The City of Johns Creek wants to use permits to turn your home into an additional revenue source. Without that permit you do not have the City's "permission" to make repairs.
In a mere decade, residents who voted to become a city for local control of issues that mattered to them( Police, Fire, Traffic) are now seeing the City attempt to take local control of repairs inside their homes.
And that local control is coming with a price, as they demand your dollars and your time be in compliance with this questionable overreach of government authority.
The reasons behind this overreach? $$$$$
Have a look at the list of items Johns Creek is demanding you have a permit for(which means you will pay a fee and take your time to get approved, as well as be subject to an inspection inside of your home for the works done):
Installing a new cooktop in your home? Gonna need a permit.
A new bathroom fixture that will require you to modify your copper pipes? Gonna need a permit.
Replacing your furnace or AC unit? Gonna need a permit.
Water Heater? Gonna need a permit.
And so the list continues.
So we must conclude that this is yet another effort by the City of Johns Creek to squeeze more juice (or money) out of you. Property tax increases are unpopular. People pay attention to those. But tacking on an extra $50-75 dollars to residents one at a time seems to be a painless and palatable way for the City to generate more money.
Imagine for a moment that there are 33,000 homes with at least 33,000 water heaters. If they last ten years you are blessed. If the permit is $50, then the City of Johns Creek will collect $1,650,000 in revenue over ten years.
In other words, your community will pay $1.65 Million Dollars for permission from the City to replace your worn out appliances. We are not even going to calculate the time needed for compliance.
That's the revenue from just water heaters.
Someone on Findley Road sat down with a PC and a spreadsheet and calculated just how much revenue they hope to generate, and odds are strong they already know where they want to spend it. We need to ask how much they anticipate this will generate over the next ten years. Then we should divide that by 33,000 households so you can have an estimate of how much additional revenue they hope to extract from your household.
Will that revenue be going towards anything or any issue dealing with water heaters and the problems they have generated in Johns Creek? Lowering your property taxes?
Of course not. No, this revenue will be steered to other purposes, which have nothing to do with water heaters or your homes.
These permits are going to drive the costs up for each and every repair you make. They are going to slow down the process for making the repairs you make,
Johns Creek has identified an item that they feel they have the authority to require you to get permission to replace, and then charge you a fee to generate revenue. The list above is full of items that fall into the same category.
Why? Because they can. Look at the bottom of the Building Permit Form:
FOR OFFICE USE ONLY Application Accepted by: Trades Required: □ Electrical □ Plumbing □ Mechanical □ Low Voltage □ Hood Notes: Administrative Fee: $__________ Plan Review Fee: $__________ Site Fee: $__________ Permit Fee: $_____________ Stop Work Penalty: $____________ Total Fee: $______________
Plan Review Fees
Is this why we became a City?
I think not.
When and where does it end? It will only end when the residents say that we have had enough.
Are we getting close?
Let us know what you think.
If the City of Johns Creek can tax water heater replacements( which is what they are doing), then why not pets?
You have no more right to a pet than you do to a functioning water heater in the eyes of the City.
Let's tax by the pound. Dogs under 20 pounds: $2/lb annually
Dogs 20-40 pounds: $4/lb annually. Dogs over 40 pounds:$6/lb annually.
Let's hire some City Staff who can handle all the permits, and collect all the dough.
Then let's use all that revenue for something completely unrelated to dogs.
I'm thinking we use it hire consultants to tell us how to turn us back into unincorporated Fulton County.
And if we are successful, all these fees and such will disappear.
Are any of these new? It sounds like the same permitted under Fulton, for safety reasons--like do you have a license and will you blow up someone's home with a new water heater or HVAC, or install a deck that could collapse in 5 years? Are you a licensed plumber,? I ask because moving pipes is kind of a big deal if you don't know what you are doing, as is putting on a roof. I like that you cover things, and keep the city on it's toes, but this sounds as if they are just reviewing the fees, that are there for a reason. If they are increasing them, perhaps that is news.
All of the items mentioned are indeed concerns. But they are also already the responsibility of the homeowner.
If the City passes inspection on these types of issues, it will provide a false sense of security on the work. Yet the City ultimately bears no responsibility if something fails or goes wrong.
Therefore it is ultimately up to the homeowner to make sure they have checked out their contractors. There are several private sector businesses that review contractors in our area. I encourage all of our residents to do their due diligence before hiring anyone to work on their homes.
The greater concern I have is "where does it stop?" If deck safety is an issue, then should we not have all decks inspected? Would once every five years be too little or too often?
Many of these "standards" are indeed new. And they are constantly changing. Those setting these standards which are potentially being imposed upon the residents of Johns Creek have no accountability to the residents of Johns Creek. So it's more or less "One Size Fits All" for every municipality that adopts these standards.
The rules and regulations we all face are growing endlessly. We should question why they are necessary, what is our total cost, where is the money going, and are we actually any safer?
If the issue is only safety, then perhaps the costs should be free to residents, and residents should be able to call and have the work inspected as they desire.
But to force residents to pay additional fees so that someone can verify that they have installed their new stovetop to the City's currently adopted code is more than I believe is necessary.
Thank you for your comment.
I had my water heater replaced. I got a pricey city permit. The inspector came to my house, peeked at my new water heater, gave me the paper that said all was well, and left. It took him a whole two minutes. This is a scam.