A few months back I posted an update re: the pit debacle. We thought there was dirt available at a parcel up past us. Yeah!
Turns out that wasn’t the case. Boo.
Then it turns out it was the case. Yeah!
It also turned out the county planning department is simply incompetent beyond belief. I’m sure this is because they are underfunded and thus cannot maintain adequate staffing levels, but at this point the saga of the pit has reached epic levels of sadism.
To add some detail: back in June when I last posted about the pit we had attempted to involve our county supervisor’s office. They scheduled some sort of “meeting” with the planning department who basically told them to fuck off just like they have told us again and again and again. We would simply have to wait for county to do their thing.
What county failed to enlighten anyone on was at that point our application had been accepted and a new record had been created for the permitting department (DEV23-2037) but then, and here’s the rub, the permitting department IGNORED the record for a month.
That’s right. Purgatory was in permitting purgatory for a month.
No one can make up this level of incompetence.
After a month of no movement on the record I started calling. Finally I reached someone in the department who was willing to take a look at things. He noted that the record was in a co-worker’s queue and that I should call the co-worker. Which I did. No answer so I left voicemail. A few days later I called again and left another voicemail.
Finally the “permitting technician” moved the record out of purgatory and started it through processing. She called to tell me of her mistake and that she would try to expedite things.
I then called the head of planning (DW) and left a voice mail basically saying “WTF??”. He called back and assured me that he would try to get the record through permitting in 4-6 weeks because of the “little goof”.
That was over THREE months ago.
Meanwhile the chance to get dirt locally has dried up and now it’s October and the rains will soon be here which means importing fill to finish filling the pit is not going to happen until next April at the earliest. All because people at county cannot do their fricking jobs.
Yes I am venting in this post but it’s been SIX years of this craptastic ineptitude. No one is willing to own up to the fact that county has screwed us over again and again. No one is willing to say “oh hey you are attempting to fix a 50 year man-made problem and there is no way we would allow you to create the pit today so taking out the dirt you already put in makes no sense. So let’s just allow you to finish the job you started.”
And when I say ineptitude I mean just that. Case in point: one of the sub departments reviewing the record marked it as requiring a resubmit because a “Habitat Plan” was missing. Yet said document was included in the record as an attachment only the staff person simply didn’t “see it”. I had to call, be transferred to the person, leave a voicemail, get a call back, point out their error only for them to have to then make a call to the permitting department to have them reopen that portion of the processing queue so they could rectify their mistake. Then this sort of hiccup happened again while I was on vacation and our civil engineer had to go through the same hoops just to keep things moving.
Like I said, no one can make up this level of incompetence.
Instead we end up writing about it here and wondering how many other people have also been messed about by the county. We know that the former head of the planning department allowed his buddy to build a damn on said buddy’s property and when the higher-ups were made aware of it said county employee was then forced to accept a co-head of the department. (Said individual was originally involved in our issue but his untimely fatal heart attack removed him from the CC chain.) We also know that the department has simply ignored complaints we and others have made regarding encroachments, abandoned vehicles, and illegal builds. We know that the planning department is acting as a revenue generating cost center which puts them at odds with our “project” as all we want to do with that bit of land is stabilize the hillside and plant some oak trees to encourage more native birds to hang out in that spot — we’re not building another house which would mean more property tax dollars.
Finally, to add a bit of documentation to this kvetch, here are screen shots of our “progress” in the planning portal. (Why Roads and Airports were roped in I have no idea as our road is private meaning county doesn’t lift a finger to maintain any part of it: from repaving needs to if some jerk comes up here to dump an entire truck load of trash; it’s the the residents who have to deal with things…and trust me, I wish that was not the case but more about that little gem later.)
Anyway…that’s the current update, if you can call it that.
Oh and a “fun fact” I’ve never mentioned: if the pit had been about 10 feet further inside our boundary this probably would never have been an issue.