More House Design Hurdles

Be warned: deadly dullness ahead.

At the moment, there are two main obstacles to our future house as designed.

The first is that the theoretical house touches what we were initally told was an easement (against which one can build) and which, after designing the house, were told was actually a property line (within ten feet of which one cannot build).

To deal with this we are in the process of relocating that non-easement--actually a walkpath--along a route where it will still serve the purpose of letting anyone who wants to walk across our yard. Which no one has ever done. This is the process that requires ten neighbors' signatures. I've got nine, and am hoping that the usually unresponsive, occasionally dickheaded neighbors behind us will be #10. Though it's been a week since I left them the relevant voice mail.

The second issue is that we can't find a place to put the carport. It needs to be in a sunny spot because we want to put the photovoltaic array that will free us from the electric grid on its roof. The ideal placement is over a sewer line--but then, that's not ideal, is it? Here's the email I had to write to the architects after speaking with a very reasonable Public Works person:

I just had a conversation with AS at Public Works regarding putting the carport over the sewer line. They are very much recommending against it, and have mailed us a memo to this effect.

Their reasoning is that even without a catastrophic sewer line-destroying event, they still need to access the line for routine maintenance. Routine maintenance includes line replacement.

She said that our options are:

1) Move carport location
2) Relocate the sewer line itself (I smell major delays...)
3) Assume responsibility for maintenance of the pipe. She stressed that this is a very serious gamble.

AS is still lobbying for #1, but all three are possibilities. I must admit that, as one of the main purposes of this project is to simplify our lives once everything's complete, I am still hoping we can find some magical carport relocation solution.


The architects would like us to do #3, which means building over the pipe. What I did not include in the above letter is my and AS's agreement that, amazing and wonderful as our architects are (and they really, truly are), they would not have to live with the consequences of the decision.

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