
     
  5. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Call the EPA if you want to bring hell upon your little slice of heaven. There's probably a salamander at the bottom of that waterfall that depends on that flow. Another option would be to call Trout Unlimited if there's trout in that stream.

    Or course, if the EPA start checking everyone around, there's probably some law that you've all violated you'd be run out of the valley.
     
  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Dragonfly, there's no doubt about it.....

    you have more than enough material for at least a couple of books a la Garrison Keillor's "Lake Wobegone Days. I can even see a feature film, perhaps starring Chevy Chase as "The Dragonfly"....think "Funny Farm".

    I'm quite enjoying reading about your interactions with colourful local characters....and local bureauocracy. Bring it on!
     
    dragonfly, Nadja and melbo like this.
  7. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Seems like a piece of property you cannot legally do anything with......

    Bail out of that money-pit and go where the people actually graduated from elementary school and aren't all related.
     
    dragonfly likes this.
  8. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    well, i used to think AZ might be a good place for a BOL
     
    dragonfly likes this.
  9. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind

    I started asking an electrical inspector what the purpose was for the things he was requiring. He didn't know. Another wanted me to be saved by Jesus before he'd give me a permit.

    Some of them were actually helpful but it's a power job. They have lots of it and if you're the first one he sees after a fight with his wife, look out.

    It's no fun trying to get something done when people of power get their laughs from preventing you. I've been there, sorry.
     
    dragonfly likes this.
  10. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    What does 'long distance' mean?
     
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    You know Chell, Putting these to the voice of GK makes them all the more palatable.. Thank you.
     
  12. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Move. Your surrounded by sphincters. After you sue and
    Make enemies of many of the people you may need to have as friends you will be ome the .50 cal target.

    You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, and know when to walk away, and know when to run. Dragonfly haven't you had enough of this parcel of land? Some times I think you just make this stuff up because how can one person be a magnet for all this?
     
    Nadja likes this.
  13. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I think that there are parts if the country where IPA is readily available and parts where it is not.

    Make for a good study. My area has 4 brands of local and we're pretty calm.

    Don't worry. Be hoppy.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    BUMP
     
  15. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Dragon... you should have contacted the EPA/ sierra club et. al. first concerning the moving of the roads with out first obtaining an environmental impact statement.... the feds would have corrected the issue with out the local goverment having any say in it... then you just go about doing what needs doing with out further issue or notice.... by pushing the buttons that you have you have basically painted a big bullseye on your property for any inspection team...
     
  16. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    Dragon, never in my long life (so far) have I ever heard of so much grief from one person. Did you do something in a former life prehaps that is throwing bad Karma on you, or are you a trouble magnet ? I have lived up here for a little over 16 years now, and only had a run in with one couple who were from LA., They have moved since and therefore we have no problems with anyone around. For the most part, just leave people alone and generally they will do the same.

    It seems as though you bring "bad" upon yourself weather you think so or not. Why don't you sit down with a nice fresh cup of coffee and take a long look at yourself, and see if just maybe you may be part of the problem. After all , it takes to to fight.
     
    hank2222 and dragonfly like this.
  17. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Long distance is determined by those that run the telephone communications here....in some cases it can be across the street, Howvere in my case, it represents about a 4 & 1/2hour drive or 250+ miles call....Phoenix to Flagstaff, and Phoenix to Williams.
     
    hank2222 likes this.
  18. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I have stayed out of the "fray" as it were now for sometime and let my name just slowly disappear from their notes....Even though I am NO longer trying to call on someone breaking state and federal laws, others have...seems a certain Rancher has just "chained" and cleared a 1 square mile of area that is owned by the state of Arizona, ( State trust land), without proper authorization...I hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil! The BIA is involved along with a number of agencies I can't even begin to list....resolution: Rancher=1, BLM=0, State of Az.=0
    I have no idea of what this guy has in his pocket, but he is a real nightmare....
    I suppose having owning land in the family up there for years ( since the 1800's) makes you a force to be dealt with.....I will avoid him
     
    hank2222 and Nadja like this.
  19. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    Is the Rancher directly affecting your ingress or egress ? Is his cattle on your front porch ? If not, I strongly suggest you leave him alone. The range Cattle People pay a lot of money to use said land, and you do not want him for an enemy.
     
    hank2222 likes this.
  20. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Nadja...
    Only once and that created a poo storm! The state, BLM and a few other local agencies advised said rancher not to divert rain water runoff and not to deliberately take out the ONLY access roads into a 1 square mile land section...Seems they got a number of complaints when people could not get in or out as the road was bulldozed with a 3 foot dropoff....Funny ( to me anyway) was the fact that a certain realtor did NOT see the dropoff, bad part was: he had 2 people in his vehicle when it went in nose first....Yukon was towed away, and the 2 people were hospitalized! Dumb rancher!
    PS...I called the ambulance as soon as it happened....
     
    hank2222 likes this.
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