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RE: deck collapse

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Christopher,

Ah, but to my knowledge it was still unclear as to whether or not there
was permit issued for the deck at the time you made those
comments...unless you knew more than I did.  So, I would argue that you
still "jumped the gun" some in making in making a judgement on the owner
(unless you had heard a definitive report that there was no permit).

Now, since that time, I have read an article in the Chicago Tribuine
(after Chris Hewitt mentioned that the owner made a statement I went
looking forit) and it appears that there was no permit (which while not
good, it would be too terribly condemable if the deck was determined to
have been designed fine but just not permit obtain...not what I would do,
but if the deck was adequately designed just no permit obtained then
likely a permit would not have changed the end result unless it was
designed fine but constructed poorly...but I digress).  It also seems that
the City is citing the owner for the non-permitted deck and in that it was
not designed per local code/ordinence.  The one issue of whether it was
designed adequately (the use of 2x8s rather than 2x10s) may turn out to be
a non-winnable case...the implication from the City's statement seemed to
be that the use of 2x10s was mandated when the City only apparently only
required adequate design for strength per the NDS (at least per the
Tribuine article) and it is possible that a 2x8 joist would work.  That
leaves the issue of a maximum permitted square footage for the deck (which
I believe the article said was 150 ft^2).  Regardless, the City also looks
to get some serious egg on their face as they apparently had inspectors
out to the building on several occasions because the first floor was a
business that required period visits from inspectors (something like
yearly), yet they failed to notice a deck on the rear of the building that
was never permitted.  The end result is that the lawyer will have some fun
sorting it out in court.

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Thu, 3 Jul 2003, Christopher Wright wrote:

> >Since it appears that this guy was REALLY on a canoe trip
> I too much was made out of the canoe trip. Suffice to say that it
> wouldn't be the first time that 'unavailable due to remote location,'
> were used to avoid an unfriendly press. I do wonder if he might have been
> more accessible if, say, the inspection department had levied a big fine
> or announced condemnation proceedings for failure to obtain a permit or
> unsafe construction. No matter--the failure to obtain a permit is a far
> larger matter than vacation plans, anyway. It's probably fair to point
> out that Rudy Guiliani wasn't at fault for the 9/11 disaster, but he at
> least showed up.
>
> I really don't mean to sound cynical or rush to judgement. When I do a
> failure investigation it's very important to do neither. If this is like
> every other major failure I know of, there isn't a single cause anyway
> but a chain of events. Plenty of blame to go around.
>
> Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
> chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
> ___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
> http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw
>
>
>
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