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tear down the deck

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Crash_46

Guest
Northern Michigan here

Good god, can anyone offer advice???
I obtained zoning/building permit/approved in May. Purchased materials/labor over 5500.00./Const started in July/ Neighbor complaint sparked Zoning Adm to rescind permit due to rear yard setback issue. Unplatted subdivision is a mess/property lines disaster/I hold only known variance to address "too small" lot. New construction next door in same "area of concern" /no variance req/for either lot area or raised deck. Refused to comply with Variance/couldn't figure out what i was "varying from". Was issued citation/went to court/in hearing violation stated as rear yard setback from road, not to property line as described by Zoning. It's a state highway/I call DOT..they thought it was nuts...I'm over 150 feet from it/ 115 setback puts deck approx 30 plus feet from deck/requirement is 25 foot. sheesh. I apply for 400.00 "after the fact" variance to appease court. At the meeting/variance denied/ Tear down the deck.
Now what????
 


HomeGuru

Senior Member
Crash_46 said:
Northern Michigan here

Good god, can anyone offer advice???
I obtained zoning/building permit/approved in May. Purchased materials/labor over 5500.00./Const started in July/ Neighbor complaint sparked Zoning Adm to rescind permit due to rear yard setback issue. Unplatted subdivision is a mess/property lines disaster/I hold only known variance to address "too small" lot. New construction next door in same "area of concern" /no variance req/for either lot area or raised deck. Refused to comply with Variance/couldn't figure out what i was "varying from". Was issued citation/went to court/in hearing violation stated as rear yard setback from road, not to property line as described by Zoning. It's a state highway/I call DOT..they thought it was nuts...I'm over 150 feet from it/ 115 setback puts deck approx 30 plus feet from deck/requirement is 25 foot. sheesh. I apply for 400.00 "after the fact" variance to appease court. At the meeting/variance denied/ Tear down the deck.
Now what????

**A: Tear down the deck or hire an attorney and file an appeal in civil court.
 
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Crash_46

Guest
thank you guru. I am expected in court on oct 15 before district court/ it will be decided at that hearing whether i will be expected to also pay the 150.0 fine/ for being non-conforming. the unfortunate thing is that the actual violation changes daily/ so hiring a survey is like yet another waste of money.
when you mentioned appeal/civil...is that at the district level or circuit level of court? do you think i can have an attorney move to have this filed when I go to court at district? and put a slowdown on all this cash I'm shelling out? in an initial meeting with attorney in reviewing all the material, he says i have a case.
the entire situation is malfeasance of duty/selective enforcement/
and now changing the violation at each level of my appeal.
good grief, i don't even know which is the front or rear of my house.
thanks
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
Crash_46 said:
thank you guru. I am expected in court on oct 15 before district court/ it will be decided at that hearing whether i will be expected to also pay the 150.0 fine/ for being non-conforming. the unfortunate thing is that the actual violation changes daily/ so hiring a survey is like yet another waste of money.
when you mentioned appeal/civil...is that at the district level or circuit level of court? do you think i can have an attorney move to have this filed when I go to court at district? and put a slowdown on all this cash I'm shelling out? in an initial meeting with attorney in reviewing all the material, he says i have a case.
the entire situation is malfeasance of duty/selective enforcement/
and now changing the violation at each level of my appeal.
good grief, i don't even know which is the front or rear of my house.
thanks

**A: I cannot comment since the attorney you talked to had a chance to discuss the history with you and review all the material and I didn't. I am clearly at a serious disadvantage.
 
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Crash_46

Guest
sorry about the wrong post thing, i must have hit new message.
just before i headed south for the weekend, i received the variance denial, with the directive to take ten foot away from the 14 foot deck. the original setback violation was for rear, apparently, it was decided in the meeting that the deck is actually facing front. ok, and they are saying it is also in violation due to the fact that i do not meet the 25 foot back from the road right of way which is 115 feet. Can they make me meet a setback for a road that the property has no direct access to?
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
Crash_46 said:
sorry about the wrong post thing, i must have hit new message.
just before i headed south for the weekend, i received the variance denial, with the directive to take ten foot away from the 14 foot deck. the original setback violation was for rear, apparently, it was decided in the meeting that the deck is actually facing front. ok, and they are saying it is also in violation due to the fact that i do not meet the 25 foot back from the road right of way which is 115 feet. Can they make me meet a setback for a road that the property has no direct access to?

**A: yes.
 
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Crash_46

Guest
the latest/ i have hired an attorney per Home guru's advice.
i was advised to go to the district court "alone" to address the civil infraction ticket for the "original violation",and explain to the judge that I have done everything requested of me, including filing for a "rear yard after the fact variance for 8 feet" as instructed by the Zoning Administrator", and at the ZBA meeting, it was determined that my deck was in my front yard, and that I should remove 10 feet, leaving 4. My request to take four feet of the "cutoff" and raise it above the bottom four foot was also denied, so my options are very limited. I will ask the Judge to waive the fine based on all the confusion and indicate that I intend to an appeal.
In the State of Michigan, are there any hopes of recovering my "losses" when I win back the "right" to keep the deck.???
I have asked a few attorney's here, and they are not very hopeful, are they missing something?
Do you know if I can additionally sue the "whistleblower" neighbor next door who started the whole fiasco???
thanks.
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
Crash_46 said:
the latest/ i have hired an attorney per Home guru's advice.
i was advised to go to the district court "alone" to address the civil infraction ticket for the "original violation",and explain to the judge that I have done everything requested of me, including filing for a "rear yard after the fact variance for 8 feet" as instructed by the Zoning Administrator", and at the ZBA meeting, it was determined that my deck was in my front yard, and that I should remove 10 feet, leaving 4. My request to take four feet of the "cutoff" and raise it above the bottom four foot was also denied, so my options are very limited. I will ask the Judge to waive the fine based on all the confusion and indicate that I intend to an appeal.

**A: I do not understand why the attorney wanted you to "go at it alone"
That's not giving you much help and legal representation.
*****************


In the State of Michigan, are there any hopes of recovering my "losses" when I win back the "right" to keep the deck.???

**A: it would be up to you to ask and up to the judge to approve.
**********
I have asked a few attorney's here, and they are not very hopeful, are they missing something?

**A: probably not.
**************
Do you know if I can additionally sue the "whistleblower" neighbor next door who started the whole fiasco???
thanks.

**A: you may but it would be a waste of time and money.
 
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Crash_46

Guest
thank you for your comments. i will ask the judge. on a brighter note, i have been in correspondence with my state representative and encouraged him to look at the michigan compiled laws relative to township authority and citizen recource when issues are appealed and won in circuit court. In the state of Illiniois, when a citizen wins the judgement, it is treated in the similar way as an "individual", attorney fee's and damages are recoverable.
I feel that would be a more fair arrangement considering the amount of "power" we instill in our municipalities...it gives us all a reason to be reasonable.
after all this is over i will be looking into a "land patent", do you have comments on that?
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
Crash_46 said:
thank you for your comments. i will ask the judge. on a brighter note, i have been in correspondence with my state representative and encouraged him to look at the michigan compiled laws relative to township authority and citizen recource when issues are appealed and won in circuit court. In the state of Illiniois, when a citizen wins the judgement, it is treated in the similar way as an "individual", attorney fee's and damages are recoverable.
I feel that would be a more fair arrangement considering the amount of "power" we instill in our municipalities...it gives us all a reason to be reasonable.
after all this is over i will be looking into a "land patent", do you have comments on that?

**A: good luck to you.
 
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Crash_46

Guest
thanks to all,
i will update this forum with the results on october 16th.
 
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Crash_46

Guest
northern michigan
well..not sure what to think here, the township postponed the hearing that was scheduled for oct 16, my attorney filed for circuit court for nov 12th. we met today, he says we have a case.
should be interesting.
i dreamt last night that i made structural changes to the deck to make it "portable" screwed a trailer hitch on the front of it, sawed the posts in half and bolted metal plates to the sides of the posts.
i think they gotten to me.
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
Crash_46 said:
northern michigan
well..not sure what to think here, the township postponed the hearing that was scheduled for oct 16, my attorney filed for circuit court for nov 12th. we met today, he says we have a case.
should be interesting.
i dreamt last night that i made structural changes to the deck to make it "portable" screwed a trailer hitch on the front of it, sawed the posts in half and bolted metal plates to the sides of the posts.
i think they gotten to me.

**A: keep us posted when the hearing is over.
 
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Crash_46

Guest
northern michigan
well it's been quite a while, winter is coming. haven't heard much about circuit court date. attorney has been busy fighting for others in my township. kinda makes you wonder. seems like this kinda stuff is the flavor of the day around here.
just thought i drop a line to let ya all know the court decision is still pending.
regards to all
 

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