Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 7:57 AM
Friends & Neighbors,
I got this message in my email today from a friend of mine who was a neighborhood chair in another pioneer neighborhood. I thought it was worth your time to take a look at. Don't forget to vote in today's municipal primary.
The most important issues in this election (remember to vote today) are about property rights. The confusion about this issue derives from your personal definition of property rights.
During the course of my term as neighborhood chair and providing architectural services for developers I have heard numerous complaints about the way that Provo City is infringing on their rights to develop their property as they see fit. I hear the same complaints from real estate investors wanting to buy up houses in our neighborhoods and convert them to rentals. What they don't say is what the infringements are.
The developer and real estate investor are in business to make money. Anything that prohibits them from doing so is an infringement on their property rights. When Provo City requires a developer to have a meeting with the neighbors to discuss their project and to gather feedback from the neighborhood, that is infringement, right? When Provo City requires a landlord to verify that their rental property complies with HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) standards, that is infringement, right? I hope that you can see that the very things that Provo City is asking of developers and landlords is to make sure that they do unto others as they would have done unto them (I would put quotes around that but I am sure that I butchered it). I think that it is sad that the greedy pursuit of money causes some people to ignore the well being of others.
I am a landlord because I rent my basement out. I had to have a home inspection by the City and had to spend over 500 dollars on repairs to bring it up to HUD standards. The repairs consisted of things to make it easier for my tenants to get out of the basement in the event of a fire and to prevent them from electrocuting themselves. It is not about me but the well being of others. Have my rights been infringed upon? No, property ownership is a right and a burden to provide the occupants with a safe and healthy environment to live in. Do unto others...
Friday, May 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
- Putting in Smoke detectors
- Having GFCI outlets in the bathroom and kitchen
- Having properly sized and positioned "egress" windows in all bedrooms.
- Having 4 paved parking stalls
- Having an "interior connection" between the apartment and the rest of the home
Part of the application is providing the city with a site plan of your property showing where new parking will go. You also have to have a floor plan for each floor of the house. The building permit application costs $50, and the permit lasts 6 months. It can be extended for another six months. Once you've finished all the corrections, another inspection has to take place to demonstrate that you've completed the required work.
Some issues are pretty much impossible to solve. One of those is Lot coverage. Under current zoning, only 25% of your back yard can be paved. So, if you are already at the limit, you won't be able to add more parking spaces. Another serious problem is ceiling height. 6 foot ceilings aren't going to fly.
There are some big differences between legal duplexes and accessory apartments. Legal duplexes have to have separate heating systems/controls. They usually have separate utility meters for Gas and electricity. They have to have "fire-walls" between the units. There aren't connections between the units. Houses with accessory apartments don't usually have separate heating systems/controls, and they usually don't have separate utility meters. They don't have to have "fire-walls."
If you own a legal duplex and rent out one of the units, you now must have a Rental Dwelling License. Homes with accessory apartments do not have to have a license, but they must be owner occupied.
In a few cases, I've seen neighborhood residents put an addition on their home in order to add an accessory apartment. While legal, this is a completely different matter, and the rules more complicated. Current building codes have to be met, and the applicant has to pay impact fees as a part of the building permit application.
There are pro's and con's to a neighborhood having accessory apartments, which we'll have to tackle another day. In the meanwhile, I encourage all of you that have a basement apartment to get things taken care of. Get a determination to find out if it is a Legal Duplex or an Accessory, and find out what needs to get fixed. Get the appropriate permit and/or Rental Dwelling License, and then quit worrying.