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Burlington Daily Hawk Eye Gazette Newspaper Archives Jun 23 1974, Page 2

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Burlington Daily Hawk Eye (Newspaper) - June 23, 1974, Burlington, Iowa Page 2 the Hawk Eye sunday june 23, i 974 building permit problems can be a drag by Bill Mertens although Burlington City building inspector Ray Wilke Likely agree building code violators often get a better Deal than those who follow the letter of the local Law. Permit problems have plagued Wilke since he began in 1968 As the City s first housing inspector. Problems with those who Don t secure building permits for projects a be they fix ups by Home do it yours Elfers or larger ones by major contractors a and problems with those who buy permits but Don t follow the plans they spelled out. Building inspector Ray Wilke he is working hard to Correct these problems and to catch All violations. He recently sent out a bundle of notices for work done three to five years ago. But for which no permits were Ever secured. Wilke threatens a crack Down but to Date the department has not initiated harsh enforcement measures. Quot if a Job is started without a permit. We should double the he said. A but we hesitate to do this because there Are honest omissions. I intend to make a statement to that effect some Day until then violators will continue receiving hand slaps which done to Hurt them or Cost anything and in certain instances turn out better for the violator. The Shouq Quon Racquet club Case was probably the classic building permit snafu in recent years in Burlington with owners starting work in Dankwardt Park before a permit was issued and eventually receiving an easement across Park land for construction of an Access Road to the Tennis facility. Another problem Case is consuming City Council time now. In this instance a permit was issued a in fact the property owner secured two permits a but neither was adhered to. Now the Man has a garage sitting in City Street right of Way and can t sell the newly remodeler House unless the Council Grants an easement which it will Likely do. Saving the garage and ensuring the Sale. The problem lies at the intersection of Brooks and As Nuin. The Home on the North Corner was condemned in 1969 because of it dilapidated state. Oren Crow has renovated it beautifully to the glee of Wilke and other planning department members who constantly stress the need for rehabilitation of existing Homes and businesses. The Home is now a hot real estate Sale item. Last year. Crow got a building permit for construction of an attached garage on the North Side of the Home. A considerable time elapsed. Wilke said and no work was started. The Home owner then changed his mind. Wilke said and took out another permit for a smaller Carport on the East Side. Crow apparently changed his mind once again because when the work was completed he had built a two car garage on the Southeast Corner of the House a a garage which encroaches on the Street right of Way by eight feet. Crow s attorney. Jack link has asked the Council to Grant a permanent easement to the property so the Sale can be finalized. He even went to the trouble of drawing up a Resolution for Council approval. Link says a precedent was set by the Council last year in a similar Case involving a House on Louisa Street. The Home thought to be More than 50 years old. Was apparently built in the right of Way. The owner wanted to sell it also but needed an easement from the City. The easement was unanimously granted the Council saying the construction was done without knowledge of Street right of ways which probably weren t closely set decades ago. The Council has walked slightly on links request however because Council member Jack Waldhoff does t want to give City property in perpetuity for a mistake which he believes was made by the property owner. Link won t concede fault in the Case saying he does no to think it makes any difference because of the previous Council precedence in such matters. The right of Way on Brooks Street is 80 feet. 20 feet wider than the Normal 60-foot right of Way imposed on other local residential streets. Link says the City will never miss the eight feet. The City staff has recommended granting the easement and the Council will Likely agree but Waldhoff. At least would like til see an easement for a Shorter period say 20 years in Case the City Ever wants to Widen the Street. Building inspector Wilke said problems like this arise with jobs that Quot drag on for Many months. If he had called for any Type of inspection when he had it started we could have done some Wilke said. Quot that s Why its important they do let us know. We could Check these things he added. Wilke said the plans were inspected Many times but his department never made a site inspection until after the problem was brought to Light. This May be unusual a if there is any structural change to the Home or other Structure we make a special Effort to see he added. Quot if its minor we done to. However Between myself and the other inspectors we try to follow up on All right now he a attempting to follow up on jobs several years completed. He recently sent notices to three Home owners on s. Seventh in connection with new siding jobs done without a permit. A couple of the owners have bought the Homes since the siding was installed. It was the contractors responsibility to secure the permits. Wilke said and the problem at Brooks and Ashmun since Wilke estimates 90 per cent of All jobs for which he issues permits have at least one site inspection. Quot if we had time we would have All of them inspected a he added. He issued 615 building and demolition permits in 1973 with a total construction valuation of $8.64 million. The larger projects like the Kmart building which took almost a year to Complete might get As Many As 200 inspections by the four inspectors Wilke. Willard Patterson plumbing and mechanical Harry Koehler electrical and Marshall Walz housing. The minor ones like a new siding Job a might get one casual inspection a Wilke said. The code provides for four Basic inspections. He a trying to track Down that contractor since the same one apparently did All three Homes. If he finds the contractor hell charge him he said. Permits Are required for All jobs which amount to More than a $25 expenditure for materials or labor although Wilke is considering recommending imposing a $100 minimum on the repair Type jobs. Permits Cost $3 for jobs in the $100-500 Range $6 for those with a $500-1, xxx valuation then increase by $2 for each additional $1,000 valuation. Separate permits Are required for electrical plumbing heating or Central air conditioning work. Work can begin immediately on issuance of the permit and in some any 3 garments except suede amp evening Ware s086 a. Shirts 5 of let j on Hanger alb for 30� folded one hour dry cleaners 103 North main no cleaning done after 3 . Prices Good june 24, 25 amp 26 store hours Mon. Thru sat. 7 am to 6 pm cases even before issuance if Wilke gives his approval. Permits Arentt normally required for applying a few shingles or minor Interior decorating involving papering or painting Walls but they Are for just about everything else. But countless jobs Are completed without permits. Quot where we probably miss Many permits is in the do it yourself Type things a Wilke said. Many people done to think about or know about but Many others bypass the permit requirement so the county assessor wont find out about the improvements he guessed thereby raising the valuation of their Home and their taxes. That a usually a fallacy according to Des Moines county assessor Paul Rynell who said his department uses the permit records a a Only to find location of the increasing House valuations because of improvements made to a Home or business a is strictly a judgment thing a Rynell said. A in quite a number of cases no valuation increase is made because of siding jobs depend on the extent of the remodelling he said but painting and minor roof work and new wiring Quot done to increase the Quot of we think we re sitting at Market value we done to automatically add some valuation on a he said. Home improvements and maintenance repairs which normally can be made without increasing property tax assessments include reprint repair or replacing damaged masonry replacing plumbing and Light fixtures of comparable Quality upgrading and modernizing electrical wiring landscaping Yard replacing roof covering with comparable material replacing worn out or defective Furnace with comparable Type Interior and exterior painting replacing Kitchen cabinets installing clothes closets Wall and ceiling repair removing dilapidated porches replacing gutters installing driveways. Several but not All of those items do not require building permits. One of the biggest headaches for Wilkes department and dangers tor homeowners he said Are improperly installed water Heaters and Kitchen sinks. Permits Are required and inspections Are made he said to eliminate any possibility of escaping Gas because of improper installation. Another problem is the installation of Central air conditioning without a permit. This could Lead to zoning violations Wilke said since the hot air escaping the unit might blow into a neighbors Home if the unit is improperly installed. He has caught violators in the part who have remodeler houses into apartments but in an area not zoned for apartments. They had to be abandoned he said. Quot we try not to be too hard nosed about these things a he said. Quot we re Here to ensure that things Are put in properly not to collect permits a he added but getting everyone to follow the permit process takes much of his departments time. Enjoy the fresh air of Burlington this summer keep it unpolluted by leaving your car at Home and taking the bus save Gas and parking hassles by letting us take you where you want to go safely. Conveniently economically take a bus Call 4-7351 for rates schedules and routes. Senior citizens it s time to enjoy a Carefree future at theuni0n amp Hawkeye hotels downtown Burlington no utilities. No maintenance. Retain the privacy amp Independence of your own Home. Live with people who care. Private rooms w private Baths. Maid service for All rooms. 24 or. Switchboard around the clock Security. Meals available if required. Beauty shop. Special rates on rooms apts and restaurant. For information and free brochure please write Union and Hawkeye hotels prove that loneliness does not have to be part of the aging process. Co or. Sam Gan Akes the Union hotel 301 s. Main Burlington Iowa these progressive downtown Burlington merchants reopen monday night til 9 serve All your family shopping needs Best 7th at Jefferson 709 Jefferson pm. 752-2796 Trade with the trader the Model ll.,. Ama i. Ii 612 Jefferson Western Auto 620 Jefferson Union appliance 514 Jefferson a Penney we know what you re looking for 500 Jefferson disco 422 Jefferson Bill a country store 423 Jefferson swingers appliance Center 214 n. Main Witte 206 Jefferson 323 n. Main there s More of everything downtown

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