James Carey and Morris Carey, known as the Carey Bros., are nationally-recognized experts on home building and renovation. They share their 70+ years of experience as award-winning, licensed contractors with millions of people nationwide through a weekly radio program and syndicated newspaper column both titled On The House,
www.onthehouse.com, were advocates during the Oakland Hills fire in the early 1990's, and have volunteered to help our community. Community Hands Project is preparing to call for a 20%-25% reduction in the total cost of the permitting process (top down.) Another part of our proposal is to allow residence, who decide to rebuild, an opportunity to finance their permitting fees through their property taxes. This will bring a guaranteed revenue for the city/county, as well as help the victims of the fire get back to their normal lives in a quick and streamlined manner. The city needs to understand the difficulty it is adding to the already painful process of rebuilding a lost life, by making this such a costly, and skewed process for victims who are already down on their luck.
There are more issues than just permit fees. The city has adopted the latest electric code which will cost homeowners at least $10,000 more than the old code. Also, the city wants every house fire sprinkled. This, in itself, will cost each owner a minimum of $5,000. City fees at 10,000, electric at 10,000 and fire sprinklers at 5,000 - we're talking $25,000 per resident. The assistant city manager told us, "We can't change the electric code, it is the state law." That's not true, the city adopted the latest code and can un-adopt it. The last code was safe. We do believe in fire sprinklers, but with $15,000 in non-insured charges where are victims going to get the money. Also, by getting together as a community, owners will get fair settlements from the crooked insurance companies.
As a community, we need to become a powerful group. This means all the neighborhood groups must get together and meet and organize. The Carey brothers will attend the meetings and reflect on what the Oakland fire victims did. We must immediately band together.
The Carey Brothers will help on their radio show with any announcements.
If you belong to one of the community groups organizing to rebuild, or if you know of any groups, please contact us soon, as this matter must move forward with God's speed.
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