How involved is it to get a variance for a town permit?

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
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Had my AC replaced and the company put in for the permit the same day as the install. So by the time they found out that the location they placed the outside unit was not up to code, everything was already done. The spot was where the old unit was but it's too close to the boundary. Town calls for at least 6ft. Moving it to a spot that's in compliance will result in a long line from the current spot where it comes through the wall. Thinking it might be easier to just get a variance but I'm not sure what that entails. I already spoke to my neighbor on that side and he's fine with the AC and willing to write a letter to the town stating so.
 

iRONic

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2006
7,186
2,469
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I wouldn't apply for a variance I’d apply for a grandfather clause. If it was fine in the old spot it should be fine there.

Good luck, YMMV depending on the local codes of course.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
20,724
5,393
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Unless we know what city, and someone hear has done it, there isn't any to answer that. The range is from simply asking nicely to never going to happen.
FYI, this was the HVAC installers screwup.
 

Torn Mind

Lifer
Nov 25, 2012
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2,685
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The system is designed so that you have to exercise some diligence and advocacy to get a variance. Meaning, they'll try to extract every buck and seconds of your life they can.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
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If your neighbour is ok with it, let the sleeping tiger lie.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
11,782
921
126
Unless we know what city, and someone hear has done it, there isn't any to answer that. The range is from simply asking nicely to never going to happen.
FYI, this was the HVAC installers screwup.
They replaced an existing one. So they put it int he same place where the builders had placed the initial unit. The installer would move it for no cost but there isn't a good spot to move it to.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
20,724
5,393
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They replaced an existing one. So they put it int he same place where the builders had placed the initial unit. The installer would move it for no cost but there isn't a good spot to move it to.
There is the "ignore it and hope it goes away" option. You'd have to disclose it if you sell.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
6,612
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This is a good application where you just don't ask for a permit and ask for forgiveness when you sell the house.
 

K1052

Elite Member
Aug 21, 2003
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I'd probably just not say anything. The new unit is undoubtedly quieter than the one it replaced.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
11,782
921
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There is the "ignore it and hope it goes away" option. You'd have to disclose it if you sell.
The company already filed for the permit and that was when they were told the spot wasn't valid. So I have to deal with it, not going to go away.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
43,596
5,988
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I...assume...the house/unit passed inspection when it was built. The city/county signed off on it then. I'd say it's their cock up. Not sure if that helps you but worth a try.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
20,724
5,393
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The company already filed for the permit and that was when they were told the spot wasn't valid. So I have to deal with it, not going to go away.
That's not necessarily the case. Depending on the city and how proactive they are, they will sometimes just call you in a few months to tell you that the permit application is being purged from the system if you don't complete it.
 
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WilliamM2

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2012
2,530
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The system is designed so that you have to exercise some diligence and advocacy to get a variance. Meaning, they'll try to extract every buck and seconds of your life they can.
It was no charge, other than the normal permit, when I got a variance for my garage/addition. 10' setback instead of 20'.
But I'm no lawyer, and they aren't out to get me.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
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If an inspector comes out and looks at it to close the permit out, they may note that the A/C is not in a proper location and then you may have to move it or get a variance, so I would not just let it go. I would try to get a variance ASAP.
 

thestrangebrew1

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2011
3,500
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Some jurisdictions have something called a minor deviation when it comes to encroaching on setbacks. Where I used to work, we allowed accessory buildings, or other issues such as this so long as we got the adjacent affected property owner's signature stating they were ok with it. This is in CA though, where generally full on variances are pretty hard to get approved and you need a significant reason. See if your jurisdiction has something like a deviation.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
11,782
921
126
Went to the town last week to get the variance process going. $60 fee and $500 escrow. Plus however much it'll cost to send out about 30 certified letters to neighbors and utilities. Seems it's pretty much a sure thing once all the paperwork is filed.