The City of Oroville started a new program offering amnesty for people who didn't get permits for building projects — even going back a few decades. The program began June 1st, 2011 and will run through September 30th.
The Building Amnesty Program is an opportunity for property owners to apply for building permits for buildings, additions and remodels that were not previously permitted. The program also applies to past projects done without a permit.
One incentive for property owners to participate in the program is that many lenders now require proof of permits, so this is an opportunity to make a property more saleable and thereby increase its value.
The benefits of the program include:
* No double building permit penalty fee.
* Use of codes in effect at the time of construction. For example, if an unpermitted building addition was made in 1999, codes in effect that year can be applied to the new permit.
* No civil penalties assessed for site development work without permits.
* Removal of recorded Violation for Noncompliance on a property's files.
* Assignment of a staff member to assist the property owners through the application project.
The amnesty program applies to unpermitted construction work or an unpermitted commercial occupancy within incorporated limits of the city
The program only applies to uses allowed within the zoning classification of the parcel. For example, if someone converted a garage illegally into an auto repair shop in an area zoned residential, the program won't apply.
Building official Craig Griesbach says the city will attempt to expedite any permit applications from the program as quickly as possible. "This is designed to help the city, clear properties and give people an opportunity to make everything right and code compliant," he said.