An Oregon family is facing serious fines for building a $100,000 pool and patio on government land, reports Oregon Live’s Rachel Stark.
Troy and Gina Bundy of West Linn constructed the 1,100 square foot pool without a permit in October 2009 after then-mayor Patti Galle assured them they could out work the “formalities” later, according to court filings.
Too bad the city council felt differently and denied the Bundy’s application for a Water Resources Area permit.
To date, the couple has spent $50,000 on attorney’s fees, $2,500 on restoring a wetland behind their house, and paying a $3,000 fine from the Department of State Lands.
And they might spend even more. This month, the West Linn Police Department issued a $2,000/day retroactive citation for every day the pool is on the property, plus reimbursement for staff and legal fees.
The Bundy’s case underscores the importance of researching a property before building on it. Though the Bundy’s said they got an OK, they would have done better going one step further to research local pool regulations online.
Perhaps then they would have found out that the pool’s foundation needed to be a minimum distance from the government property line, and that the government had permanent access to the land.
And clearly, the couple should have applied for the building permit before constructing the pool. Whether a pool is above or below ground, all pool’s require a permit, with some requiring an additional electrical permit depending on whether there’s lighting and a pump.