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01/20/2011

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I had a vested interest to visit your website and read it. Specifically, this blog and the report: Comparative Analysis of Housing Cost and Supply Impacts of Sprinkler Ordinances at the Community Level, June 2009.
Although I cannot claim a statistically significant sample (I am just a sample of 1), but mine is a real-life story with real-life consequences. Recently, I wanted to move to a larger house (built in 2001) to allow my business (considered a cottage industry because it is run from the residence) to expand. I offered to buy the house, made commitments with construction crews for various modifications to the interior, and was looking forward to employing three people in addition to my family. Then, as I was going through the construction permit process, I was told that since I am adding a business to a residence, I will be required to install sprinklers in the entire house (not just the business part), make the house ADA compliant, and add firewalls to the building. The fact that my business is in no way dangerous or more prone to fire than a car parked in that same garage was not even considered – the only issue was compliance with codes, whether they made sense or not. In the end, I walked away from the purchase of the house, losing money and time, the sellers are in dire financial trouble, the construction crews don’t have a job, the three people from the community that I would have been employing will not have a job, the community will not have the product that I produce, and the town will not collect the taxes on my business, to mention just the obvious fall out. Somehow, I doubt that my case is unique…

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