From the Desk of County Judge Tom D. Bonn:
This topic has received a lot of attention since it was passed this last January. It had been discussed for the better part of the year by the previous court. Interestingly enough, by the time it was passed it was costing the county an hourly rate comparable to an attorney’s hourly rate while the changes and public meetings continued. We were on an hourly rate because we had already expended the budgeted amount for the drafting and public hearings.
Pressure increased from the same public members who continue to attend our court, crying not to pass a new subdivision ordinance. It was necessary to pass a new subdivision ordinance, as the existing ordinance was legally deficient.
With the known addition to Caldwell County of three new major subdivisions the urgency was indisputable. Not only were our old regulations legally questionable, but our fee structure was also totally inadequate. Our fee structure only allowed a fee of $750 for these new mega-subdivisions.
I told those who violently objected that I wanted to stop the hourly billings and that while not perfect, the ordinance was necessary. Our court could make changes to lessen the severity but not to increase the standards to a more rigid regulation in the future.
Commissioner Buchholtz was asked by me to start his suggested revisions to address many concerns by the public. It has been a difficult task that has consumed weeks of his time, but many of the public concerns have not been justified.
Repeatedly I have asked for those who spoke out against this new ordinance to submit to me a written request of changes or corrections. I have yet to receive any written request! This is primarily due to factual inaccuracies that were being touted by those in opposition.
Having not received any requests for changes, I have elected to list some of the frequently asked questions concerning what requires a residential construction permit.
Do I have to get a Residential Construction permit to build any of the following?
Roof repair/replacement – No.
Siding replacement – No.
Window replacement – No.
Construction of a deck – No.
Construction of a patio – No.
Construction of a sidewalk – No.
Construction of a driveway – No.
Construction of a storage building – No.
Construction of a chicken coop – No.
Construction of a dog house/kennel – No.
Construction of a corral – No.
Construction of stables – No.
Construction of a playhouse – No.
Construction of a tree house – No.
Construction of a windmill – No.
Construction of water tanks – No.
Construction of a well house – No.
Construction of a greenhouse – No.
Construction of a porch enclosure – No.
Construction of a 1-9 car garage or carport – No.
Construction of fencing – No.
Construction of a garden shed – No.
Construction of a tool shed – No.
Construction of a play shed – No.
Construction of an outdoor kitchen – No.
Tree removal – No.
Landscaping of any kind – No.
Construction of light poles – No.
Construction of a flag pole – No.
Construction of a mail box – No.
So then, what does require a residential construction permit?
Construction of a new residential structure.
Additions to existing residential structures that result in an increase in the number of bathrooms or bedrooms.
Installation of a manufactured home.
Reconstruction or rehabilitation of an existing residential structure damaged by fire or flood where the estimated cost of reconstruction or rehabilitation exceeds 30 percent of the pre-damage value of the structure.
Hopefully, this has corrected many misconceptions concerning what does or does not require a Residential Construction Permit under our new Subdivision Ordinance.