Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint. - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-21-2015, 09:36 PM   #1
Pro
 
abacab's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 378
Rewards Points: 390

Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


I'm remodeling a house on the lake (complete gut and new roof structure), and we are staying within the footprint of the existing house, which was originally built within a five foot setback requirement on the side yard. I didn't know it, but if you make any changes to this area within the 5' buffer zone, there has to be a variance.
So anyway the neighbor complained to zoning(he thinks snow will drift off our roof onto his, which isn't likely given we are to the west of him)We now need to get a variance on the structure. The neighbor's house has also been remodeled, but before this guy bought it last year. It was all done without permits (michigan) Do we have a case against the neighbor? We are not interested in making another problem, only to find a mutually agreeable solution. The house is roughed-in.

fyi His house is within 2-3 foot of the lot line, the house I'm working on is 1' from the lot line.
abacab is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 10-21-2015, 09:44 PM   #2
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 22,409
Rewards Points: 194

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Since you were already issued a SWO seems you don't have much choice but to go through the process including getting a variance.

The advantage of getting all permits/variances before starting is not to have to stop work and fight city hall.

Advertisement

__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (10-22-2015), greg24k (10-23-2015)
Old 10-21-2015, 09:47 PM   #3
Pro
 
SectorSecurity's Avatar
 
Trade: Low Voltage Wiring
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 4,048
Rewards Points: 2,828

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Ask yourself this, if the neighbor already complained, do you think stirring the pot is going to get him to place nice or do you think it will cause him to go looking for more reasons to cause you headaches?

Take the advice of griz, get the permits you need and move on.
SectorSecurity is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to SectorSecurity For This Useful Post:
Spencer (10-22-2015)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-21-2015, 09:58 PM   #4
Pro
 
abacab's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 378
Rewards Points: 390

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


I think you misunderstand, we are not looking to stir the pot, but if he realizes he is also not in compliance, he will more likely work with us. Of course if he insists on us removing the structure, it would be no holds barred. That is unlikely to happen, as he has already stated he will help us get the variance, but it could just be idle talk. We have already agreed to take off our eve on that side of the house. Hopefully that will be the end of it, but we always have to be thinking about the what ifs. He could support us now and then shoot us down when the hearing comes. Yes, we will be very happy if all goes through. We have even agreed to replace the guys roof if anything ever happens.
abacab is offline  
Old 10-21-2015, 10:17 PM   #5
Kowboy
 
Kowboy's Avatar
 
Trade: Countertops
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sarasota, FL
Posts: 1,643
Rewards Points: 8,442

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


" I didn't know it, but if you make any changes to this area within the 5' buffer zone, there has to be a variance."

Gotta pay tuition for the things you didn't know.
Kowboy is offline  
Old 10-22-2015, 06:02 AM   #6
Pro
 
TimNJ's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeler
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,356
Rewards Points: 5,308

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


So your new roof projects over the 5' line?
Look for other houses in the area that do the same thing.

If there aren't any and they give the variance consider yourself lucky.
TimNJ is online now  
Old 10-22-2015, 06:23 PM   #7
John the Builder
 
SmallTownGuy's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter/Builder Professional Painter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oxford, MI
Posts: 16,909
Rewards Points: 5,900

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Man, hard to sort out the facts.

First off, what exact community are you doing this in, and: is the "buffer zone" unique to this lake (and a lakefront owner's association agreement) or is it part of the regular zoning ordinance?

And if it is part of regular zoning, is under special provisions as defined by a Fire Marshall (or similarly functioning body)?

My read of your situation is that you are not altering the footprint of the dwelling (your project) on the non-conforming side, but ARE increasing the intrusion of the buffer zone via the new overhang.

I do not see an avoidance of ZBA at this point in any case. On the face of it, since the new roof is likely to be more in line with modern construction, and there is no increase of footprint there is greater likelihood it will be approved.

The ZBA won't give one whit about the other property being remodeled - unless the remodeling increased the non-conformity. In that case, they would be VERY interested.

If the deal about the other property being remodeled without permits is going to work - you can't play bluff poker, and you have to have a face to face.

Still doesn't change the legal requirements on what was done so whether the guys pays the piper now, or pretends he "don't know nuttin.
__________________
All my Life loving Hippie friends turned into soul-sucking Conservatives - or died. Same difference.
"Mornin' ladies, my goodness don't you look happy. Must be cuttin' somebody up pretty good." - Andy Griffiths
SmallTownGuy is online now  
Old 10-22-2015, 06:34 PM   #8
Pro
 
SectorSecurity's Avatar
 
Trade: Low Voltage Wiring
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 4,048
Rewards Points: 2,828

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Quote:
Originally Posted by abacab View Post
I think you misunderstand, we are not looking to stir the pot, but if he realizes he is also not in compliance, he will more likely work with us. Of course if he insists on us removing the structure, it would be no holds barred. That is unlikely to happen, as he has already stated he will help us get the variance, but it could just be idle talk. We have already agreed to take off our eve on that side of the house. Hopefully that will be the end of it, but we always have to be thinking about the what ifs. He could support us now and then shoot us down when the hearing comes. Yes, we will be very happy if all goes through. We have even agreed to replace the guys roof if anything ever happens.
One thing you have to remember is this customer has to live next to these neighbors long after you are gone, while you might not care if you piss off the neighbors 3 months from now I am sure the home owner will.
SectorSecurity is offline  
Old 10-22-2015, 06:54 PM   #9
Pro
 
JAH's Avatar
 
Trade: carpenter
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 747
Rewards Points: 1,910

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Dont give away your services to this guy. This is a situation where you have to pretend to be the neutral 3rd party. Be a advocate for your HO and work with the neighbor.
JAH is offline  
Old 10-22-2015, 07:15 PM   #10
Pro
 
abacab's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 378
Rewards Points: 390

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Sorry my previous message from this morning did not show up. Everything is fine, it turns out the neighbor has no issues with our project, and it was someone else who filed a complaint (the HO was the one who told me . Right now our chances are good that we will get the variance. As of right now we have the neighbors on all three sides supporting us. This whole neighborhood is filled with violations. The building inspector is letting us finish dry in the exterior, then it will likely be 2 months before we can get back to work. I have more than enough other projects to work on.

To answer above, we did not change the footprint at all, but we did add 20" to the foundation, and we put a steeper pitch roof on. The zoning administrator says this requires a variance.
abacab is offline  
Old 10-22-2015, 07:25 PM   #11
Geometrist

 
Warren's Avatar
 
Trade: framing/remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 10,131
Rewards Points: 18

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


How did you even get a building permit without going to zoning first? Since you had a foundation added, you must have needed zoning approval right?

Or did you not have any permits?
__________________
I'd love to replace all the dumbness in this room but the budget is tight and the stupidity is plentiful!

Easy Gibson
Warren is online now  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Warren For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (10-23-2015), festerized (10-22-2015), greg24k (10-23-2015), griz (10-22-2015), rrk (10-22-2015), SmallTownGuy (10-22-2015)
Old 10-22-2015, 08:22 PM   #12
Thread Reading Aficionado
 
Builders Inc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Certified Building Contractor
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,794
Rewards Points: 1,444

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


In my take for a variance around here you have to have city council and opposing neighbors approve your proposed variance. Along with it being posted in the news paper for said amount of time. I would make darn sure that your on the neighbors good side. If he shows up for the evening city council meeting protesting your variance then you could have lots of fun afterwards. I have had to do two variances in my 15 years. One was awarded and one not. And each were around $300, Good luck.
Builders Inc. is offline  
Old 10-22-2015, 08:25 PM   #13
Geometrist

 
Warren's Avatar
 
Trade: framing/remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 10,131
Rewards Points: 18

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Builders Inc. View Post
In my take for a variance around here you have to have city council and opposing neighbors approve your proposed variance. Along with it being posted in the news paper for said amount of time. I would make darn sure that your on the neighbors good side. If he shows up for the evening city council meeting protesting your variance then you could have lots of fun afterwards. I have had to do two variances in my 15 years. One was awarded and one not. And each were around $300, Good luck.
Just sat through one last week. Two neighbors protested, but we were able to get it through. Two other folks went after us with some entertaining issues.
__________________
I'd love to replace all the dumbness in this room but the budget is tight and the stupidity is plentiful!

Easy Gibson
Warren is online now  
Old 10-23-2015, 05:05 AM   #14
Pro
 
abacab's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 378
Rewards Points: 390

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren View Post
How did you even get a building permit without going to zoning first? Since you had a foundation added, you must have needed zoning approval right?

Or did you not have any permits?
No we got all the proper permits. They just didn't notice.
abacab is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to abacab For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (10-23-2015)
Old 10-23-2015, 05:53 AM   #15
Pro
 
builditguy's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpentry
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,227
Rewards Points: 1,736

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


You did not change the footprint, but added 20" to the foundation??

20" in height?

I'm just not picturing how you can add 20" without changing the footprint.
builditguy is offline  
Old 10-23-2015, 05:53 AM   #16
General Contractor
 
greg24k's Avatar
 
Trade: New Home Construction-Additions-Remodeling
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,661
Rewards Points: 8,476

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


I agree with Warren, how the hell did you get a building permit if you need a variance.

STG made a very good point also, being so close to the property line, the structure must have Fire-rated wall assembly and soffits.

704.5 Fire-resistance ratings.

Exterior walls shall be fire- resistance rated in accordance with Tables 601 and 602. The fire-resistance rating of exterior walls with a fire separation distance of greater than 5' shall be rated for exposure to fire from the inside. The fire-resistance rating of exterior walls with a fire separation distance of 5' or less shall be rated for exposure to fire from both sides.

With that said, I doubt that permit was pulled for this job.
__________________
I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!
greg24k is offline  
Old 10-23-2015, 06:02 AM   #17
Pro
 
abacab's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 378
Rewards Points: 390

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
I agree with Warren, how the hell did you get a building permit if you need a variance.

STG made a very good point also, being so close to the property line, the structure must have Fire-rated wall assembly and soffits.

704.5 Fire-resistance ratings.

Exterior walls shall be fire- resistance rated in accordance with Tables 601 and 602. The fire-resistance rating of exterior walls with a fire separation distance of greater than 5' shall be rated for exposure to fire from the inside. The fire-resistance rating of exterior walls with a fire separation distance of 5' or less shall be rated for exposure to fire from both sides.

With that said, I doubt that permit was pulled for this job.
We raised the house and added to the foundation under it. As for the permits, see my response above. It would have been nice if either the zoning administrator or the building inspector caught this before we started, it shows we were on the lot line in the application. I was clueless that any change to the structure required the variance, I thought we just needed to stay within the footprint of the original house.

Thanks for the info, we just found out about the fire ratings yesterday from a neighbor.
abacab is offline  
Old 10-23-2015, 06:46 AM   #18
Pro
 
Mark122's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Chattanooga, Tn.
Posts: 153
Rewards Points: 464

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


Here they have lot of records that can take exceptions for the normal set backs.

Many houses are "legal non conforming" and the variance is just a formality in many cases.

I am getting all paperwork in order for an addition. our zoning application was due before we had final confirmation on exact details, so we went ahead and filed for a variance. A few weeks later the survey got in and we dont need it.

the current fence line (been in place for 20+ years) is 4' off.

paying $800 for the lot to be surveyed may be beneficial.
Mark122 is offline  
Old 10-23-2015, 06:52 AM   #19
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 24,511
Rewards Points: 982

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


A quick guideline on this - if it would take a variance to build it new today, then you may need a variance to make changes to the structure today.

While everyone expects to bring the improved parts of the building up to current building code, I've also seen this trigger bringing an entire building up to current Life Safety101.
hdavis is online now  
Old 10-23-2015, 07:03 AM   #20
Pro
 
abacab's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 378
Rewards Points: 390

Re: Stop Work Order! Zoning Complaint.


We have a survey being done today. We have an old one in our hands from 2013. Life safety 101? Never heard of that, have to look that up. Everything will be like a new house, we only kept the outside walls, and there is not even much of those left with all the new window openings. The house is a huge improvement to the neighborhood, without being overbuilt. 1700 square feet on two stories. It could trigger other people to put money into their own places, most of them are in need of repair.

Advertisement

abacab is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to abacab For This Useful Post:
A2Z2 (10-26-2015)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
asking for more money elbud433 Construction 286 03-21-2018 08:47 AM
Kid needed decks and finish work toronto bbgcarpentry Help Wanted or Looking For Work 3 04-23-2013 09:55 PM
Non union jobsite (quaker church)vandalized in philadelphia $500,000 Damage mastersplinter Carpentry 41 04-19-2013 01:06 AM
Poor framing/concrete pad work from contractor netlinks Construction 10 10-26-2012 06:44 PM
Commercial Repair/Insurance work, New company policy... Its called, Tree-Fiddy Tech Dawg General Discussion 18 08-14-2012 10:57 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?