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Boat Barn:  Placement and Location

Barn Home Page

Boat Barn Location Proposal

The original thought I had in my mind for the boat barn involved placing it in a partially wooded area behind where I've been storing boats ever since I moved into this house.  This seemed like an ideal place because it was relatively close to the house and garage, the access for trucks from the road was straightforward and easy, and it was where I was used to working.

The problem was that the access--and the spot where I've always stored boats--is above my septic leech field.  This presents a problem for heavy vehicle traffic.  Frankly, the ground is so hard in the area that I never gave the thought of whether or not I should put the boat there any serious consideration, till I started thinking of the boat barn.  I knew the road access would probably present an issue, but I didn't know if it was something that could be practically dealt with, or whether it was a deal-breaker.

It turned out to be the latter.  Everyone I talked to--builders, and especially excavators--immediately mentioned that it was a problem, and were amazed that I'd been putting boats there for years.  Much as I wanted to fight it and try for a workable solution, I knew it was futile.  I'd never get any knowing contractor to work on or drive over the spot, and there's no way to hide the fact--not that I want to, mind you.  The prospect of heavy concrete trucks and lumber trucks driving over it during construction was probably the biggest argument in favor of choosing a different site; I was hardly worried about 2 boat truck trips a year or so, when they'd already been backing over the leech field for 7 years.

With my "ideal' location  out of consideration, I had to figure out some sort of new plan.  My first thought was to build the barn in a similar location, but to create the access around the other side of the house.  This would have involved basically cutting the backyard in two with a driveway--something I didn't really want to do.  Finally, I settled on a second site at the other edge of the backyard, more or less at the other back corner.  It looks like it will be a good site--the barn can be placed mostly in some high brush that grows up in the summer, and it will block the view of a house that got built behind us a few years ago.   The location is a little less convenient for house access, and further from the road, necessitating a 190' driveway.  More cost, of course.  Still, I think it will end up ultimately being an excellent location.

Standing in the same basic spot as I was in the photo above, I swung around to take a picture of the area where the new driveway will enter. This site plan shows the basic arrangement of the house, current location of the boats, and the original and modified barn locations.  Not to scale.  My scanner doesn't work so please forgive the "photo of a document" presentation here.  My espionage photo skills are a little rusty since the demise of the cold war.  But I still had to satisfy my viewers, who are hungry for information.  

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June 9, 2003

Last week, I got my building permit from the town.  The charged me $240 ("impact fee") to basically fill out a form about the proposed structure (most of which I left blank) and to accept from me a copy of the barn plan and a site plan showing the rough location of the structure.  The building inspector, a retired plumbing contractor, was slow and lackadaisical, and really didn't seem to concerned or interested about any barn details.  He never even glanced at the plan that town require he accept.  But I have the permit in hand, so all is well.

I got the bad news from my excavator that he was hopelessly backed up and couldn't get to the job for 8-10 weeks.  That wouldn't be a problem, except that puts it right at the end of July and beginning of August--exactly when I hope to be out cruising on Glissando.  The exact timing isn't yet determined, so I'll just work out the details as we get closer.  If the cruise has to be shifted a little bit, it's not the end of the world.  

Between now and then, I have to do some minor clearing of the site--there are some small trees, perhaps a half dozen or so, that need to come down (the largest is about a 4" trunk diameter and maybe 30' tall), and some low brush (Goldenrod and similar) that I'll weedwack out of the way.  

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