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Man can't get permits - told to raze his boy's treehouse

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posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 08:37 PM
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You have tree houses such as the one discussed in the Op,
then you have TREE HOUSES.
freshome.com...

To be fair, I just don't know if I believe the guy called the county or not. The article says that all his neighbors were cool with it -- then one anonymously complained. I'm thinking he thought that nobody would complain and he could skate by. He just decided not to worry about the 1 person who would complain.

I mean, let's be realistic. Anyone who owns a house knows how picky insurance companies are getting about everything. Even down to the kind of dog you have to the fence around your above ground pool with a removable ladder. We also know how the cities and counties want to shake everyone upside down, too.

I think this guy thought he could slide by. Maybe the first person did laugh at him like he said they did. If it were me, I would've asked to speak to someone else or called back the next day when the joker might not have answered the phone.

In all honesty, a tree house, not matter how simple, is as dangerous if not more dangerous than a pool. Both need a permit. Like it or not. The city, county, and insurance company want to cover their behinds even if you think you got yours covered. If your son's friend, little Johnny, is at the house playing and falls and breaks his leg, you're going to have to contact your insurance company. Like it or not, you're probably going to be sued and your home owners insurance will be involved.

Might as well do it right the first time and cover all your bases from square one.
Saves a lot of time and trouble.




posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 08:55 PM
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I build high end tree houses for a living and I have to tell you that I deal with this issue all the time. I also live in Long Island New York, which is the worst place to have to deal with stuff like this.

Every township is different. Some have regulations about height, most have regulations about how close you can be to a neighbors property. I don't even attempt to deal with the building department. It's just a good way to get yourself a headache, pay a lot of money, or get shut down from the start. Don't build anything with the deck over fifteen feet, make sure that there are gates and such and build very safe railing so that small children aren't in danger of falling. The first thing that I do is make sure that the client has talked to all of his neighbors and anyone within sight of the structure to make sure that nobody will have a problem with it, and if he has a crabby neighbor, I just won't build it. There are stories just like this one that happen to good honest folks every summer all over the country, it's a shame. There are also a ton of slightly sketchy home made tree houses out there. What do you do. I guess if someone does come along and ask about it, you just tell them that it's a secret getaway for the kids, thats why you didn't tell anyone...



posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 


If my kid falls out of your tree house I'm not going to sue you. Its an accident and you're not at fault. If my kid is horsing around and your kid pushes my kid out of the tree house I'm not going to sue you. The kids were horsing around and that kind of thing happens. If I thought that your kid meant to push him, I may not let my kid hang out with yours again, but I still would not sue. I'm not going to sue you because your kid was a jerk. If the reverse were to happen and you sued me, we're done. Sue me and I will be the biggest SOB on the planet and do absolutely what ever I can to see that you don't get a dime as well as do what I can to ensure that the entire community knows that you are a lowlife. I will seek to make you an outcast, hurt your business should you have one, cut your kids from the teams I coach, the full monty.

Why does the government feel it needs to be engaged in the private business of others? Why does the government need to protect people from basic activities? If its you or your kid, it is your responsibility to see that its a safe environment, not the governments. If he is in a tree house that you are unfamiliar with, you can take the initiative and check it out yourself if you want, but ultimately it is your responsibility, it certainly is not the governments.

It is absurd that people feel that the government has to be in so many areas of our lives, that it has to "cover our backs". When that happens, it reduces the responsibility of the individual. The shift of responsibility from the individual to the state is the most damaging thing that has happened to modern society. It lays at the core of 99% of our ills. Thinking that the government needs to "protect" people from a tree house on private property, the use of which is 100% voluntary is an example of this problem.



posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 09:51 PM
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OP Mentioned "own property"

Where ? we dont own any property. Just rent it from uncle sam.



posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 


Yeah, I know. Nobody like the voice of reason.

You don't have to agree with me and I've heard it all before. When I sold pools, I met lots of folks with your same view point who flat up told me that they weren't going to pull a permit. That's fine with me, but it's my job to tell you to contact your county. If I hadn't told them this, the company I worked for as well as myself would've been sued. If he did call, he should've gotten the name of the guy who laughed at him and made sure they knew who had provided him with such professional answers. After all, we know only the smartest people work for the government, right?

I don't like the way government insists on regulating everything either, but that's how it is now. You don't have to like it, but this is the game they're making us play and there are bigger things that need to be addressed first. If you think you can pull one over on them, you're fooling yourself and causing a lot of wasted time, energy, materials, and disappointing your kid(s). The guy should've at least gotten the permit, followed the regulations, then went hog wild with his and his sons' imaginations and built it however they wanted. Added sky lights and all the other stuff that the permitting department doesn't give a rat's behind about.

Regarding the possible law suit, if nobody saw it happen, who's fault is it? If little Johnny's mother is unemployed and without health insurance, she may have to sue you in order to get his leg set. This is a genuine concern that most people should consider. Heck, just look at playgrounds from 20 years ago. They were a lot more fun, but now seesaws and monkey bars are too dangerous.

I'm not saying that I agree with all this government regulation. It just seems as though the new American Dream is to slip and fall somewhere so you can be on easy street with a law suit. If law suits and accidents never happened, we wouldn't need auto insurance. Ever been hit by someone who didn't have auto insurance? I haven't and I hope to never be.

I'm just playing devil's advocate and injecting a bit of realism. I'm not trying to act like a troll or make you upset. It is what it is and we should be more up in arms about taxes and other things that are choking Americans and stealing our freedoms. This guy in the story should count himself lucky that he is one of the Americans who still has a house with a nice tree in the yard and can afford to build his kids such a nice place to play. By contacting the news about his sob story, he's just as whiny as the person who complained to the county.

Not that I want to start a thread about this, I just want to add this similar story for good measure:
The guy in this story was also told he didn't need a permit either and is now in the same predicament as the tree house guy.
www.wftv.com...

If you ask me, the counties need to reeducate their employees and demand professionalism at all times. It seems to me like tax payers are footing the paychecks for a bunch of jokers who don't care if they're helping people, answering questions, or guiding citizens properly. Otherwise, the people may get together and sue them for providing false and misleading information.

edit on 11-10-2011 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-10-2011 by Afterthought because: too tired



posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 10:12 PM
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Wow, I think my husband and I are in violation of building codes. He built a small playhouse in the back yard out of landscape timber. It looks like a small log cabin and it's not easy to see from the front view of our property. Geesh! What's the world coming to!



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 


Pools are different for a number of reasons. You can fall into a pool. You can't fall into a tree house. That requires steps be taken to, for example secure access to the pool. A pool is a feature that is sold with a home, therefore having proper permits reasonable. A tree house is a structure that is easily taken down and not something that is considered an asset. They are very different things. The tree house is similar to someone building a skateboard ramp in their back yard.

You mention taxes and that should be our area of focus. Permits are taxes and the folks who write the permitting laws and enforce them are paid by taxes. This entire thing is about taxes. Big government - high taxes and big government will find things to keep itself busy such as enforcing permits regarding tree houses.

If the gal's has no insurance and her kid breaks her leg, she needs to go to the emergency room and get her kid's leg fixed. They will do that regardless of her insurance status. There is no reason for her to sue me and to the extent that she does, what I said in the prior post holds. Her lack of insurance is of no concern nor should it be of any concern of mine. She knows that she has no insurance and if that means that she has to tell her kid not to do certain things that are risky, then she needs to do that. I've got kids and was without insurance for a while. I did not let my son play football that season. It was unfortunate and he was dissapointed, but it was the responsible thing to do. There is more than a reasonable chance of injury and not having insurance, I could not afford to take the risk.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by mamabeth
 


wow, i was talking about the people who said this guy cant have a treehouse... misread much people?



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 01:51 PM
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It is crazy these days. If somebody climbs your fence and drowns in your pool you can be held liable. If a guy robbing your house and falls down your stairs you can be held liable. If a kid climbs your fence and then falls out of your tree house you can be held liable.

Me personally, I'd find out who complained and then go over everything on their property with a microscope and file a few complaints of my own.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 01:58 PM
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Never buy a house with neighbors. You want to stand out in your front yard, look in all directions, and see nothing but emptiness.

If you're so unfortunate to live in a densely populated area then build as high a wall as you can afford and never speak to any of your neighbors about anything ever.

The outside world is a horrible place filled with people who all want to rip your flesh and eat you alive for no other reason than their own boredom and governments are all too happy to facilitate this.

To live among other people is a hell all its own.

You may have great neighbors now and a friendly local government as far as you can tell but it only takes one person one minute to irreparably ruin your life. Once that one person uses that one minute to drag you into the system your life will never be the same ever again.
edit on 12-10-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 02:07 PM
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So some jerk can build a crummy warehouse that will fall down on people and call it a tree house because it has a tree attached. Laws can be overlooked and should have been in this case, but structure laws are laws we should obey.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


I lived next to some gangbangers for about 6 years. never had any problems with them. they even mowed my yard when the did theirs. then they moved out, and an older middle class couple moved in, they was horrable and constantly complained about everything and tried to tell me what I could an could not do on my own property.


WTF?



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by NecroDjinn
 


Most likely because the gangbangers wanted to be left alone themselves. Stay polite, be friendly, dont attract attention, etc.. because if they really were gangbangers they likley had some illegal activities going on.

The old couple were likely tired of seeing the world they knew disappear and compounded with retirement and excessive free-time had nothing better to do than play "geriatric police" on the neighborhood wagging their fingers and clicking their tongues.

Having a criminal next door is safer than an elderly couple. The criminal is busy and he doesnt want to draw any attention to himself. The elderly couple is bitter, all their friends are dead, and they have absolutely nothing occupying their time.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 


This is what happens when people in State and local govts spend as much time micromanaging our lives as the Federal govt.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by NecroDjinn
reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


I lived next to some gangbangers for about 6 years. never had any problems with them. they even mowed my yard when the did theirs. then they moved out, and an older middle class couple moved in, they was horrable and constantly complained about everything and tried to tell me what I could an could not do on my own property.


WTF?


I've had neighbors like that too. They complained eternally about me and my family, but they were awful, leaving trash in my yard behind the garage, and they even left giant poles back there which they refused to admit to, but another neighbor said they saw them put it there, and I had to pay to have them removed. I finally called the cops one day after the man threatened my son physically. And his wife told me that we were country bumpkins and should move back to the country! The people who moved in after they finally left let their kids run through my yard and they broke my new Elm tree at the base and rode their bikes through my back yard and the youngest threw a golf ball at my house. And they had the nerve to come over and ask for it back. I finally yelled at the kids and told them to stay out of my yard. They got scared then. Boundaries have to be protected.
But I do think that there is too much interference in property ownership at the State and local level.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Never buy a house with neighbors. You want to stand out in your front yard, look in all directions, and see nothing but emptiness.

If you're so unfortunate to live in a densely populated area then build as high a wall as you can afford and never speak to any of your neighbors about anything ever.

The outside world is a horrible place filled with people who all want to rip your flesh and eat you alive for no other reason than their own boredom and governments are all too happy to facilitate this.

To live among other people is a hell all its own.

You may have great neighbors now and a friendly local government as far as you can tell but it only takes one person one minute to irreparably ruin your life. Once that one person uses that one minute to drag you into the system your life will never be the same ever again.
edit on 12-10-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)



I have to agree with you. HOA are like N-a-z-is



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by Onboard2
Wow, I think my husband and I are in violation of building codes. He built a small playhouse in the back yard out of landscape timber. It looks like a small log cabin and it's not easy to see from the front view of our property. Geesh! What's the world coming to!


You can always claim its a doggy house....you don't have to tell them the kids play in it



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by dolphinfan
 



You can't fall into a tree house.



I give up. You're obviously so much more intelligent than I could ever wish to be.
Could you do me a favor? Can you also go spread your wisdom at the hospital ER I went to and tell them that if someone doesn't have insurance, they don't get a bill. I had to go to them once and they keep insisting I owe them money for x-rays.


There is no reasoning with you. You have no idea how insurance companies work. If little Johnny gets hurt on your property, you (the adult and owner of said property) is responsible. This responsibility requires you to contact your homeowners insurance and make a claim so his poor mother doesn't have to pay out of pocket to repair her kid's leg. In case you aren't aware, insurance companies don't make money on paying claims, so they usually do everything in their power to avoid this. If your homeowners insurance company discovers that you didn't follow the laws and your masterpiece tree house was built without a permit, they don't have to pay on your claim. This is the same for auto insurance companies. If you weren't wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident, you're brown stuff up a creek and paying out of pocket to fix yourself and your car.

This is the way these companies work. You can scream and throw as many tantrums as you want. It won't make a bit of difference. And for your information, permits are not the same as taxes. Taxes you're forced to pay, permits only have to be paid if you're building something. Is anyone forcing you to build anything? If you don't want to pay for a permit, keep your property the way it is. Easy enough.

Everyone can cry and whine all day about having to get permits, but I've met some stupid people. One guy thought it would be OK to place his pool under some electrical/telephone wires.

Yeah, we had to give him his deposit back since he couldn't get a permit and didn't have anywhere else to place the pool. I guess he could've tried to put it on top of his septic tank.


Concerning the tree house and the haunted house stories, both county employees involved don't seem to know what they're doing and didn't advise either citizen properly and these are the numbskulls who are getting PAID BY OUR TAX DOLLARS.

I don't see the need to whine and complain about safety issues, but I'll be darned if I'm going to call a government office with a legitimate question and the person who should be supplying me with an answer laughs at me instead.
This is the worst mistake that any government employee can make. Laughing at a citizen that's trying to do the right thing, then causing said citizen to waste their time, energy, and money because they treated them like a joke. If I was Mr. Tree House Guy, I'd have asked for the employee's name and demanded to speak with a supervisor. Then, I'd have made sure the joker lost his job.
Government is SUPPOSED to be there to help people. Instead they treat us as though we're stupid. If we find the loopholes and see where each department is weak, we can hit them where it hurts, which would start to get things rolling in the right direction.

I'm sick and tired of governments providing false and misleading information to hard working citizens who are only trying to do the right thing. THIS is what I'm up in arms about. I'm tired of paying the taxes and wages of gubbermint employees who don't know how to do their jobs and really don't give a hoot if they ever do it right.
I guess they believe they can do this though because Joe Blow is going to keep pounding sand instead of focusing his attention on where the real issues are.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 


I did not say they would not get a bill. They should get a bill for the services they consumed. I said that they would be treated without insurance in the instance of a broken leg.

I know fully well how the insurance industry works and I also know all about low-lifes who, engaging in voluntary activity and get injured sue the home or business owner. I was sued by a neighbor's kid who was in my yard with out my knowledge nor permission tormenting my dog with a stick and was bitten. I won the suit as there were witnesses and the kid was clearly in the wrong, but it cost me time and money to win the suit. Again, it is all about people taking no responsibility for their actions and demanding that someone pay for the results of those actions.

The insurance industry sucks. They also get ripped off and sued a ton. I have worked for an insurance company and the number of people they have working on fraud is significant. Its a two way street. I won't defend the insurance industry and I certainly won't defend the person who attempts to (and usually is successful) at defrauding them.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 05:17 PM
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It amazes me how a city can be so anal about some of the smallest little things. I tell you these local governments are getting to be just as bad as the big time governments by meddeling in affairs of citizens. Dosent this city have anything more pressing to worrie about than to hassle some hard working citizen who just wants to build his children a treehouse to play in? thats pretty pathetic



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