Sunday, April 02, 2006

The shed saga part 1.

My neighbors and my wife hate this shed. Truth is, I hate too and this year we are going to replace it.

I swear.

It turns out this is not going to be easy.

Our community has a Architectural Review Board (ARB) that needs to approve every exterior change and our township has strict zoning codes.

Who ever put the shed in originally igonored both of these or they didn't exist when it was constructed.

So now the shed is set back 3 and 4 feet back from the property line when it should be six.

So to get a new shed on the exact same spot I need to:

Step 1: Get ARB to approve replacing shed.
Easily done with a form. I submit it and surprise! the shed needs to be 6 feet back from the property line according to township rules. I need to apply for a variance to put a new shed exactly in the same place as the old falling down one.

Step 2: Get variance from township.
This is just like leaking money. I think I would save a lot of time and effort by taking $1000 in small bills and setting it on fire in my driveway.

It's 5 bucks to get a giant stack of papers called a "package". Inside the package are obtuse guidelines that would be very helpful only if I were putting in a subdivision. There isn't any "check here to replace shed" checkbox any where.

A few emails and phonecalls later I figure out This needs to be done in two phases.
First you need to apply and then you need to tell everyone you applied and have proof to told all the right people you have applied and that there will be a hearing on a Wednesday night in April.

Step 2a: Apply for a hearing.
I spend a saturday going through all the paper work again and fill out all the forms. I need a notary to verify I am who I say that I am. I'm guessing there has been a lot of fraud in the rebuilding of sheds in past and now they ask for ID. I'm sure Al Qaeda is behind this some how and perhaps this is where Binladen is or the WMD are, some suburban shed built before the law to check ID.

I also need a list of all property owners within 200 feet of my property So I can notify them and surprise! only the county can provide this list for $10.
This is like being nibbled to death by puppies.
I need proof that I paid my taxes. $20.
I need to escrow $200 in case I decide to run off to Mexico before completing my variance and finally the application itself is $200.
Total So far: $435.

Step 2b: Notify everyone that I want to take down an eyesore shed and put up a new shed. I send out 15 certified mails and put an ad in the paper that no one will ever read. Total cost $122.

The zoning board meets Wednesday so I'll update later.

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