Hating the Housing Inspectors

Readers had much to say about Jessica P. Ogilvie's story about a couple's battle with city housing inspectors (“The Money Pit,” Oct. 18).

Rae Markus writes, “This story reminded me of a situation about 30 years ago in the South Bay, where a homeowner turned the tables on an inspector. The homeowner — himself a Building and Safety inspector but for another city — wanted to build a storage shed the width of his property in the backyard. He was told by the inspector that, for a structure that size, it would not only require a permit but it would have to be built to code. The homeowner asked the maximum size he could build without this restriction and, when he was told, said, 'Then I can build three storage sheds each a third that size, right?' The inspector said, 'You wouldn't do that, would you?' The homeowner just smiled and nodded. A small thing, but nice to know someone can gently retaliate against these abuses.

Why127 disagrees. “Yes, permitting and code items can be tricky, expensive and often elusive; however, this guy cut into the hillside, which often has dramatic, expensive and bad implications for stability to his lot, the lot above and those adjacent. They also know what kind of property they bought zoning-wise. Either the couple is not good at doing due diligence or they ignored it, figuring they can do whatever they want. Now that that has not worked out, we have to endure the epic whine session. No sympathy for them.

But Van Metal writes, “This is why I sold my house, became a renter and will NEVER purchase in California again. I'll retire and build my dream home in another state that wants improvement, not more money to squander. Little Hitlers from the bottom to the top.”

Cube Dweller

Last week's talker? Our First Person piece about a man who has secretly lived in his office cubicle for nearly nine months (“I Live In My Office. [And Yes, That Works as a Pick-Up Line”], by the Office Hobo). Writes Peter Nickels, “He's one smart dude. You work most of your life anyway — why waste $1,200 a month on an apartment you pretty much only sleep in? And who cares about bringing a girl back to your place? Just go to hers or do it in the car!

But Kimmie says, “I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like it as much if his whole office started doing the same thing.” Good point.

He Likes the Way We Look

Greg Dahlen from Glendale writes, “I have found a couple of your covers lately quite beautiful. In both cases they had a lot of white and very light pastel covers. Kudos to whoever is designing them. Do you have a new art director?” Greg, we're happy to report it's still our longtime creative director Darrick Rainey — but we're also thrilled for an excuse to give him props.

You Write, We Read

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