Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

head_left_image

Government's Crazy Solutions to Non-Problems

I thought you might get a kick out of the photos below. They are good examples of city government planners trying to figure out a way to solve a problem that does not exist.  In my view at least, what they came up with was more amusing and silly than beneficial.

Regarding the Bellingham warehouse below, my then business partner owned it about 15 years ago, when it was first built, so I remember the details well. I had not thought about it in a long time, but drove by the other day and decided it would be good blog fodder. This was a good-sized furniture warehouse. It is in a neighborhood that is largely retail, with a few, mainly non-owner occupied, residences mixed in. The city decided it was fine to build the warehouse at the site, but the side that faced two rentals or apartments, had to be camouflaged to "protect" the neighborhood.

Well, if you are outside at night wearing sunglasses, and standing on your head, this facade might fool you. Probably it will not however, unless you think the residents all died because there are never any lights on. It is black 24/7. Everything you see is a grand illusion -- stuff stuck on the building. The doors go nowhere, they do not even open, the windows look into the black. There are three fantasy residences here; I have taken photos of the two end units. You can see parts of the center unit hiding behind the trees in the other two photos.

 king of the house, bellingham wa home inspections  king of the house, bellingham wa home inspections

The photo below is the "working" side of the same warehouse. Had the city simply demanded that the backside have no entry or exit, as is the case now anyway, it would have probably looked just as good. People who see the "residential" side of the building think it is amusing. They shake their heads and usually say "what a joke."

king of the house, bellingham wa home inspections

This true story also reminds me of the time, back when I had a radio station, that we put a 10' satellite dish on the roof. To get a permit to do so, we had to plant 12 poplars at the other end of the lot, about an acre away. While these trees were put in as was promised, the nursery did a lousy job and they all died within a year and then had to be removed. The county had no requirements whatsoever that the trees had to be maintained or replaced -- just that they had to be put in one time. A few years later, Western Washington University bought the site leveled everything and turned it into a parking lot. I do not oppose government regulations, they are necessary, but sometimes the rules they come up with are so vacuous and poorly conceived that they result in many of us running in circles trying to catch our own tails.

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 

 

        

 

 

 

 

Comment balloon 11 commentsSteven L. Smith • May 21 2008 03:37PM
Government's Crazy Solutions to Non-Problems
share
I thought you might get a kick out of the photos below. They are good examples of city government planners trying to figure out a way to solve a problem that does not exist. In my view at least, what they came up with was more amusing and silly… more
It's All About Flashing
share
If a homeowner or handyman plans to install a new roof or put in plumbing stacks or roof vents, it sure makes sense to do some reading about the process before getting the ladder out and going up onto the roof. The two plumbing stack flashings… more
Wood Destroying Organisms That Aren't
share
In Washington State, there are laws regulating wood destroying organism inspections. The laws even define what qualifies as a "WDO". Clients sometimes find the definition, or what makes that list, confusing. They are surprised that a mouse… more
Mickey Mouse Can't Dance, Charlie Don't Surf
share
ActiveRain members, I was mulling over a great blog written by Barbara Duncan She was describing a scam, that is used to take advantage of consumers with poor credit. She wrote of one person who lost a property as a result of… more
Realtor, Lender Guide to Hud Manufactured Home Inspections
share
Minimizing the number of phone calls a real estate professional needs to make is always popular with the real estate professional. I think all of us, who work in real estate and related fields, have to make and return what seems to be more than our… more
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall Who Is The Silliest Of Them All?
share
It is odd to be out and about and to, suddenly and unexpectedly, run smack dab into a storybook house. When I say I ran smack dab into it, I mean it figuratively. Today I was many miles away from Bellingham, in the woods up by Mount… more
Mix and Match Wiring
share
Mix and match might work for some things. However, it does not make for a pretty or safe sight when working with electrical wiring when circuits include both copper and solid-strand aluminum wiring. The panel below has both -- mix and match. The… more
Open-ended Gutters
share
Many new homes in the Pacific Northwet, older homes too, have gutters installed that have open ends. These are almost always on dormers so they drain the water from that smaller roof down to the end of the gutter where it keeps on a movin' down the… more
Good Lookin' Bad Idea
share
Crowding. Crowding. Crowding the house. How else would you describe this? I am sure the homeowner likes this plant, probably likes the way it covers the siding. But the problem is that siding needs some space between it and the vegetation. How much?… more
Creepy Crawlies
share
It seems that almost everybody has some living object that creeps them out. For me it is the snake and lizard variety. For many other people it is insects in general but especially spiders. The other big fear for some people is the vermin variety,… more