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Posted: 6/29/2015 6:20:30 PM EDT
Does it have to be that in America today that in order to have rights you need to spend thousands of dollars on attorneys to fight for them first?

My township strong armed me when I applied for a building permit to put a shed on my property by telling me it needed to match my home. I proposed matching the color scheme but with a different type of siding and roofing, then I asked to see the ordinance imposing the restrictions. Days went by before they conceded no ordinances actually exist to that affect and confirmed my proposed building met the requirements of the ordinances currently and said I could get a permit. Then, 4 days later they adopted a new ordinance to block me, and denied my permit after the fact. They said even though they told me I complied 4 days prior, it didn't constitute a signed permit.

So.... I went and wasted 1550 bucks on an attorney who advised me that the board did not even have authority to pass such an ordinance, and that it is legally ineffective. We notified the Township, and they are standing by it, yet they don't have the balls to issue me a denial in writing, although I have asked for it several times.

So in talking to attorney's they say my options are to spend many thousands of dollars to sue them, and ask if its worth it to me. Townships have insurance policies to pay their legal fees so they could give a fuck, they just take the attitude... so sue me. How fucking sad is it that in todays America the only way you are entitled to all of your rights is if you first go broke trying to defend them.

I am checking into the criminal nature of their actions, as in MN there are laws regarding abuse of power by elected officials. But does anyone have any good ideas for cost effective ways to fight the beast?? I have all but decided to move out of the Township, but that still won't give me total satisfaction, as I have now spent close to $2500 and have absolutely nothing to show for my efforts, other than feeling like my liberties have been violated. Do I turn the cheek and walk away with my tail between my legs and be happy I only spent $2500 to fight for my rights or do I fight these communists and how?
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 6:41:15 PM EDT
My Grandpa told a building inspector he was going to bash his skull in with a ball peen hammer if he stepped foot on his property again... End of problem.

Don't you miss the good old days?
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 6:43:32 PM EDT
Any chance you could get the news involved?
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 6:44:20 PM EDT
HOAs Townships
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 6:47:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2015 6:57:35 PM EDT by SO3184]
Contacting the news was a thought. Its a very big deal to me, not sure it has the sensational qualities the news likes. I have not
ruled it out yet.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 6:53:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2015 6:54:32 PM EDT by splunkinoob]
My neighbor wanted to build a barn, well the barn was going to be 10' larger in one dimension than was allowed by the township based on his acerage. He took it to them, they changed the code for the entire county, he built his barn.

Edit - if they legally can't do anything, fuck'em just build it.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 6:55:45 PM EDT
Does someone on the council have a grudge against you? Some percieved slight? A lot of these townships are run just like little fiefdoms by older families that live in them. By any chance do you have a neighbor whose relative is on the council? If it were me I'd just build it and let them try to take me to court. I bet a judge would laugh it out of the courtroom.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:03:51 PM EDT
Very interesting question, my neighbor is a former township official and current county commissioner. I made a point to ask him personally if he was against it and he said he has absolutely no concerns about it. I think part of their grudge is that I challenged them to show me the ordinance the first day they shot down my plan. They didnt like having to concede that the ordinance did not exist as they "thought it did"
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:04:31 PM EDT
Build it anyway. Fuck em....
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:07:13 PM EDT
NO. we dont have townships. We have cities and towns. No ships
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:07:28 PM EDT
Originally when they told me my plan violated the zoning ordinance I asked to see them. They told me they are published online. When I said I could not find it, they told me.... well we dont put it all out there, because we dont want people interpretting them alone, we want you to come talk to us first.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:08:17 PM EDT
definitely a case of asking for forgiveness rather than permission.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:09:40 PM EDT
Nothing like small town politics. Good luck op.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:12:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally when they told me my plan violated the zoning ordinance I asked to see them. They told me they are published online. When I said I could not find it, they told me.... well we dont put it all out there, because we dont want people interpretting them alone, we want you to come talk to us first.
View Quote


Typical bullshit.. Might try getting a couple bids from local contractors. Sometimes they have an "in" with these asshats.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:16:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally when they told me my plan violated the zoning ordinance I asked to see them. They told me they are published online. When I said I could not find it, they told me.... well we dont put it all out there, because we dont want people interpretting them alone, we want you to come talk to us first.
View Quote


Bullshit, if you're into it for $2,500 and have the cash and time to pursue it, do it. Yea they have lawyers, but it's not like the board is going to wash their hands of the deal, they'll have to provide documentation, proof etc..., if they are going to waste your time might as well waste theirs.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:16:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2015 7:19:23 PM EDT by SO3184]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....
View Quote


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat

But I agree... if after 40 days and no permit and wont give me written denial, it is tempting.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:18:24 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....
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That's what I was thinking
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:18:39 PM EDT
Just fucking build it however you want.

Fuck them and their made-up bullshit.

If they don't like it, they can take you to court AFTER it's built.

Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:18:40 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat


Which once again, would be illegal.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:22:05 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat
View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat


I'm sure you did. They tried that shit with my hot tub.. I bought a portable.... Should've seen the guys face when I handed him the paperwork. He didn't a
Like being called a prick as he was leaving my yard.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:24:07 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By splunkinoob:


Which once again, would be illegal.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By splunkinoob:
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat


Which once again, would be illegal.


Yeah, he does have a history with their obfuscation.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:24:15 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By splunkinoob:


Which once again, would be illegal.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By splunkinoob:
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat


Which once again, would be illegal.


Its how they roll, I asked to see a copy of an old building permit from a neighbor down the road, after lots of dancing around the topic they told me those records are in the posession of the widow of a former official who has refused to turn them over to the board. Thats illegal as hell... they cant even keep control of their records in a manner required by law.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:24:44 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat

But I agree... if after 40 days and no permit and wont give me written denial, it is tempting.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat

But I agree... if after 40 days and no permit and wont give me written denial, it is tempting.

Build it with the idea of moving it if needed..cant be that hard unless you are building the shedmahall....
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:27:24 PM EDT
If I had gone through the proper permitting process for everything I've done on my houses I'd be about $30,000 lighter than I am. For the vast majority of things, permitting is just an extortion racket. OP should have just built his shed and kept quiet.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:28:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2015 7:31:39 PM EDT by ApacheScout]
Run for town council and then change the law.
I know someone who did just that.
Contact the state attorney general? I don't know if it will do any good but maybe they'll look into it.

ETA Another way to get around it is make it "temporary". Don't put in a foundation or permanently attach it to the ground. Build it on 6x8 pressure treated skids so you can move it. Thats how the "Tuff Sheds" are done without permits.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:30:30 PM EDT
Or else I move in a half dozen used shipping containers to put my shit in. Nothing in the ordinance addresses that......yet
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:35:01 PM EDT
Find a way to keep your shed mobile. Should your shed have no foundation, it's not a building. If it has wheels, then it can be moved around. Or skid rails.

Sadly, in your region, I suspect that your up against this thing known as "International Property Maintenance Code",
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:36:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Or else I move in a half dozen used shipping containers to put my shit in. Nothing in the ordinance addresses that......yet
View Quote


Do others around you have sheds? Talk to them, see if they had issues. It's not like you're trying to put a 100,000 head hog farm in between a playground and a world renowned scented candle factory.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:36:49 PM EDT
Pull every board members addresses and see if anything on their property doesn't conform to current zoning laws. Take pics if you find any, see if all the ''improvements'' match up to the tax assessment. [IE, property has a deck but not listed] If you notice any recent work requiring a inspection/work permit, see if it was pulled and paid for.

You'd be surprised at what is considered public knowledge and available if you want to inquire.

I found out board member don't like having their property tax assessments and increases pulled, especially when they don't seem to match what they tell you is a general increase for ''everyone.'' Same for their neighbors................
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:38:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:


Its how they roll, I asked to see a copy of an old building permit from a neighbor down the road, after lots of dancing around the topic they told me those records are in the posession of the widow of a former official who has refused to turn them over to the board. Thats illegal as hell... they cant even keep control of their records in a manner required by law.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally Posted By splunkinoob:
Originally Posted By SO3184:
Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....


Already got the "we will make you tear it down" threat


Which once again, would be illegal.


Its how they roll, I asked to see a copy of an old building permit from a neighbor down the road, after lots of dancing around the topic they told me those records are in the posession of the widow of a former official who has refused to turn them over to the board. Thats illegal as hell... they cant even keep control of their records in a manner required by law.


FOI violation. They can be held personally liable.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:38:38 PM EDT
Took on mine and won about 5 years ago.

Noticed a sign in my township park banning firearms. This is unlawful per PA state law. I went to the township building with a carefully drafted letter I made outlining the law they are breaking and made enough copies for all board members. I gave them to the township secretary to distribute to the board members. I scheduled myself to speak during the next board meeting. I was ridiculed by the board president while speaking, but in the end, the solicitor sided with me and within a month, the townships ban on firearms was lifted. Cost me nothing but time and a little bit of stationary.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:42:49 PM EDT
Build a tree house for the kids that just happens to have a working platform elevator. You know, to make it easy for any kids with disabilities to get in and out of the tree house. If the platform elevator is big enough for lifting yard equipment in and out it's just a coincidence.

They won't dare ask you to remove it once the news people come over and video a kid in a chair with a big smile on his face.

Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:47:23 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mmf:
Build a tree house for the kids that just happens to have a working platform elevator. You know, to make it easy for any kids with disabilities to get in and out of the tree house. If the platform elevator is big enough for lifting yard equipment in and out it's just a coincidence.

They won't dare ask you to remove it once the news people come over and video a kid in a chair with a big smile on his face.

View Quote

I like the way you roll!
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:49:56 PM EDT
1. Was the "New" ordinance passed at a properly called meeting? If not, then it is invalid....

2. Can you show bias? the you may have a 1983 action for abuse of power....

3.. Did you properly request a public record, and were denied it and lied to about it? In OH, that could $3000/per liar out of their OWN pocket, because the insurance company will fight like heck if it was an intentional bad act to get off the hook... Also, State A.G. tends to get exercised over "Sunshine Law/Public Records" violations....
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:51:51 PM EDT
Plant corn in your front yard.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 7:57:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 8:02:01 PM EDT
You could have just built the shed by now and been ahead of the game.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 8:07:37 PM EDT
In my township people just build agricultural buildings that don't require permits. You raise chickens?
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 8:10:37 PM EDT
Move
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 8:18:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2015 8:26:50 PM EDT by JosephTurrisi]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RandyBox:
My Grandpa told a building inspector he was going to bash his skull in with a ball peen hammer if he stepped foot on his property again... End of problem.

Don't you miss the good old days?
View Quote



Sounds like your Grandpa and me are made from the same mold. I called and told the inspections dept. that if they ever sent that SOB back to my house to go ahead and call the ambulance because he would need it when he got here. The next time they sent the head inspector out and he told me that other guy had people all over the county pissed off.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 8:20:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By cx4storm:
Build it anyway. Fuck em....
View Quote



This and then let them take your to court and show the judge how they screwed you over with their policy change that they weren't allowed to make.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 8:22:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2015 8:22:48 PM EDT by cyclone]
My father owned 40 acres a few years ago, and had built a house, along with my brother, niece and sister............3 houses total spread out over 40 acres. My father gave me 5 acres to build on, and the zoning board told me that we could not build anymore houses on the land because we were building a subdivision and that they were restricting subdivisions.................and not two days later they approved a subdivision with 175 houses not too far away. County zoning boards can be just as obtuse with rules
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 8:49:55 PM EDT
These people do not take on all cases but they may point you in the right direction. Institute for Justice

Do some research to see if there is a public policy center or .gov watchdog group in MN. Many times they will have a legal department which may get involved or at least give advice.

I worked with one here in MI when our city got out of line. We mobilized many residents in the city. Brought in TV and newspapers to shed light on the situation. In the end we fought city hall and won. The only out of pocket cost we had was some printing of flyers to alert the residents. The rest of our cost was simply the time spent to do what was right...
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 8:57:11 PM EDT
Thanks for the input everybody
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 9:01:43 PM EDT
OP:
What Township?
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 9:02:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 9:17:27 PM EDT
There's always the armored bulldozer with .50 cal option

GD is slipping
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 9:22:24 PM EDT
small town zoning, select, planning boards are as bad as anything in DC.
Just small town 2 bit mini tyrants forcing their opinion on everyone else.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 9:27:07 PM EDT


.... (P. Swayze)
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 9:33:50 PM EDT
Several years ago, I pulled a permit for a shed in our township. The inspector came by one day while I was working on the floor.
He gave it the once over and asked "Why are you puttin' a shed in the middle of your yard"?
"Because of the setbacks you guys gave me"
He looked at me in a most serious way and says "I ain't comin' back..."

He left and me and my wife and kids moved the shed to the edge of the yard.
Link Posted: 6/29/2015 9:34:56 PM EDT
If it makes you feel any better, I'm an attorney and I've taken my county to the woodshed twice (on issues that I cared about, not paying clients) because they just decided to make up rules that had no basis in the actual law and they needed to get put in their place.

I won the first one before the statewide fire/building code review panel by a pretty resounding vote, despite the fire marshal showing up with a bunch of underlings and trying to scare the review board. The second one I lost but put them through a huge heaping of shit all the way through the appellate courts here.
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