Saturday, July 21, 2012

Impeded Progress, Or The Bane Of Our Existence

So, we got our first stop work order this week folks.  Sigh...  Let me start by talking about the bane of our existence, the Protected Georgia Waterway that runs along the back edge of our property.  This Protected Georgia Waterway has caused a lot of problems for us and our other neighbors whose properties have the bad fortune to be adjacent to it.  Because it is a Protected Waterway, you cannot build within 100 feet of the stupid thing (even though it's YOUR property) because, I don't know, it will hurt the environment or something.  The hubby and I were fortunate in that we had enough space in our backyard to get done what we needed to do with the renovation, but we've had neighbors that were not so lucky.  They've had to curtail their own expansion plans, or they've gone through absolute hell trying to tear down and rebuild a house that was built in the 50's that was falling apart (we all banded together as a neighborhood and finally got the permission for it, but it was a long, hard fight).  I'm all for the environment and everything, but let me show you this precious ecosystem that the government is giving us all crap for:

 It's a kudzu choked drainage ditch.

Basically it's a drainage ditch that fills up with water when it rains.  It's dry the rest of the time.  I don't hate it or want to destroy it, but I don't think it's worth giving us all grief over.

This week the city sent by a Code Enforcement Officer, I'm guessing because maybe a curmudgeonly neighbor complained (not thinking of you D's or you W's, we know you guys are awesome).  This Officer was clearly there just to try and find things wrong, and believe me if they want to try to find something wrong, they will.  So here were our violations:  our dumpster didn't have lights on it, the porta potty was in the street, and we took down the silt fence in the backyard that was (supposedly) protecting the waterway.

The dumpster was being picked up in five minutes, and the dumpster company didn't provide us one with lights on it.  Guilty as charged on the porta potty.  It was in the street in front of our house because that was the best place for us.  And about the silt fence...  okay the stupid silt fence that was on our property before was actually installed by the hubby and I when we got our wiener puppies.  We knew that we were going to be doing the renovation soon, so we didn't want to install a proper fence only to have it torn down.  The silt fence proved to be enough of a barrier for short little wiener puppies, and we never let them out in the backyard without us.  So our Code Enforcement Officer was pissed that we took down a silt fence that had absolutely nothing to do with the renovation at all because OMG WE MUST PROTECT THE KUDZU CHOKED DRAINAGE DITCH, I mean Georgia Protected Waterway.  The reason why our contractor even took down the silt fence is that there will be no more construction in the backyard, so there will be no soil erosion or anything like that to worry about.  When he nicely suggested this to the Officer (and believe me our contractor is one of the nicest, easy going people you would ever hope to meet), the Officer got nasty and threatened to put our contractor in jail.

We had to tell the plumbers, electricians and HVAC people who were working in the house and NOWHERE NEAR THE BACKYARD that they had to go home.  Then my contractor had to search the Atlanta area for this super duper protective (and expensive) special silt fence and get it put up in the backyard to protect the Georgia Protected Waterway.

Hard to find, stupidly expensive and completely unnecessary.

Once it was up, we had to wait a couple of days for the Code Enforcement Officer to come out and confirm that we were in compliance because apparently they only do that on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.
So we lost several days of work on this project, we had to pay for equipment we didn't need, and we had to mess with the schedules of several different professionals for nothing really.  Your tax dollars at work folks.

We don't know for sure that this was caused by the complaints of a grumpy neighbor, but if it was, I'd just like to say openly and publicly, we are reasonable people.  The hubby, our contractor and I want to complete this project with as little disturbance to the neighborhood as possible.  We are all committed to trying to keep everyone as happy as we possibly can (but I'm sorry, there will be dumpsters and porta potties).  If you have any kind of problems or questions with the construction, please just contact us directly and we will do our best to work it out.  If you involve the city, it's just going to delay the project even further which will prolong your inconvenience.

I will try to have a happier post up soon with some more design...since this week we really didn't get much done in construction.

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