Home > Land Use > Treehouse gets exemption

Treehouse gets exemption

The family in Jacoby Creek will not have to tear down their treehouse or pay for an expensive permit after all.  Supervisor Mark Lovelace reports on Facebook:

After visiting the site with me on Monday evening, Community Development Director Kirk Girard was able to determine that it qualified for an administrative exception on the grounds that its impact was de-minimus, or inconsequential. Once we visited the site we were able to resolve the issue in less than 24 hours.

EARLIER: Treehouse family stumped at order to tear down

  1. Goldie
    February 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Glad to hear this.

  2. Carla Baku
    February 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Mrs. Cravitz’s bloomers are in a hot bunch now, I reckon.

  3. 69er
    February 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    All is well that ends well. There is still some common sense in local officials decisions if they are given half a chance before being ripped apart for simply acting on a complaint or inquiry.

  4. Ponder z
    February 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Kirk only relented, very carefully, because the public eye is on him, in his decision making. Good thing Mark was there to hold his hand.

  5. tra
    February 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Hooray for common sense!

    And special thanks to 3rd District supervisor Mark Lovelace for his intervention.

    It’s too bad that the original inspector didn’t recognize a “de minimus” situation when he/she saw it. Seems like that might have saved the family a fair bit of angst, not to mention saving the Planning Department some embarassment. Hopefully this case will serve as a learning experience in the event that a similar situation arises in the future.

    While it’s hard to know for sure, it seems unlikely that the outcome would have been the same if the family had just meekly gone along with the initial demands from the Planning Department. I think this situation shows the importance, and the potential effectiveness, of speaking up — and if necessary contacting your elected representatives — when you believe that you’re being treated unfairly.

  6. Anonymous
    February 8, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Bull shit. Hooray for Mark running for re election or these kids would be up a creek with out a coho. No matter that these fools are even in office or have a job, at least the tree house will stand. It’s to damn bad that this crap is rampent in our county and this PR success doesn;t wright this sinking ship.

  7. tra
    February 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm


    I agree that it should never have had to come to this. But, credit where credit is due, once the situation came to his attention, Lovelace intervened and helped bring about an appropriate resolution. And I doubt it was just for re-election purposes, because frankly I don’t think he’s really in much jeopardy there anyway.

    But I do think that this incident seems sort of emblematic of the overreaching posture that our Planning Department has developed a reputation for (a reputation that, in my opinion, they have earned). And at some point responsibility for that situation does come back to the leadership of the Planning Department, in the person of Mr. Girard. Of course it’s the Board of Supevisors who is responsible for that choice of leadership — they’re the ones who hire and (at least in theory, fire) the Director of the Planning Department — so in that sense the responsibility for the overall attitude of the Planning Department staff does come back to the Supes, including Mark Lovelace.

  8. tra
    February 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Just for the record, I have no idea why the word “agree” in my last comment is showing up as a link to some kind of spammy advertisement. I don’t think it was anything I did.

  9. tra
    February 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Oh, and now it’s not doing that anymore. Weirdness.

  10. February 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Weird, tra. That’s a first.

  11. 69er
    February 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    What would have happened if the inspector had just shined the issue on and ignored the complaint? He would have had his tit in the wringer for sure. I am glad also that it turned out as it did, but when you’re working for the public you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t. Been there and done that, don’t recommend working for the government in any kind of authoritative capacity to anyone other than those with very thick skins.

  12. tra
    February 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm


    FYI, I just saw the same thing happen on someone else’s comment on the Lost Coast Outpost, which uses the Disqus commenting system. Again, the mysterious spamlink disappeared after refreshing the page.

    When you hover over the word in question, which appears (at least in my browser) like a normal blue, underlined hyperlink, it pops up a spammy little box that says “click here for (something or other)…powered by (something or other).” I failed to note exactly what the ad was for or who it was “powered by.” If it show up again, I’ll take note.

    Just ran my virus scan (Trend Micro Internet Security Pro) and it didn’t find anything on my end… If I see it again, I’ll check it out more carefully. I just found it kind of annoying that my own text was being turned into a spammy ad, without my consent or involvement.

  13. February 9, 2012 at 12:03 am

    .Sadly in Humboldt, these sell-outs are the ‘enviro’ faction.
    Sad spineless little shits to the core.

  14. Just Watchin
    February 9, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I was surprised that no one blamed this whole thing on George W. Bush.

  15. Mitch
    February 9, 2012 at 6:56 am

    You know who’s fault this is: George W Bush, that’s who!


    It would be very sensible for the public to complain if the inspector “shined it on.” But any inspector with half a brain could and should have filed a report, complete with whatever sort of documentation is required, demonstrating his or herself that this was a de minimus situation. If the inspector was afraid of his managers, he or she could have simply included a recommendation that the complaint be dismissed in whatever report they did, leaving the actual decision higher up the chain.

    It’s sad that it apparently required intervention by Lovelace before sanity became involved, and it speaks very poorly of whatever managers were involved. But it does make it far more understandable when I hear complaints about brain-dead decisions by the County.

  16. G Gilbert Yule
    February 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I would like to add my thanks to Mark Lovelace and Kirk Girard for making the effort to correct this obvious breakdown in the way Eureka handles code enforcement.

    In addition I would also like to thank the Times Standard. Without the TS giving this situation space in the paper I doubt it would have outraged the citizenry with its stupidity as much as it did and thus prompting this action by our local officials .

  17. February 9, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Tra, I checked the HTML in your comment and there was no additional code in the text. Could it be your browser?

  18. Mark Lovelace
    February 9, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Thanks Gilbert. Unfortunately I learned about this the same way everybody else did: Through the newspaper. The story broke when I was on my way to DC, so I wasn’t able to meet with the Robinsons until I came back. This gave the story plenty of time to circulate and become a much bigger issue than it ever needed to be. In the future, I would encourage anyone with an issue like this to call their Supervisor. Simple and reasonable solutions are possible, even when government is involved!

  19. Eric Kirk
    February 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Amazing that a problem gets solved and some people are still so grumpy about it.

  20. longwind
    February 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I’d be happy to introduce you to several dozen people treated with similar stupidity, and additional brutality, by code enforcement, who went to their Supervisors with conclusive evidence of forged warrants, abuse of authority, and absence of supervision. They got a Task Force convened to investigate, and made 17 unanimous recommendations, and many others.

    The report was sat on for two years, then shat on. As the naysayers say, just sayin’.

    Have a great re-election, Mark!

  21. Anonymous
    February 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Politics only to help a corrupt person get re elected. Lovelace would screw over anyone in any other dst to further his anti growth, socialist views. The fact that he had to get in a back room deal with Komrad Kirk to make this go away should tell everyone that Humb. Co planning and Marks support of their corruption is totally out of control. Kirk needs to go. Mark needs to go.

  22. Eric Kirk
    February 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy.

  23. walt
    February 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Didn’t see any handrails for the kids. . .Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!

  24. Anonymous
    February 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Almost half the regular anonymous commenters on these blogs are police officers. Food for thought.

  25. February 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Haha, Eric…maybe you don’t hear it but the same old tired rhetoric is coming from the left too. Too bad most of you on this site don’t hear it and won’t ever get it. Baa, Baa…

    As far as I am concerned, most of you are just as entrenched in your views as 2:46. But yet somehow different and better huh?

    Try taking a step to the middle, and try seeing things from somebody elses perspective. Its good for you, kinda like a bath for the mind and soul.

  26. February 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Back room deal? That’s what you call a stump 85 feet from a creek in Bayside? With local papers, radio stations and blogs watching? Please!

  27. Anonymous
    February 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    come on h old girl, it’s all Arkleys fault. PLEASE! indeed.

  28. February 9, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Thank God Arkley is standing up fer yer rights there Jim Bob.

  29. Anonymous
    February 10, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    just like h-girl is standing up for yours conrad!

  30. February 11, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Mark Lovelace says:
    February 9, 2012 at 8:20 am
    Thanks Gilbert. Unfortunately I learned about this the same way everybody else did: Through the newspaper. The story broke when I was on my way to DC, so I wasn’t able to meet with the Robinsons until I came back. This gave the story plenty of time to circulate and become a much bigger issue than it ever needed to be. In the future, I would encourage anyone with an issue like this to call their Supervisor. Simple and reasonable solutions are possible, even when government is involved!

    Mark, does this mean that 100′ riparian setbacks are now
    to be interpreted as 85′ setbacks? OR
    Does it mean that if you build in a riparian setback, make sure you call
    your cabin a ‘kid’s tree house’ and you can build anywhere?

    How was DC? Get any more cash to destabilize our coastline?
    Maybe you could provide “simple and reasonable solution” to our now ‘non-functioning wetlands.’
    vegetation removers have been so careless,
    that our coastal forests are in peril; fox, rabbit and bobcat are gone and
    erosion is out of control. De minimus?
    Is this any way to prepare Humboldt County for relative sea-level rise? OR
    Increased intensity of storms? Seems backwards and unnecessarily cruel to me.

  31. Anonymous
    February 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Lovelace is a classic example of the little man syndrome. Hgirl is a true believer and loves the kool aid.

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