I’m trying to get the preparation work done in time so two crews can come in on one weekend and do two carpenter projects.  That means two city building permits, purchase supplies for the jobs, and get tools together.  Getting the materials and tools together is something I can handle.  Getting all the requirements for the permits together is not so simple.  Regulations can be ridiculous.

We are not allowed to walk across an alley that runs between our property to use a restroom that already exists a few hundred feet away.  However, it was explained to me that if we partitioned the city to close the alley (that isn’t used anymore), then we could possibly use the restroom.  (A new restroom would cost several thousand dollars and that would make the project prohibitive.)  The current project is for an open-air venue, like a pavilion, and it really doesn’t need a restroom.

To close the alley we need a survey and an appraisal.  Because we are a non-profit, they won’t charge us for the land, but they will charge us for any materials they have put on the alley, such as gravel, pavement, etc.  And that takes an appraisal of their selection.  That alley hasn’t had anything done to it in years, but I bet the appraisal will cost much more than the twenty-year-old gravel after depreciation.

That’s just the alley.  Both projects required a blueprint, an engineer on one and an asbestos survey on the other.  I couldn’t figure out why we needed an asbestos report when we were building a free-standing room, not attached to anything.  Well, that old man got out of his truck and went looking for the “man” in charge.  After some walking around looking for asbestos, he said we didn’t have any, but the report would cost $300.00.  Really?  Then, he wanted the man at the site to sign the papers when I was the one who called him and was dealing with the city.

Of course, the city needs to have a team meeting of all the supervisors, the health department and the fire department.  The lowly code inspector is being trained, so his boss must teach him all the finer points of the code regulations.  “This is the right way to do it.”   Arrrggh…can’t it just be a little more simple?

I understand we need regulations for safety and properly done work, but it can get ridiculous.  I guess humankind has a tendency to complicate things.  The Pharisees had all those laws and it is said in Matthew 23:4  “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”