I received the Construction Mitigation Plan and As-Built a couple days later. While I wasn’t quite sure what the process of the Mitigation Plan was, I knew that the mitigation plan occurred over a 5 year period starting with the construction start date of January 11, 2010. The builder and I were both surprised that they decided to change the date to permit signoff. Nice–that adds a solid eleven months to the process. The City threw in another nice curve, too: “Could you pretty please put up a cash bond on the survival of the plants? That’d be nice, or we’ll withdraw our conditional approval of the permits.” Ken the builder had built a couple dozen homes in Sammamish over the years, all of them with Construction Mitigation Plans. This was the first with a survival bond on plants.
I gotta say: after months of building a house and getting it ready to live in, I was feeling a little strapped, Jack. I was also exhausted, frustrated, and hadn’t really had time to take it all in. There just wasn’t any fight in the dog. I opened the account, notarized the paperwork, deposited my five grand. Y-e-a-h. You read that right.
Along with the Plan, the As-Built, and the bond paperwork came a very short outline of requirements: hand weed and water the plants as necessary; fertilize; and have an annual inspection by a City-approved third party service provider to ascertain “100% survival in the first year, and 80% over five years.” Attached was a letter from the Mitigation Planner to the City, “thanking them for letting them work for them,” and a 5-year contract made out to the builder for inspection services: $4,000.00, payable up front.
Number one: I PAID for their previous services. Where is my thank you? And B: I’m not signing the contract because it isn’t made out for me, and I sure as hell am not going to pay you 4 G’s in advance for coming back to say, Yep they’re alive or Nope, they’re dead, better plant some more; and Three: you ‘ve given me every evidence that you are not good at your job.
I appreciate the City’s willingness to pimp out a contractor, and as a businessman, I applaud the Mitigation Planner’s imperviousness to responsibility, liability, or customer service. Gotta get me a new job. But can a government body REALLY force you to pay a third party for services the government requires? There may me a limit to statutory authority there…guess I’m gonna find out.