Building Permit Stop Order!

Government Gone Wild

It never ceases to amaze me how politics does (or does not) work. Here is an ongoing, real life story involving a Hansen Pole Buildings client in Illinois.

From an article by Sarah Hayden in the April 22, 2014 Moline, Illinois Dispatch/Argus:

Stop Sign“Trustees on Monday also took an emergency vote an unauthorized building permit given to a Ravine Street resident. Trustees approved serving an immediate stop order on the resident, with Trustee Harold French opposed.

Trustee Bruce Peterson said that, when Port Byron had no building inspector, an unsigned building permit was given to the resident for a pole barn, or shed, in his front yard. Mr. Peterson said the resident was told he first needed a variance to bypass a village ordinance banning sheds and buildings in front yards.

Mayor Kevin Klute said the ordinance clearly states a resident cannot put a building in front of a house. He said there was “a miscommunication” and a village trustee issued the permit to the resident.

Earlier at Monday’s meeting, Randy Brown was approved as Port Byron’s new building inspector. But when trustees asked him to deliver the stop order, he said he wouldn’t.

“I’m not an enforcer,” he said. “I’m only a building inspector.”

Trustee Scott Sidor said the village had “made a mistake” in hiring Mr. Brown, who left the meeting.

Mr. French said he opposed the stop order because the ordinance states a building must have a 35-foot setback and the Ravine Street resident has a 350-foot setback. He also said the building is off to the side and down a hill, on a long driveway.”

As so often happens there is a “Paul Harvey” to the story, which was related to me by the client’s Hansen Buildings Designer:

“They purchased the building in March.  The permitting office told her she would just need to come in and pay for a permit.  I found something odd about what she was saying and insisted she confirm the Building Department Questionnaire with the permitting office.

When she first went in to the permitting office (after she paid for the building) the Building Inspector said he thought she would have some zoning issues and she should attend a meeting which she had to wait a couple weeks for.  She attended the meeting and as they were getting the Yay’s and Nay’s for her to build, a Harold came in and said the meeting was a bunch of non-sense and said he was the Building Inspector and to issue her a permit which they did right away.

Now they have been served an “Immediate Stop Order”.

Basically the Harold who told her was he inspector, was not, he was a board trustee and the city has taken away their permit and refunded their permit money.  The mayor has been involved and said they were trying as hard as they can to resolve this issue.  She said there is a city meeting the first week of May and a zoning meeting the second week in May and they hope to have this resolved.”

In my humble opinion, property owners should be able to have a reasonable degree of confidence once a Building Permit has been issued – whether in Illinois, or any other state. I’m hopeful this particular situation can end up being resolved to an amicable solution for all parties, before it escalates into a battle which does little except for chewing up time and wasting money.

Considering constructing (or having built for you) a new pole building? The place to start is by garnering Planning Department approval FIRST. Read more here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/01/planning-department-3/

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