Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You can fight City Hall!

A friend of mine, known only as The Queen, has triumphed in her battle against the Greensboro City Hall.

The struggle began a few months ago when a contractor began work on an addition to The Queen's home, The Palace.  Several years ago, The Queen had an old tool house replaced by a new garage. The Palace was connected with the garage by a passageway so The Queen would not have to brave the elements to reach her car. All of the plans were approved by the City of Greensboro and a building permit was issued. All phases of construction were inspected by city inspectors and approved. The garage has been in use since that time.

A few months ago, as construction began on her new addition, The Queen was cited by the city for having her garage built too close to the property line and having it attached to her home. She was required to appear before the Board of Adjustment for a hearing.

The Queen insisted that construction had followed the plan approved by the city. The city had required that the new garage stay within the footprint of the tool house that was in that spot before and was torn down to build the garage. She had copies of the plans and permits to support her case. All of the construction had been inspected and passed by the city.

The first hearing was cancelled due to the fact that a majority of board members were sick and unable to attend. Despite the fact that this was known before the hearing, The Queen was compelled to attend so that it could be formally announced at the meeting that there was no quorum. What a waste of time.

Before the second hearing, The Queen received a letter from the Board asking that she bring the sign from her yard that the city had placed there. If I were in her place, I would have returned the sign and offered suggestions on where to put it. I know that she didn't do that because I am her profanity expert and she didn't contact me.

At the hearing the other night. it took only a few minutes to realize that it was the city's fault and not The Queen's problem. The issue was dismissed. The City of Greensboro had authorized the construction, inspected and approved the work, and approved the completed project. Who else could have been in the wrong?

In the end, you can fight City Hall and win. Thanks to The Queen for showing us all how it can be done.


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