Calling it a matter of property rights and security, the state House voted Thursday to let those living along the border to construct walls without first getting local permission or building permits.
The 31-29 party-line vote came a week after it fell one vote short when Rep. Tony Rivero, R-Peoria, refused to go along with the Republican majority. Rivero, who has led trade missions to Mexico and elsewhere, told Capitol Media Services at the time that he was “not sure this was the right way to go.”
Original Article: House Passes Bill To Accelerate Border Wall Construction
The article that we are featuring today was posted in the Arizona Capital Times and addresses a vote which was recently had in the House which allows private property owners to construct a wall or fence without prior approval from the municipality.
It allows homeowners to avoid the building permit process by submitting engineered drawings for the structure up to two months after the construction work has been completed. A private organization in support of the wall is using loop holes in other districts by building the border wall on private properties, but has run into challenges with local administrations due to permitting processes.
A Dangerous Precedence in Construction
What is clearly a sensitive political subject has now set a dangerous precedence for structures in this area. The building permit process was initially set up to help protect the public from builders who rush structures and leave it unsafe. The bill does away with the standard building permit process in favour of submission of engineered drawings two months after the work is completed.
While this sounds like a good idea in practice let’s consider it’s impacts for a second. A building permit forces you to apply in advance and also is a revenue generator for cities. It requires that parties, prior to construction prove that their designs meet building codes.
By removing this process and forcing a contractor to submit afterwards it removes all incentive to submit. Once the work is completed there’s little impact if the process isn’t followed. If someone doesn’t submit the required documents does the home owner have to pay for removal? The contractor? The city? Overall this is a bad approach which can lead to unsafe buildings and complete lack of ownership on problems.
What does the building process look like in your city and how is it different then that outlined above in Arizona?