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February 2002 Archives

February 1, 2002

More bids, utility stuff

Triple R Construction has the septic bid. I've been studying plumbing.

I've put up Grump's 87th birthday video on the movies page.

We sent off the proper info to NOVEC for temp electric hookup, and the plat off to the Land lawyers and Walsh & Colucci for recording a deed on it.

February 8, 2002

Budget almost complete, approval imminent!

We're set to hear from the County by the 19th of February. WHEN we get approved, we'll immediately begin clearing and grading the site, as well as clear for NOVEC's electric line.

We've just about finished the budget (95%) and are submitting our loan application next Wednesday.

February 11, 2002

Dome Raising Details

Assuming the bank takes a month or so for the loan application, we're looking at a tentative ship date of 23 March for the dome kit. That means we'll need help unloading it. That's a Saturday, and since the truck is too big to come through the RxR tunnel, we'll need to unload it (I'm currently arranging where) and then load it into pickup trucks to transport to the site, some 2 miles away.

We'll be sending out an email when we find out the date for sure, so if you'd like to help and you don't get one, let us know by emailing us on the contact page.

We'll probably only need four people, but that means four all day, so if it turns out to be four who show up and can help in the morning, then four who show up later to help in the latter half of the day, so be it. We've got two pick-up trucks already, and could probably use two more.

Assuming THAT date sticks, we're also looking at a 13 April (also a Saturday) date for the dome raising. That will entail the work of six able-bodied folks to help the people from Oregon Dome, Inc., who will be assembling the dome.

For both dates, please bring a pack lunch, and we'll provide hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner, along with soda and water.

February 14, 2002

Bank Bails on Loan

So either we have to explain it better to Bank #1 or get a different bank, or go through a contractor for the sake of the bank. They aren't biting yet.

We've put up some more photos of Hearthwood, along with the photo illustration to the left.

February 21, 2002

Future of Hearthwood in Jeopardy, Everyone Manages to Invent Reasons to Keep their Jobs

Bank #1 is (once again) not returning my phone calls and our loan officer is out of the office on training this week. I can see where we fit as far as their priorities go.

In the meantime, we have two promising bank leads and neither have a problem with "partially self-built panelized housing systems where-in the manufacturer ships us the shell, erects it, and we do the rest."

Also, the County has thrown another curve ball at us-a problem soils thing. Since our house is sited within 25 feet of a problem soils area (type A), the County needs a Geo-technical soils survey (or a certified third party to vouch for the validity of a diagnosis on the soils, deeming them "non-problem," should the data be old and flawed) which would take time and money. So can you find Waldo? If you can, it would be easier than relocating the house (check out the grading plan) 25 feet from problem soils, another specified amount from the 100 year flood plain, and also out of the RPA to boot. Oh, and see if you can still give us a nice view from the deck.

Of course, all this is moot if Kyum Kahn (Chief Hydrologist of the Western District) doesn't like the fact that our existing driveway is in the floodplain, (but can't do anything about it legally) and decides to fault us on something else. That's the reason we'd resite outside of the RPA.

Do we push on or scrap it because we're going insane living with my parents (and driving them insane in the process)? Do we push the "living with your parents" envelope or sell Hearthwood in a fire-sale to the highest bidder (lunch plus air fare to the nearest state with lax building laws) and skip town? Find out in the next episode of "Oh Who Cares about the Dog Pee in the Corner, I live in the Attic?"

February 27, 2002

County Jobs are Awesome

Hey, I know a good strategy for making friends in the workplace. I'll do the bare minimum of work to get the job done and cover my a$$ instead of doing what's right. That's County Hydrologist Guy's approach.
He's the County official who is the burr in our rear right now. He doesn't have to do anything to deny the right to build on our land, but to do what's right would mean some risk on his part. He would have to grant a waiver and that might come back to him some day. So it's better to hunker down, plug his ears, and pretend he isn't causing us hardship. I hope he sleeps well at night.


"Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things. And a truly good thing never dies"

--Andy Dufresnes, The Shawshank Redemption.

Benevolent Friend has given us that-hope. Jean, Kathy and I went to talk about our dilemna with her this afternoon. This came about on the off chance that Bob Warhurst mentioned her name when speaking with Kathy and who should be right there, but Benevolent Friend!

She used to be on the board of supervisors for Fairfax County and is now a land use Consultant for Adams & Associates. She told us "This will happen," meaning our building on Hearthwood. She told us that it was obviously a political decision that County Hydrologist Guy has made and that she would help us get through this. It just might take some time. Time we have.

Jean and I are alive again.

Thank you Kathy, for meditating or whatever you call it:)

February 28, 2002

Possible Bank Loan

I found a deed at the county documenting the easment onto our land (and surrounding land) "for the purposes of ingress/egress...and all such utilities and services for the full enjoyment of said parcel." Pretty much solidifies our case for our driveway use being ok.

We're going to re-site the house so we don't have to file for a C-Bay waiver, as that's County Hydrologist Guy's leverage. That means more time and a bit more money, but nothing huge. It went through the health dept. once, it will go through again, perhaps faster this time. The view may not be as nice, but as Jean said, "I'd rather have a house on a pretty piece of land than just a pretty piece of land."

Chesapeake Investment and Mortgage looks to be the winner of our "Who Wants to Fund a Dome?" contest. They didn't balk at all when I spoke to them on the phone about a "panelized housing system wherein the manufacturer erects the custom pieces and we do the rest..." and after our meeting today showing them the letter from Fannie Mae about selling domes on the secondary Civil Engineering Firm 1 & 1/2et, the list of comparable domes in the area, the house plans, and the full-color catalogue, they seemed rather hunky-dory!

None of this "well we'll try to convince our underwriters" or anything. Just "We'll get our appraiser (or one you want) out there and see how much money we can lend you," in a very good way. And they aren't charging us an arm and a leg. Can we say, "Good-bye Bank #1" in a big loud voice now? Good.

About February 2002

This page contains all entries posted to Hearthwood Dome in February 2002. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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