Tearing Down to Rebuild the Mini Dew Ranch - Part 2
As tricky as drawing up the plans was (Dan and I agree on very little, aesthetically speaking) it was nothing compared to the frustration and annoyance I would experience while getting approval from the bank and the government to tear down and build. I won't go into gross detail but here's a general rundown.
Our street is an oddity in that while our mailing address is in a city, the lot is considered to be in Unincorporated Salt Lake, or under the jurisdiction of Salt Lake County. All our approval had to go through them and their associated companies, Salt Lake City Water, Unified Fire Authority, etc. I mention those two specifically because they gave us an enormous run around. Our lane is so long and narrow the fire authority required us to either rip up the road, install a second fire hydrant (on our dime, naturally), and chop down all the trees so we could pave our entire front yard, making a 92 foot cut de sac for a fire engine turn around, or we could install a fire sprinkling system in the house with a 300 gallon supply tank. We opted for the sprinkler system.
Shockingly, when I told the water company our plan, they flat out told me, "We don't allow that." I thought to myself, "What makes you think you have a say." Apparently they argued between themselves for weeks and eventually the fire authority won and we got our way.
Another time waster was the problem of combining our lots. We bought our lot with the house in 2012. We bought an additional .2 acre from our neighbor in 2013 and were told it was filed and recorded but apparently it was recorded as a second lot, not combined with our original lot. We had to hire a surveyor to figure all of that out before the county would even look at our case for zoning. It was an ongoing mess.
Then there was the bank who took forever to shuffle all their papers around and get everything in order, losing papers along the way. Evidently this is not unusual for banks. Talking to a number of friends about it, I found our experience was not uncommon. They just take their sweet time and drag everything along forever.
Basically, from January 2015 until the end of July 2015 I woke up nearly every single morning (oh, how i wish this was an exaggeration) with a list of people to babysit call to make sure they were still doing what I needed them to do and see if anything had been accomplished yet. It was exhausting and frustrating in so many ways. And I was pregnant or recently had a baby for all of it which makes everything extra fun.
Eventually we did manage to finally get all our ducks in a row, signed our papers (naturally, on the one day all summer we had something we couldn't reschedule), and got everything stamped and approved from the county. It was a long haul and I've swapped war stories with my neighbor who had similar experiences, but it's worth it to finally have the house come together.