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Old 03-06-2017, 08:28 PM   #1
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Building Code Issues... HALP!

Hi Everyone!

We just purchased a bus last month and have since finally gotten it registered, insured and inspected in western New York. Upon moving her to our driveway we had a neighbor complain about her presence and report us to the town.

A worker from the town came to our house and politely told us that a neighbor was complaining, and that we weren't doing anything wrong by having it in our driveway, but that we couldn't work on it without a permit.

I'm not really sure how to handle this due to the fact that it is registered as a personal vehicle, and therefore should be treated the same as if I wanted to work on the interior of my car in my driveway. The building and fire code enforcement guy is coming tomorrow to shove a bunch of building code lingo down my throat, but my question is has anyone else had an issue while trying to complete their conversion?

As of now the only information that I have is that it falls into the category of "trailer" building codes, but there is no mention of needing a permit to modify/renovate a trailer anywhere in the town's legislation. They also informed me that tiny homes are illegal in the state of New York, which I don't see how that is applicable because it will be registered as an RV upon completion.

Any advice or stories are welcome! Thank you!
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:43 PM   #2
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Go find the pertinent regulations at borough hall, and/or the building department.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:50 PM   #3
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Wow, that sounds really crazy. Do you need a permit to put new seat covers on your car? What in the world? I've seen lots of discussion about city ordinances that prevent commercial vehicles in residential lots, which is obnoxious but at least half-way understandable, but this is the first time I've seen anyone get tagged for needing a permit to work on a bus. I mean, it's not a house. It's not even a structure. It sounds like someone has a few wires crossed. You may have to pull the regulations for what types of construction require permits and point out that you are not, in any sense of the word, working on a building.
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:40 PM   #4
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sounds like someone is trying to intimidate you. It is a VEHICLE! Not subject o building inspections.
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:56 PM   #5
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Go find the pertinent regulations at borough hall, and/or the building department.
NO

wait until they show up and be all sweet and listen.

They will either issue a citation or not.

If the visiting officer appears bent on issuing a citation you might explain to him that you will not be rolling over and complying with their direction unless it is clear (via the code book) that you are in violation. And they should get ready for a bunch of paperwork to prove their position.

If they do, make sure they include the pertinent regulation code numbers and ordnance numbers, then go research what code they claim you are violating.

And they can not cite you for what they think you are about to do.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:07 PM   #6
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If he did not leave anything in writing then I would ignore the visit. If he left a stop work notice or something of that nature then I would go to the office and review the regulations.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:42 AM   #7
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If he did not leave anything in writing then I would ignore the visit. If he left a stop work notice or something of that nature then I would go to the office and review the regulations.
Unless there is some kind of code about RV's being seen from the street, {which there are a couple of community's in Ca} I'd tell them go F*%k themselves, They have no say over your vehical unless it's on the street.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:41 AM   #8
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FWIW:

I built a new structure on a 30' 5th wheel trailer frame in my driveway. Before I started I emailed Planning & Building asking if I needed a permit for the work. They replied that I did not as they do not permit/inspect RV's. I printed the email out and kept it on hand while building just in case anyone griped.

That may be a "workaround" for you?
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:43 AM   #9
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even if you need a permit, its probably not a bad deal.

building permits issued here, exempt you from paying sales tax at the store. show them the permit, and they know you already paid.

i agree with the others that you should not need one for customizing a vehicle, but if a city worker is on a power trip, it may be easiest to grease the wheel. that way, the next phone call complaining about a bus will be answered with a "its legal" have a nice day.

good luck either way
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:27 PM   #10
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what is it currently titled and/or registered as?
if it is still a school bus, bus and/or has commercial plates on it, that might be the issue.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:13 PM   #11
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The bus in question is is registered and titled as a utility vehicle.

The guy didn't show up yesterday because it was raining....

He was supposed to come again today before Melissa went to class. I haven't heard any news but we will update this thread in the evening when I talk to her at home.

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Old 03-08-2017, 01:46 PM   #12
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I know you can't just pick up and move, but it sure sounds like it might be time to think about it. Damn !!
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:29 PM   #13
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After everything's sorted out with the town, if I were in your shoes I'd do absolutely everything in my power to make life as miserable as possible for your neighbor. (Assuming, of course, you're absolutely certain which one called in the complaint.)

I feel pretty confident there're some creative people on this board which could provide you with ideas should you need them.
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:45 PM   #14
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I support the advice to continue doing your thing and leave it to the town to make the next move as far as the permit action. Nothing you can say or do will dissuade them; you can only make things worse by talking. Keep the site clean and materials stored appropriately; building and code enforcement could legitimately complain about unsafe storage of combustibles, general debris, etc.

While "getting even" with the complainant feels good for a short time, remember this: there are actually people in the world who truly have nothing better to do than to make complaints to impede your progress. It's literally their full time unpaid volunteer job. Sadly anything you can do toward this kind of person, whether nice or mean, can only make things worse for you. It's best to ignore them and hope they'll take an interest in something else soon.
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:52 PM   #15
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Jack up your car and set it on jack stands, then take all 4 wheels off
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:21 PM   #16
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Jack up your car and set it on jack stands, then take all 4 wheels off
If it's in the street then they can say something
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:46 PM   #17
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After everything's sorted out with the town, if I were in your shoes I'd do absolutely everything in my power to make life as miserable as possible for your neighbor. (Assuming, of course, you're absolutely certain which one called in the complaint.)

I feel pretty confident there're some creative people on this board which could provide you with ideas should you need them.
Many many yrs ago I owned 6 full size cummuter vans, I bought a home in a court so the property's were kinda angled so the fronts were narrow in the front, one Friday afternoon I pulled in front of my home on the street & part of the van was in front of her property so I come out later & there's a note on the windshield demanding I move my van, well in about the next hr there were 5 more vans parked in front of her entire property for the next 3 days, 4th July weekend.

So after they were moved the next week she thought she could get away with putting her trash cans on the street & leave them there, NOT city ordinance says not befor 6pm night before & must be off by 8pm day of. So city came out & had a talk with her. That & the time some idiots were bouncing bottle rockets off my house is the only time I messed with a neighbor.
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:48 PM   #18
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"Please cite me the code stating that I need a building permit to work on a vehicle?"

Im guessing this person is a buddy of said neighbor, unless you are in an hoa I highly doubt there is any ordinance that can be even loosely interpretted to prevent this.

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Old 03-08-2017, 09:15 PM   #19
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Many many yrs ago I owned 6 full size cummuter vans, I bought a home in a court so the property's were kinda angled so the fronts were narrow in the front, one Friday afternoon I pulled in front of my home on the street & part of the van was in front of her property so I come out later & there's a note on the windshield demanding I move my van, well in about the next hr there were 5 more vans parked in front of her entire property for the next 3 days, 4th July weekend.

So after they were moved the next week she thought she could get away with putting her trash cans on the street & leave them there, NOT city ordinance says not befor 6pm night before & must be off by 8pm day of. So city came out & had a talk with her. That & the time some idiots were bouncing bottle rockets off my house is the only time I messed with a neighbor.
Best laugh I have had in a while!

Thanks for that.
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:35 PM   #20
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Best laugh I have had in a while!

Thanks for that.
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