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Re: Enforcement Question

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I had a situation when a similar wall had actually failed.  It took me a week to get the county BO attention to the problem of the remaining portion of the wall that was ready to go too. 
He eventually and quite reluctantly passed the info to their code enforcement unit, and they were at the scene the next day. 
You just need to make sure that your report is on file with them, and that they actually understand what it says.
V. Steve Gordin, SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 14:08
Subject: Enforcement Question

I have a condition where we were asked to look at a retaining wall (a neighbor, don?t know why I let myself get sucked into these things).  The wall is over 12 feet retaining, is no where close to being built to code, in fact I have seen better construction in Tijuana.  There are 5 inch cracks at the end of the wall where it is separating at the returns, and the soil at the top of the wall has failed about 8 to 10 feet back and dropped 9 inches from the movement.  Basically it is a failure waiting to happen.  There are no records of a permit ever having been issued.


I wrote a report, and the property owner (recent purchase, hence all the legal ramifications) has taken it to the County.  The County basically said, hey not our problem, and just don?t want to know about it.


It is on private property, but it is also a code violation that presents a risk.


My question is why would the building department refuse to act or at least send someone to review and red-tag the wall?  What happens if we see something like this an area adjacent to a right of way?  Shouldn?t the county have to take some action or file a statement at least if a professional engineer is telling them about a problem?  Or do they wait until failure and then deal with citing for debris removal?


I would be really interested in hearing how some of the jurisdictions on this list would handle a situation where an Engineer brought an issue to the jurisdictions attention.


Paul Feather PE, SE