A property owner was denied for a zoning variance for a 6 ft fence in his front yard (corner lot). So he brought in pictures of 20 different "violations" throughout the City. (On a side note, it was interesting that he did NOT include a picture of his parents fence, which is similar to the others).
First situation, the building department approved and issued permits for all but a few. They interpreted our ordinance incorrectly but the fences are only about 1-3 feet from where they should be. These fences were built between 5 and 15 years ago.
Second situation, one property is in violation, and there is a letter in the file from 1986. The dept issued a permit, but later sent a letter stating that the fence was in violation. The back of the permit has a handwritten note stating that the zoning admin. is 'going to handle' the violation. Well, the fence is still there, and no one knows what happened - did they allow it, ignore it, etc. For what its worth, he was a member of Planning Commission at the time.
So, what should I do? For the 1st situation, do we make them move their fences into compliance when its been 5-10 years, only a few feet, and the City's fault? What about the second situation - that is definately a violation, but almost 20 years old?
Is there some point that a municipality can't go back and correct a violation - kind of like a statute of limitations?
Any help would be wonderful!!!!