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      06-14-2021, 06:15 PM   #97
Space Force - 4 Star General
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Drives: M2 MG 6MT / Moto Guzzi V7
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Seattle

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Figured I'd update my thread here as it's been a few weeks. Some general lessons learned in the last month:

First off when "those" people say it will cost a lot more than you think and take a lot longer than you think to build a house, those people are wrong. Wrong in that even they underestimate on all levels! So when someone tells you it will cost waaaay more than you think, take whatever they say and I dunno, double that. It's an insane hemorrhaging of cash.

We just dropped $6k on a full site survey with topographical contours and the location of every tree, utility, fence, easement, etc. mapped. We learned that the access and utility easement that allows us to access our property was sloppily drawn up and would have us needing to route the driveway onto the property in a spot where the property drops off a steep grade. The easement also runs through four 120' tall fir trees that we want to keep, if for no other reason than they are $4k to $5k a piece to take down. So we are now working with the survey company, our architect, a property lawyer, and the neighbors to re-draw the easement, shifting the last 50 feet of it 20 feet to the West. All in it'll be about $2k to $3k in "work" to re-draw the easement map, put a legal description on it, and get everyone to sign it and the city to record it.

We also learned that every neighborhood has that one busy-body that calls the city every time you pick up a hammer. The city our lot is in is notorious for being very protective of trees. The permitting process to take a tree out is extensive. Dead trees, however, are fair game with no permit needed. Same goes for any tree under 6" diameter DBH; it can come out without a permit. For the past month we have been cleaning up the property. Took out some struggling, scraggly, little trees that didnt need a permit for removal. Had 5 dead trees that i documented, photographed, and sent to the city arborist for the thumbs up to remove. I got her approval so off we went. A buddy of mine is a retired arborist and he's got a old bucket truck with a 40' boom. Him and his kid came up to the property a couple weeks back and tackled the big trees that were beyond my comfort level to remove. Sure enough, about 1/2 way through the day the city arborist pulls up and start yelling at us to stop work. She's received a call from a "concerned neighbor" who heard chainsaws and probably saw the bucket truck. Despite our e-mail exchange where she said no permit was needed she was there to verify in person that each tree really was dead. She was actually pretty cool and since all my shit was in order it was no big deal. But sheesh, at least now we knwo we have a nosy neighbor who will likely be calling the city permit department at every step of this process!
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