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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-14-2019 12:53 PM
Rip VW Well Well Well, Here it is almost 12 months after I cut off all work on the T and switched to readying my home for sale. All of my tools and parts went into storage last January and been there since.

The garage project is turning into one big pain in my A??. First the city quashes my dream home project. I regroup and decide to expand my garage by adding on to the end but again the City nixes that and would not give me a variance I wanted to extend the existing garage. I am beginning to think the city really don't like me.. However the city is going to have to accept me as I got firmly rooted here and am ready to meet their every opposition.

So after that fiasco I went to visit one of the primary builders in this area to see what can be done and how to keep the city from vetoing my next plan.

The Builder and I found a spot in front of my house where everything fits and no special operations or special permits needed. I ask the builder if he can build my shop. Nope is what he says. "I have about 2 years of building projects booked and I have no time to build a garage..

My Original builder I was going to use before this sleigh began was also booked up till spring. This is a bit concerning but I continue to keep looking.

I do more research and make a list of 11 builders in this area that can build my shop and started out on my inquires. The building is simple 30' wide and 36 ft deep. 12 foot ceiling with a standard comp roof nothing fancy but all good space. I laid the requirements out. and submitted 11 requests to bid on the job. The results of this were absolutely un-believable.

Out of the 11 requests I got back This is what I got back the first builder must have thought I was building a Home Tajmahall. His Bid came in at $112,000 dollars. I about fainted. He really likes his building.. The next guy was a real knowledgeable builder but his bid was 20 K over what was in the budget. The third bid came in at only 10 K over budget but the guy was a complete *** H0!3. He kept ignoring me an what I wanted. He changed the building design and dimensions no less than 3 times and was argumentative when I didn't change my mind. I finally asked him who was the the boss here? He then changes his tune then he got all sweet. I have his bid setting in the "Last Resort" pile and I really don't want him to build anything for me.

That was all of the responses from 11 contractors. I called and left a message with. I was disappointed that none of the other builders had the common decency to to least call me back to tell me they are not interested. instead of just ignoring me.

I finally had my fill of Contractors and builders. I sketched what I wanted and where I wanted to put it. I then Looked up a contractor that had not called me back and packed my photos sketches and info and drove to his Business where I was told he was on a job at the time. I got the address where he was working and went to the Job to talk to him. He was nice enough to take the time to talk and we had a productive conversation. He explained that literally every construction contractor in this area was booked up at least 6 months. At this point 6 months is better than not getting it built at all so I left him my notes and drawings and he said he would look it over and give me a bid.

I got a call from him last night and his Bid is only 2 K over my budget but I like his knowledge and ideas so we will be going with him and waiting 6 more months.. ARGHGH. So in the mean time I am going to make arrangements to at least get my hand tools and some basic tools and the coupe itself and put them in my tiny garage till the big one is finished. Just maybe I can get some work going on the project. Lets Hope. Meanwhile I have the electronics lab set up and I am going to be working on my Fuel injection and harness and get that stuff ready to go so I guess not all is bad.

Today I have Fence people here sinking posts for my perimeter fence so I can get the landscaping finished when they finish.. Always something going on here no rest. hahah Of course I am working on "Beach Time" so nothing happens fast here....

So maybe in a month or so I will have something to post concerning progress on the TCoupe. in the meantime let the spending begin.. Hahahahaha.
07-27-2019 07:42 PM
Rip VW Yeah I realized when I built my old shop I should have put higher ceilings in the first place. How many times did I pick up a 8 foot 2 X 4 vertically and try to walk forward and wham short stop. John the Big plan calls for a Lift. Another 4 post lift / car storage rack. I plan on doing what you suggested shining my wheels and chrome on the 27.. When I built my late brothers Mustang we used a 4 post platform lift and that combination worked awesome for me and my chair. I had the lift real low to the floor so as I set in the chair I lowered my head and drove right up under the car. I could reach everything seated and would be there under the car and no one knew where I was.. Very comfortable working that way and easier on the back. The platform made a nice workbench when I was under so I enjoyed the heck out of that perk..
07-27-2019 06:24 PM
fiftyv8 Sounds good to me RVW.
Ceiling height will be a big plus also.
07-27-2019 02:42 PM
John long
Originally Posted by Rip VW View Post
Yeah John, The new shop is only 4 feet shorter than My old one. my old shop was 36 X 40 and it was stuffed with tons of junk I no longer have.. As this was being shorter I can convince the wife I have downsized. hahaha. No special tricks in the new shop except a 12 foot ceiling in this one and 1 less entry door. I also might add a recess in the floor for my low rise lift but the rest is all fluid..
The 12' ceiling will be a big plus. I see a lift in the future with you polishing your wheels in the chair?

07-27-2019 12:15 PM
Rip VW Yeah John, The new shop is only 4 feet shorter than My old one. my old shop was 36 X 40 and it was stuffed with tons of junk I no longer have.. As this was being shorter I can convince the wife I have downsized. hahaha. No special tricks in the new shop except a 12 foot ceiling in this one and 1 less entry door. I also might add a recess in the floor for my low rise lift but the rest is all fluid..
07-27-2019 03:57 AM
John long I could entertain myself nicely in 36" x 36". Good luck.

07-27-2019 12:55 AM
Rip VW End of July Progress report.

Today I visited my Storage to get some tools I need here at the house and decided to visit my Coupe while I was picking up the tools I needed. The rust it picked up moving it in the rain doesn't seem to be any worse. I sure miss just working on it. and working in my shop doing anything.

So here is the revised plan as it sets. First off I am withdrawing my request for Lot setback exemption. After some serious discussions I found the city will delay my motion as long as they can hoping I get bored and quit. As things set I can only add 10 feet to my garage before I hit the limit of the setback.

So after discussing this with my builder he says the only place on the lot to put a garage is in the front yard. After making some rough estimates it looks like I may be able to put in a 36'X36' in the front and meet all of the stupid regulations so we are moving slowly. I am getting settled and things are doing good. I will be back to the coupe in 6 months or so. Well Surfs up I am outa here..
05-23-2019 12:08 PM
Rip VW Thanks guys for the words of encouragement. Yeah the lot deal has moved down in priority and I am keeping my focus on the house deal. I got a call late last night and my broker finally got word that the 2 owners had agreed in principle to the sale and price we set. They need to officially sign and accept the agreement but that is a formality.

About the garage / shop. After careful observation and measurements My plan for the garage will be to just extend the garage right thru and double it's size. However the first goal is to get the sale wrapped up and get moved. I feel exhausted today and can't wait till I get to sleep back in my nice adjustable bed. My back is not happy sleeping on a rock covered with a layer of moss. Maybe I will be able to get back to work on the T soon! I hope.

This weekend kicks off the tourist season here and the place is going to be flooded with nutzoid tourists. Glad I don't have to mix with them..

Well today is supposed to be a free day so I am going to set back relax and watch the waves...Oh a side note we have been here almost 2 weeks and the Sun Has made an appearance at least 1 time every day we been here. I am really starting to like the quickly changing weather and the slow pace of life here. Everybody seems to run on what the locals call "Beach Time"! Morning starts somewhere around 11:00 am and by 6:00 pm this place is shut down for the night...

Yeah I am gonna like it here...
05-23-2019 07:38 AM
idrivejunk Rip, thats awful news and good news. I believe you will settle in comfortably and the comforts of having just a plain house will become apparent to you as you settle in. Since you've bought a sturdy specimen, that won't take long.

You deserve the drama reduction and peace of mind once you're settled. Before you completely stand down from alert status however, come at the insurance angle with due caution. Those folks are required to be a bit shifty also. But while you have some defense mode lingering...prepare yourself to not be blindsided by being left out in the cold on the real estate sale end of your previous deal. All said and done, the only thing that saves you is the good sale price you got on your other home. That is probably IT. While you may find hope and understanding and willingness to testify among concerned parties, and perhaps even lawyers to look at the case... as I found concerning personal injury... its "not enough" to interest any attorney. Your new lot purchase amount is more like the amount a lawyer would need to "bring home" on any case worth bringing to court. Its a very ugly truth, but ethics mean nothing and justice ignores anything under six figures so "crimes" go unpunished because they are "not bad enough" to follow through. It isn't fair but people get dipped worse than you all the time. Good-natured folks don't think to imagine the world is that evil but it is.

Just straight-across talk from someone with no clue about real estate. Don't waste time chasing justice on a dead man, St. Peter is handling that for you. Do your diligence concerning that but focus on moving only forward and heal your wounds. The quicker you can forget, the better. Forgiveness may never come so put it out of your mind especially now. I think its fantastic that your physical condition is allowing you times of improved mobility and you'll need it. Now, back to the business of moving. Don't work too hard and set yourself back, do what the body allows and fight another day.
05-23-2019 04:40 AM
123pugsy I agree with fifty.
Start eyeballin' and cipherin'.
When you get your money back for your lot, that will be enough to build a nice sized garage. Don't let access to your yard stop you. If the garage is attached to the house, make it a drive thru....

Glad to hear you got a roof RIP.
05-23-2019 01:46 AM
fiftyv8 Well RVW, at least now you have gotten back some certainty in your life.
I feel for you and your wife and really hope that somebody is held to account for that slippery wetlands deal.
I hope you are awarded damages as well just to put some icing on the cake so to speak.
Maybe once you are settled there is some potential to extent the garage or shed to a point that gives you a little extra elbow room, after all it is nice if you have the shop that at our age we deserve instead of roughing it like we had to in our younger days when we were struggling to make ends meet.
05-23-2019 12:21 AM
Rip VW
May 22nd 2019 Update.


This stuff is never going to stop!!!
So I meet with the environmental wetlands specialist. A very friendly lady that has been doing this for 30 years. She was sharp as a tack and could identify every plant or blade of grass with a glance.

We met at the lot and she asked some questions about what I knew about wetlands. After I answered she says have a seat and I am going to tell you what you need to know to identify wetlands.

In 15 minutes I had one hell of an education on wetlands and it was amazing as I could see just what was going on. She says I gave you that class so you can follow what I do and understand.

We walked the lot and she was pointing out this kind of plant and that. We stopped in the middle and she motions me to bounce slightly. I feel a bounce but there was a lot of debris on the ground and I passed it off as springy because of the debris. She points out the depth of the debris was not thick enough to simulate the bounce. She says that means the water table is within inches of the surface and it is the ground that is spongy. she says sign of wetland. I am looking at the plants and now I see what she was talking about. We did more tests just because I think she was flirting with me... We dug some holes and the water table at that time was at 13 inches below the surface. Way to close.

In one of the test holes she flips a shovel of soil upside down and then was showing me how to see if the water table ever exceed the soil level ie flooded by looking at the soil. it was a subtle change in the soil color and what do you know the dominant color was rust red. She said iron particles were prevalent in the soil in this region and as soon as the water covers them it kicks off the rust process. It was fascinating as unless I had been told this I would missed that sign. I would have missed the subtle color changes.

So after this dog and pony show she walks up and asks who was my real estate agent. I tell her "it was the city councilman that died in march". She says well I will tell you the agent that sold the lot to you was fully aware this section was Wetland but not marked on any state,county of federal map. The property should have never been accepted by the realty for sale as the realtor in question had intimate knowledge about the lot being wetland. The Environmental lady had personally trained that real estate agent and the staff in his office. She says I will testify in court to that fact that this property should have never been accepted to be sold as usable build-able land.

Oh the plot thickens, About 6 days after the denial to build I get a mysterious letter in the mail from a Texas Land development company saying they are investing and my property would fit their plans. He sent a complete real estate offer sheet to me offering the generous sum of $6000.00 for my lot. He is about 35 K short.

Now I am talking to the head city council lady about what the hell had happened to my wife's and I dream home. She had introduced herself back in December just to let us know who she was and she was there if we needed any help navigating codes etc. So we are talking and I bring her up to speed on my lot and she says" I think I know what set the ball rolling in the first place.

last fall the city was ordered to come up with a Master Shoreline management plan. this covered rules on how to manage wetlands. This plan was going to affect how they manage wetlands. This plan was quietly put in place in early March. This biggest change was to setback distance from a wetland to building. Before the rule I was backing up a wetland and just had to have a boundary. Now it is X number of feet from the wetland to building . This renders my lot over 50% un use able. Oh and that is if my land were not wetlands in the first place. Now lets switch to the weasel real estate guy. Not only was he a city council person but the managing broker of a thriving real estate business connected with a large real estate chain. He was also a Key player in the "Shoreline Master Plan". He along with several other people were intimately aware of what properties were to be affected! Sounds like a whole lot of crookery going on.

With all of this going on there is definitely a pile of evidence is growing against this broker. Unfortunately the ultimate crook here is the RE Agent and guess what? He suddenly and mysteriously dies in a freak surfing accident just before all of this was set to go into place.

I am talking with a couple of RE Lawyers that are going to check this out. If they conclude they will win the case then we take the brokerage company to court and request I be reimbursed for my cost on the lot, and my survey and inspections and if they can they will add punitive damages also. That part of the story will just idle in place for a while.

In the mean time the wife and I went looking for a replacement lot and there was nothing that wasn't at least partially wetland or budget busters. Not one single lot had a view as nice as the one we own. The couple of lots that would be ideal were priced like some escapee from the loony bin priced them. Way to rich for my already busted budget.

We regrouped again and decided we were going to have to settle for a already built home to buy but even finding one is a daunting task.

So we started looking for a house to buy and looked at a lot of places. Most of the stuff out here is 2 story + After testing if I could traverse stairs up and down at the end of the day I was in rough shape. I could not walk the next day. I then admitted that I have to stay at 1 story and no stairs.

We looked at a bunch of places and liked a couple, I was looking at a home on a lake with a 2 car and 3 car garage, plus it had a workshop that was a converted 1 car garage. This house was a 2 story and I was not interested until I found out this house had an elevator. I thought Lets go look at it and see how this elevator thing would work.

We arrived to find a beautiful home on the lake with about 150 ft of waterfront and a landscaped yard right out of better homes and gardens. it was priced in the vapor-sphere part of our budget but was really nice. Then I learn the elevator is a one man dumbwaiter type elevator. The guy had been storing kitchen utensils in it so I had to squeeze into the box with pots pans etc. with. The ride wasn't scary but just really claustrophobic and slow. It was spooky also at the same time. I really liked that place but the elevator was not reliable enough to offset the fact it was a 2 story house. This sucks being stuck on one floor.

I gave up on the lake house and then I stumbled upon a 3 bedroom rambler in a quiet peaceful neighborhood that did not have an inch of wet ground. It did not have a view or anything fancy. It was however only 10 years old and had been well maintained by the original owner. I would be the 2nd owner.

The house was built by a well respected builder here in town and the builder has been in town doing business for 30 years. We went to see the house and I was impressed. dual paved driveways nicely done yard a lot almost as big as my wetland lot . The house has nice hardwood floors and nice cabinets. 3 bedroom 2 bath. open type concept and I will have no problem negotiating with my Power wheelchair. The down side is it only has a fair sized attached 2 car garage. It does have a Heated machine shed in the back that is 10 X 20. It will be tight but workable.

You probably are guessing we decided to buy that home.. Yes I am so sick of living in limbo, and loosing Burning storage money like gasoline on a fire, rent for this joint and final bills and such from my old house.. We put an offer in on Monday and was countered back splitting the difference of my hoped for discount. We should have a signed response back tomorrow and can get on with a inspection and close this thing up and finally have a permanent home. The good thing is we made enough off the other place so we can pay cash and not have a mortgage. ..

So if all goes well I will be in my home by June 15. we Pay cash and ask for a quick close.

I sure hope this sleigh ride will be over soon...

Ya know I couldn't have written a story this good if I tried but I hate this is costing me thousands every time I blink. So much fir the retirement nest egg..

Till the next installment......
05-09-2019 07:25 AM
Wetland rules

Apple computer bought the old Calero ranch and golf course several year ago. The golf course was closed down, it was too far from San Jose. A friend leased it , raised cattle and sold hay. Part of the ranch was designated as wetlands, but if it continued to be farmed it would be in a holding pattern. Anything that had standing or sub water for 2 weeks was declared wetland. when the drought came along the bottom 40 acres was bone dry. Nothing was growing. Larry told apple he was not going to lease that portion. apple told him he could farm it for free. he said he didn't want it. then 2 weeks later they called him and aske how much it would cost to have some hay bales show up scattered around on the land. When I stopped in to buy some has I said you didn't get much of a crop next to the road he told me the story.
05-09-2019 06:53 AM
idrivejunk Its good to hear you aren't quite stuck in limbo. Hope the specialist classifies your land favorably.
05-09-2019 05:29 AM
123pugsy Thanks for the progress report.
Good luck.
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