Tag Archives: permitting

First permitted cob structure in Berkeley could pave way for more green building — Berkeleyside

Jessica Tong adds roofing to a shed she built in her parents’ backyard, the first permitted cob structure in Berkeley. Photo: Natalie Orenstein

With these projects, and the Cob Research Institute, the goal is “to create a base of education and repetition so it can be used to convince code authorities, yes, this stuff can be permitted,” Fordice said. “There’s a lot of interest” in building with, and legitimizing cob, but not a lot of financial support, said Fordice, whose institute is volunteer-run.

Source: First permitted cob structure in Berkeley could pave way for more green building — Berkeleyside

Home demolitions skyrocket in Portland, neighbors demand advance warning | OregonLive.com

not_demolition.jpg

This tear down on Southeast Knapp Street in Eastmoreland was not considered a demolition by the city because part of the old house remained intact. Melissa Binder/The Oregonian

At the root of the debate are two technical aspects of city code. The waiver is the first.

Developers may choose to be courteous, but the delay and notification requirement was never intended as a kindness to neighbors, said Ross Caron, spokesman for the development bureau.

The requirement was added to city code in 1988 to prevent large backlogs of vacant land from building up. The waiver option was added in 1990 to allow property owners to move forward more quickly if they were ready to build.

The second technicality neighbors cite as a problem involves what the city considers a true demolition — and the difference between a demolition and a remodel.

This tear down on Southeast Knapp Street in Eastmoreland was not considered a demolition by the city because part of the old house remained intact.

City code defines a demolition as a complete removal of a structure. If any portion of the to-be-razed home remains — say a bit of wall or floor framing — a demolition permit is unnecessary. An alteration or addition permit is required, but that does not involve a delay or notifying neighbors.

There have been about 2,700 alteration and addition permits thus far this year, up 24 percent from 2011. Projects range from remodeling a bathroom to building an entirely new home with a bit of an old wall or floor still intact.

To the city, these technicalities are separate issues. To neighbors the problem is uniform: Homes are being torn down, and they’re being caught by surprise.

infill_house.jpg

v

 

New homes are being built in established neighborhoods throughout Portland, particularly in the Southeast. Photographed here, a new home nearly four times the size of houses around it is being constructed in Mt. Scott-Arleta. (Melissa Binder/The Oregonian)

Via Home demolitions skyrocket in Portland, neighbors demand advance warning | OregonLive.com

Neighbors, owner tangle over deconstruction at historic Detroit home | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

The area around the Van Dyke Place mansion at 649 Van Dyke in the historic West Village district of Detroit has been blocked off after a dispute over scrapping. The home's new owner says it was restoration work; neighbors say they aren't convinced.

Residents of West Village in Detroit sprang into action this week when two men appeared to be scrapping the architectural features off one of the historic neighborhood’s most famous mansions.

City officials said the homeowner had not secured the proper permits nor gone through the requirements involving historic homes to do work on the former Van Dyke Place Restaurant.

On Wednesday night, Detroit police arrested and later released the men working on the house, from T&T Construction in Findlay, Ohio, as they investigated neighbors’ complaints.

The former Van Dyke Place, a 10,000-square-foot building, was built about 100 years ago by the man whose overalls eventually would anchor the Carhartt brand of work clothes.

Residents said the workers pulled doors off their hinges, carefully disassembled a limestone balustrade and cut a massive limestone façade out of three layers of brick above the door. But in their historic neighborhood, such deconstruction requires permit after permit, with public hearings and community approval. By about 7 p.m. Wednesday, 20 residents gathered at the house and demanded to know what the men were doing.

“The intention was to strip the house,” said architect Brian Hurttienne, executive director of the Villages Community Development Corp., a neighborhood organization. “It undermines everything that community really is.”

Michael Mallett said he owns the house and commissioned the work — but said he was simply trying to stem water leaks. He said he bought the foreclosed house for $115,000 cash in May.

Mallett, who said he has rebuilt old homes before, said his workers removed the façade to get better access to the doors because they were rusted through. Mallett, also from Ohio, said he didn’t think he needed permits to attack the water leaks. On Thursday, he said he was talking with the city about the proper permits.

“I don’t think everyone understood what we were doing,” he said. “We’re trying to diffuse the situation as best we can.”

But neighbors and some city officials expressed skepticism at the explanation.

They said Mallett’s crew has been working for about three weeks on the house, mostly on the inside. On Wednesday night, when the residents arrived, they said the previous owner of the house — who lives next door and still has keys to the fence lock — told police they couldn’t enter without a warrant.

By Thursday afternoon, the former owner, real estate lawyer Rod Strickland, was representing Mallett. Mallett said they had never met before Wednesday night.

According to county tax records, Strickland bought the mansion for $500,000 in 2001 and lost it to foreclosure in 2011. He said he thinks his neighbors overreacted, and the two men were unfairly arrested. He would not allow the Free Press inside the gates.

“They failed to have it permitted,” Strickland said of the workers. “They stopped and agreed to go home.”

Hurttienne said architectural features — such as façades — are extremely difficult to replace once they are removed. He estimated the value of what was pulled off the Van Dyke house in excess of $100,000.

Continue reading Neighbors, owner tangle over deconstruction at historic Detroit home | Detroit Free Press | freep.com