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  1. #1

    Default Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    This is in Michigan.

    My neighbor put up what he calls a "Temporary Garage" which is about 25 x 35 feet long 10 feet in height at the sidewalls, without a permit. The building is on a gravel pad and is about 18 inches (sidewall) from our property line which has a boundry fence on it which we erected on our side of the property. We put up the fence due to encroachment and tresspassing issues. The overhange of the roof is about 8 inches from the property line and fence. The roof slopes so that the snow will fall on and over the east-west property line onto our property and on top of our fence. We had our property surveyed before we put up the fence and the survey markers are in place. There is one survey marker next to the building which the neighbor put up which I base my measurements for the building's distance from the property line. This building is within 500 feet of a body of water.

    We complained to the local building/zoning office about the building and the zoning department issued the neighbor a building permit retrospectively. I am baffled that the zoning office would issue a permit that would allow the roof to dump what will be tons of snow on my property and driveway and will crush our fence and any vehicle parked there. We have a steel building on our property and last winter the snow piles were at least 5 feet high and 8 feet across (compacted) where the snow basically slides off the roof with a great deal of force I have contacted the zoning office to ask them how they could retrospectively issue a permit for this building that will literally dump tons of snow on my property. Crickets. We contacted the neighbor and told them of our concern about the snow. They now run and hide whenever they see us. Advice please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    Quote Quoting Jean5720
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    This is in Michigan.

    My neighbor put up what he calls a "Temporary Garage" which is about 25 x 35 feet long 10 feet in height at the sidewalls, without a permit. The building is on a gravel pad and is about 18 inches (sidewall) from our property line which has a boundry fence on it which we erected on our side of the property. We put up the fence due to encroachment and tresspassing issues. The overhange of the roof is about 8 inches from the property line and fence. The roof slopes so that the snow will fall on and over the east-west property line onto our property and on top of our fence. We had our property surveyed before we put up the fence and the survey markers are in place. There is one survey marker next to the building which the neighbor put up which I base my measurements for the building's distance from the property line. This building is within 500 feet of a body of water.

    We complained to the local building/zoning office about the building and the zoning department issued the neighbor a building permit retrospectively. I am baffled that the zoning office would issue a permit that would allow the roof to dump what will be tons of snow on my property and driveway and will crush our fence and any vehicle parked there. We have a steel building on our property and last winter the snow piles were at least 5 feet high and 8 feet across (compacted) where the snow basically slides off the roof with a great deal of force I have contacted the zoning office to ask them how they could retrospectively issue a permit for this building that will literally dump tons of snow on my property. Crickets. We contacted the neighbor and told them of our concern about the snow. They now run and hide whenever they see us. Advice please.
    I don't think that there is going to be anything that you can do until there is some actual damage to sue him for. They gave him a permit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    Quote Quoting Jean5720
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    I am baffled that the zoning office would issue a permit that would allow the roof to dump what will be tons of snow on my property and driveway and will crush our fence and any vehicle parked there.
    Tons? I highly doubt that, unless you're talking about 20 years' worth of snow. I also seriously doubt that the snow will crush a car (unless maybe if you're talking about a Trabant or a Yugo). How much snow that fell off the roof and onto the fence during the winter of 2019-20, and what level of damage to the fence or any car resulted?

    And why do you think the snow that comes off the roof will do more damage to your fence than the snow that will fall on your fence naturally?

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    I don't think that there is going to be anything that you can do until there is some actual damage to sue him for.
    I agree, but you certainly can sent the neighbor a written notice that you consider the construction to be negligent and will seek to hold the neighbor liable for any damage that results.

    Also, what's to stop you from a higher fence so that all of the snow falls onto the neighbor's side?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    If you have not owned a building with a metal roof in an area that gets lots of snow you do not understand the physics of snow coming off a pitched metal roof. In our area it is not uncommon to get 6 inches of heavy wet snow. Snow sticks to the metal roof until there is a bit of melting then the snow next to the roof melts and all the snow on the roof tends to slide off at one time. The neighbor's building has a roof with a significant pitch so the snow will slide off when there is a bit of melting. You never design a building here to allow the snow to fall off a roof infront of your garage door, because your garage door will be buried. The roof is approximately 35 feet long and 16 feet wide near my driveway. An equal amount of snow will fall on the other side of the building. 6 inches of heavy wet snow weighs, according to FEMA, 21 pounds per sqare foot. So 35 x 16 feet is 560 square feet at 21 lbs per square foot is 11,760 lbs of snow that will slide off the roof at one time when the roof heats up. That is just shy of 6 tons. It is not uncommon to get a foot or more of snow here at one time. That is 12 tons of snow that will fall off the roof at one time. We average over 100 inches of snow a year. The snow when it comes off the roof is usually very compacted and icy and wil and has crushed cars and killed people. Building a higer fence will not stop an avalache of snow that will fall on my fence and drive way. This snow then freezes hard like a rock. The pile of snow that comes off will block my drive. The snow that falls, falls on the ground that is already has snow on it. It is a huge dangerous problem. If someone happens to drive by when the snow decides to slide off the roof, you can all of a sudden find yourself under tons of heavy icy snow. I am sure there are You Tube videos of snow coming off metal roofs that can help you understand the danger of the situation. It is very difficult here to find someone who will plow the snow that falls off the metal building unless they have really heavy equipment and that will damage my driveway.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    Quote Quoting Jean5720
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    I am baffled that the zoning office would issue a permit that would allow the roof to dump what will be tons of snow on my property and driveway and will crush our fence and any vehicle parked there.
    The zoning office DID NIT issue a permit "that would allow the roof to dump what will be tons of snow on my property and driveway and will crush our fence and any vehicle parked there."

    The zoning office issued the permit because the building apparently met building code and setback requirements.

    The consequences to your property are yours to address when and if they happen. Written notice to your neighbor now would be helpful if you have to sue for damage later.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    I guess I am amazed in snow country there would not be zoning or building codes that would address this issue. Not only will I have property damage from the falling snow, I will also have to remove the snow to get to my garage. Is there any way I can prospectively put my neighbor on notice that he is responsible for the cost of snow removal of his snow? I have no where to put the snow that falls from his roof. I would have to take down my fence to have it plowed back onto his property. He is not here in the winter and I don't think he has a clue about how much snow will fall off his roof. Not only will I have a snow removal problem, but if the snow stays on my property and melts I will have a flooding issue in the spring which I do not have now. I will take this issue up with my attorney in a few weeks. I have some paperwork to chase down and pictures to take so that my attorney understands the issue. I need to get a copy of the neighbor's building permit, my survey. Anything else I should discuss with him? Should I discuss this with my insurance carrier as I am sure there will be claims in the spring. My fence will not handle the snow load.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    149

    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    Quote Quoting Jean5720
    View Post
    If you have not owned a building with a metal roof in an area that gets lots of snow you do not understand the physics of snow coming off a pitched metal roof. In our area it is not uncommon to get 6 inches of heavy wet snow. Snow sticks to the metal roof until there is a bit of melting then the snow next to the roof melts and all the snow on the roof tends to slide off at one time. The neighbor's building has a roof with a significant pitch so the snow will slide off when there is a bit of melting. You never design a building here to allow the snow to fall off a roof infront of your garage door, because your garage door will be buried. The roof is approximately 35 feet long and 16 feet wide near my driveway. An equal amount of snow will fall on the other side of the building. 6 inches of heavy wet snow weighs, according to FEMA, 21 pounds per sqare foot. So 35 x 16 feet is 560 square feet at 21 lbs per square foot is 11,760 lbs of snow that will slide off the roof at one time when the roof heats up. That is just shy of 6 tons. It is not uncommon to get a foot or more of snow here at one time. That is 12 tons of snow that will fall off the roof at one time. We average over 100 inches of snow a year. The snow when it comes off the roof is usually very compacted and icy and wil and has crushed cars and killed people. Building a higer fence will not stop an avalanche of snow that will fall on my fence and drive way. This snow then freezes hard like a rock. The pile of snow that comes off will block my drive. The snow that falls, falls on the ground that is already has snow on it. It is a huge dangerous problem. If someone happens to drive by when the snow decides to slide off the roof, you can all of a sudden find yourself under tons of heavy icy snow. I am sure there are You Tube videos of snow coming off metal roofs that can help you understand the danger of the situation. It is very difficult here to find someone who will plow the snow that falls off the metal building unless they have really heavy equipment and that will damage my driveway.
    Speaking of avalanches how about this riveting, tear-jerking cascade? Is there a violinist handy?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    Another example of a guy in need that comes here for advice and just gets jacked around by the EL Clique.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves...but it clear that you enjoy doing this to folks.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Another example of a guy in need that comes here for advice and just gets jacked around by the EL Clique.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves...but it clear that you enjoy doing this to folks.
    And another case of you not providing any commentary other than to rail against other users.

    I do questions that math and the variable supplied by the OP. What that means is that the roof of this building will support my 3/4 ton diesel pickup (scales out empty at 3.5 tons), fully loaded, if I park it on the roof. I just don't buy it.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building Permit a Neighbor Put Up a Steel Garage Snow Dumps on My Property

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    And another case of you not providing any commentary other than to rail against other users.

    I do questions that math and the variable supplied by the OP. What that means is that the roof of this building will support my 3/4 ton diesel pickup (scales out empty at 3.5 tons), fully loaded, if I park it on the roof. I just don't buy it.
    I can believe that heavy, wet snow could weigh 21 lbs per square foot. However, lets say that it only weighs 5 lbs per square foot. That still works out to 2800 lbs or 2.8 tons and that could still do serious damage if it slides down all at once. That is about a shovel full of snow and that easily can be 5 lbs or more wet and heavy.

    If not wet and heavy snow then its not going to even weigh 1 lb.

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