Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Still running that gauntlet

I didn't post all last week -- because I kept thinking we were on the verge of receiving our building permit, only to be denied again and again.

The planner emailed us first thing Monday morning to report that she had seen our fence Friday evening... but the lack of doors on the dumpster enclosure was an issue. Well shoot - we could do those fairly quickly, had she but stopped to talk on Friday they could have been done by Monday morning. As it was Monday evening Dave finished them and we emailed pictures to her.

Another snag was that over the weekend we'd received notification from the planning department that we were being assessed a Road Impact Fee - to the tune of $8000. Furthermore, this had to be paid before a building permit could be issued! Well, now, that was a problem. Looking into it revealed that this fee is assessed as a fee per square foot of business and by business category. They don't have a category for dog kennel, so they put us in the (child) day care center category.

Long story short, Dave found another rule for applying fees and wrote a letter to the planning dept head appealing our assessment, AND requesting that the permit be issued even though we haven't settled this issue. Friday we got confirmation they were ok releasing the permit provided we have settled the road impact fee issue before a Certificate of Occupancy is issued. Cool.

Oh, meanwhile our plat did get recorded on Wednesday. Then a heck of a wind storm came in Wednesday night and ripped one dumpster door off its hinges, and pushed loose many of our posts that weren't cemented in. *SIGH*

So, Friday we were all set for the permit to go out Monday and construction begin. Um, not so fast. Aparently the Building Dept WAS NOT quite ready to issue the permit like we were told Friday 10/30 AND confirmed that day 11/4. They somehow need to do something else and expect it to be ready Thursday 11/10! Uffff Dah! (and a few other invectives in rapidly increasing vehemence)

David made a deal with the contractor for him to haul away our concrete pile in exchange for us digging out 4 inches of packed gravel that currently fills 2/3 of the kennel barn.

This was actually quite a boon. We've complained a great deal about the puddles that form around the horse barn when ever it is wet. The water is a nuisance, but the MUD is horrible. It is really sticky and slippery and gets everywhere. We've had some grading done to help drainage on the north side, but fundamentally the path from the barn down to the pasture is a still a hill that gets plain old dangerous when its wet. So we started digging out the gravel and have already completed a gravel path between the horse barn and pasture, and one from the other end of the barn to the manure pile - because like it or not we still need to muck the stalls even when its raining. Then there is from the main barn driveway across the horrible quagmire into the main barn door. It was distinctly uncomfortable to have our first real customers having to wade their way across this area last spring when it was so wet. If we can get all three of these areas so that they remain passable even when wet we'd be VERY happy indeed.

As ready as can be for the start of construction.



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