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Old 10-14-2019, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Raleigh - inside the beltline
109 posts, read 64,849 times
Reputation: 121

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Our property was cited for a violation regarding an unpermitted expanded driveway/parking area that was installed years before we purchased the house. Does anybody have experience with a similar situation?

I have been dealing with this mess now for over three months. The code enforcement officer who issued the notice is a "nice" guy, and he readily admits that the violation is ridiculous BS, but HE STILL WROTE ME UP!!

Oh, and the main issue (aside from producing revenue for the city) is about the surface permeability. Guess what, the expanded driveway in question is composed of gravel. We have more runoff from our grass area then we do from the gravel driveway!

We are required to have the property re-surveyed, and hire an engineer to perform some bs calculations. By the way, the driveway is sloped toward the house, so even if there was additional runoff due to impermeability, it still wouldn't leave my property!

One more detail I almost forgot to mention. The city is taking part of my front yard away (eminent domain). Yay!

Any advice? Is there any way to fight this (realistically and cost effectively)?

If not, can you recommend residential land surveyors that you've used? Engineers for this type of thing?

Thanks,
Carlos

Last edited by carlito2002wgn; 10-14-2019 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:17 PM
 
1,820 posts, read 990,755 times
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Tell them to go sue the people who originally did it. I fail to see how you can be cited that wasn't done by you.
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Raleigh - inside the beltline
109 posts, read 64,849 times
Reputation: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk55732 View Post
Tell them to go sue the people who originally did it. I fail to see how you can be cited that wasn't done by you.
Right. I think it is all BS all the way around, but they told me that they see this all the time. It doesn't matter who did it or when it was done, or if it makes any sense at all. The current owner is on the hook and responsible.
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:24 PM
 
1,820 posts, read 990,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlito2002wgn View Post
Right. I think it is all BS all the way around, but they told me that they see this all the time. It doesn't matter who did it or when it was done, or if it makes any sense at all. The current owner is on the hook and responsible.
Talk to a lawyer then. One who is local to the area. If they see it all the time then someone has gone to court over it.
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:42 PM
 
331 posts, read 273,422 times
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Unless you have an "engineered porous aggregate" that is designed to be porous, which is highly doubtful, the AHJ is going to consider gravel to be an impervious surface. Certain types of aggregate are designed to be non-compacting which would make it porous.

It doesn't matter which way it flows, whether it leaves the yard or not, they are just doing a quick calculation of the impervious surfaces, house roof, driveways, patios, etc. against the total lot size. Do you know what your impervious surface limit is (ie, which of the watershed areas are you in) and what you are currently at. Raleigh IMAPs will give you all this info. I would want to know if I was a few SF over, or hundreds of SF over the limit. While you can install mitigation methods to increase your percentage (retention is one example), it will need to be designed by an Engineer to prove exactly what it is designed to capture. I know for my house if I pull the Septic permit from IMAPs the previously used impervious surface, vs. allowed is on the plan.

Completely agree with you that it sucks you are getting stuck with the previous owners actions.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:02 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
17,364 posts, read 26,690,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk55732 View Post
Tell them to go sue the people who originally did it. I fail to see how you can be cited that wasn't done by you.
Nope, being from Long Island this happens all the time - once you buy a house its problems are yours. Long Island is the land of unpermitted finished basements, expanded/dormered 2nd floors, illegal rentals, decks - basically you name it they got it. I see Raleigh has caught up to this being a moneymaker for them.

OP if you don't need the driveway, my advise is put it back the way it was.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Raleigh - inside the beltline
109 posts, read 64,849 times
Reputation: 121
It's all about the money. Revenue revenue revenue! And the people get screwed.

Unfortunately, the extra parking area is needed.

Oh, and guess what else? The city is taking part of my front yard (eminent domain). Aren't I lucky?
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:45 PM
 
12,438 posts, read 22,103,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlito2002wgn View Post
It's all about the money. Revenue revenue revenue! And the people get screwed.

Unfortunately, the extra parking area is needed.

Oh, and guess what else? The city is taking part of my front yard (eminent domain). Aren't I lucky?
Be thankful you don't live in NY or CA. The permitting and inspection process there is over the top. Example in some localities you must buy a permit to remove a tree on your yard.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
10,684 posts, read 7,778,533 times
Reputation: 9091
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlito2002wgn View Post
Right. I think it is all BS all the way around, but they told me that they see this all the time. It doesn't matter who did it or when it was done, or if it makes any sense at all. The current owner is on the hook and responsible.
I was not aware they are going back BEFORE the impermeable surface regulations went into effect and enforcing it. Frankly, it's kind of impossible to do so. For example, there are single family homes WAY over the % cap for their zoning. I'm talking like 90%+ impermeable, but that was not part of the zoning when they were built.

Now, if the code guy is saying someone before you did this AFTER the rules went into place - then sure.

I suppose he's giving you the "it looks like you're in violation, go prove you're not"? Would you then get a variance, or be forced to remove some impervious surface?
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:34 PM
 
Location: NC
6,870 posts, read 8,454,115 times
Reputation: 14444
They can be kind of ridiculous about sand and gravel. Even a sand riding ring, which drains freely downward will be called impervious. Why? Because riding horses on it supposedly packs it down. Yeah like asphalt? No.

So the car driving on your driveway extension must really pack it.
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