Friday, August 11, 2006

The shed saga continues

It's been a while since I did a shed update and a lot has happened on this exciting topic.

Our last update was that the township approved the zoning variance and we thought that was the end of the story with the paper work.

However when we went to pick our pool tags for the community pool we were told that we couldn't because we had an outstanding Architectural Review Board (ARB) issue.

Follow me now as I show you the path that lead to me and my family not being able to use a pool facility that we pay for.

I have a shed. An ugly shed. I want to replace the shed.

I follow the process and ask the ARB if I can replace the shed. They say yes but the township must approve a zoning variance since the shed is too close to my property line. Never mind the fact that present shed is already too close to the property line and I am replacing a shed that looks like something that belongs on the Clampett's old property (before they found oil) with something that belongs in Disney's "it's a small world".

I pay close to $700 for a variance and it is approved.

Now because I requested a shed through the ARB and they never heard the final outcome, I can't use the community pool. Huh?

Now I need the ARB to approve what the Township did or I can't swim.

I believe this makes perfect sense but that is only because the largest financial investiment of my life is in the hands of crazy people and am in denial.

We submit yet another ARB request for a shed and that also is approved. Total time: 14 months.

Last Saturday we finally felt ready to engage a contractor to build an actual shed and headed off the Berlin Farmer's market.

The contractor was Amish.

I think. It may have been some sort ruse since I didn't see a horse and buggy out front and the place was air conditioned. They had beautiful sheds.

We talked with the salesman. We'll call him Elmer since that was his name. Elmer looked Amish. Sort of. He had one of those Amish beards with beard hair only from ear to ear under the chin. He also had no zippers - just buttons. But he had the strangest shirt. It was silky like a 70's disco shirt but with buttons.

Disco-Amish. Ah ah ah ah stayin' plain ah ah ah ah stayin' plain.

Great sheds. Wacky clothes.

Mrs F picked one with porch. Yes, I will have a shed with a porch. And a cupola with a rooster weather vane. And flower boxes.

In fact the only option she didn't get was the "it's a small world" mechanical figures for the porch and windows. Yes, it has windows. With shutters. I see a lot of seasonal decorating going on here. Pumpkins for the porch. Lighting. Christmas Lights. Giant hearts in February. All this for place to keep my lawnmower dry.

So today I took some time off work for, surprise! More shed paper work. I needed a permit for the Amish to build the shed.

So we are almost set.

The only thing that Elmer said that sort of alarmed me was "do you have a problem with us starting early?". So what is early to the Amish? Doesn't their normal workday start at 4 AM? Is 2 AM early?

No, they start at 6:30 AM on a Saturday.

I can only imagine a scene from the movie Witness with horse drawn wagons full of strapping Amish men driving up to my house to build me a place to put my rakes ( I have two rakes). Of course the just-as-big Amish women would need to come to make high-carbohydrate Amish food for lunch.

This seems like a lot effort for shed.

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