Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Guess where we found Santa

That's right, we found Santa at the pool!

A couple of weeks ago the boys had a chance to meet Santa at the pool. I did have to do a little explaining to Luke about why Santa was at the pool in a swimming suit, and why he was skinny. I think they had fun anyway.

We also took the chance to visit Temple Square before it snowed and the weather got too cold. Even though the temperatures were above normal for December, it was still pretty cold! Of course the lights were beautiful, and Noah was especially excited to see the temple. When we first saw it he said, "Oh can I get baptized in there?"

It was a fun night with our favorite girls. Noah didn't want in the stroller (of course), but Luke was happy to take his place. After the temple we went to eat at Sizzler. Luke had never been there before but really loved it. He was amazed that he could eat pizza, nachos, watermelon, grapes, and ice cream all for one meal. He said it was the best dinner ever.

I can't believe that Christmas is just one week away. I am so excited, and I think that the snow has really helped me get in the Christmas Spirit. As an early Christmas present, the Army Corps of Engineers had mapped out the wetlands on our lot, and it looks like we CAN build there. This is a true present because on Thursday of last week the wetlands consultant informed us that it was pretty unlikely that we would be able to build there, but on Friday Rick had an onsite meeting with the consultant and the engineer and they gave us the okay to build... in the back corner! I am not really happy about it, but compared to the news the day before I was thrilled. It means that we will have our house right in the back corner of a one acre lot, with a HUGE front yard. That was on Friday. On Saturday morning we woke up to 6 inches of snow and it hasn't stopped snowing yet. What a blessing. If there was snow on the ground on Thursday or Friday we would not have been able to get the wetland mapping done and would've been out of luck until spring. So even though things are not perfect, I do feel blessed that all is not lost.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful and NOT

Almost the whole Gunnerson Gang (minus Geoff and Jadi's family) together on Thanksgiving!

I don't just want to pass over Thanksgiving without mentioning that my life is totally wonderful, and I am truly blessed. BUT I am so upset with the complete stupidity that has been going on in our process of building our house, that I simply must share!

I must start by saying that the random laws and red tape that exist in our county government are absurd. Let me just go through the process that we have had to go through in an effort to obtain a building permit to build in wonderful Summit County....
1. Buy land
2. Buy house plans
3. Have land surveyed
4. Have house plans engineered to meet Summit County code
5. Have engineers draw up a site plan of your lot and house
6. have ground tested for wetness
7. Finally think you have done all you need to do to apply for the permit; make appointment to submit application, and of course pay just to submit the application.
8. Get list of things the County thinks is missing from your application. Ours included contour lines on the site map and elevation of the garage entry. (Apparently even though you own a FLAT piece of land they need these VERY IMPORTANT things. I mean, how can the fire trucks get up your driveway if it is to steep. To steep? Did I mention the land is FLAT?!)
9. Have engineers REDO the site plan to include the VERY IMPORTANT things.
10. Repeat number 7.
11. Get new list of things that the county needs. This time it is a "Heat loss study" done by a heating and air conditioning contractor to determine if your house is not going to waste natural resources, additional windows put into your bonus room to meet the "daylight" requirement, and a certificate from the Army Corps of Engineers that your land is not "wetlands".
12. Have engineers REDO house plans with additional window in bonus room.
13. Call Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE). Call again. Call again until they finally come to look at the land.
14. Hear from the ACoE that the land is pretty wet and you need to hire a wetlands consultant to test the soil, water table, and plant life for a final determination on the "wetlands" condition. (Yes, we need to protect the many endangered species that live ONLY on our little one acre in the special wetlands flora and fauna that ONLY grows on our little one acre. Seriously, there are houses on BOTH sides of our lot. Somehow that is not wetlands, but our little acre is?)
15. Have the wetlands consultant tell you that she wants to wait until spring to come test your land because she can't possible do it with snow on the ground. (Yes, that SKIFF of snow we received last night would be IMPOSSIBLE to dig through to get to the ground).
16. If the consultant determines that the land is wetlands, spend even more TIME and MONEY submitting petitions and applications to even be able to build on the land you have previously purchased to BUILD your HOME on!
17. Scream and cry that 9 months after moving to Utah you are still living in two bedrooms of your parent's home with everything you own in storage, wasting money paying on a mortgage for land that YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO BUILD ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If this seems like complete madness to you, you are right. I understand the need for government and laws and enforcement of said laws; but obviously there are times when the government it taking away your rights! Like my right to build a house on property I own! For heaven's sake, I am not trying to build a nuclear waste facility in the middle of a neighborhood next to a school!!!!!!! To date we are 5 months and about $10,000 into trying to obtain the ever elusive PERMIT to BUILD in Summit County.