Local News

Raleigh OKs Home Addition After Permit Mistakenly Approved

Posted December 14, 2005 7:12 a.m. EST

— Some Raleigh leaders wanted a homeowner to tear down part of a new addition, but it's possible the city is to blame for letting the construction begin in the first place.

An oversight with the permit has neighbors fired up, but plain and simple, the city of Raleigh made a mistake. It issued a building permit that wasn't proper for a neighborhood off Strickland Road.

The question today: How should it be resolved?

The issue revolves around a huge addition that includes a garage at the Yarur house on Kings Arms Way. Neighbors in the Wetherburn subdivision don't doubt the quality.

"It's improving their home," says neighbor Gayle Gertsch.

But the neighborhood is within a water supply watershed district. Under watershed rules, only 12 percent of the lot can have surfaces where the water can't get to the soil.

Somehow, the city of Raleigh issued a building permit for the addition, even though the amount tops 20 percent.

"When I saw this going up I, as did all my neighbors, think this cannot be appropriate for my neighborhood," said next-door neighbor Wendy Rainer.

Some members of the council say even though the city made a mistake, the garage should be knocked down. They say the homeowners were notified there was a problem in late September and they kept on building.

"We are putting our watershed in danger here," said Raleigh Council Member Thomas Crowder.

Crowder said he has no sympathy for the homeowners. He believes the Yarurs and contractor knew the rules. A majority of council members disagreed.

"I'm appalled how we seem to keep shifting this. We keep pointing the finger. If you point one finger, you have several pointed back to you," said Council Member James West.

So, the addition will stay.

Gayle Gertsch said she had to spend thousands to create a driveway that complies with watershed regulations. She said the council action just isn't fair.

"I just feel like everybody should go by the same rules, " said Gertsch. "If Raleigh says the watershed is important to protecting the water, then we should all stand behind it."

The homeowners did not want to speak to comment. Their attorney, Keith Satisky, said they felt as if the action was fair and just.

In the meantime, city leaders will investigate how this mistake was made in the first place.