Sunday, August 16, 2009

Snafus galore!

Our septic engineers have let us down big time! Several developments this past week - none of them moving us forward on the project - rather quite a few steps backwards...

1. We had been told by the engineering firm that the design would take 2 weeks to be completed - it took three. OK, not so bad.

2. The septic plan has been sitting on a desk in the Board of Health office for over a week with no one reviewing it. Dean just happened to bump into Rick who casually mentioned that he had not received it yet - WHAT??! Turns out the engineer did not know that it had to be submitted with a fee, and that it would not be looked at until the $$ was submitted. He told us that because it was a re-vision, we would not have to pay... Well, that makes no sense, because everything has a fee.

3. The septic design contains a variance. We have just learned that the likelihood of the town approving a design with a variance is about 0%. And that a variance requires notifying all abbutters, and attending some meetings, etc... A process that would likely take 2 months and no guarantee of approval... Do you think it is reasonable for a septic engineer who works in this area to know this kind of thing and inform the client about the options?

4. Apparently there are a few other steps to the process of getting a permit that we were not aware of. Like having the Conservation Commission do a site walk to check if there are any wetlands issues. And documentation from the tax assessor stating that there are no back taxes is also a requirement for a septic permit.

Lessons learned? Ask very clearly - "What are all the steps required for _____?" And for every decision - "What are the pros/cons of This vs That?"

This is a very steep learning curve that we are on ...

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