"My Town and Yours" Thoughts and Observations of Mark Lange
by Mark Lange,posted Jan 17 2014 5:22AM
We finished the process of getting approval for a new carport this week - four posts and a roof approved by more organizations and individuals than it would take to build a large church. First the City Inspector who condemned the old garage on the site after an earth tremor a few years ago, the wrecking permit and the permit to dump the rubble in the proper landfill. Then the appointment with an attorney who listed the trail we would have to follow to get a simple carport in that location. (He offered to take care of the permits, but we felt like we could easily do it ourselves. Nobody ever said we are smart.....). So we did it ourselves. First a trip to the Court House to find out the zoing rules, then a denial by the zoning office because our old garage - built before any zoning didn't qualify under today's standards. Next an appearance before the Vincennes Board of Zoning Appeals. The appeal was approved, but on the way out there was the reminder that we had to go before the Historic Review Board for approval to build the carport. More pictures, more applications, more time. That was approved too.
Did we learn anything jumping through all these hoops? Two things actually. It would have been cheaper and easier to hire the attorney to do the work and while all the people we dealt with were, friendly, professional, and knew their stuff - except for that one sour puss - they sometimes assumed we were more sophisticated about laws, rules, and ordinances than we were.
And the status of the totally approved Carport? Can't build it now until the weather improves. Hope they don't change their minds....