James Frangella, Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove real estate specialist
pg hd
Monterey Peninsula Professional Real Estate Services Home PageFeatured PropertiesResourcesArchivesContact Us
Monterey real estate, James Frangella
view commentary

No wonder their rear ends hurt after a day’s ride.

“So … let’s take a look at your application.  Well, I see you don’t have much experience in the city government field but you did mark the box ‘yes’ for the question; “Do you have a crummy attitude?”

“Well, yeah, uh, I guess … and so what?”  The applicant is not even fidgeting before the personnel manager.  His feet is up on the manager's desk.

“OK, you’re hired.”

And that is the person I’m dealing with when I applied for the fourth building permit on my client’s newest project since the house was purchased 4 weeks ago.

We knew we would have tons o’ code violations with all of the funky construction going on.  From enclosed patios, additions, decks to workshops all done without permits and extensive liberal use of Liquid Nails. 

The previous owner also just discovered the battery-operated screwdriver, bought one and never stopped using it.  I can only imagine what the old guy said to his wife every morning.  “Honey, I’ll be outside to see if I can screw anything to our house”.

My clients bought the house anyway, closed escrow on the 28th of August and received our first permit for window corrections on the 29th, the second one for demolition on the 2nd of September and third permit for the new roof on the 8th.  These are called over-the-counter permits and are required for each corrective measure as per instructions from the official Building Official.  I brought in the fourth application for the water heater permit on the 25th of September. 

All of the counter folks at the City Building Department know who I am.  I sell homes in the city so I’m usually there a lot.  Besides, I’ve been at the counter 4 times since the 28th of August and even have met with the Building Official (Head Dude) on several occasions; all regarding this particular property.

“Our records show that Mr. Old Guy still owns this property. I can’t process your permit since your folks don’t own it”, as Ms. Counter Clerk sits smugly in front of her computer.  She tosses back the application.

“Seriously, how can that be?  I’ve been here 3 times already and all 3 permits have been granted, approved and more importantly, paid for.  You even signed two of them.”  I can feel my sauce pan of frustration starting to simmer as I glare at Ms. Counter Clerk.  I think she made up a 'new' rule.  Either that or she is implying that I am lying and committed fraud on the previous applications.  Grrr.

Nothing is sacred with the advent of the Internet.  It’s just a matter of a few keystrokes.  My buyers have been the legal owners for nearly a month now.  All records on the net have been updated weeks ago.  County tax rolls, Zillow, and whatever available real estate portal will say the same thing – with the exception of city records.  No wonder our city government is still riding in horse and buggies.