Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: City permit and inspection dysfunction

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lake Nona, Florida
    Posts
    386

    City permit and inspection dysfunction

    Quote Originally Posted by skylar18
    ... a story for a completely different forum!

    That is the frustrating thing about the permitting process here, they complain about being under staffed and overworked, but then they make it so they have to review each permit multiple times for crazy reasons. I appreciate that they are trying to protect us, but it sure is frustrating.
    I decided it was more polite to rant in this subforum than to add any more inspection stories to the Texas pool build thread (he did start it though) - which looks to be turning into a very nice pool and I don't want the pictures interrupted by too much ranting. But oh my... even days later the thought of idling an excavation crew for two days because the paper work wasn't posted yet at 7:30am yikes. And as I thought about this I realized that over the years I've run into dozens of really crazy things during permit and inspection.

    What are your worst tales?

    I must say that FL is actually better in many aspects since (as noted in the other thread) Texas takes 2 weeks to approve a plan and NJ takes an astounding 21 days between plan submissions... at least in FL (Orange county) they accept the plan, review it and pass/fail it on the spot. You either leave with a permit or an assignment to get some new bit of plan update or paper or whatever. And they have a computerized check-in system that made my wife nuts! She got there at 7:45am to be first in line for a minor change submission and got to watch all the plan inspector have coffee and hang out. The receptionist informed her she could not be seen until 8am and the system would not accept her name until 8am... so for 15 minutes she sits there and the inspectors all sit there. At 8am she goes to the receptionist and says "now please"? So the receptionist types clicks, clicks and says please wait for your name to be called. She goes over to the row of inspector desks and no one says boo... she waits, they sit there, she waits. After several minutes she goes back to reception and says, what's going on? Reception says oh... I guess your name went in just before 8am, it shows here but does not show up over there, let me put it in again. Type, clicky-clicky and wait. And again nothing. So back to reception... who says hmm - your name is now here twice! but not over there. We need to delete you from the system and add you back. But when we delete you we need to wait 5 minutes to add you back! So it's now near 8:15 and she waits, others are being seen... After 5 minutes the receptionist does the type clicky, clicky again and almost as she does the last click my wife hears from behind her "Tammy" - she goes and hands the changes in, all in order... initial, initial, stamp, stamp, stamp 45 minutes later we have gotten the 3 minutes effort required.

    Speaking of changes though... our building inspector once failed us because the plans did not have a call-out for the hurricane clips used on a wall that was not shown! The carpenter had noticed that the architect had missed an interior wall that was basically needed to extend the stucco up to the vault line of the roof. It was non structural and simply not called out - but it was needed cosmetically. The carpenter was quite proud to tell us that even though it was not needed, he knew the inspector would want to see hurricane clips on this tiny bit of partition wall so he had put it all in and we'd be good. Little did he realize that we had the "by the book" inspector - the plans were OK without the wall... but now that the wall was built she needed to see an architect's seal on the revision, after all, the wall included hurricane clips and must be properly engineered!

    Still, the inspector's side of this is silly too. One guy got a call during an inspection and explained that he gets the same call every month - someone, somewhere is verifying that he is still using that state issued phone. He said not only do they call him about the phone, each month someone else calls to ask for the VIN on his truck and someone else for the s/n on his computer. He thought it was funny that not only are they paying people to make all these calls, but undoubtedly they are writing it all down somewhere and making a file on it.

    What are your stories? I've got dozen's more.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: City permit and inspection dysfunction

    Around here permits are more of a taxation method than anything else, for example my city requires a permit to replace an air conditioner outside unit, they say it is because they weigh over 100 pounds and there is some obscure code requirement says that any equipment weighing over 100 pounds may require a crane to set in place so therefore $50 permit...

    I have often dealt with inspectors dropping by when they see work going on wanting to know where the permit is even when it was work that does not require a permit based on their posted requirements (replacing rotted boards, and other maintenance items)

    Last year while I was out of town on a business trip my wife had some landscaping work done around the house, nothing major, just pulled out a couple of overgrown bushes, put in a mulch bed and planted a few smaller shrubs and put in a little 2 ft wide by 4 ft long paver side walk. Not only did the building permit inspector drop by about the sidewalk work (their rules say small projects like this that are completed within 48 hours do not require a permit), but the next week just after I made it home from the trip a state department of agriculture inspector knocked on the door because someone had reported us for using a non licensed landscaper. It seems in this state Landscapers are a protected profession, they are state licensed, the test to get the license is only given once per year in the early spring, and in order to take the test one has to submit a letter from an existing licensed landscaper proving a minimum of 6 months work experience. This is not to say that any of the workers on a given job are licensed, just that the owner or one of the employees of the business has to be.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  3. Back To Top    #3
    jkurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Fairfield, ca
    Posts
    141

    Re: City permit and inspection dysfunction

    We had a run in with an inspector during our pool build. The one we got for 99% of our inspections was really good took the time to explain what failed and possible ways to correct it. The one time we had the one bad inspector he almost stopped the build for a week or two. We had a gate that needed to be replaced but it was functional and within code. He found out were we getting it replaced w/ a nice big rolling gate. He was suppose to inspect the lights on the pool, door alarms the rest of the fence and some other stuff. He turned to me said you failed and walked off the job w/ no write up or even looking at the other stuff. I had to rush the fence Co. So I could pass inspection to get the pool plastered. Found out later that he was being let go so he took it out on the people he inspected. Fun times that one was.

    Pool Size: 20 x 40 Free Form Inground Plaster Pool w/ a shallow cove.
    Gallons : ~23K Jandy CL580 Cartridge Filter, Jandy e-pump 1.5HP
    Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump, AqualinkRS PDA4 Remote, Aqua-Pure SWG
    Jandy LED Pool Lights (2), Heliocol 500 Sq. Ft solar rack system

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lake Nona, Florida
    Posts
    386

    Re: City permit and inspection dysfunction

    In NJ they were all about the fees, everything was another fee and every inspection was an excuse to modify the property assessed value and increase the tax.

    I mentioned this post to my wife and she reminded me of her all time most frustrating experience which was in Florida. We are in a semi-rural area surrounded by suburbia. Our "driveway" was compacted sand and a little stone so we decided to put down some crushed asphalt so we would not need to keep after it with roundup. It was also a tight turn between a utility pole and our fence so we decided to reroute it too, moving the street entrance to a more convenient place. We hired a guy with a bobcat to cut out 4" and then bought two dumptrucks full of millings. Amazingly... with two dump trucks in my yard and about to spread the millings a county inspector drives by and pulls over. He told us that because we were moving the entrance this was new construction not landscape maintenance and needed a permit. He said he could fine us and stop the work - but as long as we promised to go get a permit then he'd let it go. He gives us the address of the county office and off to the office goes my wife.

    The county takes a fee and wants a copy of our survey with the driveway sketched. Easy. But then they say their permit is ONLY for the 15' of the driveway that crosses the right-of-way to connect to the road and they won't issue their permit until the city gives us a building permit for the part of the driveway on our property. So across town (45 minutes) goes my wife to the city offices to apply. She waits two hours in line for the building permit only to be told a driveway requires a zoning OK first. Then after waiting in zoning she is told they won't OK it without sign-off from the health department. Why? Because they want to be sure we are not locating our driveway over the septic. But the health department is closed and no one is sure which days they may open. Somehow (I think it involved my wife crying a bit) they figured out that maybe they'd trust us to know the septic was in the back and driveway in the front and the permit was approved... HOWEVER the city would not issue their permit until we brought them the county permit for the part of the driveway they connected to... catch-22. After some more tears and phone calls we somehow got both permits issued. In the end I think the permit fees approached 30% of the project cost.
    7500 gal gunite/stonescapes, iAqualink RS-8, Jandy 2HP VS-Flopro, Jandy 200 sqft Cartridge filter
    Pentair Intellichlor IC-40, Zodiac MX-8, Fafco solar panels
    DreamMaker X-500 Spa

  5. Back To Top    #5
    reagan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    64

    Re: City permit and inspection dysfunction

    In our city, permits are basically an extra tax. They aren't bad about it, I have to say, although we had one incident with the contractor we'd hired to do our roof tear-off last year (12/12 pitch and I put my foot down, REFUSING to let DH do it himself). Apparently contractors must be on a list with the city (they pay a $20 fee) and although the contractor assured us he was... he wasn't. DH went to pull the permit two days before and was told they couldn't start until their paperwork cleared, which would take a minimum of 72 hours. He'd scheduled to take off of work (we've gotten screwed by previous contractors using the wrong materials, etc) so he was NOT happy with the potential snafu.

    I drove to the Inspector's office, got the necessary forms, faxed them to the contractor, had them faxed back to us, and then drove them to Inspector's office (after making a copy, of course). When I called the next day, they couldn't locate the form (but had the contractor's $20 payment via credit card on file) so I had her make a copy off of my original and asked her to run it through right away. Which, to her credit, she did.

    When I told DH it was handled, he said when he retires from police work, he should go into construction and hire me to do all his office work. I told him he couldn't pay me enough to deal with bonehead contractors and inspectors.
    BBB/TFP/Taylor K-2006 Evangelist!
    6/13 - Installed AG Sharkline Heritage 21'x54" 11K gallons. Hayward 1660s sand filter, Hayward single-speed 1 hp pump; city water. Husband builds, I maintain.
    5/11 - Starter pool 6000-gallon Intex Ultra 16'x48" AG with standard 1500 gph 1/3 hp cartridge filter.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    pragmatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Friendswood, TX
    Posts
    521

    Re: City permit and inspection dysfunction

    Good thread. I can certainly imagine your frustration with the city. Glad I didn't experience any of that nonsense. My PB commented that our city was strict but very easy to work with and efficient; accepted handrawn sketches and showed up early am for the daily inspections (small town in Galveston Co). I guess it's more city influenced than state reg's.
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •