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September 13, 2013
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Constitution violated by code enforcement

I read in The Union on Aug. 24 where Nevada County CEO Rick Haffey justified the unconstitutional U.N. Agenda 21 mandates — reflective of the New World Order and International Building Codes — being shoved down our throats as something that we just “don’t understand.”

Going back 20 years ago, a county judge threatened my 80-year-old mother with jail if she didn’t get a permit to finish the cabin that my dad left unfinished, which she had put $12,000 into. It was either that or the county said that it would have to be demolished.

The board of supervisors literally said, “I ate it.” To them the standing structure was a “health and safety” hazard, but after it was demolished, the wreckage was a splintered pile of sheet rock, roofing, and lumber, which was “no longer” a health and safety hazard and which my mother received no just compensation for. The entire debacle ended in it being an outright “taking.”

Then, just a few years ago, CDA mandated that I tear down my unpermitted model railroad shed that was a “work in progress” for 15 years, which was within the arbitrary 100-year flood plain. But why? Only because I became a target for more of their harassment. So this is Haffey’s answer to CDA’s “workable” favors?

Taking this a bit further, my life’s ambition was to build a model railroad, using the contour of the land, with any money I could spare. I hand-laid hundreds of feet of track and built trestle bridges, and by 2006, the project was 80 percent complete.

Then, from 2007 through 2009, Code Enforcement with their heavy handedness, and with the help of the courts, claimed that I was once again in violation of their codes.

But they were in violation of my natural property rights and were administering cruel and unusual punishment, along with financial burdens, and put me under extreme duress for a man in his 70s, no less.

After code enforcement took all that I had, along with my hobby, I had to sell my tractor, which was a vital tool needed on my mining claim. So with that money, I paid for a new septic system, surveyors, permits and lawyer fees.

But if that wasn’t enough, they threatened to evict me from my house if it was determined the structure was within the 100-year flood plain. They forgot that the entire Sacramento Valley is on a vast flood plain while my property is protected by two flood-control dams.

To make matters worse, I had to sell 95 percent of my real estate for $100,000 to pay for lawyer fees, just to save my house. I still owe $63,000 on top of that.

Nevada County did me no favors nor did they offer me an olive branch. Other counties have given amnesty to property owners in these cases. I see no justice whatsoever with CDA, which implements Agenda 21 mandates such as “common good,” sustainability, smart growth and social justice. This collective thought is reminiscent of socialistic tyranny.

In summary, Rick Haffey refers to a gentleman and his unpermitted guest cabin, which is well above Squirrel Creek, and not Deer Creek. I know the person and I have been in the log cabin, which is a very strong, well built and cozy place. To demolish this structure would be a travesty of justice.

Due process? Give me a break — it is “due coercion.” Code Enforcement is obviously in violation of the Constitution and runs counter to the legal jurisdiction that is clearly not compatible with the office of the sheriff.

How many county administrators have received their citations of noncompliance? How many fines have been placed on their tax rolls? Hello? Or are they all above the law?

James L. Butler lives in Penn Valley.


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The Union Updated Sep 13, 2013 12:22AM Published Sep 13, 2013 12:22AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.