It is basically a violation of the B & P code for a non-engineer to plan
check engineering drawings. It is the state board's interpretation of the
license laws in that writing a plan check correction list constitutes the
practice of professional engineering.
Just one of the laws that is not enforced, like hanging out your laundry on
George Richards, P. E.
From: Structuralist [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 3:11 PM
Subject: RE: FW PE Vs.txt
In your text you wrote the following. Please see my comments after:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sid Danandeh [mailto:sdanandeh(--nospam--at)cityofpalmdale.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2001 1:55 PM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> Subject: FW PE Vs.txt
>If the building dept. chose to educate their city council regarding the
>seismic hazards the council will surely allocate the budget for an engineer
>plan check staff. Often times the pay difference for non licensed plan
>checkers v the licensed one will not make a small dent in a cities general
This has been a problem in our city of La Quinta. Fortunately, while they
don't hire engineers to work the counters, they do hire an engineering
office to provide plan check on structural issues.
I have had similar discussions with the building official and others in the
department on the issue of hiring professionals in-house. In the Palm
Springs area from Palm Springs to Indio I can't think of one city that has
an engineer in-house.
We see the city council in our town as an adversary rather than supportive
of protecting the community. They support any developer who can generate
fees and revenue by building in the town. As long as there is a provision in
the code that allows, say prescriptive construction, they will not enforce a
hirer standard because they fear losing the developers revenue. This creates
a great deal of frustration for the building official who understands the
concerns for quality of construction but can do very little to enforce a
standard higher than what can be interpreted in the code.
The pressure works the other way - the developer will take his complaint to
the city council who will then pressure the building official to justify his
position or give in to the developer. They are, with one exception, not
professionals in the building industry - they are politicians whose job it
is to create growth and revenue from development in their city. The building
official in La Quinta has nowhere near the respect and power than Andy
Adelmann has in the City of Los Angeles. If they can't reach a solution
satisfying the developer, the city council is more likely to suggest
replacing the building official.