With fine paid, contractor gets new permit

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- After much wrangling with the Holiday Island Planning Commission (HIPC), contractor Jim Duffy paid a past-due $400 fine and secured a permit to build a new house.

Duffy owed the fine on incomplete work on a permit taken out in 2006 at 29 Lakeside Drive.

"It was decided you would not build here until that fine was paid," said Chairman Myrna Peterson, "and on that, we were adamant."

Duffy attributed various problems he had had with late or incomplete work to the fault of property owners who hired him, masonry subcontractors, the HIPC chairman, HIPC's current and former building inspector and the weather.

"So what I'm hearing is it's everybody else's responsibility but yours?" Peterson asked.

Duffy cited opinions in Minnesota about who is responsible for a construction contract, saying it's not the contractor if a homeowner changes the locks and moves in before a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.

Commissioner Corky Comstock, himself a contractor, said, "You're saying that when you walk off the job, you have no more responsibility? That's wrong. Under state statute, you have responsibility for a year, whether you want it or not."

The commission waived the $10 per day fine beyond the initial $400 fine for Duffy.

He then applied for a permit to build a 4,635-square-foot house at 12 Fairway Drive for property owners Bob and Annie Nelson and asked for a 5-foot variance on the front setback. He did not have a correct survey, a road damage permit or electrical drawings.

Commissioners told him they now follow the International Building Code, including the mechanicals.

They approved Permit #2211 for 270 days, pending receipt of the survey, road damage permit and electrical drawings.

Duffy also received mechanical permit #M-47 to finish the basement, with electrical and HVAC, at 13 Bobwhite Lane for property owners Jim and Jackie Phillips.

Contractor Dan Nelson and property owner Dennis Beaudry approached the commission about getting a 15-foot front setback variance at 16 Chickasaw Place in order to build a 23-foot deep garage. The property is situated with a steep rear dropoff.

As the required setback is already 15 feet from the property line, the commission did not want to entertain the idea.

The former property owner had received a permit to build an 18-foot by 18-foot carport with a 13-foot variance on the front, but the carport was never built.

Commissioners said they wanted to go look at the property before making a decision but did not offer much hope that they would grant more than a 5-foot variance on the setback on an enclosed garage.

In other business, HIPC:

* Discussed Sam Maxedon's Feb. 6 request to build a garage on a separate lot due to severe drainage problems. Peterson, who was absent from that meeting, will make a site visit.

* Approved Permit #M-48 to repair water service at 8 Dogwood Lane.

The commission's next regularly scheduled meeting is March 6.

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