Dream Home Timeline
Total loss of
a Lake Tapps Home
Watch the video timeline of the loss
of one particular house on Lake Tapps
To read the
timeline on Lake Tapps History click
Failure to inspect
and take enforcement action against known code violations in: 1992-1995, and
2004-2005, which violations have been inherently dangerous and hazardous to the
owners of the property. The code violations include the following:
U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers maintains it has jurisdiction over ALL dredging and filling of
Lake Tapps from its creation in 1911 to today. The Clean Water Act prohibits
the discharge of dredged and fill material in "waters of the United
The Clean Water
Act prohibits the discharge of dredged or filled material except in
compliance with section 404. Section 404 sets up a procedure for issuing
permits specifying discharge sites and discharge conditions. The permitting
authority (Corps of Engineers for Lake Tapps) approves discharges at
particular sites through application of the section 404(b)(1) Guidelines,
which are the substantive criteria for dredged and fill material discharges
under the Clean Water Act. The guidelines at 40 CFR 230.10(c) state in part
that "....no discharge of dredged or fill shall be permitted which will
cause or contribute to significant degradation of the waters of the U.S.
Findings of significant degradation related to the proposed discharge shall
be based upon appropriate factual determinations, evaluations and tests..."
Wood waste is often (as in my situation) associated with dredged material
and has been used as fill in this region.
to the states the responsibility under Section 401 of the CWA that a
proposed discharge will comply with all applicable provisions of State and
Federal water quality laws. Ecology and EPA region 10 have interpreted
these laws to include sediment quality as an aspect of water quality. This
certification is required from any applicant for a Federal (or Federal
project) to conduct any activity which may result in any discharge into
State waters. Compliance with section 401 also ensures that any such
discharges will comply with the applicable provisions of Sections 301, 302,
303, 306, and 307 of the CWA. In particular, Section 303 allows states to
establish water quality standards and provides that discharges meet these
establishes guidelines for State and local administration of the Washington
Shoreline Management Act (SMA), which provides guidance on regulating wood
waste (RCW 90.58). Ecology ensures that permits issued by local governments
are consistent with the intent of the act.
The Sediment Management
Standards provide authority in WAC 173-204-520(5) to require cleanup of
"other deleterious substances" on a case by case basis. This section
states that the cleanup level for such substances shall be "at or below
levels which cause minor adverse effects in marine
biological resources, or which correspond to a significant rick to humans,
as determined by the department." The term "other toxic, radioactive,
biological, or deleterious substances" is defined in WAC 173-204-200(17),
and specifically includes organic debris with the definition. This
definition by rule of organic debris as a deleterious substance meets the
Model Toxics Control Act cited above.
WOOD WASTE UNDER DREDGED MATERIAL
Prepared by David Kendall (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and Teresa
(Washington Department of Ecology)]
Wood waste was
used extensively to create my property. I have found old growth cedar
stumps, cedar trees, fir trees, branches, wood mulch, paper, construction
waste and garbage under the soil cement.
My house was
constructed at the bottom of a concrete swimming pool, under Lake Tapps and
on top of a landfill!
Corps of Seattle has several telephone records of an anonymous caller
calling regarding the dredging/filling project near my property. The
caller wanted to know if the dredging and filling would require a
permit. The caller was told it would require numerous permits, not just
dredging and filling. No one ever applied for a dredging or filling
permit near my property with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
dredging Lake Tapps Violates the Federal Clean Water Act, United States
Army Corps of Engineers regulations, Violates Pierce County Code (PCC),
Uniform Building Code (UBC), International Residential Code (IRC),
Revised Code Of Washington (RCW), Washington Administrative Code (WAC),
Pierce County Shoreline Management (PCSM), State Of Washington Shoreline
Management Act, EPA Regulations, State and National Fish and Wildlife
Regulations, et al.
Illegally filling a “wetland.” Violates the Federal Clean Water Act,
United States Army Corps of Engineers regulations, Violates Pierce
County Code (PCC), Uniform Building Code (UBC), International
Residential Code (IRC), Revised Code Of Washington (RCW), Washington
Administrative Code (WAC), Pierce County Shoreline Management (PCSM),
State Of Washington Shoreline Management Act, EPA Regulations, State and
National Fish and Wildlife Regulations, et al.
Fill used was
illegal and is unsuitable fill material; dredged Lake Tapps Bottom,
Organics; stumps, branches, chipped up organics. Violates PCC, UBC,
IRC, RCW, WAC.
Organic Soil...Soil that includes a substantial amount of
decayed or decaying plant matter, wood, peat, roots, etc. As time
passes, the organic matter will continue to decay and the soil will
experience a decrease in volume. If organic laden soil is under a
structure or concrete slab, the decrease in soil volume may cause
settlement or subsidence.
of soil stabilizer created an impervious surface. Berm around site and
the use of the soil stabilizer to cap the upland fill complies in large
part with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Manual 1110-2-5027 "CONFINED
DISPOSAL OF DREDGED MATERIAL." Except EM 1110-2-5027 does not allow
wood waste in the berm which could lead to the berm collapsing. Trees
up to 36" diameter were used to build the berm.
proposed this plan to Pierce County in 1994. See “Cove Estates”
document “SD 5694 filed under “PP-SD56-94.”
Chase, PALS, alerted me to this document and informed me I needed to
“get it before it no longer exists. It has all the answers you’re
looking for. It discusses the dredged material, soil stabilizers,
berm, everything I questioned has the answers in the document.” She
said it will help my engineers with the solution and if it goes to
trial, my attorneys. Ms. Chase insisted I write down the document
number and the filing number in case the document disappeared. I
told her that I didn't want to rock the boat before I was given the
Conditional Use Permits (CUP). She told me the document was far
more important than the CUP. She reiterated I needed to get the
request in that morning because she had to turn the document over
the public document request. A request that has never been
completed. The Pierce County Assessor testified they requested the
document and Planning And Land Services refuses to transmit the
document to them. The Assessor was ordered by the State to again
request the document and send myself and the State a copy of the
document. It will be a year this April that the request was made
and I still don't have the document.
proceeds with filling the property with the “illegal fill” while
discussing the project with Pierce County.
contractor and property owner Petersen Brothers dredges the Lake Tapps
bottom and hauls all material to my property.
Vincent, Pierce County Planning and Land Services, phone log dated
"Main subject of
Call or Discussion: Cove Estates--potential wetland violation. Items
Discussed: Lives across street from parcel. Trucks went in every day
summer 1992-up to 8' of fill. 1993 logged it."
Record of Telephone Conversation from Carla Vincent:
Island Violation Cove Estates"
From construction time on was filling for solid
In excavating business.
Dredged sand on other side of cove Harder material
Filled it before logged it
Logged it a year ago
Bill Chucky - PSP&L-dredging 1990
Pileated woodpecker, swans, geese
Confirm w/ several people on the island:
Eric Malm President of Snag Island Association
Farmer Bill Tamlinson 862-8666 (H) - pres during fill period
Secretery Lynn K/Cuss 862-7954
Eric Malm - Periodically Also filled on 214th (flume side)
Over 2-3 year period
Some work this past summer but summer before
Feb '92 some prior to that most after
Jan/Feb they start drawdown
last 3 years
used big machines to flatten it out
eggs - up
Mid March-early April
bass & carp lay eggs
bring up lake too fast
could they raise it earlier
Dave Stinson 21516 Snag Island Drive (across street from
proposed lot 2.
Concerned about Lot 1 - was very wet- has
been 50% filled over the years.
Concerned about septic
system drainfields. Sideyard setbacks 6 or 30 feet ???
They had to do winter high water table testing -- why
shouldn't lot 2.
Brothers completes the “illegal filling” of what was Lake Tapps.
any evidence the property was ever a swamp, Petersen Brothers used an
impervious material, soil stabilizer, throughout the property. The
thickness ranges from 8” to 72” thick, depending on location on the
property. The property was graded with berms to concentrate the flow of
water to the low spot. The construction mimics the United States Army
Corps of Engineers and the United States Environmental Protection
Agency's construction guidelines for "confined upland fills." Only
deviation from these guidelines is neither the COE nor the EPA will
allow anything to be constructed on such upland fills.
Unfortunately, the low spot ended up being the location of my house.
Permit No. 210082
“Distribution Mailed for review and response”
“Unauthorized wetland fill has occurred on parcel. Applicant sent
letter on October 20, 1995 requiring wetland be delineated using
disturbed area methodology and restoration plans be done.
Peterson Brothers time to “stabilize” the site and waits to re-inspect
the “unauthorized wetland fill” until they are certain to inspect it
during the driest part of Western Washington’s year.
County notes that “NO JURISDICTIONAL WETLANDS FOUND.” Project is
followed up on the “illegal fill.” It intentionally failed its “duty to
inspect” as required when its inspector noted, “Unauthorized wetland fill
has occurred on property.” County allowed every conceivable code to be
violated because of the special relationship with the owner of the
property. I’m more than intrigued by what the “Cove Estates” document the
County told me “I had to get” is the same document the County refuses to
Euro-Way Homes, took out permit 388378 to construct the house I lived in on
the property that was “illegally filled.”
Sometime in 2004
Euro-Way began construction. Immediately Euro-Way discovered they were
building the house under Lake Tapps and at the bottom of a concrete swimming
pool. After Euro-Way built the wooden forms for my foundation footings, and
the day before the concrete was to be placed, that the forms were floating
in water. The neighbor, Dave Stinson took photographs and called PALS to
report that the forms for my foundation were floating. He told PALS
inspectors that he "is no expert but floating forms can't be right."
In 2008 I met
with the owner of Euro-Way (Ludvik) to go over what happened with my house
and why. The owner of Euro-Way explained to me that when the forms were
floating he immediately called PALS to request an on-site inspection to go
over what they wanted him to do to correct the problem. PALS inspectors
arrived and Euro-Way and the inspectors went over the problem and possible
solutions. PALS directed Euro-Way to install loose quarry spalls under the
footings to lift them up and pour the mud hot.
I asked Ludvik
what were you thinking?? He told me he has to do what the County demands or
the permits won't get signed off. I asked him why he didn't just stop,
bring in an engineer to come up with the solution of bringing in structural
fill to an elevation safely above the lake. He said he was afraid if he did
anything other than what the County told him to do, they wouldn't sign off
on the permit. He said bringing in structural fill would have been cheaper
than using the County required $5,000 quarry spalls. He exclaimed louder,
as if I didn't hear him the first time, that he spent $5,000 on the quarry
spalls at the request of Pierce County.
In my 2008
meeting with PALS an inspector at the meeting admitted to all that he was
on-site the day the concrete was scheduled to be placed. He said to all
that Euro-Way "over excavated the site" and he "directed them to lift the
Euro-Way and PALS
quickly realized $5,000 worth of loose quarry spalls didn't bring the
foundation above the lake. They also realized the house was at the bottom
of a concrete pool and the loose quarry spalls were no match for storm
water. The crawl space was flooded. Euro-Way installed sump pumps and drain
piping in an attempt to keep the water below inspectors and tradesman's knee
high boots while they were inspecting the site or working on the house.
Now Euro-Way and
PALS had a problem, a giant problem! PALS directed the installation of the
quarry spalls. Euro-Way relied on the direction and did what they were
This lead to
Euro-Way being allowed by Pierce County to break almost every Code in
existence for Site Grading, Drainage, Footing Construction, Foundation
Construction, Crawl Space Construction, Site Septic Systems, Irrigation
County Inspection “No record of drainage ever having been inspected.”
the point of installing piping under water? It certainly wouldn't
drain anything so it was never installed.
9/29/2005 No inspection record for the correction notice issued on
9/1/2005 for "No record of drainage ever having been inspected.
goes out for final inspection on 9/29/2005 the backfill has been
completed; the underground downspout and footing drains were already
covered as Mr. Eddy notes in his 9/29/2005 inspection when he
requests the dirt that is covering the Correction Notice Violation
of "no record of drainage ever having been inspected," be graded to
slope away from the house.
County Inspector Eddy notes, “site stabilized, grading all areas around
foundation for 5% slope away, minimum, or 10’ out, minimum especially
south, northeast and west side of house.
never done, no drainage was ever installed, no footing drains, grading,
etc. As a result my crawl space has become a “lake” according to an
Some of the adopted
International Residential code violations Pierce County allowed because of the
existing soil stabilizer on site and the difficulties to remove it:
Drainage. Surface drainage shall be diverted to a storm sewer
conveyance or other approved point of collection so as to not create
hazard. Lots shall be graded to drain surface water away from
Compressible or shifting soil
Footings General “be supported on undisturbed natural soils…”
R403.1.4.1 Frost Protection
R403.3.Fig 4 Drainage Detail
R403.1.7.3 Graded site foundation min 12 in above + 2% above street
Concrete and masonry foundation walls. Constructed in accordance
with provisions of Section R404 or in accordance with ACI 318, ACI
332, NCMA TR68-A or ACI 530/ASCE 5/TMS 402 or other approved
R404.1.4.2 Unbalanced backfill height shall not exceed 4 feet
Foundation Drainage Concrete or masonry foundations
Removal of Debris
Excavation free of debris & roots, wood forms removed
Vapor retarder joints min 6” lap
Septic System—Yard Drains tied into secondary septic system
Irrigation—Irrigation lines set on top of “soil stabilizer”
sometimes less than 2” below finish grade.
This is not an
exhaustive list but I’m not an “expert” like the Pierce County Inspectors. Pierce County was signing off on all these code violations because it created
the problem. Rather than issuing a Stop Work Order and dealing with the expense
of removing the footings and foundation walls, it chose to bury its problem by
signing off all permits through Final Inspection. Meanwhile the house was still
UNDER Lake Tapps and on top of illegal contaminated fill. BUT it looked good
from on top.
under driveway on top of County directed quarry spalls. Downspouts terminate
under patio on top of County directed quarry spalls. Finished grade never
corrected. 2-3" of topsoil was put on top of soil cement and planted with grass
that is under water in even a moderate rain shower. Sprinkler pipe was set on
top of soil cement to avoid digging through the it. So shallow I destroyed the
majority of the system when I aerated the lawn. Over $200,000 was spent on
landscaping, many of the trees were set on top of soil cement and have died. Water from 1.25 acres drains right into my crawl space. Sidewalk follows the
grade so neither the soil stabilizer or the old growth cedar tree would have to
be disturbed. Sidewalk becomes a pool during a rain shower.
patio, footings and foundation walls cracking as a result of the hydrostatic
House is complete
and original owners; Rick and Joell Bolen move in. They immediately notice
the water problems. Septic alarm goes off. Install yard drain in front of
the house next to the septic tank to hopefully eliminate the pond in the
front yard. Admitting they didn't know what to do or how to fix it, they
decided to sale. Rather than correct the problems created by Pierce County,
they sell to me a little over a year of moving in.
We move into our
families utopian house in July 2007, a house we would retire in.
During the fall I
notice the water does not drain from lawn. I aerate the lawn hoping it
would help--it didn’t, I ended up destroying most of the irrigation piping.
I dethatch the lawn hoping it would help--it didn’t. During the December
3rd storm, I notice the crawl space has over 2’ of water in it. What was
the “beach” was covering the boat lifts.
The sand that was
on top of the soil cemented berm had become saturated and slid into the
boatlifts into the dock and damaged the piling, lifts and dock.
I contacted a
local contractor to install an emergency partial bulkhead to prevent further
I dug test pits
in the back yard to see if the water would percolate into the soil or if I
had a high water table. The water percolated in holes that were over 6 feet
deep. What I didn't take into account was the lake was in the annual
drawdown--I wanted and needed was the holes to drain.
I decided to
install a combination of French drains and dry wells as soon as weather
I purchase all
the materials to begin to install the French drains dry wells only to
discover the soil stabilizer. The stabilizer is as difficult to break up as
concrete. It actually has cement and clay mixed into it so it is
essentially concrete. I try to break it up with a medium sized excavator.
Unfortunately, it pulls the excavator over.
I called several
dirt contractors I work with about the problem and they come over. They
examine the soil and attempt to break it up with another excavator. Again,
no luck. The recommendation is to find a large bulldozer with rippers to
rip through the stabilizer. I contact all the local rental yards, but none
rent bulldozers with rippers.
I’m left with
removing the stabilizer with a 12” bucket on a small backhoe and slowly
chipping away at the edges of the stabilizer. Without removing the
stabilizer and correcting the grading problems, my house will literally rot
away with moisture and mold.
I manage to get
through less than 6,000 square feet of stabilizer and start re-planting
trees, shrubs, and rocks. In the process the stabilizer was so strong it
actually broke a newer case hardened steel backhoe bucket. As I started to
prepare the lawn area my neighbor, Dave Stinson comes over.
Dave is impressed
with the new landscaping and I go over my drainage plan to get the water out
of my house. Dave informs me that my house was built "UNDER Lake Tapps."
This shocked my conscience and I was left stuttering....what makes you think
that? Dave tells me when Euro-Way was building the house the footing forms
were actually floating. He said he contacted the building department
numerous times but they did nothing. He said once the lake comes up later
that spring my house would be under the lake. I told Dave that it is
impossible that any building department anywhere would allow a house to be
built under a lake. Dave said he had photographs of the floating forms and
correspondence in his file cabinet and he would go get them. He told me
while he was getting the pictures I should go in the crawl space and look at
the quarry spalls Euro-Way tossed under the footings to lift them up and out
of the water.
Now he had me
going, I told him as he was walking up the driveway toward his house, no
way, there is no possible way. I ran to the crawlspace and climbed into it
and pulled back the black plastic. Sure enough there were quarry spalls and
water. I pulled back more plastic, more quarry spalls and more water. I
ripped the plastic up all the way to the foundation; more quarry spalls and
more water. I started pulling up quarry spalls. Within minutes I could put
my elbow from the inside of my house, under my house and to the other side
of the foundation! Nothing but water and some pointed rocks holding up my
My wife yelled at
me from above to come up. I came up for air only to find Dave with a large
folder in one hand and pictures of my foundation floating in Lake Tapps. He
started talking again but I couldn't understand a single word, my ears were
ringing and my head was spinning. Finally I managed to ask him if I could
make copies on my copy machine of the pictures. As soon as I copied them, I
asked him to excuse me, I needed to be alone.
I went back into
the crawl space and just sat, sat in the water for hours until the numbness
in my frozen legs reached my brain. When my brain went numb it forgot about
the quarry spalls. It instead focused the attention on the water and what I
had to do to get rid of it.
I started working
on the lawn drains. Then I discovered the downspouts terminated under the
slab and on top of the quarry spalls. If you put a hose in any of the
downspouts, turn on the water and go into the crawl space, you'll hear and
then see the water coming into the crawl space. Then I discovered footing
drains were never installed. I dug by hand along the outside of the house
were the tightline was supposed to be. I kept digging because I planned to
run new downspouts drains and yard drains into the tightline. I dug along
the entire side of the house next to the lake below the footings and to the
quarry spalls. No pipe! No tightline, no downspout drains, no footing
drains! Now my problem became bigger. Much of the house now had concrete
patios and driveways that abutted the house. No easy or cheap way to
install the drains.
and Wildlife arrives at my house as a result of a “complaint.” I explain to
Fish and Wildlife the emergency, Fish and Wildlife regulations, Pierce
County Code, Washington Administrative Code, Shorelines of Statewide
Significance and the Lake Tapps lake bottom is owned by Puget Sound Energy.
Fish and Wildlife understands the situation and drops the complaint.
And now Pierce
County Comes along…..
March 13 2008:
Pierce County calls about a “complaint.” I explain to McCurdy the issues
relating to the illegal drainage, illegal grading, illegal fill material
used, code violations allowed by the County, etc. McCurdy says he isn’t
concerned with that, only the bulkhead and dock. I refer McCurdy to Pierce
County Codes, WAC, RCW that exempts bulkheads and docks. McCurdy says he
“doesn’t review the Codes, he just issues the Violations.” I ask McCurdy
how he can issue me a “violation” of a code I didn’t break? McCurdy says
that’s up to someone else to decide if I did or did not violate a code. I
tell him my house is flooding, and if I don’t correct these problems
immediately, I will only have more problems long term with wood rot and
to listen and refuses to understand, he issues me a “Notice Of Violation.”
I notify Mr.
Aleshire, Assistant Director of the Planning Department, about the “Notice
Of Violation.” I request a meeting with him and provide the background
information on what I’ve found.
March 13 2008:
Little did I know
the inspector whose reputation is on the line for signing off on the
drainage was sent to my house to re trace his steps from two years ago. His
comments on closed out permit 388378 defy all reason.
From Mr. Eddy:
Gate locked no access. It appears that major landscaping is
under way on site, across lake frontage and adjacent to site next door to
south. No one currently visible on site.
Then the best
part of his entire story—keep in mind the gate is around 200’ from the
underground drainage that was supposed to be installed on the other side of
the house from where he is standing!
Per inspection comments from Sept and Oct of 2005 all
Development Engineering requirements had been met including completion of
storm drainage requirements.
March 18 2008:
County sends same
inspector Thomas Eddy to meet with me. We spent over two hours with Mr.
Eddy going over the issues.
We went to the
most Northern part of my property and I asked Mr. Eddy if he noticed
anything unusual about my property. Mr. Eddy looked around for awhile and
back at me with a blank face. I ask Mr. Eddy if he is familiar with
wetlands or site development. Mr. Eddy has extensive experience with
wetlands and is an expert in site development. So I ask Mr. Eddy again,
since you are an expert do you see anything unusual about my waterfront
property vs. that property across the cove. Mr. Eddy looks at the property
across the cove and back at me with the same blank expression. Now I'm
getting a little upset because Mr. Eddy claims to be an expert so either he
lied or is playing stupid with me. So I tell him do you see ALL the wetland
plants growing on the shoreline on that property that was created the same
time mine was? He now sees the plants. Then I ask him, what do you not see
on my ~526 lineal feet of waterfront? Mr. Eddy notes the absence of any
plants along my shoreline. I tell Mr. Eddy the soil cement extends well
into the high water mark of the lake. I explain when the sand on top of the
soil cemented berm became saturated the sand slid on top of the soil cement
into the lake and into my dock.
Mr. Eddy and I
walked along the bulkhead I had installed. I show Mr. Eddy the bulkhead was
installed only in the areas of the landslides and where the continued
landslides would harm fish and wildlife and personal property.
I then had Mr.
Eddy go over the existing site conditions. We walked the entire property.
On the back
patio I asked Mr. Eddy to look around and tell me where the grade was taking
the storm water. We agreed it would take it to the house.
We walked to the
lake side of the house. I pointed out to Mr. Eddy the berm between the lake
and the house. I intentionally show him the existing sidewalk to make
certain he understands nothing has been altered. I show Mr. Eddy the 36"
diameter Cedar tree that was under the existing sidewalk and to save on
costs was used to create the berm. I intentionally pointed out to Mr. Eddy
the concrete on the sidewalk leading to the berm was the same color and had
the same cracking, same mold growing on it as the patio concrete, driveway
concrete and other sidewalk concrete.
The sidewalk I
was showing Mr. Eddy goes uphill from the house. We agreed the grading on
that side of the house directed the flow of water to the house.
We went to the
front of the house and again I asked Mr. Eddy where the grade would carry
the storm water. We agreed water would flow to the house.
We walked to road
side of the house and looked at the grade. I asked Mr. Eddy where the grade
would take the storm water. We agreed it would take it to the house and the
I asked Mr. Eddy
if he remembered his 9/29/2005 inspection of the house? He said he did.
9/29/2005 County Inspector Eddy notes, “site stabilized,
grading all areas around foundation for 5% slope away, minimum, or 10’
out, minimum especially south, northeast and west side of house.
I asked him if
the site conformed to his inspection or to the Uniform Building Code. Mr.
Eddy did not have an immediate response. Then the postulated the pervious
surface of the lawn and planting areas should allow storm water to penetrate
before it gets to the house.
Then we walked
into the lawn. We walked through standing water on top of the lawn. I
explained to Mr. Eddy the water pools on top of the lawn and flows to the
house because for some reason the property has been treated with a soil
stabilizer also known as soil cement. Mr. Eddy tells me he is unfamiliar
with soil cement, he has never heard of it or seen it. I explain to him
what it is and that it is typically used for capping landfills or for road
construction. After the explanation I told him a demonstration should help
so I gave Mr. Eddy a shovel and told him to try and push it more than 3"
into the lawn, anywhere in the lawn.
Mr. Eddy leans on
the shovel a little to see if anything would happen, nothing happened.
Wanting to speed the demonstration up, I offered Mr. Eddy $100 if he could
get a shovel through the “soil stabilizer." To make it easy, I told him to
pick any area with grass so he knew I wasn’t setting him up. Mr. Eddy
pushed the shovel about 2” through the grass and hit the stabilizer. I told
him “don’t be shy, this is $100. Go ahead and jump on the shovel.” Mr.
Eddy put his weight on the shovel and it didn’t budge. Mr. Eddy commented,
“WOW, that’s extremely dense.”
Then I took Mr.
Eddy to the Southeast corner of the property to show him what the soils
under the stabilizer are like. I had broken up the soil stabilizer in this
area of the lawn and was preparing it for planting water tolerant trees,
plants and shrubs. On the way I pointed out the $2,500 worth of plants
sitting in the pots waiting to be planted. We stood on top of the soil and
I asked him what it felt like. He told me it felt like "jelly." I told him
to look between his feet and put pressure on one foot and then the other
because you can actually see the jelly move. Mr. Eddy was amazed and
speechless. I told Mr. Eddy that this is wetland fill, it never gives up
its water so it always feels that way.
Then I told Mr.
Eddy that when I finally broke through the soil cement with a bulldozer my
wife called me in for lunch. During lunch it started to rain lightly so I
quickly went out to back blade the area and park the machine. Within
minutes the machine was stuck and the vibration of the engine pumped the
soil with water and the machine began to sink further. Before I shut off
the engine the mud was above the tracks. I told him I know a lot of
construction workers who worked on the Alaskan pipeline and lost their large
D-9 bulldozers into the Alaskan Muskegs. What happened to me reminded me of
I ask Mr. Eddy if
he would like to go into the crawlspace to look at the water and the quarry
spalls, he declines.
I ask Mr. Eddy if
he would like to take any pictures. No response. I tell him I would
appreciate it if he would take pictures. He agrees to take pictures. I
tell him if anyone else wants to come out to the site that I will make the
time to show them around. I leave Mr. Eddy to take whatever pictures he
wants of anything he wants and wherever he wants.
March 20 2008:
finally agreed to a meeting. I met with him and: David Acree, Stephen
Widener, Roger Jernegan and Lorrie Chase. We discussed the problems with
the “illegal fill” allowed by the County, the absence of drains, code
violations, soil stabilizer, etc. Mr. Aleshire concluded the “Bulkhead” was
exempt and directed Ms. Chase to issue the exemption for it and an extension
to protect the property. He noted he signed off on the Conditional Use
Permit for the dock built by the former owners and that he was “gullible”
when he did it. So he directed Ms. Chase to complete an expedited
Conditional Use Permit for the dock, dock repairs and dock extension—the
value is less than $12,500 allowed by the PCC.
Ms. Chase was
also directed by one of the "developmental engineers” to find out “how the
parcel went from being a wetland and in 10 months not a wetland.” Mr.
Aleshire then requested she find “everything about the parcel” because he
stated, “we need to get a claim on this filed with Risk Management.” I
asked Mr. Aleshire what was "Risk Management." He told me "Risk Management"
was a department in Pierce County that handled claims and was staffed with
attorney's. I immediately told Mr. Aleshire that I didn't want any lawyers
involved, that I was fighting Mother Nature and she doesn't follow the same
time lines lawyers and the legal system do. Mr. Aleshire informed me that
filing a claim should speed up the process not delay it.
March 24 2008:
calls me on the phone. She describes finding a document titled “Cove
Estates.” She tells me I need to request it before it is “gone.” It
contains all the “answers to my questions” and “it should help with my
claim.” She gives me the document number and filing number. She tells me
if I have the document number than if this ever gets to trial, everyone will
know the document existed because the documents are sequentially numbered.
She tells me the most important number is the filing number because only
Pierce County employees know the filing number system.
She goes on to
tell me she is working on the Exemptions and Conditional Use Permit. All
she has to do is run it by her supervisor.
transmits an e-mail to me that her boss, Sam (who did not attend the
meeting) says everything needs to be added up; dock, repairs, bulkhead, etc
to see if he can get the cost above $12,500 to trigger ALL the permits; SEPA,
I send Mr.
Aleshire an e-mail guiding him on the correct interpretation of the $12,500
amount that is in Pierce County Code (PCC). The PCC interpretation came
from the State of Washington who says the costs associated with construction
should be taken into account; like grading if necessary for docks. NOT
adding everything together.
March 26 2008:
At 7:56 AM Mr. Aleshire transmits and copies me on an e-mail
requesting, “Sam and Lorrie, lets' meet in the next day or two and see if we
can resolve this issue.”
At 8:56 AM I transmit the Request for Public Information
At 12:52 PM -
Dan, it appears we have reached an impasse. Lorrie Chase
has given you clear guidance on what we require in the way of permits.
You need to make application by the times noted in the notices of
violations or file a formal appeal.
From this point on I ask that all your communications
come to me. I am advising staff not to respond to any more of your
e-mails unless directed by and back through me.
March 27 2008:
I transmit an
appeal for the “Notice Of Violation” dated 13-March-2008.
After my appeal
was processed I ran into the Director of PALS, Chuck Kleeburg, in the
lobby. Mr. Kleeburg said he knows about my situation and gave his advice
“not to file the appeals, have your attorney talk to the prosecutor about a
settlement.” He said this avenue was “free, except for a little bit of my
attorney’s time” and would be “much quicker than going through the appeals
process.” Mr. Kleeburg constantly reiterated to have my “attorney contact
the prosecutor, there are two of them familiar with the case. All the
issues, including permits can be resolved with this process.” He said the
prosecutor with the “most knowledge and authority was out until April 9th
but there was another prosecutor who was also familiar with the issues.”
March 28 2008:
I e-mailed Mr.
Kleeburg to thank him for his time and requested the prosecutors contact
information so we could get this resolved.
On March 28, 2008, Mr. Kleeberg attempted to back pedal from
his promise of settlement by offering me the most insulting comment ever,
“Sorry I was distracted, but the game was on and it was after hours.”
According to a June 26, 2008, e-mail from Carol Johnson of Pierce County to Cort O’Conner, Prosecutor:
“Our customer tracker show the last visit by Mr.
in the Development Center was on March 27, 2008 from 4:01 to 4:40 pm to
discuss appealing the notice of non-compliance.”
According to the sign on the PALS door, the office is open
until 5:00 pm, clearly it was not “after hours.”
intuitively obvious I had upset both Mr. Kleeburg and Mr. Aleshire because
neither Mr. Kleeburg nor Mr. Aleshire will answer my questions or resolve my
appeals. They ignore me and then pull out their biggest weapon;
retaliation. Being an Industrial Contractor for almost 25 years, I know
better than to step on the omnipotent egos of anyone at the building
department, but this has gone way too far. Everyone in that department
knows they were negligent, failed their duty to inspect and took their
relationships with the local contractors way too far throughout this
….The County Building Department retaliation begins….
4th questions and concerns go unanswered by both Director Chuck and
Assistant Director Gordon. I inform them the additional damages the STOP
WORK ORDER will cause my son and request reconsideration. No reply.
April 2 2008:
Matt Shaw and a witness perform a retaliation inspection. When I spoke with
Mr. Shaw the morning of the inspection we outlined the inspection and its
purpose. The inspection was a result of the pictures I transmitted to
Gordon of the crawl space and its offer for the County to inspect the
damage. I emailed a confirmation on the purpose and scope to Gordon before
Despite this, Mr.
Shaw arrived with his witness to perform a retaliation inspection.
According to Mr. Shaw he was not “authorized to inspect anything but the
grading.” I went over the PCC exemptions with Mr. Shaw and his witness.
Neither was interested in the emergency exemptions, landscape exemption or
the drainage repair exemption. His only purpose was to see if he could find
something, anything that may trigger a permit and a Stop Work Order.
I told Mr. Shaw I
didn’t appreciate him wasting my time. That if he wasn’t there to perform
an inspection he needed to leave and fill out whatever report he was going
to fill out off my property.
April 3, 2008:
Mr. Shaw left the
“STOP WORK ORDER” attached to a stake in my front yard. It claims "The
following violations have been identified on your property: Clearing more
than 6,000 sq ft. Creation of an impervious surface, greater than 400 sq
The STOP WORK
ORDER goes on to say: "A Correction Notice will be mailed certified
to the listed property owner as a follow-up to this 'Stop Work' order. The
certified notice will explain the permit requirements to resolve this
April 15, 2008:
Pierce finally transmits the Cove Estates file on April 15,
2008. The file Pierce County transmitted contains references to numerous
documents, reports and drawings that are not in the file.
In an attempt to obtain the entire file, I made another
request to obtain all documents relating to the third lot in the Cove
Estates file. The third lot is located across the cove on 214th Ave.
Someone educated the developer because Cove Estates originally included the
lot that was created by the developer on 214th. However the discussion the
trail of its creation stopped once Pierce only to focus on mine and my
neighbors property which is on the west side of the cove. In 1994 the
developer applied for a permit to turn the lot into three (3) recreational
lots. The permit was denied. Then inexplicably and without a single
document on the third property the developer created, Carla Vincent's notes
dated 10/25/95 on the creation of the property, "Eric Malm-Also filled on
214th (flume sand)," Pierce approved a building permit on 8/27/2004 to
construct a 5,200 square foot multi-million dollar single family residence.
To this day I have never been given any documents that show
how and why the property went from being unsuitable for three picnic tables
to one that now has a 5,200 square foot multi-million dollar house on it.
Nor has anyone at Pierce County been able to explain how this one happened.
April 21, 2008:
I transmit the
Pierce County form for an "ADMINSTRATIVE APPEAL of a Notice of Violation or
Stop Work Notice" with supporting documentation that removing 6,000 square
feet of lawn to replant with water tolerant vegetation is not a code
violation. I explain that I am eliminating impervious surfaces, not
creating them (removing soil stabilizer.)
Shortly after the
appeal, the promised "Correction Notice was mailed certified to my
house as a follow-up to this 'Stop Work' order. The certified notice will
explain the permit requirements to resolve this violation." However,
the Correction Notice listed an entirely different allegation; instead of
disturbing 6,000 square feet of lawn and creating 400 sq feet of an
impervious surface, now I had somehow managed to import an utterly absurd
amount of fill material, 800 Cubic Yards. Absurd in the extreme because the
amount of fill would have altered the topography of the property causing
flooding to my neighbors property, burying my driveway, sidewalks, etc.
None of which happened.
Mr. Aleshere told
me the form I used for the Stop Work Order Appeal was incorrect. I told him
I obtained it from the PALS website. He said it is the wrong form. I told
him I would transmit the appeal on the correct form but I needed to know
what violation I should appeal; the violation on the Stop Work Order or the
different violation given in the Stop Work Order letter. Mr. Aleshere has
When it became
apparent to everyone PALS was using these violations to avoid dealing with
the real issues, I made an offer to Mr. Aleshere that I would remove the
dock and bulkhead if it would help PALS concentrate on my flooded house.
Mr. Aleshere told me not to remove either the dock or bulkhead. Instead he
had an employee issue the Stop Work Order.
PALS continued to
use the dock and bulkhead to stonewall.
June 9, 2008:
attorney Debra Ricci had a conference with the Prosecuting Attorney for
Pierce County along with the Pierce County Risk Management officer. She
clarified “my position in regard to their shoreline management issues on
Lake Tapps and whether they had any jurisdiction regarding enforcement on a
body of water of this nature. They now understand that I will no longer
tolerate any red herring discussions but will be focused on the major issues
with the original permitting and development of the site.”
June 25, 2008:
I file a "Taxpayer's Claim for Reduction of Assessments
resulting from Destroyed Property" with the Pierce County Assessor.
July 25, 2008:
attorney and engineering consultant, Pace Engineers, met with Pierce County
to explain what had to be done to save the house. The permits for the
notices and stop work orders associated with the dock and bulkhead would be
issued. Pierce wanted to know if they should issue the permits for the dock
and bulkhead in their current location or if they would need to be moved if
the house was moved.
July 27, 2008:
attorney informed Pierce the dock and bulkhead would not need to be moved if
the house was moved. The permits were not issued.
clouded the Title of the property with these violations thereby preventing
the property from ever changing hands with a dock, bulkhead or boatlifts.
Dock and boatlifts were existing and permitted.
We thought the dock and bulkhead issue's were finally behind
us and began the engineering to raise the house and possible moving it in
Unfortunately, within weeks of Ms. Ricci's withdraw in the
case, PALS sent me a certified letter stating the Title to my property would
be clouded. PALS then clouded the Title.
The appeal I paid for was never heard. After receiving my
proper appeal, Mr. Aleshere transmitted a letter to me demanding I remove
references to the Building Codes and remove the pictures. I told Mr.
Aleshere the basis of my appeal was the work was emergency work that is
exempted by the very codes he demanded I remove. That the pictures showing
the condition of the foundation system, the flooding of the crawlspace and
the water in the lawn all supported my defense. I refused to censor my
clouded the title I have removed the dock. On advice of others not to
disturb the site, I have left the bulkhead in place.
response to my Public Disclosure Request for all permits issued within the
past 10 years for all permit required structures (the list is according to
the Building Official): dock, bulkhead, each boat lift, each boat lift
cover, boat house, boat launch, tennis courts, sport courts or sidewalks
within 50' of the water that only 11 permits were applied for in 10 years!
11 applications! Some of the applications were for the same property; one
owner made applications for a tennis court, boat launch, dock and bulkhead.
October 1, 2008
Assessor mails me a response to my June 25th, 2008 Taxpayer's Claim for
Reduction of Assessment." A box in section II of the form letter is
checked: claim does not qualify for the following reasons. Hand written in
the "other" box is; "claim has an appeal on file." Not certain what this
means because I can't file an appeal until the decision I just received, is
received. If it is the claim the claim is the claim PALS said it needed to
open with Risk Management. In any event I once again get nowhere with
Meanwhile I work
in earnest with contractors, engineers and architects to save the house.
removed by hand in 5 gallon buckets to determine where the low spots are
to install sump pumps. A system of sump pumps and piping installed to
install new sub panel for the temporary power to run ALL the pumps,
blowers and dehumidifiers.
pond liner installed above pumping system. Liner cut and tapped around
the wood posts that hold up the interior portions of the house. Liner
run up the foundation walls to prevent the weeping water from entering
the dry area.
de-humidifiers installed to remove any remaining moisture.
A series of
commercial blowers installed to circulate air fast enough it would
discourage the spread of the mold.
electrical bill for July 2008 was more than the electrical bill the past
December when he had the heat on, lights on and almost as many Christmas
lights as Clark Griswald in Christmas Vacation.
Architect work in earnest testing the soils to determine if the house
has to be moved or if the soils are suitable to keep the house in the
Architect review elevations of the existing footings and compare it to
the to the elevation of the lake to come up with how high the house has
to be lifted to get it out of the water.
begin to create topography maps of the entire property for the lifting
survey crews came out to finalize a few elevations to complete the map,
they heard the septic system alarm. They went over to the sound to
confirm it was the septic system and knocked on the door. My wife
answered and was told the septic alarms were going off. My wife told
them, no big deal, I'll just call Ken.
a first name basis with the manufacturer of the septic system isn't
good. Having him programmed into your cell phone is even worse.
decided our architect, Charlie Vos was the best person to make the call to
me. They thought of all of them, Charlie was the only one that could make
me come to the realization that it was over.
Charlie calls and
we start talking about the septic system. He tells me you know Dan that if
you don't have a septic system that works, no matter how much money you
throw at the rest of the problem, you cannot save your house. I tell
Charlie I can install a holding tank and have it pumped. Charlie tells me
it doesn't work that way. I tell Charlie I'll find a system that will
work. Charlie said they have all looked. He explains the septic tank is
under the lake, that I don't have a reserve drainfield, that my drainfield
doesn't work and I have no place to install a new drainfield. Charlie knows
I'm not listening. He then tells me he and the engineers have decided to
stop working on everything relating to my house. I ask Charlie if he has
any idea of how much money and time I've spent on saving the house? He asks
me if I want to waste another $1,200,000?
He tells me to
have the drainfield tested.
October 27, 2008:
On October 27,
2008 I appealed to the Pierce County Board of Equalization to have my taxes
reduced because of circumstances. The Assessor's office directs the Board
of Equalization to reduce my taxes in the amounts I have paid to correct the
issues with the house and property. The Board of Equalization reads the
direction into the record. I then present my engineering that explains why
the work had to be done and what has yet to be done to save the house. The
engineering was presented at the request of the Assessor's office. I then
go over a spreadsheet that itemized all the costs.
The Board of
Equalization tells me that they are not engineers. Therefore they cannot
comment or conclude anything from the reports. Consequently they cannot
justify the costs of the repairs or the estimates to complete the repairs.
They do nothing.
I appeal to the
State of Washington Board of Tax Appeals.
I call Tacoma
Pierce County Health (TPCH) and explain my concerns and request an on-site
inspection. TPCH sends an inspector out by the name of Ron Howard. We
discuss my concerns and go over the apparent swapping of the drainfield. We
walk the site, look at the lake, road, house, driveway, neighbors property
for any possible location for a new drainfield if mine had failed. He
didn't see anywhere a replacement drainfield would work. I asked him if my
drainfield has failed what would the County do? He told me if the
drainfield has failed and there isn't a location for a replacement
drainfield then the County would either start a "Condemnation Process or
issue me an emergency order to evacuate."
Mr. Howard stated he “has no answers for how or why this was allowed.” But
added, “if it makes you feel any better the inspector who said he witnessed
the test pits no longer works for Pierce.”
the site he informed me that Health would not issue me a certificate of
suitability to sale the house. I asked him what that meant and he told me
“it would be up to the buyer to decide if they wanted to go forward with the
sale or not.” I asked him, “Without a suitable septic system, would the
buyer have a choice?” He said, “no, your house is worthless.”
I told Mr. Howard
that if it isn't suitable for someone to sell the house then it was suitable
for my family to live in it either. I asked him if he was going to put this
in writing. He told me I have to complete the RSS (Report of System Status)
He told me to
look up the list of approved septic system companies on the TPCHD website
and have them test the system.
I looked up the
list of approved contractors and downloaded the RSS forms from the TPCHD
website. The RSS required two things: 1. The property had to be listed and
2. The on-site septic system had to be inspected.
I looked through
the list of approved contractors and selected the largest one on the list to
hopefully circumvent the problems associated with smaller contractors who
feel obliged to Pierce County to stay on the "approved list."
November 12, 2008
On November 12,
2008 I had one of Pierce County's "approved" septic system contractors,
Flowhawks, come out to test the septic system.
starts the typical cursory test, that really tests nothing and starts
checking off the boxes: "ALL SYSTEM COMPONESTS IN GOOD WORKING CONDITION"
he checks "Yes". I stop him and ask if the drainfield is a system
component? He tells me it is and I ask him if he tested it. He says no.
I ask him why he
is signing off ALL SYSTEM COMPONENTS IN GOOD WORKING CONDITION. He tells me
the only test he can run is a dye test and he doesn't have the time to do
the test; usually takes 4 to 24 hours for the dye to show up if the
drainfields failed. He informs me he "doesn't want to take my money." I
ask him how much and he says around $180. I tell him not to worry about my
pocket book, run the test. He tells me it's too wet for the dye to show
up. I tell him to run the test.
I go inside to
get my checkbook. Within minutes I hear a banging on the front door. I
open it and the technician tells me I have to come look at this, he has
never seen anything like this, never, in all his 20 something years in the
business. I walk outside and the lake in my front yard is a brilliant
florescent green. The lake would be larger but it is drained by the
driveway and to Lake Tapps. Soon the little river running across the
driveway is florescent green. It only dissipates when it enters Lake Tapps.
retreats back to his van to call the office to find out what the office
wants him to do. I ask for his report so I can turn it into the County. He
tells me his office wants him to return with the report so they can hand
carry to the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department TPCHD. I tell him I
have a color copy machine in the house and I'd like a copy. He agrees.
You have to have
two things, and they are universal in the United States, to develop a piece
of property: 1. Adequate supply of potable water 2. Ability to remove
sewage. Lose either one and the property is uninhabitable. Just as Charlie
said. Driving to TPCHD that afternoon turned my brain to mush. Everything
I'd worked for all these years, everything I did to save the house was for
naught. Once I turned the report into TPCHD they would either condemn the
property or issue me an emergency order to evacuate my family.
I Turn My Dream
When I turned in
the Flowhawk report I was told by the receptionist that a manager wanted to
talk to me. Vergie Seabrook, RS "Environmental Health Specialist II" came
out from the back with a copies of septic system applications and the As
Built drawings and documents.
almost two hours talking to me about my septic system and other areas around
Lake Tapps with known septic system failures and problems.
In the beginning
Vergie wanted to know if we were still occupying the house. I told her we
were. She wanted to know when we planned to move out. I told her I wasn't
certain. She asked me since we had to move out if I would fill out an On
Site Septic system closure permit instead of the RSS report. She said
since I had to move out the system the system could be closed. She added
the closure permit is less than the RSS permit. I told her I wanted the RSS
permit. I told her Health had to tell me what to do to make the system
safe. That even if I move out the house will still have power which means
the pumps in the septic tanks will still pump sewage to the drainfield.
Even if we are gone, the septic tanks fill up with water because they are
under water. That the sewage will still surface in the front lawn and
travel to the lake. I tell her again I want the RSS report. She agreed to
process the RSS report and we moved on.
We looked at the
original application. It showed the drainfield and reserve drainfield being
adjacent to one another. The application was denied. Next we looked at the
approved and inspected design. The approved drainfield was in the same
location as the original design but the reserve was moved behind and the
house. We reviewed some report that accompanied the approved design. On
the report I noted the "high water" column was blank and then another
unusual fact. It was noted as a site restricting feature water from Lake
Tapps. I asked Vergie if the omission combined with the site restricting
feature was unusual. She said it raises red flags. Next we looked at the
As Built. The As Built showed the approved and inspected location for the
drainfield had been swapped for the reserve and the original approved and
inspected drainfield was now called the reserve.
I asked Vergie
how could the original approved and inspected drainfield could now be called
the reserve if it obviously couldn't function as the drainfield. She said
I asked Vergie
how could the drainfield be swapped for the reserve and then be called the
new reserve? She said contractors will make minor adjustments like moving
the drainfield a few feet in one direction or another which is why we
require As Builts to show the exact final location. Swapping isn't
something that is done. I tell her that we are looking at it having been
done so how could that have happened. She said this situation would have
triggered a new permit application along with an explanation. I asked if we
had all the documents. She went and looked in another location and said
this was it.
I asked her again
how this could happen. She said, "I knew the inspector for a long time, I
didn't know he was on someone else's payroll." Stunned at the honesty from
a Pierce County Public Servant I replied, "you said that not me." Then she
said yes, and I will say it again, "I knew him for a long time, I didn't
know he was on someone else's payroll."
wanted to know what I was going to do now. She wanted to know if we had
evacuated the house. I told her we were going to look at some houses over
the weekend on Lake Tapps.
Vergie told me
not to move back onto Lake Tapps. I asked her "why, I've always loved Lake
Tapps, I learned to water ski on the lake when I was a boy." She said she
"didn't want to see me go through this again." I told her not to worry, I
wasn't going to look at houses on Snag Island, we were thinking about Tacoma
Point. She said it again, do not move back onto Lake Tapps.
I asked her why?
She said because Lake Tapps is notorious for failed septic systems. I asked
her where the worst area was. She said Snag Island is impossible to get a
septic system to function. TPCHD didn't know exactly why, perhaps the fill
that was used when it was created.
I asked her about
Tacoma Point. She said Tacoma Point is extremely problematic because the
County has allowed contractors and homeowners to build driveways, sport
courts, garages and mother in law apartments over the drainfield and reserve
area. She said as soon as the drainfield fails, you'll be in the same boat
you're in now. My brain has still not accepted Pierce County truly lives up
to its mantra that it is the Last Frontier; it does what it wants, when it
wants, how it wants, no matter what.
So I ask Vergie
if she is kidding me. No she is not, Pierce permits structures to be built
on top of drainfields. I tell Vergie building anything over a drainfield
destroys it. I explain the bacteria needed to treat sewage has to have
oxygen and without it, the bacteria dies and the drainfield fails. I ask
her if Pierce has any idea of how many laws they are breaking and the risk
of financial ruin they put innocent citizens in by allowing this. She said
they know this.
I say, if Pierce
knows this, why permit it? Vergie quickly replies; REVENUE.
O.K. so if Snag
Island is out and Tacoma Point is out is there anywhere on Lake Tapps that
doesn't have problems with failed septic systems? Vergie replies, no. I
ask if there is anyplace that is better for failures than the others.
about Tapps Island being better than the worst of the other locations. She
told me some of the properties on Tapps Island have easements onto the golf
course for drainfields. So when one drainfield fails, the golf course just
digs up another one. So she said if I could find one with an easement it
might be o.k. She hands me her card and explains that before I consider
buying anything on Tapps Island to give her a call and she will take the
time to meet with me and go over all the properties as builts.
As I take her
card she says, but if you find a house on Tapps Island you'll have to deal
with the Tapps Island water. I ask her what that means. She says the water
that comes out of the taps comes from Lake Tapps and it often comes out of
the tap green like the lake. What? Then she adds that when they have to
add extra chlorine to kill the bacteria in the water, the water has been
known to turn peoples hair green.
My email follow
up with Vergia:
It was a pleasure to meet you today to discuss the Operation
and Maintenance Test performed by Flohawk on my property today. It
would have been better under different circumstances but it was somewhat
reassuring that you join the many who are "amazed" that this "ever
happened." As I explained you certainly aren't the first, I've had
engineers sit under the house for almost three hours just repeating the
same thing; "how in the hell did this happen? Why the hell did this
happen? Who the hell allowed this to happen!" And finally; "people
should go to jail over this."
Because it took almost two hours to discuss the
contradictions in the drawings, permits, omissions, site inspections,
incomplete reports, and today's Flohawk test results, I need to make
certain the Health Department understands completely what I expect it to
I transmitted all required paperwork and paid the fee
($215) for a Report of System Status (RSS) on my site septic
system. The house is for sale and the system was tested by an approved
Pierce County testing firm. The application was complete in every
detail to allow a "staff member from the Health Department's On-Site
Sewage Program" to visit my site and complete the inspection of my
system. I understand this will occur within ten business days from
today and it will be followed up by the written report faxed to:
253-572-9700 and an original mailed to the site address.
Although the house is listed for sale, we are still occupying it. As I
pointed out to Pierce Health and the EPA the house is very close to Lake
Tapps and the sewage being discharged to the surface may pose a health
risk to the public. Since I'm not an expert on sewage I trust the
judgment of the specialists of the Health Department and the EPA on the
Attached are several pictures of green dye test performed by
Flohawk. You can see the "lake" that was depicted on Flohawks report
and can understand why he was "blown away" that the dye came out
within a minute of the pump being activated. He is yet another site
visitor who has exclaimed, "I've never, ever seen anything like this,
ever and I mean never!"
Please have the staff member contact me at 206-604-7872 to
arrange the site inspection at least four hours prior to coming on site.
Thanks again, especially on the offer to help!
November 20, 2008
TPCHD sends Mr.
Howard and his witness (Meranda) to my house for a follow up inspection in
response to Flowhawks test.
Mr. Howard wants
to run the septic pump to see if any sewage comes out from under the wall.
His witness starts to put her boots near the wall. They both start staring
at what is clear, odorless water near the wall. They begin to conclude the
Flowhawk test was incorrect. I walk over and tell both of them that if you
want to see if there is flow and where the flow is coming from then take
your boot and cloud the water, like this.
I made the water
murky at the base of the retaining wall and within seconds you could see
where the clear sewage water was coming from. Mr. Howard's witness steps
out of the sewage. I ask her what's wrong? She says she isn't going to
walk in sewage. I ask her why is that a problem, you have rubber boots on?
She says it doesn't matter, she isn't going to walk in sewage. I tell her
my kids have played in that water, my dogs play and drink from it, myself
and my friends have walked through it barefoot.
By the time I
finish the exchange with her, the murky water becomes clear.
I asked Mr.
Howard what the County was going to do now? He said they were either going
to issue me an emergency order to evacuate but it was more likely they would
start the condemnation process.
At that moment I
finally lost my temper. I told him if his department in the County wasn't
aware of the problems with my property the department just down the street
from his sure in the hell did. King County Health has the records from
planning on every property in the County so this kind of colossal screw up
doesn't happen. Meeting my temper with his, Mr. Howard bellowed, the file on
this property is this THICK! I told him if it's that THICK maybe that
should tell you something! That perhaps a file that THICK is that THICK
because the property has problems! He told me he didn't have time to read
the file and he wasn't going to make time to read it. That if I wanted to
read it then go to TPCHD and get the file and read it myself. I told him I
appreciated the heads up and I would go and read it.
stepped in and both myself and Mr. Howard calmed down.
Next Mr. Howard
informs me he wants to repeat the same dye test Flowhawks just completed!
Why didn't he test the system a week ago instead of forcing me to wait and
hire a contractor off their "approved" list? I made the comment, decided to
calm down, and told him he could test anything he wanted.
removed the screws on the septic tank lid, opened it, and put in a couple of
drops of dye. I tell Mr. Howard I don't want to be here all day, put some
more dye in. Mr. Howard tells me he doesn't want the dye to get into the
lake. He adds the dye is extremely expensive. I ask him, seriously? Are you
really more concerned with an inert dye than raw sewage? Mr. Howard puts in
a few more drops. I ask him if he's ready for me to turn on the pump. I
turn it on and all four of us, my witness was also present, and walk over to
the lake in my front yard. Just as with Flowhawks test, within a minute the
front lawn started to turn florescent green. Soon, the dye colored water is
approaching the driveway on its way to the lake.
Mr. Howard starts
to quickly walk back to the car with his witness. I ask him where he is
going in such a hurry? He tells me he has seen enough. I ask him if he is
going to take any pictures. Mr. Howard tells me he doesn't have a camera!
I say, what? An inspector without a camera? Are you kidding me? He tells
me the County doesn't provide inspectors with cameras. His witness tells us
she has a camera. I ask her if she would take some pictures to document the
test. She walks back towards us and pulls out a small cellular phone! I
ask her if she has a real camera. She says it is a real camera. I holler
to Mr. Howard who now is in his car if I can get a card so I can send him
the pictures I plan to take with my camera. He tells me he doesn't have any
cards. I ask his witness, she doesn't have any cards either.
Mr. Howard was in
such a hurry to leave he left his "extremely expensive" dye behind and
failed to replace and secure the septic tank lid he removed.
That evening Mr.
Howard faxes a "Notification Memo." The subject line was "The Report of
System Status submitted on November 12, 2008 for this property cannot be
issued at this time."
Howard nor his witness Meranda had business cards or an email address for me
to send the pictures I took or a confirming email so I transmitted this to
Vergia at TPCHD:
We, myself and Mr. Wayne Needham met with Ron Howard and his assistant
Meranda, Pierce County Health Department this morning for the RSS
inspection. This is an overview of the 28 minute inspection:
I transmitted the 5-17-1994 Alpha Design Service drawing that shows
my lots are not suitable for an on site drain field. Mr. Howard
stated he had reviewed the drawing and understood my lot was never
supposed to have a drain field. I transmitted two 8-1/2” X 11”
photographs from Flohawks dye test. Mr. Howard said he already has
seen the pictures.
High water alarm on Septic System was tripped; visual and audio
alarms were flashing and buzzing.
Meranda went into the surfaced sewage containment area in my front
yard but and noted there wasn’t any water at the bottom of the
I turned on the sewage pump for her and Mr. Howard. Meranda could
see the water at the bottom of the wall but didn’t know where it was
coming from. I showed her if you disturb the dirt you can see the
flow of water. I started to cloud one section below the retaining
wall and I told her she could do the same where she was at. She
stated, “I’m not putting my foot in raw sewage.”
Mr. Howard noted the water was clear so he wanted to run a dye
test. He removed the pump chamber to put the dye in. Mr. Howard
noted to Meranda that the chamber was completely full.
I silenced the alarm so we could determine if the pump was running.
While we listened for the pump to turn on, I asked Mr. Howard if he
could hear the water running into the tanks. Mr. Howard said he
already noticed that. I pointed out to Mr. Howard the tanks, just
like the house are under water.
Mr. Howard used a small amount of dye solution because he didn’t
want the “dye in the Lake.” The flooded sewage area drains to Lake
Mr. Howard dosed the tank with dye and the results of the Flohawk
dye test were repeated. Within a minute the dye was surfacing from
under the retaining wall. Starting at the most Northeastern section
of the retaining wall. Within minutes the dye was surfacing around
the bottom of the retaining wall; at least eight visible streams
I requested the Inspectors photograph the areas of surfacing dye.
Mr. Howard did not have a camera. Meranda stated she had one and
went to the truck to get it.
Mr. Howard stated to us I have put the County “between a rock and a
Mr. Howard stated it was up to me to find a solution to the
problem. I explained to Mr. Howard again and was forced to
reiterate the engineering was completed by the developer who
illegally filled the property in 1994-1995. The site according to
the engineering and testimony to the Hearing Examiner was the site
was not suitable for an on site drain field, the property was to be
served by an off site remote drain field. Our current engineering
confirms the illegal fill and the subsequent fill from 1994-1995 and
more recent fill. Comparing the topographic survey from the Alpha
Survey to the one I transmitted to Pierce confirms the addition.
As I explained to Mr. Howard engineering cannot and does not alter
facts; it confirms them. The failed dye test confirms the original
engineering conclusion the site does not contain soils that support
a drain field. The illegal swapping of the permitted location of
the drain field for the reserve confirms the high water table, in
addition to the fill. My subsequent engineering tests conducted to
lift the house out of Lake Tapps and move it confirms the fill and
the water table.
Mr. Howard again brought up the above grade holding tank idea he
spoke about on his last site visit. We asked Mr. Howard how would
that work? The last water closets discharge piping is below Lake
Tapps and the ground water. Consequently the tank for the grinder
pump chamber would also be underwater. Not to mention I would need
a holding tank ~20’ X 20’ X 10.5’ tall if I only wanted it pumped
once a month.
Mr. Howard informed me that the RSS report would be faxed to me
today and will require I have engineering completed for a new and
suitable septic system and drain field.
The refusal to understand is mind boggling. While I understand the
County believes it is “between a rock and a hard place,” it is the one
who put itself there. No amount of money, time or engineering can or
will alter the facts. Suffering additional harm while Pierce attempts
to extricate itself from its rocks and its hard places is not my job.
If there is a permanent solution it is up to Pierce County to find and
implement it. My engineering team, septic system installers, septic
system designers, septic system engineers, septic system manufactures
representatives, and the Developer Petersen and his engineers, designers
and the Pierce County Hearing Examiner and the Pierce County Health
Department in 1997 don’t know of any, except a National Discharge
Meranda returned with a pocket phone to take pictures. Attached are
the pictures of the dye test Pierce County completed today with my
Attached are pictures of the whirlpool tub we have never used. I
filled it with water to show the “quality” of our well water since
it was also testified that a community well would be installed. We
do not have a community well, we have an individual well and with
the surfaced sewage, it is also a concern.
forward to the RSS report and Pierce County’s solution to the
immediate sewage problem and its short and long term solution.
November 21, 2008:
The next morning,
November 21st, I went to TPCHD to look through the 1" THICK file.
The very first
document in the file was a copy of the January 23, 1997 Hearing Examiner's
Report and Decision regarding my property. What I read on page two of the
report shocks my conscience to this day:
was Bob McElroy from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department who
reviewed the site under the six lot proposal.
Dave Stinson whose home is across the street from lot two. He is
concerned with lot one which is very wet and has been filled.
Approximately 50% of lot one is fill. Water puddles on
the site and his concern is with the septic drainfield. Will it be an
individual system? Failures have occurred in the area. He had to
obtain a winter perc for his house.
Reappearing was Mr. McElroy who stated that the best
soils are on the south portion of the parcel. Septic easements will be
provided on lots three and four.
Included in the
report and decision was a drawing, including soil tests from Alpha Design
Services dated 5-17-94 and stamped received by TPCHD on December 28, 1994.
showed lot 1 having a drainfield easement to lot 5 &6 and lot 2 had a
drainfield easement to lot 4. Lot 1 and lot 2 eventually became my lot.
Again I'm left
with how in the hell, why in the hell and who in the hell allowed this to
happen. However I don't have time to look for the answers because I have to
evacuate my family.
1st Moving Day -
November 22, 2008:
With the help of
many friends and a moving company we move into our first emergency shelter
beginning November 22nd. After 5 days of packing and unpacking we still
couldn't find our pots and pans to make Thanksgiving dinner.
Before the boxes
are unpacked and my friends warm up the Thanksgiving dinner for my family, I
shift focus from saving my house to finding out why it happened, how it
happened and how let it happen.
I send out numerous duplicate uncompleted public records
requests, Diane Braaten (Assitant to the Executive) becomes my single point
of contact for my public records requests. Ms. Braaten distributes my
requests to the "appropriate county departments."
On December 2nd, 2008 I met with Dennis Tone and Steve Marek
from Tacoma Pierce County Health at their office. Steve Marek is one of the
“Senior Public Health Managers,” and Dennis Tone is an “Environmental Health
Both Mr. Tone and
Mr. Marek were extremely combative. I wanted to know what ever happened to
the notice to evacuate? They said I already moved out. I wanted to know
the status of the condemnation proceedings. They said my system was
"failing." I pointed out that a failed dye test is prima facie evidence the
system has failed. I asked them about the Report of System Status, I wanted
to know what that meant. They went over when it's required, why it's
required and what it means. After the explanation, I asked them if I could
sell my house. They both said no. I explained that if my house is unsafe
for me to sell, then by default it is unsafe for my family. I told them I
would appreciate it if they would follow the law, no matter what it is.
I moved on and
asked them what could be done.
They attempted to dismiss the comments from the Health
department in the Hearing Examiners report. “Reappearing was MR. McELROY
who stated that the best soils are on the south portion of the parcel.
Septic easements will be provided on lots three and four.” They refused to
address the second sentence altogether. They attempted to construe the
“south portion of the parcel” being south portion of my lot.” We worked
through their refusal to understand that the south portion of the parcel was
actually the PARCEL which included (6) lots and the South portion of the
Parcel was on the most Southern Lots.
I showed them the topographic maps from Alpha Design
completed in 1994 (Attached to Hearing Examiner Report) and my recent one.
Both had the topo lines colored in. Alpha shows the lot after it had been
partially filled being essentially level---only 2’ difference in elevation
on the property. The Alpha topo also shows a considerable portion being
below the 545 lake level mark—Lake Tapps High Water Level. Contrasting that
to my topo survey and the lot has a 10’ elevation difference on the
property. In the area of the drainfield there was 5’ of fill placed between
5-17-94 and now.
They didn’t know how to respond to the drawings so they told
me to hire a “designer to design a functioning system.” I explained to them
that we had just established the site had been filled prior to the original
Alpha survey, by way of the Hearing Examiner Testimony, that shows a level
lot and that the site wasn’t suitable then for an on-site drainfield. Now
that an additional 5’ of fill was allowed by Pierce County, how can anyone
comply with the TPCHD requirements that the drainfield “must be designed and
installed in original, undisturbed, unsaturated soil and provide at least
minimal vertical separation as established in this regulation.” I then
pulled out that TPCHD regulation that requires a 3’ separation to the water
Mr Marek looked at the topo maps and started to do the
calculations in his head for the 3’ vertical separation. I explained to him
that we’d already demonstrated where he was looking was 5’ of fill which
doesn’t comply with the requirement of being “installed in original,
undisturbed, unsaturated soil.”
He then told me to hire a designer to come up with a suitable
design. I asked him if he was going to continue to break the law because
that is the only way I can get rid of the sewage—send it into Lake Tapps.
He became angry and told me I wouldn’t be allowed to break the law.
Mr. Tone then jumped in and repeated the hire a consultant
mantra. I told them they have the engineering, they have always had the
engineering and that engineering says the site isn’t suitable for an on-site
drainfield. The thing about soils and this site is that it is what it is
and at anytime anyone can confirm the facts. No amount of engineering can
overcome the fact that the site was illegally filled with illegally dredged
lake bottom material. It can and has proven the material is 8-10’ of fill
material. The Core Penetration Test, Traditional Boring Test and the
Topographic survey confirms the fill.
Pierce County admits it failed to transmit the "Wetland"
portion of the Cove Estates file in response to my public records request
for all documents relating to the third lot (picnic table lot) the developer
created. I made the initial request on March 26th! Over eight months of my
life, my family's life, our health and welfare, and tens of thousands of
dollars in expenses only to find out Pierce withheld the very documents I
was warned they would destroy! Only Pierce knows the extent of the
documents it has withheld or destroyed.
goes on to say my request for documents relating to the picnic table lot is
identical to my original March 26th request for Cove Estates. Oddly,
nothing in the Cove Estate file explains how the picnic table lot was
created or exactly what happened to it. It was mentioned in some documents
but when the documents began to focus only on my lot the trail evaporates.
December 8, 2008
In a December 8th
email from Dave Lenning, Manager, Washington Department of Health Mr.
Lenning states TPCHD inspected my on-site sewage system on December 2, 2008!
TPCHD again inspected your
on-site sewage system on December 2, 2008 and determined the system is
currently failing. ~
Department of Health
My family had evacuated the house on November 22nd, the house was vacant.
The property is enclosed with a 5' - 6' tall chain link fence and the
driveway has an 8' tall electric gate. No one from TPCHD contacted me to
set up an inspection. No one was at the house.
the notification that TPCHD trespassed to make a fourth inspection I went to
the house. I found part of the construction fencing I installed to keep
people out of the sewage in the front yard was torn down. I went to septic
tanks and the lid had been removed and not replaced. The screws I installed
to secure the tank lid the last time TPCHD inspected the system and failed
to replace the lid were laying beside the lid. Open for any animal or child
to fall into.
I repaired the fence and went to Tacoma Screw to purchase tamper proof
I told TPCHD that they are free to inspect the system, from now to eternity,
but they have to contact me first because I am concerned with the
liabilities they subject me to when they not only trespass, but destroy the
construction fencing I installed to keep people and pets out of the sewage
and then leave the septic tank lid off for any animal or child to fall into.
February 2nd 2009
arrangements for a joint site inspection of the septic system (State of
Washington Department of Health and TPCHD). I met with John M. Eliasson,
Washington State Department of Health. Mr. Eliasson brought along Mr. Tones
from TPCHD and another TPCHD inspector.
Mr. Eliasson and
TPCHD finally agreed the septic system had failed.
February 9, 2009:
Phipps, TPCHD Issue me a "Violation Notice" for a "Failed Septic System."
The notice requires I bring the violation into compliance or further legal
action may be necessary. She then advises me to contact her at 253-798-6058
if I have any questions or would like to schedule an inspection.
Since I do not
know how any mortal, let alone me, can create the code required "Native,
Undisturbed, Unsaturated Soil" for an on-site septic system I call Ms.
Phipps. I leave a message asking her to return my phone call.
February 17, 2009:
Phipps, TPCHD transmits the SECOND NOTICE regarding my "Failed Septic
System." I again call her and leave her a voice mail. Because she may
be an inspector who usually is only the office first and last in the morning
I call her first thing in the morning, in the afternoon and late in the
afternoon. Ms. Phipps never answers the phone.
February - June
Ms. Phipps and
TPCHD continue to transmit the Violation Notice because of my "Failed Septic
System." On the second page of the Violation Notice TPCHD states I "must
either promptly repair the failure or vacate the property." TPCHD knows
I've vacated the property so I'm curious if TPCHD has agreed to obtain a
Surface Water Discharge Permit from Department of Ecology for my property.
Ms. Phipps never
answers her phone, she never returns my dozens of phone calls.
May 13, 2009:
Tax Appeal Day
On May 13, 2009 I
finally had my first day in a quasi court with an impartial judge. Pierce
had two Assessor attend the hearing; Tom Rooney and his supervisor Cheri
Harrison. The hearing started off a little shaky because the judge read
about the difficulties I was having getting the documents from PALS. He
asked me if I was able to get the documents. I told him I haven't received
them. Then he started talking to us about continuing the hearing until I
had the documents. I told him I've been trying to get the documents for
over a year now without success, having more time will serve no purpose
other than delaying the hearing and I didn't want another delay.
He then looked
over at Tom and Cheri and asked them if they could get the documents for
me. Both said they could not. The judge wanted to know why not? They told
us they have been trying to obtain the documents for months without
success. The judge wanted to know what the problem was, it is an
interdepartmental exchange of public documents. They said the Assessor's
office is at odds with the departments and they don't think they will be
able to get the documents.
The judge then
asked the Assessor's if they thought an order from the State for the
documents would do any good. Before they could answer, he went on to say
who am I to think they will give the State the documents if they won't give
them to another department within their organization.
Then he asked the
Assessor's if they thought it was at an unfair disadvantage without all the
documents. The Assessor's agreed.
The judge then
asked if I was ready to proceed. I said I was. The Assessor's agreed to
In an odd moment
during the hearing, Tom Rooney who had worked on the appeal for months
recused himself mid way through the appeal.
concluded the house and property were worth less than zero because of ALL
the liabilities. Cheri said she didn't disagree however the system does not
accept negative or zero values. As a result the Assessor's office has no
way to track the property and it will fall off the tax rolls. If it falls
off the tax rolls then Pierce can do whatever it wants with the property.
The judge asks her what the minimum value the system will accept. $1,000 is
given as the minimum value.
The judge asks me
if I would stipulate to $1,000 on the property and $1,000 on the
improvements so it won't fall off the tax rolls.
I agree and sign
the stipulation forms.
As we are signing
the forms, the judge requests the Assessor to once again try to obtain the
documents. He requests both myself and the judge be notified if they are
successful and that a copy of documents be made for me. Cheri says that
they will try but I'll have to pay for the copies. I assure her paying for
the copeis will not be a problem. The judge asks that I update him on this
case because he is extremely interested. He tells me to send the updates to
the Board of Appeals with my case number and the correspondence will get to
As we were walking out Tom came up to me to
congratulate me. I thanked him for his honesty and told him Pam Roach and
her assistant Brian were extremely aggressive in trying to find out when the
hearing was and what Assessor was working on this case. I promised him I
didn't give them any information. I asked him if the reason he recused
himself was because of a call from Pam Roach or her assistant Brian. He
told me she didn't call but my Representative Shaun Bunney had. I again
thanked him for his honesty and again apologized for the pressures the
politicians put on him.
delighted part of my families battle was now over I was still furious about
the threats made to the only honest person I've come across anywhere in
Pierce County I wrote my Representative Bunney and Senator Roach the
Using your political position to influence witness testimony, against
me, in a judicial proceeding in an effort to “save” your “pet project,"
Save the Lake is beyond a legal layman’s ability to articulate.
Your comments on your pet project, Save The Lake, last night were almost
as enlightening as Mr. Bunney’s actions. It has the “potential to be a
model for the rest of the nation, made history.” Senator I suggest you
re-read my e-mail cautioning you from interfering in that same
Because both of you are most interested in yesterday’s proceedings, let
me be the first to tell you how they went. The State found in my favor.
My property on Snag Island was found to have a value less than $0.00 by
the State. Pierce County argued it was afraid that if it were given a
value less than $0.00 it would fall off the tax rolls and anything could
happen to it. For the purposes of tracking this property, we agreed to
a value of $1,000 for improvements (house is $0.00) and $1,000 for
The State asked Pierce County how it was going eliminate my liabilities
regarding my property. Pierce County did not have an answer yesterday
so I will ask his question today, how is Pierce County going to
eliminate my liabilities?
Senator if you would like to set up a meeting so we may sit down and
discuss this, let me know what day and times you are available.
Mr. Bunney never responded. Senator Roach responded, "
Please contact my office in Oly at 360-786-7660 if you have questions, but I
will no longer respond to messages that you send to my personal email."
Senator Roach had given me her home phone number and personal email address
because she wanted to help me. I never abused the privilege.
As of today I have never received any notification from the
Assessor's office that PALS transmitted the documents. To this day I have
no idea how many documents have been withheld or destroyed. Today I have
many more questions than Pierce County has answers for. Each time I manage
to get a document it inevitably contains discussions referring to additional
and supporting documents. What I've ended up with is a book's index that
refers to pages in the book that don't exist. And the book on sewers and
failed septic systems on Lake Tapps is extremely large. It starts in the
mid 1970's and goes through today. My problem is almost a footnote, at best
a small chapter, compared to the larger problem. The cast of characters is
also impressive. It includes; The EPA, DOE, HUD, COE, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife, State Fish and Wildlife, HUD, Washington State Governors, Pierce
County, King County, City of Kent, City of Bonney Lake, Pierce County
Council Members, Pierce County Executives, Engineers,
June 3, 2009:
Ms. Maggie Phipps finally and not coincidently returns my
phone call after tax appeal. Seven months
promised to start the condemnation process or issue an emergency order to
wants to know if the house is unoccupied. I tell her the house is
unoccupied but that the power and water is still on and that often there are
visitors to the house. Visitors who use the flush the water closets and
wash their hands. She says that is o.k. Next she wants to know if anyone is
washing dishes, taking showers or washing clothes. I tell her no one is
doing those things but that doesn't matter. The septic tanks are under
water much of the year and they fill up which causes the pump to pump the
sewage to the drainfield which then surfaces on the front lawn. She tells
me that that is fine because it's just recirculating lake water.
o.k. that raw sewage is surfacing in the lawn? She says it should just be
lake water. I tell her I'm not a health expert or a septic system expert
but the septic tanks are made out of concrete. Concrete is porous which
means the bacteria has a great place to grow and multiply.
I ask her
what TPCHD what happened to the promise that TPCHD would either start a
condemnation process or issue me an order to evacuate. She said she didn't
know. I asked her what TPCH plans to do now. She tells me she will
discuss this again with her boss. I tell her now that the Assessor has
valued the property and improvements as worthless then TPCHD should be freed
to follow the law. So I ask her again what is TPCHD going to do. She said
they will probably post a DO NOT OCCUPY sign on the property and then have
all utilities to the house shut off.
June 3, 2009:
TPCHD posts a
DO NOT OCCUPY sign on the gate. Utilities never disconnected.