Monday, August 24, 2015

True or False?

In recent discussions with Fort Worth city officials, city inspectors, and code compliance officers, the claim was made that average citizens are treated the same way big business, industry, and private developers are when it comes to having to follow the rules.

What do you think.....true or false?

I'd like to know about your personal experience with FW city officials, city inspectors, and code compliance. You don't have to give your name, just a brief description of why you had contact with the city official, city inspector, or code compliance officer and what the outcome was.  

For example:  When I was building my house, a city inspector required the stairs be torn out and re-done because they were 1/4" too steep.  Yes....this really happened!

Also, if you have any examples of big business, industry, and private developers not following rules and not having a consequence from the city, please share.

For example:  A private developer builds a concrete batch plant without any permits and when caught, claims ignorance.  The private developer is allowed to continue to operate his concrete batch plant while attempting to obtain the required permits.

I look forward to hearing your opinions and experiences and will blog the results.

Remember....if we lose the battle, it'll be because of the people who don't care enough to fight.

Mary Kelleher


Unknown said...

My, this is juicy! It may be true that all private individuals and businesses are treated the same by the City (like crap from the inspectors), but when you get into the public/private partnerships, it's a totally different story.

Case in point: the Fort Worth Zoo. Funded by the City, they get to add area (take from the soccer fields) and attractions without any commensurate increase in parking. Come check out the traffic, street congestion, and general mess that occurs during Spring Break every year. A nightmare for local residents who cannot leave their driveways - or worse, can't get EMS in their driveways if there is an emergency. If any developer or building owner increases the size of their buildings, they are required to add parking to handle the new load.

Mary Kelleher said...

Wayne....I didn't even consider this scenario in this blog! You're right though.....public/private partnerships are potentially more dangerous to the citizens then the takeover of our city by cross-bred
snakes and rats!

John said...

A great example of big business always getting its way: the gas industry and the waiver process. The City's gas drilling ordinance has a 600 ft setback for a well from any "protected" structure or resource, such as a school, as house, etc. However, the city council never met a waiver request it didn't like. Only a handful of waivers are actually rejected. The only one I actually know of is the proposed gas well pad site for 8th Ave near Elizabeth Blvd in the rail yard. However, that pad site was moved to a semi-industrial site right off Hemphill and Page, which is within 100 ft of several low-income homes and within 600 ft of Daggett Montessori School. A majority or actually most waivers requested were/are granted.

Landslide said...

There's no question that Businesses get preferential treatment from the city. Just look at the abatements and TIFs for example.
We had to have a city permit to have new (improved) windows installed at our residence a few years ago. Fifteen pages of city requirements were attached to the front door. The window location was misidentified and to be inspected I would have had to open an electric gate to the rear of the house. No one ever came to inspect the final product so I threw away the paperwork. Maybe they were extending a professional courtesy because I had been on the council, but if that were the case they shouldn't have.

Mary Kelleher said...

John and Landslide.....great examples of the Fort Worth Way and unfortunately, supporting evidence of the very embarrassing way average citizens and even some ex-city council people are treated differently by the city while some industry, private developers, and businesses enjoy incredible privilege. I guess some Fort Worth citizens are more "protected" than others.

Anonymous said...

the storage place behind me is responsible for an 8 ft fence that is also part of our fencing. It was needing repair/replacement but they were not terribly willing to do anything ( but they are required to do repairs by the city I think) so I had to get code compliance to get them to act- and to get code compliance to act Ihad to contact Jungas Jordan to contact code compliance. I think it helped that I knew Jordan thru Citizens on Patrol. the storage place did not replace the fence but they did replace about 10 boards that were the worse. I don't remember Code compliance inspecting the work after it was done. The wooden fence really needs replacement it is about 13 years old ( we had replaced the sides about 2 years before that)... The owners said I could put up my own fence in front of it ( but I am now utitlizing the metal poles for my garden)...Also about favoritism...I don't think all the residents get the same treatment or attention if you don't have some kind of relationship with a city councilman or others.but sometimes people are not proactive enough either and don't involve themselves in their neighborhoods. I would tell people to get involved in what is going on in your neighborhood- crime watch or whatever

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