More horror stories of bad experiences with building code officials.
“He [Brian Black, the new director of Riverside County Code Enforcement (RCCE)] said that they would look into the issue and remove abusive personnel. Don Williams took him up on that notion believing that he would help him. They met in Black’s office this June to discuss Don’s case and to see what could be done to get his home building project (over 7 years in the process) on the right track to compliance in the county’s eyes. As per Don, Mr. Black asked him to allow his inspector onto the property to see what was needed to accomplish the goal of compliance. Don agreed and allowed two RCCE officers to inspect his nearly finished home. Don said they walked around and took a lot of pictures. “The officers said that I would have to tear it down to the studs and start over so it could be properly inspected,” said Don. According to Don, the officers then went off the property to the dirt road and conversed among themselves. He said when they came back they condemned and tagged the structure with a “DANGER: Do Not Enter or Occupy” sign, and had the electric company pull the electric service meter completely from the property. At the time, Don was not provided verbal or any written reasons for the radical decisions made. As Don tells it he still has not received notification clarifying the matter.
In a letter written to Mary Bono Mack, Robyn Garrison shares her own account of abuse at the hands of RCCE personnel. “I personally built with Lenton Garrison the Dairy Queen in 2002 and at the time of completion of the project had requested our occupancy. I was told by the County that they had put into place a new fee and that in order for me to open I would have to pay the $18,000 additional monies. When I argued that we were in construction prior to this ordinance they merely said ‘pay it or we won’t let you open.’ To me it is a clear case of extortion. Being one person I felt I had no recourse at the time and borrowed the funds from a family member in order to open my doors. Hiring an attorney would have been a cost I could not endure, as I believe the County recognizes with most people. Therefore they use tactics of force and power to push individuals around under the color of law.”
It was the combined frustration of so many stories of improper handling of citizens by the RCCE that prompted Anza area citizens, Don Williams, Robyn Garrison, and Mike Machado to work together to plan Sunday’s Town Hall Meeting. “The meeting was a great success. It is estimated that between 360 and 500 people attended. There were also people from as far away as Diamond Bar, Los Angeles, and even Victorville,” said Machado. Together they hoped to educate the public on what can be done when citizens are approached and or cited by the RCCE.
According to Mike Machado, “About 150 signed up to sue the county, or help with a lawsuit. So far we have about 30 cases that might have merit. I am preparing documents to present to the County board of supervisors, State Senator Kevin Jeffries, and Mary Bono Mack. As noted nearly 2.5% of the entire residential base of Anza and its territory have code violations. County wide there are over 6,000 cases with fees and or fines totaling 2.1 million dollars. Some of the more serious allegations are ex-post-facto, and violations of the Hobbs act, extortion and racketeering. Selective enforcement in violation of the 14th Amendment. Violations of due process, filing liens on people’s property without due process.”
Read more at the source: Anza citizens unite against Code Enforcement tyranny
Code enforcement abuse in San Bernardino, CA
“I’ve been a contractor for 38 years and always wanted to build my wife and myself a dream house, our children are all grown. We have scrimped and saved all our adult lives to accomplish this dream. We sold our old house about 7 years ago and decided to build a house the way that we wanted it, a lifetime dream coming true, we were so excited about being able to do this. Finding just the right property to spend the rest of our lives together on.
Code enforcement came by and wrote our building up as junk and trash. I went to see my supervisor from the County of San Bernardino (Paul Biane) and was told that I wouldn’t be able to talk to him as it was none of the county supervisors business to deal with code enforcement. During the 6 mo extension, the economy went into a recession. I went back to planning and tried to get another 6 mo’s extension and was told that I wasn’t able to get one. I was told that I would have to buy another permit for $1,875.00 and go through the process all over if I wanted to put our building up. Shortly after that, I received a Citation to pay a fine ($400.00) for Junk and trash(our building). I didn’t get to talk to a judge, have a hearing, or have due process. I thought that my Constitution guarantees me of this. A month later my fine is ($600.00). Doesn’t this sound like extortion? I live in the country. I only have (1) neighbor that’s close to me, over a 1,000 ft away.
Even people that live in Mexico retain more individual rights than we have. Had enough of their B.S.? contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is nationwide wide movement since I first wrote this, We now have coordinators all over this great nation of ours. Type in your state followed by faceoffmovement.com i.e. (californiafaceoffmovement.com)
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