I can’t be silent on the two letters on evil building codes and their implications to this community.

International Building Codes [IBC] are adopted about every three years by most municipalities. Note the word “international.” Most codes are common and widely adopted by virtually every state. It’s the enforcement that varies from none to tons.

For example, in most of the Idaho panhandle or northwestern Montana counties, the concern is building location. Building safely shifts to the homeowner or lender while neither wants to spend money raising or razing a death trap.

But it happens. Up there you get a septic permit, and Mr. Assessor follows. But their near 10,000 or so county populations with their 12 to 18 percent unemployment rate is quite different from the two million plus medley we have here. More people usually means less freedom to exercise poor judgment.

Secondly, enforced codes keep the Tijuana-effect in Mexico. And no building can rival the natural beauty we came here for. Do we really want more handout-affordable housing with the idle going wild?

In the 1940s and 50s my late grandfather’s buildings were inspected by another contractor on behalf of Hemet. There was no public inspector gravy train. Again, fewer people then meant a reputation mattered more than a profit margin.

Another issue affecting building code enforcement is similar to tax codes. Tax code compliance and enforcement requires many CPAs and tax attorneys, like building codes that require many draftsmen, architects and engineers. Anyone can draw pictures, but few can produce accurate drawings that pass plan check. Apparently life matters more to us than expediency.

I have contracted in four of the five southern California counties and it’s simpler here. I haven’t seen too many silhouettes go up so all the noticed homeowners within 600 feet can squawk about how big it’s going to be like so many coastal enclaves.

Here on the Hill we don’t have to pay the TLMA transportation mitigation impact fees they do down below saving thousands per home.

May the $176 per billable hour inspection fees force the renewal of the declining property already here. If building here was easy, everyone would do it and good bye beauty. The “less-government-over-us-is-always-best” approach makes a good sound bite but spells disaster.

Look at the 1924 mess called Pine Cove! The 0.10-acre tent lots and rutted one-car-wide unplowed pig trails bearing street names speak volumes. Only by merging lots in my end of Pine Cove could we have sanity through separation. I merged 3 lots for 0.47 acre and still can’t have a horse.

Codes are needed here if only to save us from the too many.

Mike Reno
Pine Cove