Supervisor Bill Horn’s home addition still not up to code - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Supervisor Bill Horn’s home addition still not up to code

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) -- When you build a home addition, you have to foot the bill for building permits and pay your fair share of property taxes.  The law is supposed to apply to everybody.

But San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn still hasn't completed his building permits on home construction projects he began more than a decade ago.

It has been six years since CBS News 8 investigated building permits on Supervisor Horn’s ranch on West Lilac Road in Valley Center.

Horn constructed two room additions onto his garage – totaling more than 800 square feet – without getting the required permits.

His now-collapsed driveway retaining wall and water pump house also were built without permits, according to county inspection records.

Horn initially said he was going to fix the problem.  “It may take several months to get the necessary permits and I apologize to my constituents,” he wrote in a 2010 statement to CBS News 8.

But that was six years ago and his building permits still are not complete.

“It certainly raises the specter of an ethical issue that should be reviewed properly,” said Mark Jackson, a member of the Valley Center Community Planning Group.

Jackson offered his personal opinion about Bill Horn's incomplete permits.

“The requirement for any homeowner in the county is if you're going to make an improvement you file a permit, you get inspections, and you get it done in a timely manner,” explained Jackson.

In the wake of CBS News 8’s 2010 investigation, Supervisor Horn did file for the required building permits and he paid thousands of dollars in back taxes when his property was reassessed.

But as soon as the controversy died down, Horn let his building permits expire in 2014 and he never brought his construction up to code, records show.

Horn declined to be interviewed on camera for this report but issued a short written statement via email.

"This is work in progress,” Supervisor Horn wrote.  “I am not in violation.  Assessments and property taxes are current and paid in full."

No code enforcement action has been taken against Supervisor Horn.

San Diego County Planning and Development Services recently inspected the property in response to a code enforcement complaint and found no safety concerns.

Planning department spokesperson Alex Bell emailed CBS News 8 the following statement regarding the inspection of Horn’s ranch:

 “On April 22, 2016, staff from Planning and Development Services visited the site. Staff found the building to be in the same condition as the last inspection; there are no immediate safety concerns. The driveway is considered an existing driveway, therefore there are no requirements to upgrade or widen the driveway to current County standards.

A codes case was not opened, as the expiration of permits does not activate a code enforcement case. It would become a code enforcement case if there were safety concerns, or if we learn the property owner is continuing to construct without renewing his or her permits.”

     

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