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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 7/26/2002 7:36:17 AM EDT
Local governments can inspect inside your private home By Clint Parker The Asheville Tribune “We get an administrative search warrant, and then they have to let us in…” A move by two area municipalities to inspect the inside of residents' homes has opened Constitutional questions about how much authority local governments have to enforce zoning and building codes. The town of Montreat, NC is considering "periodic safety inspections" of "all homes" along with a long list of other requirements for residences. At the same time, the Hickory Daily Record reported, the city of Hickory, NC will soon be sending inspectors to more than 300 homes and businesses with broken windows, ripped awnings, battered fences or other maintenance code violations The inspections come as a result of a land-use plan adopted by Hickory in May 2001 which included the new rules on property maintenance. City officials in Hickory held off on any immediate crack down on violations to give homeowners a chance to make repairs. A citywide survey began last August using a college student intern from Lenoir-Rhyne College who drove street by street through Hickory and noted potential problems. The survey was completed earlier this month. Armin Wallner, Hickory's building inspections director, said the ordinance mainly covers the exterior of the home. "If your buffer area died . . . we'd say you’ve got to fix those buffers. Or if your sidewalk was breaking up or if your driveway was breaking up or your fences are looking in disrepair or the outside of your building needs a little paint or you’ve got broken windows, we would be notifying owners of those conditions and asking if they would voluntarily fix those," said Wallner. While the ordinance deals mainly with outside appearances, Wallner said that they have had the right since the 1960s to inspect the inside of the home if they had a petition that was signed by five neighbors. "The only time we go in the inside of a house is when we get a petition filed by five residences," said Wallner. According to Wallner, city building inspectors would then inspect the inside of the house in question. Asked if a warrant was needed by the inspectors to enter the house, Wallner first said, "No. We've been doing that since the 1960s." Asked what would happen if a homeowner refused to allow inspectors into the house without a warrant, Wallner replied, "We get an administrative search warrant. Then they have to let us in, but that never happens." Wallner used a broken window as an example of the new property maintenance ordinance. "If we see a broken window, we're going send you a letter asking you to fix it." (continued)
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 7:37:50 AM EDT
Fines for violations are $50 per day until the problem is fixed. Wallner added that "at some point" if the problem were not fixed, a violator would have to go in to see a magistrate. Asked what would happen if a person didn't have the money to fix something such as an elderly woman on a fixed income. "Well, we have neighborhood associations. So we would probably go to the neighborhood association and see if there's any help." Asked what would happen if there were no help available from the association, Wallner said, "Then we would ask then to get in touch with... We would do what we could, but at some point someone's got to fix the broken window." After a pause, Wallner said, "You'll always have those situations that are tough, you know, and we realize that too." He then sighed and said, "Ordinances were made to be followed. They're not all good." He then immediately corrected himself and said, "I mean they're not all bad." In Montreat, the planning and zoning board is conducting three hearings on new regulations the board wants to impose on homeowners. The list of regulations includes: * Mandating that "every homeowner be required to provide an off-street parking space for every bedroom in the house." * "...periodic safety inspections of all [privately owned] homes by the Black Mountain Fire Dept., especially those which are rented." * Requiring all "property owners who rent housing to obtain a rental privilege license from the Town of Montreat, and that provision of such license be worked out..." * Requiring the use of only natural materials for homes and structures, to include "wood, stone and natural materials." * Regulating what "proper landscaping" on private property would be; to include what type of bushes, trees and plants are appropriate in a personal flower bed or private garden. * Using the Land of Sky Regional Council as a resource to help develop "alternatives to paved parking... to minimize storm water run-off." * Limit the amount of vehicles traveling through the valley "thus decreasing the dangers of air pollution damage to humans, animals and plants." * Incorporating shuttle buses to run people into Montreat from external parking facilities. * Regulating noise from automobiles, summer conferences and heating and cooling equipment. * Obtaining "a minimum of 3,000 acres (to be preserved) in order to provide a large enough un-fragmented preserve to maintain biodiversity and to off diversity of wilderness recreational experiences." * Conducting a "full inventory of plant and animal species" in Montreat to see if there are any species that would need to be titled as "threatened" or "endangered" within the "Montreat Wilderness" area. (continued)
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 7:39:06 AM EDT
* Placing "platted lots which are adjacent to the Montreat Wilderness boundary, into the Montreat Wilderness, thus adding additional wilderness acreage closer and more accessible." * Closing any additional hiking trails or hiking shelters within the Montreat Wilderness "in order to protect and preserve the wilderness environment from user impact." * Requiring any "large groups" holding public events to "provide a plan for traffic control and parking and demonstrate means of implementation to the Town for approval." Montreat Town Administrator Pam Snypes said she doesn't know exactly what the zoning board is proposing because she is not involved in the meetings. "That's not anything I attend, and I'm not sure what their agenda is for each meeting," said Snypes. Asked who could answer some questions on the new regulations, Snypes told the Tribune to call the Mayor of Montreat, Letta Jean Taylor. Asked if she was on the zoning board, Snypes said, "No." Asked if it would be better to call someone on the zoning board, Snypes replied, "Well, I think first of all, you need to speak, like I said, with the mayor. According to our personnel policy, when it's a media contact it's usually the mayor or the town administrator or the department head who speaks with the media." The Tribune tried to reach Mayor Taylor, but she did not return our call by deadline. Anna Cannon, a Montreat resident, has been to one of the meetings and plans to attend the other two. She told the Tribune after hearing the proposals she got up at the first meeting and said, "I don't understand why you all are not outraged at some of those proposals because they're draconian in their nature and they're unconstitutional." Cannon said the problem the town is trying to fix is not with the homeowners, but with the conferees at Montreat College, "but they want to punish the homeowners... It's the conference that brings in the majority of people." Cannon said that the town already tries to manage homeowners down to the most minute detail explaining that when she needed to repair the roof on her 100-year-old home the construction company had to obtain a $30 permit from the town and approve the plans for repair. The approval took two weeks. During which time it rained. The rain caused water damage to the inside of her home. When asked why she had to get approval from the town to fix her roof, Cannon said she was told that the town has to maintain the "character" of the community. However, Cannon explained, the town approved a variance for an Asheville doctor who moved to Montreat and asked for a 2000 square foot addition to the home he bought. "The additions came within inches of the property line," said Cannon. It seems no town is immune to the micro-management from town and city. Hendersonville has ordinances requiring that "every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight facing directly toward to the outdoors," "all exterior openable windows and doors" will have screens, and even that hot water heaters have "a temperature of not less than 120 degrees." Asheville is noted for its strict zoning regulations, even Hickory's building inspections director Wallner made mention of it in his conversation with the Tribune. Asked if he was envious of the Asheville regulations, Wallner said, "No, too much work." (There would be armed resistance to this in my county.....)
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 7:53:09 AM EDT
[url]www.ashevilletribune.com/local_gov__invade_homes.htm[/url] Well, we'd see just how badly Mr. Inspector wanted in my home, wouldn't we?
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 7:56:28 AM EDT
Well, we'd see just how badly Mr. Inspector wanted in my home, wouldn't we?
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"Mr Inspector, meet Mr Bushmaster." [img]http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/2M16.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 7:56:50 AM EDT
I used to live near Montrat, NC. Its made up of a bunch of old, rich snobs who pay $500K for a house that anywhere else would sell for $100K, simply becasue the house is in the mountains. My understanding of this ordinance is that basically the rich, old snobs voted for it. Far as I'm concerned, if they voted it in, then they can live with the tyranny they chose for themselves.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 8:01:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: Far as I'm concerned, if they voted it in, then they can live with the tyranny they chose for themselves.
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Problem is, G-man, that crap like this [i]spreads[/i]. Like fungus.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 8:54:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KBaker:
Originally Posted By garandman: Far as I'm concerned, if they voted it in, then they can live with the tyranny they chose for themselves.
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Problem is, G-man, that crap like this [i]spreads[/i]. Like fungus.
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yeah - that "fungus" is called "subdivisions."
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:05:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:28:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2002 9:35:31 AM EDT by ShakyJake]
Liberty86, thanks for the post. I haven't picked up the Tribune in a couple of weeks. But I'm surprised this is the first I've heard of this story. Anna is a regular call in on Ken Bagwell's show.
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By KBaker:
Originally Posted By garandman: Far as I'm concerned, if they voted it in, then they can live with the tyranny they chose for themselves.
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Problem is, G-man, that crap like this [i]spreads[/i]. Like fungus.
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yeah - that "fungus" is called "subdivisions."
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garandman- you're right on the money. My wife and I look at houses for craps and giggles only (we're in Asheville). But don't forget that once you get bent on paying that, they take away the Vaseline and your taxes kick in to do you some more every year. As far as the "tyranny they chose", this area is like a lot of others in the country- a few raise the stink and the rest are left to smell. I know we've still got a few good folks around though- Charles Taylor did get re-elected. Of course, within the Asheville city limits is the exception. They don't call it " San Fran of the East Coast" for nothing. By the way, I'm technically in Arden:)
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:30:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: In this country, and in general, we get the kind of government the masses want, for good or ill.
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That's my point. While founded as a republic, we live in a practicing Democracy. If people vote it in, then its the law. The fools in Montreat, to my knowledge, voted it in. Let 'em suffer with it.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:36:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2002 9:37:08 AM EDT by KBaker]
Originally Posted By raf: In this country, and in general, we get the kind of government the masses want, for good or ill.
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Hmmm.... I disagree. We get the kind of government the masses [i]think[/i] they want. Generally less than half the eligible population actually votes, and I'm convinced that a large percentage (often a majority) of those who bother to vote pretty much how the media tells them they should vote unless the proposition/candidate is near to their heart/wallet. In short, the masses don't get the government they [i]want[/i], they get the government they [i]deserve[/i]. Unfortunately, the [i]rest of us[/i] "get it" too.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:40:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:41:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KBaker: "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." Voltaire .
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Offtopic, but I can't help myself.... Gee, I wonder if Voltaire was "certain" of his statement above. [}:D] I am certain of one thing tho - Voltaire is dead. And he has found a certain "certainty" that is ANYTHING but absurd. [}:D]
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:43:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: In this country, and in general, we get the kind of government the masses want, for good or ill.
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sorry dude, I gotta disagree on that. If that were true, we wouldn't of just had the ruling on taking "One Nation Under God" out of the pledge. I just looked at usatoday's latest results on their poll, and out of 1.4+ million votes, almost 75% say that we shouldn't take "one nation under God" out.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:45:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ShakyJake:
Originally Posted By raf: In this country, and in general, we get the kind of government the masses want, for good or ill.
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sorry dude, I gotta disagree on that. If that were true, we wouldn't of just had the ruling on taking "One Nation Under God" out of the pledge. I just looked at usatoday's latest results on their poll, and out of 1.4+ million votes, almost 75% say that we shouldn't take "one nation under God" out.
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edited to add: technically the poll is for the words "under God", but you get my point
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:47:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ShakyJake:
Originally Posted By raf: In this country, and in general, we get the kind of government the masses want, for good or ill.
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sorry dude, I gotta disagree on that. If that were true, we wouldn't of just had the ruling on taking "One Nation Under God" out of the pledge. I just looked at usatoday's latest results on their poll, and out of 1.4+ million votes, almost 75% say that we shouldn't take "one nation under God" out.
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jake - RAF is still correct. The fact that we haven't marched, en masse, armed to the 11 Circuit District Court by implication means we "want" One Nation Under God out of the pledge. In essence, 75% of people talk a good game in Gallup polls, but what are they REALLY willing to do about the kind of gov't they claim to "want?" By doing NOTHING, we get the kind of gov't they "want" - a gov't which treats the will of the people as irrelevant. And that happens becasue we aren't willing to impose our will upon our gov't.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:50:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By KBaker: "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." Voltaire .
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Offtopic, but I can't help myself.... Gee, I wonder if Voltaire was "certain" of his statement above. [}:D] I am certain of one thing tho - Voltaire is dead. And he has found a certain "certainty" that is ANYTHING but absurd. [}:D]
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Ah, but he couldn't be [i]certain[/i] he'd actually die until he [i]did[/i]![8D]
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:54:30 AM EDT
garandman- ahhh, I see what you guys mean, and I agree totally. question/your opinion: is it laziness or fear that causes most americans to not take action?
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:55:41 AM EDT
Bwah, ha, ha, haaaaa "All your bases (houses) belong to us"
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:57:37 AM EDT
There has GOT to be some guy down there who is pissed off by this and will deliberately stand up to this type of fascist bullshit by denying entry to his home, or having a broken window that he refuses to fix ("It is my window, dammit, and I LIKE IT THAT WAY, NOW GET OFF MY LAND!!") [:D]
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 9:59:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2002 10:12:16 AM EDT by KBaker]
Originally Posted By ShakyJake: question/your opinion: is it laziness or fear that causes most americans to not take action?
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Apathy. "It doesn't matter/my vote doesn't count/it's too much work/they're all crooks anyway/the system's broken and I can't fix it by myself/etc." IMHO [:(] Edited to add: Unfortunately, they pretty much [i]are[/i] all crooks, and the system [i]is[/i] broken. And at this point I think we've proceeded far enough down the slippery slope that we cannot recover. Who was it who said "We're at that awkward stage: Too late to fix the system, but too early to shoot the bastards!"? Claire Wolfe?
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:00:44 AM EDT
Man am I glad my city doesn't have zoning codes. Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:06:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Emoto: There has GOT to be some guy down there who is pissed off by this and will deliberately stand up to this type of fascist bullshit by denying entry to his home, or having a broken window that he refuses to fix ("It is my window, dammit, and I LIKE IT THAT WAY, NOW GET OFF MY LAND!!") [:D]
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You'll hear of one when this crap starts leaking into the county(s). Most of the people who live in Asheville, Black Mountain, Montreat, etc. are people who still believe the police will be there in time. Lots of the subdivisions going in around here are "planned communities". My house looks like your house, my fence looks like your fence, my dog looks like your dog... Screw that. But now that concept appears to be moving into city gov'ts.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:10:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas: Man am I glad my city doesn't have zoning codes. Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
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Asheville has some of the *&$%^ codes, but Buncombe County (at the time) has no zoning. But don't worry, lots of Dems. are fighting hard to change that. We've got a couple of good guys on the board right now fighting just as hard, if not harder.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:14:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KBaker:
Originally Posted By ShakyJake: question/your opinion: is it laziness or fear that causes most americans to not take action?
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Apathy. "It doesn't matter/my vote doesn't count/it's too much work/they're all crooks anyway/the system's broken and I can't fix it by myself/etc." IMHO [:(]
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Add to that that presently our gov't (IMHO deliberately) perpetuates the apathy / laziness by taxing people to death. The current outrageous tax burden FORCES people to work longer hours / second jobs to try to outrun the tax burden and to be able to afford to live. In this way, the gov't tax burden is making people too busy to even have time to care about what their gov't is doing. [b]IMO, the tax burden is belittling to women, particularly mothers, and is repressing them from changing society [/b] Let me relate a little personal story to you. My mom was a stay-at-home mom who also home schooled us for a while. In her spare time, she watched local and state gov't like a hawk who hadn't eaten in over a week. She went door to door with petitions, attended EVERY town meeting, was on TV and radio regularly, was at the state capital bldg more often than the governor. In short, she was a force to be reckoned with. (A point NOT lost on my brother and me [BD] ) Eventually, she had to get a job to be able to afford the outrageous tax burden. Thus ended, for all intents and purposes, her political activism. A concerned, conservative mother is the LAST thing liberals want active in the political process. So much for the "inclusiveness" of the Liberals, and their desire to see women raise their status in society. As with every thing else they claim to stand for, its all smoke and mirrors.. In the real world, dad works, and mom, if she stays at home, keeps dad informed of whats going on in the world. AT least that's how the world worked where I grew up. But the outrageous tax burden has made one income IMPOSSIBLE to live on. So mom gets a job, and the political awareness of the entire community is diminished.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:28:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2002 10:31:01 AM EDT by ShakyJake]
garandman-imagine what kind of hell it'll be if international taxes go through. edited to add: we won't be home to know if people are checking our homes out cause we'll all be working three jobs, two of which will have direct deposit to the guv'ment to apply towards taxes.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 10:33:09 AM EDT
Hendersonville has ordinances requiring...
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A coworker bought a house there in January. He is still fighting the inspector over a five foot retaining wall. He's built it twice and torn it down twice. He said the inspector justified this by saying the retaining wall could kill someone if it collapsed. I think the guy is a little drunk on his small dose of power. The latest solution that was proposed to my coworker was to hire a contractor (that just happens to be a relative of the police chief) to build the wall for about 8 times the cost he paid for the first wall. It's a racket.z
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 2:21:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Emoto: There has GOT to be some guy down there who is pissed off by this and will deliberately stand up to this type of fascist bullshit by denying entry to his home, or having a broken window that he refuses to fix ("It is my window, dammit, and I LIKE IT THAT WAY, NOW GET OFF MY LAND!!") [:D]
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Problem with that is, they will levy an "administrative" fine. If you don't pay, they will lien your house. Still won't pay? They will confiscate your land. Don't move? Here comes the SWAT team with all those dedicated "Law Enforcers". Resist?? Death or Prison... Have a nice day [:D]
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