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Building Department maintains permits still not obtained

Town building officials maintain that Longboat Key resident James Armstrong installed updates to his home without obtaining the necessary building permits. However, at the Longboat Key Code Enforcement Board meeting held July 12, Armstrong had a problem with the types of work that had been performed at his home being classified as needing permits.

According to her testimony and case notes, Town Code Enforcement Officer Heidi Micale received a call April 15 from an electrician who had been hired to work on Armstrong’s property and wanted to know if Armstrong had obtained permits for the project. Micale found no active permits, and the most recent permit for the property was dated June 19, 2009, and was voided because Armstrong had never picked it up.

Later Micale visited the property and “observed a large, construction dumpster with a ladder leaning against it and a black construction-type trailer,” according to Micale. Micale said she could not enter the walkway to knock on the front door, since it was surrounded by concrete walls and a gate. Micale’s case notes state that Armstrong later responded to a message from Micale and agreed to allow her to come to his property for an inspection. At a later meeting, town officials made a preliminary list of work they said had been done on the home without permits, including walls, windows, pool cage, electrical alterations, a new shed, a cage with a wooden rooftop and fan, and plumbing.

Then on May 25, Micale prepared a notice of code violation when she found that Armstrong had yet to submit a building permit application. According to the case notes, Armstrong claimed that the town’s Web site provided contradictory information about what permitting was required for various home improvements, and he told Micale that staff members misrepresented permitting requirements.

 Armstrong also denied placing new windows in the house or removing floors or railings. He said that he intends to obtain necessary permits, but he wants clarity and doesn’t feel that he should have to provide access to his residence. He also claimed town staff trespassed in order to obtain photographic evidence. The Code Enforcement Board approved a motion to return to the case at its August meeting for fines.

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