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Thread: Concerning codes, permits, licenses, inspections, ad infinitum

  1. #1
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Default Concerning codes, permits, licenses, inspections, ad infinitum

    Codes and all things related are not relevant to everyone in exactly the same ways. A homeowner might repair or replace his or her own faucet or receptacle ... and that would be the end of that. But when a homeowner calls someone in to do even such simple work, code-related licenses, permits, bonding, insurance and inspections can and do come into play even thought the very same pro being called in could likely repair or replace his or her own faucet or receptacle at home observed. In that light, then, codes serve to assure quality work from professionals for everyone as well as to wisely guide the DIY-homeowner:

    Code sets standards to account for hazards and danger.
    Next, what happens when a DIYer – not to be confused with a community handyman – seeks information or advice from a professional?

    Here are some additional re-visited thoughts from another thread:

    DIY folk ought not to be told how to work around code. Great risk they'll end up doing the wrong thing. Also, leaves a permanent record that can haunt the poster for all time to come.
    For those kinds of reasons, it is not at all difficult to understand why a professional might occasionally or situationally hesitate or even refuse to answer all, very many or even any of a homeowner-DIYer’s questions. And when another DIYer or even an experienced handyman or actual pro might proceed to do so anyway, a professional can be found in an awkward (and sometimes cop-like) spot where either silence, correction or more information or advice could leave him or her vulnerable to one or another form of being disliked or facing personal liability and/or reputational harm ...

    At times, such are the dynamics here on these boards.

    All of the above is related to individual and personal “hazards and danger”, but certain codes and such actually go far beyond that:

    Whenever a homeowner desires to do anything that could have an impact on anyone else – a private well or septic tank or livestock barn, for examples – certain broader regulations come into play for the protection of all humanity and our natural “global commons”: air, earth and water. In that kind of scenario, even a homeowner doing his or her own work must usually first apply for a permit to do anything at all – and now we are dealing with true legal matters, I believe – and a contractor giving a little information or advice or even doing the actual work could easily be found complicit if someone other than his or her listener or actual customer is even indirectly affected.

    As a not-for-hire handyman – widows and orphans only, please – and a fairly accomplished DIYer, I greatly appreciate the vast amount of information and advice I can find and hear in this forum, and I caution my fellow DIYers and/or handypersons to only expect information or answers proportional in detail to the overall information (sometimes including personal aptitude and/or skill) first offered to other folks here who really do know exactly what they are doing, and precisely why!

    And personally, I have had some “hazards and danger” questions answered here even when I had not thought to ask them ... and for that, I am also grateful.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 04-21-2007 at 10:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default "... information or answers proportional ..."

    this is a good point.
    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho
    ... information or answers proportional ...
    and the whole train of thought too. Some of those sentences were long.

    david

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geniescience
    Some of those sentences were long.
    Yeah, I know ... but have you ever seen an easy-read code book?!

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    From a nutty friend of mine, this is reported to be some actual correspondence between a landowner and a given "permit palace" ...

    DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County (PA)

    Dear Mr. DeVries:

    It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:
    Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.
    A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity.

    A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.

    The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2006.

    Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff.

    Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action..

    We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

    Sincerely,
    David L. Price
    District Representative and Water Management Division.
    ----------------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------------


    Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;Lycoming County

    Dear Mr. Price,

    Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Pennsylvania.

    A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris." I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

    As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

    My first dam question to you is:
    (1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
    (2) Do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?

    If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.

    I have several concerns... My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names.

    If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.

    In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).

    So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2006? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.

    In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone.

    If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump!

    Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.

    Thank you.
    Ryan Devries & the dam beavers

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