NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Neighbors in The Nations have seen tremendous growth in the past few years with new buildings popping up on every street, but this week it was revealed that up to 85 homes recently completed or under construction could be in violation of their building permit.
The issue comes in when you look at the setbacks for property. On each building permit, a setback is established to let builders know how close they can build to property lines and other buildings, but in the situation at hand, those setbacks were intruded upon, and it was not caught by the inspector from codes for that area.
"It should have been caught at least during the framing inspection," Bill Herbert, zoning administrator for Metro Codes, said.
While the inspector missed the potential violations, the builder is also at fault, according to Herbert. "There's joint culpability here because when a builder receives a building permit, the face of the permit has the appropriate setbacks, and you cannot intrude into those setbacks."
From Metro Codes' perspective, it's all about safety, specifically fire safety. If builders are too close together, a fire could more easily jump from one to another, and that's why the issue needs to be addressed.
"That's the most important thing here is safety for the people who are living there, and we want to make sure that occurs," Herbert said.
After hearing the news, homeowners were left waiting to hear whether their properties would need to be fixed.
"It's a little concerning; however, there has been some communication with our builder with some of our residents. He also built their homes as well," Bradley Johnson, homeowner of one of the homes potentially impacted, said. "He's a standup guy, and he's going to take responsibility."
Representatives with Metro Codes said that while they believe their inspector made a mistake in addition to the builders, it will be on the builders to fix the issues.
"We have a four-year time period from the date of issuance of the permit in which the codes department requires the builder to comply with all applicable codes," Herbert said.
Herbert went on to say that builders who were in violation and need to fix a home will be contacted directly, and most homes should be able to be fixed by replacing material to make it more fire resistant rather than having to saw part of the house off.
Metro Codes officials provided the following list of properties that could potentially be in violation: