Where's a code enforcement officer when you need one?
Original post made by John P. Johns, CPA on May 3, 2010
I'll keep you readers posted when I receive his reply. If you are interested, you are welcome to contact him directly. He can be reached at:
Dear Mr. Cushing
I would like to call to your attention to what appears to be a flagrant violation of Atherton's zoning ordinance. The address is 1 Emilie Avenue. I have brought this issue to the attention directly to the City Council, but have not received a reply.
It occurred to me that you, as the Code Enforcement Officer is both empowered and obligated to investigate this matter. Accordingly, I would ask that you do so.
Taking into account the accessory structure, I would estimate that this residence is approximately 6,000 square feet, or about one third of the size of the lot that it occupies.
Having conducted an audit of the building department, I understand that basements do not count against FAR limits. This residence does appear to have a basement. However, even taking this factor into account, it would appear as though the home is grossly oversized.
I also noticed that the structure does not appear to conform to Atherton's setback requirements.
I do not reside in Atherton. However if I am not mistaken, this fact does not disqualify me from submitting a complaint. If it does, then please advise me as soon as possible, so that I can bring this matter to the attention of a friend of mine who does live in Town and who is very concerned about compliance with the Town's zoning ordinance.
One other point I would like to bring to your attention. I recall speaking with you about what appeared to be another egregious violation of the Town's zoning ordinance back in 2006 when I was conducting my audit of the Atherton Building Department. I recall expressing concern that it might not be possible to hold the property owner accountable because the permit had already been subject to a final inspection and a certificate of occupancy had since been granted.
I recall quite clearly your response. You indicated that the Town could always place a deed restriction on the property, requiring that the property be brought into compliance as a condition of being sold in the future.
By copy of this e-mail to the City Attorney, I would like to inquire ask you (or her) to whether what you have indicated is in fact true.
Finally, upon completion of your investigation of my complaint, I would ask that you send me a copy of your report.
I would ask that you acknowledge receipt of this complaint and advise me whether it will be necessary to make a public records request for your report once it is completed.
Thank you in advance for your reply.
John P. Johns, CPA
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