Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fortress Update

Last October – nine months ago, I engaged a contractor to build a “safe house” on our property. This would be an all-concrete and completely fireproof building to protect us and our irreplaceable possessions in the event of a wildfire. I dubbed this building the “fortress”, and I posted about it and my difficulties with the contractor several times.

I've been soldiering on with this project the entire time, though I haven't posted much about it. But today we are celebrating a major milestone: we finally obtained a permit to build the fortress. It's all signed off, with dozens of approvals from so many bureaucrats with functions that you just wouldn't believe. It's the nanny state gone wild, with twisted, power-crazed bureaucrats running amok in every nook and cranny, torturing permit applicants until they scream satisfactorily. The final irony, of course, is that one must pay for the privilege of being tortured.

So now I have some paper that is plastered all over with stamps of approval. My wallet is several thousand dollars lighter than it was. And exactly what was the point of all this? They have given me permission to build the exact same 16’ x 16’ building that I planned to build in the first place. No changes were required at all. The process took eight months, untold hours of my time and my contractor's time, cost thousands of dollars, and added zero value.

And I'll bet you the planning department has no idea why I would be unhappy about this...

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