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IA Dispute Section 42 Violation

Discussion in 'Other Ownership, Use & Privacy Issues' started by Umbrella, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Umbrella

    Umbrella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Iowa
    Iowa, Polk County, Des Moines

    On the form I don't mind sharing my address publicly because it's public knowledge per the county assessors website.

    Direct to the point, how can I fight or contest these violations?

    I have put a link directly to the images they sent with the supposed violations. Direct link doesn't work so here is the embeded image:

    ai983.photobucket.com_albums_ae311_1patrickmcclain_image_203_20copy_zpsxcxlvj2j.jpg

    The attached documents are the letter I received.

    Ok in reverse order:

    Violation 3 - I don't know what the guy is talking about, the red line I marked is my property line. I believe it stretches all the way back to a fence line that you can't even see in the picture. The vehicles by that white garage are past the end of my driveway, and then there is a cheap wire fence that separates that property from mine. That is a 4 plex of apartments, and those two vehicles never move. Perhaps the car is encroaching on my property, however unless my property lines changed that isn't my property. I'm not paying the city to tow a car that isn't even on my property off another property.

    Violation 1 - a tree fell down across the street from my house. The little old lady that lived there had it in her yard. The ciity gave her a warning about it and I worked as fast as I could aside from work and single father here, to cut it into pieces and get it off the street and right of way. After doing so I inquired if I could make it into a bench or a landmark and put it on the right of way on my side of the street, the city said no to my plan because the right of way is considered public property. The thought here being that I could put the trunk in my own yard...because it's my own yard! The tree has been sanded down, I shou shougi ban flame treated it, and then stained it. The bark you see was from us spinning it, and just last night in 34 degree weather I finished debarking it, now I need to finish sanding, flame treat that last spot, and then stain it and put the $200 letters and numbers on it. It's going to say McClain 2112 and be a big rustic cool looking landmark. It appears in there violation that whatever they determine to be a nuisance or unsightly is a nuisance and needs to be removed. I've worked my tail off getting that across the street, debarked, sanded, rolled, debarked again, stained, flame treated and I'm trying to make the neighborhood look better by creating a big landmark...in my yard, for my big house. Its just not finished yet.

    Violation 2 - this one I don't care about so much, it's a pile of wood from the tree that fell down across the street. I thought I would store it in the backyard and then burn it up when I got my firepit installed yet due to timing and the winter, I can't build the firepit at the moment. There is also some good chunks of oak wood that could be used for many types of projects. I don't have my shed built yet either. However this wall of wood is doing something for me, behind it is that chicken wire fence that is separating my yard from that apartment/house 4plex, and aside that white garage are 4 tires not on a vehicle, a metal spring frame...just the metal, and a bunch of other garbage on their property that I don't want to look at. Therefore it's a multipurpose pile of wood. It's firewood, it's project wood, and it's a privacy wall against the mess on the other side.

    How can I dispute these violations?

    The most important is the trunk since I've worked so hard on that, its so unsightly that a week ago a woman walking her dog took a selfie of it behind her with it. I get asked about it by a lot of people and my neighbor likes it to. I don't get how they can tell me I can't have a cool sanded down rustic landmark in my own yard. It's not dangerous either, it's 600 to 800 lbs, and takes 3 people a large amount to even roll it, let alone move it at all. Like I said it's sanded, so there is no sharp pieces of wood I have a 6 year old son who lives with me so it's not like I would endanger him. Squirrels sit on it and eat walnuts, and there is a cored hole on one side of it that I wanted to plant asiatic lilacs out of, like a crawling pretty lilac.

    I'm upset, do I need an attorney, how do I voice my complaint about this complaint, what can I do?

    Thank you in advance.

    Photo by 1patrickmcclain
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You have been cited for violations. In order to successfully contest them, you need to follow the process in your state law or local ordinance to contest it and in that contest you need to show evidence that supports that you have not violated the code the city says you violated. If you don't know how to do that, then I recommend you consult an attorney familiar with contesting code violations for assistance.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Nothing to panic about. It's probably the combination of things that got you noticed where only one might not have.

    Maybe I'm simple minded but my response to that letter would be to simply write back to Mr Barker that:

    1 - The cars are not mine and are not on my property. Please note the position of my property line denoted by the red stripe in the attached photo.
    2 - The large part of the tree is being made into a yard ornament. Please allow an exception for this item. (For this you might want to get it moved back alongside your house where it's not so visible and/or get a letter from your neighbor supporting your effort.)
    3 - The cut wood along the fence is being stored as firewood in accordance with Sec 42-348(3). (For this rearrange it so it's neatly stacked and get rid of that lattice thing leaning against it.)

    Get the guy's fax or email and get the letter to him ASAP. Follow up with a phone call.
     
  4. Umbrella

    Umbrella Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    I did as you said. The cars are not mine that was just an error, they meant to say the few logs by my railroad tie.

    I did as you said, and told them it is a yard ornament.

    I have removed most of the brush, both sides agreed to this at our administrative review. I submitted a second plan advising that the log would function as a planter. However the response to the plan was en quote of the following pages. That unless it can function as a planter, then it needs to be removed.

    So I submitted a plan for it to be a planter, with some landscaping around it, pavers, woodchips, tall grass, and lillies, and they responded saying unless it functions as a planter, then it needs to be removed. If I put my name on it, as in a family crest, then the it is considered a sign and needs to be reviewed for zoning.

    I have 30 days to appeal this to District Court. I have until 04/24/2019 to get the cities approval. Of which they have never responded formally in writing to approve or deny either of the two plans I've submitted. They have offered no reason for denial in order for corrections or modifications to be made in order to make the log approved. Attached via image in post, or embedded if you will is the cities response via an Admin Hearing Judge.

    I'm over here throwing my hands up in the air saying what the hell do I have to do to get it approved, or even get a proper response to modify it, to get it approved. Recommended steps from here?

    Thank you,

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  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Fix the problems or the city will do it for you after the deadline at greater expense than you'd expend.

    Your other option is to take the matter to court, which creates a longer delay, don't expect the court to rule in your favor.

    You gotta to when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, and when to walk away.
     

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