Be aware that pre-fab outbuildings do require a permit | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 13, 2016 2:28 pm
One local resident ends up with $5,000 empty concrete slab.
By GEORGE SALSBERRY
The members of the Colleton County Board of Zoning Appeals sent its chairman, Phillip N. Rizer, to the April 5 council session to bring a continual problem they face to council’s attention.
He also brought along a possible solution.
Many residents, he explained, do not realize that they are required to obtain a permit to have pre-manufactured storage buildings on their property.
Rizer suggested that if he was not a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals, it would be unlikely that he would realize a permit was necessary.
Part of the problem is that the vendors who sell the pre-manufactured storage buildings do not tell the consumer that a permit is needed, “or worst yet, tell the consumer that no permit is needed.
“This puts the zoning administration in a precarious situation. The zoning board is having to continually deny requests for special exemption because the consumer was not informed of the permitting process.”
Rizer told council members that another member of the Board of Zoning Appeals had been considering purchasing a pre-manufactured building for his property.
The vendor reportedly told the board member he did not need a permit. “You can put it anywhere in your yard you want to,” Rizer said the vendor told the board member.
The board member knew differently.
Rizer added that Colleton County Planning Director Phillip Slayter had gone to some of the pre-manufactured building vendors in the area with a hand-out concerning the zoning regulations and asked them to give them to the consumers.
“Those things went into trash can,” Rizer said. Getting the vendors to make their customers aware of the regulations, he said, “is not going to work.”
Rizer gave council members what he called a perfect example of the result of the vendor not providing the information.
A man came before the Board of Zoning Appeals seeking a variance to install a 20-by-40-foot pre-manufactured building on his property.
The man told the board that the vendor had told him that he would not need a permit.
“He took the guy at his word,” Rizer said. He poured a $5,000 slab of cement for the building and then came to the board.
Rizer said the board did everything they could to try and help the man, but ultimately had to deny request. “At the end of the day, we had to go by what the law says.”
Now, Rizer said, the man has a $5,000 slab of cement in his yard.
“That was the last straw,” Rizer explained. “The board voted to come here to try and remedy the situation.”
Rizer’s possible solution: the county establish a regulation that requires the vendors or the company hired to transport the building obtain a permit to move the building on-site that would have to be signed by the consumer.
That permit would state that the consumer is aware that required zoning permit before placing the building.
The vendor would then be responsible for emailing or faxing the permit to the county’s zoning office so they would have a record on file.
If the vendor or mover has not provided a properly signed permit to the county, they would be subject to a $500 fine.
“Something has got to be done,” Rizer told council.
“This may not be the answer, but we have to try and find a way to remedy this problem.”