I read a little public notice in the July 7 Morning Sentinel: “Skowhegan Property Owners Building Permits Required as of 1 July, 2012.”

It seems that the voters at the town meeting who remained until Article 48 was considered approved the building ordinance . Not that their vote really matters, however, since the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code is now applicable to all Maine municipalities with a population of more than 4,000. Only communities of fewer than 2,000 people are exempt.

That means, among other things, that before we start a project we now must get an application, fill it out completely, have it approved, and pay a fee. Then we obtain a permit to construct or set things on our property.

This procedure is required when we build a house, but also when we begin much smaller projects such as renovating part of our home, building a garage, setting up a small utility building, constructing a new deck and even filling a kiddy pool that is more than 2 feet deep.

In many cases, an inspector will have to be called to ensure that we complied with all the stipulations specified on our application.

Do I still reside in the United States of America, home of the brave and the free?

I thought we could do most of these things, on our property, without applications, permits, fees and inspections. I do own the property and pay taxes.

The environmentalists, builders’ lobbies and global warming groups do not agree. They generously fund political campaigns and convince the politicians that these codes are necessary.

I think, not so much. Not when we need to obtain a permit to put up a shed for our lawn mower or fill a 21/2 foot deep pool in the backyard.

Richard J. LaPorte


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