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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Run for office and start firing some useless bureaucrats.

May 31, 2016 08:14 AM
Grace Hanamoto
Intero Real Estate - Sunnyvale, CA
Quality, Knowledge, Professionalism, Experience

The difficulty in working with Building and Planning Departments in any city or state is the reason one hires an experienced real estate attorney.  Modifications of the type you appear to be requesting are not only expensive, but it does take time.  Depending on your state (here in California, we have something called CEQA, California Environmental Quality Act) there may be legislation that mandates a specific waiting period, a special number of hearings, a specific communication method before any issue can be out of Planning to be brought to the City Council. And I have to tell you, from personal experience, the very last people you want to antagonize are the same people who will be (or not) recommending City approval on a change.

My recommendation, contact a few qualified real estate attorneys in your area, sit down and have a quick chat.  You can locate an attorney at or contact your local Bar Association.  Good legal advice will not only save you time, but money as well!  Good luck! 

May 31, 2016 07:32 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Do what it takes to get the elephant moving...... Good luck.

May 31, 2016 07:24 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

John Mosier I took a quick look at your General Plan and Land Development Code. It appears a Park Model is allowed in designated -MH zoning districts. It appears if you want to put one anywhere else it would require rezoning. I don't see where a FOIA woul help since zoning, special uses, etc. are specifically outlined in these documents. I think you will have a problem fighting city hall. Good luck with it

May 31, 2016 09:31 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Not sure FOIA applies to a local jurisdiction since it is a federal statute 

May 31, 2016 08:36 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
Avant Garde Residential Management Services - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

good read

Jun 17, 2017 07:43 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

FOIA alone will not do anything unless you can ACT on the data supplied.  Not to mention, they can redact stuff if needed, most of the time.


What you need is a REAL investigative reporter to do digging and take the story.  See the city of Bell in California.  The council was corrupt and taking huge bribes.  FOIA wouldn't have done anything alone, the reporter who broke the story and got it national attention, allowed for change to occur.


Same thing with our conceal carry permits in California.  Each County Sheriff's office issued them differently and several FOIAs were sent.  The state's gun groups filed the papers, reviewed the data and filed a suit against the state to change the way the rules were being applied (very inconsistently).  Again, requests alone will not do anything.

Jun 01, 2016 03:52 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393


May 31, 2016 11:24 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

parked and reading

May 31, 2016 10:07 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I have not used it.

May 31, 2016 09:47 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

I usually think of the FOIA as something that governs the federal government agencies - unless your state has one of it's own.  But I've never heard of needing it for access to property records.

May 31, 2016 12:30 PM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

I have decided to work through this by being as friendly as possible. I know lots of people in county government here. I came close to running for (R) party chair for our county.

May 31, 2016 11:42 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I deal with Development Services in my County (Mohave) a LOT. Reading some of the responses, your explanation, and especially Michael's answer, the best advice I can offer you is make a friend of the bureaucrats, your County Board of Supervisors and Development Svcs people. Bucking the general plan is probably an exercise in futility.
PS. Our County Ordinances which had been extremely antiquated, were just revamped and approved by our County Board of Supervisors this past December. Some great people that got elected to the Board spearheaded the effort. Get on the board or planning and zoning committee and attempt to make changes from within.

May 31, 2016 11:01 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

It's the way of the world now for any info from the city or county. If you really feel something is going on - why not send an email to one of those whistle blower TV stations & have them investigate.


May 31, 2016 09:29 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel


May 31, 2016 08:53 AM
Susan Laxson CRS
Premiere Plus Realty - Naples, FL
Realtor in Naples & Marco Island, FL

I have never felt the need to request one.

May 31, 2016 08:25 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

In Florida, we have the Sunshine Law.   Just about everything is Public Record, and easily obtainable. 

     The various Government Departments can charge a small fee to cover the cost of copying or scanning, and they can set a daily limit on the number of images or paperwork that you can get.

May 31, 2016 08:16 AM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

In NC, the building codes apply statewide regardless of urban or rural.

The developing process is a mixture of local and state rules across multiple departments and agencies.

Not sure what you are trying to get done, but check with the state to see what the rules are and how they are applied.

Making enemies with threats might get you elected but it won't help get a permit.

May 31, 2016 07:51 AM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Perhaps if you came out of hiding you might have better luck.

May 31, 2016 07:36 AM