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Thread: Permit for an old Culvert?

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    Permit for an old Culvert?

    This post contains questions regarding my home which is at the end of a dirt road. The dirt road is only accessible by driving down another dirt road in an unincorporated area of Maricopa County in Arizona.

    A builder managed the construction of a small group of houses. The builder lived in one of the houses and sold the others. In May of 2000, after living in the house for about two years, the builder sold it to me.

    Nearly eleven years later, in January 2011, a letter from the county code enforcement division arrived in my mailbox. The letter reports a violation of "Construction without a Permit" regarding a culvert that allows rainstorm water to flow under the entrance to the property. The letter states the violation must be corrected by obtaining necessary permits/clearances and warns of a $750/day fine.

    In your opinion;
    1)Would removing the culverts remedy the violation?
    2)Would obtaining necessary permits/clearances be time consuming and expensive?
    3)Can I "transfer" the violation or file suit against the builder?

    Warm Regards,
    WhyMe

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    Welcome to the board. The first thing I would do is make an appointment Monday morning to meet with the department that issued the notice and find out what their concerns are. The fact that the work was done before you bought the property may or may not be relavant to the issue. View this meeting as your opportunity to find out more details. Keep your cool, do not get mad and make no enemies or commitments. Do not ignore notices or deadlines. You could lose and be in trouble by default if you do. After gathering information, you should have a better idea of your options and if you need a lawyer.

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    WOW!
    That was quick and very well said.
    It's the answer to the question I should have asked.
    I actually feel better already.
    So until the appointment, I'm still looking for an opinion only...would removing the culverts remedy the violation and are obtaining necessary permits/clearances time consuming and expensive?

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    Sawhorse chris kennedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyMe View Post
    would removing the culverts remedy the violation
    You will probable get sited for not pulling a permit for that demo.
    Quotes are from the 08 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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    Sawhorse
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    Also ask what year permits were required

    And, what year the current culvert design was required


    As in was any of this required when this was built

    Also, do you have a survey showing who actualy owns the area where the culvert is, or is county easement, or is it just because it is access to your property??

    Also someone with better legal jargon can tell you the term but sometimes if something has been in place for a number of years it is yours and allowed to exist, not grandfathered

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhyMe View Post
    In your opinion;
    1)Would removing the culverts remedy the violation?
    2)Would obtaining necessary permits/clearances be time consuming and expensive?
    3)Can I "transfer" the violation or file suit against the builder?
    1. Maybe.
    2. Maybe.
    3a. Yes, by selling the property.
    3b. Yes, Anyone can sue anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cda View Post
    a survey showing who actualy owns the area where the culvert is, or is county easement
    It's an interesting question because the dirt road that leads to the culverts is an easement.
    What significance might that have?

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    Moderator Daddy-0-'s Avatar
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    If the culvert is in an easement it may not be your responsibility. I don't get it though. Culverts are not governed by the building code. How could that be "construction without a permit?" Maybe an erosion and sediment issue. Does the code office that sent you the letter also enforce erosion regulations? You need to meet with them immediately with your hat in your hand and explain that you have not done the work and find out exactly what the violations are. Ask them for the exact code sections that you have allegedly violated and see if they will work with you on compliance. The building code requires reasonable time to correct violations so the 750/day won't start immediately. I bet that it is an erosion violation though. The culvert probably dumps sediment into a crek or waterway downstream. More info will help us with better answers. Good Luck and welcome.
    Now accepting advertising.....

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    Administrator fatboy's Avatar
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    Sounds like it might be a Public Works issue, if it's in an easement. Doesn't matter, Coug Dad's advice still holds, open up a dialogue, don't pi$$ anyone off, if you have to, go back on the builder with a civil suit.
    Arguing with an inspector is like wrestling with a pig in mud, pretty soon you realize that the pig is enjoying it!

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