Tax assessor inspects Bill Horn’s unpermitted room addition - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Tax assessor inspects Bill Horn’s unpermitted room addition

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By David Gotfredson

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (CBS 8) - Tax assessor and code enforcement officials conducted a site visit July 6 of an illegal room addition built on the Valley Center ranch of county supervisor Bill Horn. The inspection is detailed in a county code enforcement file at the Department of Planning and Land Use in Kearny Mesa.

The records show a code enforcement case file was opened June 30 when a complaint was filed following a News 8 investigation exposing the illegal room addition. On June 24, News 8 aired helicopter footage clearly showing the garage and room addition, which added more than 800 square feet of improvements to Horn's property.

The two-story addition includes a three-car garage on the bottom floor, and a recreation room on the top floor, according to plans Horn recently filed with the building department. Because the addition was built without permits, Horn's property was not subject to a tax reassessment.

Horn may now face thousands of dollars in permit and inspection fees, and property tax reassessments. The county says Horn will not be fined if he obtains the required building permits.

The July 6 site visit to Horn's ranch included five individuals: a tax assessor supervisor, an appraiser, a building supervisor, a code enforcement coordinator, and the architect hired by Bill Horn, according to a record log obtained by News 8. A final code enforcement report – which may or may not result in a notice of violation being filed on the property – still is not complete, officials said.

On July 1, Horn filed plans showing the room addition "as built" and a permit application for the addition, a retaining wall, and a pump house roof. Planner and structural approvals are still pending. The building permit process will determine whether changes need to be made to the room addition to bring it up to code.

The North County supervisor is facing a runoff election challenge in November. Vista city councilman Steve Gronke is running against Horn for the 5th district seat.

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