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Pre Permit Consultation?

by Ryan Mathern last modified Nov 28, 2005 09:24 PM
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Pre Permit Consultation?

Posted by Ryan Mathern at November 21. 2005

Has anyone gotten a preliminary consultation with the city/county building dept. before attempting to permit a modern project with unconventional construction methods? I'm looking to build a house out of stacked IBUs, that is shipping containers, in an otherwise trash-ditional neighborhood in downtown Atlanta. I allready know that it iss not historically protected but before I put money down on a lot I would like to know if the City's building dept. is going to dismiss my idea out of hand. Has anyone else approached the authorities in this way, or do they not want to listen to you until you have a lot and an architect's plan?

Re: Pre Permit Consultation?

Posted by Jeff Kalm at November 22. 2005

from my experience in northern minnesota, that the building department likes when owners do that. it gives them a heads up and they will usually work with you a lot easier when you give them the notice of your ideas. some may still take a little juicing to get them to understand the concept being it is a modern way of construction. they also dig the fact if the owner isn't complete pain and will compromise this for that types of deals.
all building departments want their cities to be great so if it is great architecture then they should go for it, but don't be suprised if one or more of them really question why you are going to do that.

Re: Pre Permit Consultation?

Posted by Splatgirl at November 22. 2005

On the other hand, maybe the less attention you draw to your project, the better? Obviously you're going to have to go through the permitting process, but you never know what busybody beige-lover's eyebrow may be raised if you start making things seem like a big deal ahead of time. And busybody knows busybody who knows someone on the city council, blahblahblah..and before you know it, you're in the paper and a neighborhood battle.

In our case, I made several calls to our city's building department to ask questions like are there any architectural restrictions/requirements I will need to adhere to that are not outlined in your zoning ordinances? I already knew there were not, but I felt that the tone of the replies I got would be a fair indication of whether there would be a battle in store. In our case, everything went smoothly, but I did make it a point NOT to make any unnecessary waves or give away our hand ahead of time.

Does the city have anything that specifically, (or vaguely) prohibits construction using IBU's? If not, is this really relevant?? I mean, it's just a house, right ;) and as long as you're adhering to local code and meeting the same standards that would apply to any residential construction project, the city shouldn't have any grounds to veto.
(Can you maybe invent a more familiar, vague term like steel shell to refer to your project?)

My point, I guess, is that thinking of and making your project seem as normal as possible may help you fly under the radar.

Re: Pre Permit Consultation?

Posted by Cara Cummins at November 27. 2005

okay, here I go again.
The city of Atlanta is going to ask you, does your project comply with code.
They will not reveiw your plans without being logged into the system.
And if you hire an Architect, he or she will draw plans to code ( or should). So forget the un-traditional building practice---- they don't care.
As long as it is to code-- they don't care what it looks like. Any Architect who has designed houses before, will be familiar with the city's required codes.
You really need to consult with an Architect. You do realize that to build in Atlanta you are required to have an Architect stamp your drawings?

Re: Pre Permit Consultation?

Posted by Terry Thon at November 28. 2005

First, Check the zoning requiring your front, side, rear and height set backs.

Second. Draw a simple site plan showing the home on the lot along with a picture of the house ( Bulk Plane , etc).

You can then usually get an audience for a preliminary run through with zoning.

Third: Consult with an engineer about how to approach the structure and foundation requirements. That might cost you a couple of hundred but, well worth it.

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