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April 2002 Archives

April 3, 2002

I can't Lie well enough to even interview at the County

So County Planning Commission Guy finally called us back last night.

County Planning Commission Guy: "There are really a lot of issues...what with your house....emergency access..."
JEAN: "Well, actually there are houses being built right now at the end of Colchester Road that are in the same predicament, what with the bridge being lower than our driveway...Why are they allowed to build and we are denied?"
County Planning Commission Guy: "...and the C-Bay issue..."
JEAN: "Not to keep cutting you off, but that's no longer an issue, as we've resited the house..yes it's in the process of review right now..."
County Planning Commission Guy: "So I spoke to County Official 1 and she should be calling you soon. Don't worry, we're keeping this on the front burner..."

Hmm. Sounds suspiciously like we just got handed off. Last time we spoke to County Official 1 was in spring or summer of 2001.

Remember the telephone game? Each person garbles the message a little more, so at the end no one knows what the original message was. Each link in our telephone game knows less about the situation and can afford to be more impersonal. By now it's probably "Two people (Are they married? They don't even have the same name) want to build a house IN the floodplain, maybe even in the creek. There's a bumper sticker in the Northern Sun catalogue that would fit well on any Fairfax County vehicle: "The buck doesn't even slow down here."

More Hemming, less Hawing

Steve Collins is now working for half of his old firm, Civil Engineering Firm 2; now "Civil Engineering Firm 3" or something. The plans should be approved by the Health Dept either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, at which time I'll go pay the fee, sign all the appropriate blocks and drop it in County Official 2's box.

The Health Dept wanted to make sure we have our RLD (we'll do it this weekend) and also commented on emergency access to the land, something they didn't mention before. County Official 2 has to write a response letter saying these things are being taken care of...

April 5, 2002

RLD Certificate

We skimmed over the 148 page PDF file and blasted through the 25 question test (1 hour timed, open book) in 15 minutes last night, securing our Responsible Land Disturbers certificate.

It's yet another way the County covers its rear- it can say that we were fully informed of all practices and procedures for erosion control, so if something gets out of hand neither we nor any one else can sue the County for negligence. What a cop out. And they get money for it too: $75!!!

April 9, 2002

Received Plans From Oregon Dome

I submitted the plans to Civil Engineering Firm 3 last Friday and they are in the County undergoing review as of Tuesday.

The Appraiser came out to take a look at Hearthwood today and seems like an amiable fellow, quite willing to help reasonably appraise a non-standard home like a geodesic dome.

We got the flipped plans yesterday from Oregon Dome. Now we have to go back to Home Depot to get the TJI's spec'd out again, as everything is a mirror image and the cuts are different.

County Official 1 is still incommunicado, but we haven't lost all hope yet.

Jean's Birthday is tomorrow!

April 11, 2002

Going to Meet Hydrologist

I'm dropping off the paper to go with our RLD at the county today.

We have a meeting with County Official 5 tomorrow (above County Hydrologist Guy, below County Official 1) at 10:30 and are calling on Bob Phillipson's hard-nosed attitude and hopefully on Benevolent Friend as well, to help us be more trouble than we're worth the time. Wish us luck!!!

April 12, 2002

Meeting with Hyrdologist near bust, We enter 5th circle of Hell

Where do I begin? Our meeting with County Official 5 and County Hydrologist Guy could have been better but at least they didn't flat out say "no, you can't ever build."

It basically boils down to they don't want to knowingly approve a grading plan that doesn't have "adequate" emergency access during a 100-year flood. "Adequate" is apparently not in their authority to much interpretation.

They are now going back to the Code Analysis (read lawyers) dept/whatever to see what kind of leeway we can get in using:

1. a foot-bridge from our lot to "Our Nextdoor Neighbor"'s
2. a boat
3. a helicopter

for emergency access. I have a feeling they will say footbridge if anything. I'm all tied up inside from this.

Part II: The County rejected our building plans yesterday because of a lot of nit-picky little things. Now we get to send them BACK to Oregon for a redraw (yay, more money!) and then they send them BACK to us and then we submit them again. Not like we're pressed for time or anything, because I'm sure County Official 5 and County Hydrologist Guy will take at least a month to tell us "no" and then we'll litigate. Who deserves to go through this?

April 20, 2002

Phone Calls, more delays

A friend of Jean's is getting married today.

Jean called County Supervisor's (County Supervisor) office last week and spoke to a really nice fellow, County Official 2. County Official 2 handed us off to Supervisor's Aid, but not before speaking with County Official 5 and letting him know that County Supervisor would like to be "kept in the loop."

County Official 5 has set up a meeting next week (what was he doing this week?) with the Code Analysis people and he'll "do everything we can do to let you build on this property." Yay, let's see if he can find a loin-cloth big enough to cover his rear. If not, we're going in guns blazing with Benevolent Friend as our lawyer.

April 23, 2002

Loan almost approved, waiting on County

Bank 2 just got our appraisal in yesterday and submitted it to the underwriters. They expect to have some questions, since they don't see domes everyday, but the appraisal came in high enough for our 80% loan-to-value and looks promising overall.

No word from County Official 5 or anyone else yet.

April 29, 2002

Even More Waiting

Bank 2 should be ready for us to close our loan this week. I spoke with Banker Guy 1 last Friday and faxed him some stuff this morning.

We should also find out what County Official 5 and the County have to say this week. Will we be building a footbridge or pursuing litigation? Still no word from Benevolent Friend.

We went kayaking with an ocean kayak in the creek yesterday. It had rained for over 12 hours straight and the creek had risen at least 2 feet: check it out.

3:49PM, an email:

Just wanted you to know I'm trying to follow-up with Mr. County Official 5
regarding your issue. I've left a voice mail message with him today and am
awaiting his reply. I will keep you "in the loop" when I receive additional
information. Thanks.
Supervisor's Aid
Supervisor's Aid
Administrative Aide
County Supervisor"

Upward and Onward.

April 30, 2002

Progress (or lack thereof)

An email titled "Progress" (or lack thereof):

Just wanted you to know that I spoke with Mr. County Official 5 and he has set a date for the meeting with the Code Analysis folks. It is for May 7 at 2p.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me.
Supervisor's Aid .

So, what happened to last week? When we originally met with County Official 5 on 12 April, he said he would set up a meeting for the "next week" (April 13-17). Now it's for next week (May 6-10), two weeks later than originally promised, almost a full month after we spoke with County Official 5.

They may have day-to-day business which to attend, but we have lives to start.

About April 2002

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

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