Things have slowed down a bit in the West University Place building department: Only 20 new homes were permitted in the city last year. What to do with all the free time? Chief building official John Brown used some of it to pore over city records . . . and make a small discovery: Out of a grand total of 938 new homes built in West U this decade, 39 of them never received certificates of occupancy.
Instant News West U‘s Angela Grant reports that’s not so much of a problem yet for 5 of those homes — they were built in 2008 and haven’t sold. But what about the others?
Of the 34 homes that should legally have certificates, 14 homes â€” 41 percent â€” were constructed in 2000. Twenty-seven homes, or 79 percent, were constructed before 2005, when the city says the building department began professionalizing operations with the addition of key staff members.
How’d all this come up?
Grant reports that Covington Builders owner Robert Covington recently moved into a home his company was constructing — before it had received all of its required inspections.
Covington now faces a suspension of his license to work in West U. because Brownâ€™s research in preparation for the hearing revealed that he had built 10 homes that had outstanding inspections and never earned certificates of occupancy. The commission gave him 30 days to fix the problems, or they will consider revoking his license. During the process, Brown unexpectedly found the homes by other builders that never earned certificates.
- Questions About City Enforcement In Buildersâ€™ Paperwork Oversight and Positive Changes Fix Problems In Building Dept. [Instant News West U]
Photo of 3110 Cason St., built by Covington Builders: Instant News West U