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Thread: Township building codes.

  1. #1

    Township building codes.

    Any one know what the reason why a metal gazebo needs to be at least ten feet from the house? Per township ordnance

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Elett View Post
    Any one know what the reason why a metal gazebo needs to be at least ten feet from the house? Per township ordnance
    Did you ask the ordnance enforcement people? Whenever I have wanted to do something that must be to code, they have always provided clear, concise reasoning and in fact, in two cases, gave me some suggested alternates that made my renovations meet code and saved time and money!
    Ken

    So much to learn, so little time.....

  3. #3
    The person at the office said she doesn't know, just ordnance rule. I am going to dig into it further, she says I can apply for a variant for 300.00.

  4. #4
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    Call back and ask to speak to an enforcement official/inspector.

    I actually had one come out to do a "prebuild inspection" where he made a suggestion that made for an easy fix for me.
    Ken

    So much to learn, so little time.....

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Elett View Post
    The person at the office said she doesn't know, just ordnance rule. I am going to dig into it further, she says I can apply for a variant for 300.00.
    Looking further on the net one reason is for fire safety, maby I will be able to get a variant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Elett View Post
    The person at the office said she doesn't know, just ordnance rule. I am going to dig into it further, she says I can apply for a variant for 300.00.
    Maybe the reason is for revenue?

    It could also be a factor if there is regular lightning strikes in your area. A metal gazebo is likely to get hit by lightning.

    Hopefully an enforcement officer can give you a valid reason.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Elett View Post
    Looking further on the net one reason is for fire safety, maby I will be able to get a variant.
    Looks like a general code rule, just one of those things that the commission thinks is necessary Welcome to home owner ship.

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    I have had that rule explained as being for fire spread and for fire fighter access around structures. An all metal building might qualify for a variance. Obtaining a variance is a big deal in our town requiring a newspaper ad, notifying the neighbors, and a public hearing. I once created a breezeway to attach an auxiliary structure that was too close to a house. Attaching with a breezeway made it all "one structure" therefore OK. Interestingly both times I have gone through the ordeal of obtaining a variance the projects were unusual placements for metal pre-fab buildings. Both projects were approved.

  9. #9
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    Building codes and zoning requirements are ALL local. Your local zoning officer should be able to answer the question, even if office staff cannot. If you go to your jurisdiction's website, you should be able to find the contact information for the actual zoning officer and be able to send an email about the specific question about why. That will get you an explanation. But unless you want to do a big dance required for a variance...which I doubt you would get for something like this...you'll have to follow the requirement if you build the structure.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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    Not wanting to get involved with the Code Folks hurts you more than them. Get a good site drawing showing all buildings, utility service locations. Add your proposed structure and make an appointment with a code officer. Yes, they can be the hardest of axxes but I’ve found them to be helpful face to face and actually appreciative that you take the time to ask. I’m of the opinion that it can make your site inspections on work done easier having them believing that you care to do it correctly.

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    I also built a "detached" screened dining room on a deck. The fact that it sat on a deck that was attached to the house allowed it to be built close to the house.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    Not wanting to get involved with the Code Folks hurts you more than them. Get a good site drawing showing all buildings, utility service locations. Add your proposed structure and make an appointment with a code officer. Yes, they can be the hardest of axxes but I’ve found them to be helpful face to face and actually appreciative that you take the time to ask. I’m of the opinion that it can make your site inspections on work done easier having them believing that you care to do it correctly.
    This is good advice and consistent with my own experience. I made it a point to get to know the local code officer and his second in command right from the first project here after we moved in. That was very helpful, especially when I got to the "big kahuna"...my new shop building. They not only got to clarify requirements and process, but also got to understand that I wanted to do things consistent with both code and local requirements. (And now that I chair the local planning commission and have other interactions with them, direct and indirect, they understand where any concerns I express come from)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    Did you ask the ordnance enforcement people? Whenever I have wanted to do something that must be to code, they have always provided clear, concise reasoning and in fact, in two cases, gave me some suggested alternates that made my renovations meet code and saved time and money!
    Now that's an interesting experience. The only answer I've ever got from that exercise is "that's what it says in the zoning ordinance" or "that's the law." Not that those are wrong answers, but they're not very informative.

    My favorite was trying to get an explanation for why, since the zoning ordinance prohibited a guest house from being more than 600 square feet and from having a basement, I was required to put in a septic system sized for a 3 bedroom, 6 occupant, dwelling. The answer was right - the house size restrictions were in the local ordinance, and the septic system requirement was in state law (with an unexercised option for local modification).

  14. #14
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    My town used to have the codes online and you look things up. No longer. Now for most stuff it is pretty much call us to find out. So I look at other cities codes to get an idea of what will be allowed here.
    The old online code said no permit required for a panel replacement if it was over 100 amps.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 04-20-2024 at 12:00 PM.

  15. #15
    Thanks for the help, monday I will ask about something that is attached to the house,like a patio.

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