October 10, 2008, the home at 255 Baxter Street burned in an accidental total loss fire.
April of 2009, Plans were approved for construction of a new home. Plans were approved by engineers, and included a set of engineered truss plans for the roof, as required.
May of 2009, During Demolition, Damage was found to be more extensive than initially known.
June of 2009, Supplementary information was submitted to the city of Eugene, outlining further areas of damage.
July of 2009, City approved Supplementary information, revising wall widths, sheathing methods, and required blocking. Plans were released on July 7th. At no time did the city take into account that the previously engineered truss plans would not fit the new revised plans with the wall width changes that were required.
Per Mark Whitmill - they just 'forgot'.
At the time the plans were picked up, the clerk informed the homeowner that all inspections must be reset, to allow for inspections to be done to the new requirements. [continued below]....
The inspections were never reset, as Kyle Richardson commented that construction was 'good quality'.
The foundation inspections that should have taken place over several days did not take place. (the city records show that they all took place on one morning, (Mark Whitmill explained this is not proper protocol) There was photo evidence proving a lack of rebar, metal reinforcements and no gravel compaction provided to the Building Department, along with the electrical ground bar being located in the wall of a shower, yet these inspections were defended by Mark Whitmill and Kyle Richardson. Missing pier pads that were crucial to structural support are still missing, clearly visible from the street. Mark Whitmill and Kyle Richardson refused to discuss this 'mistake' on behalf of the inspectors.
The underfloor framing inspection failed 6-23-09, due to lack of continuous support.
No work was done that day, the morning of 6-24-09, Home Insulation came at the builders request, insulated the underfloor, covered up the many defects, and around noon that day, and inspector arrived. In front of 3 witnesses, the inspector stopped in front of the house, didn't put his vehicle into park or turn it off, and signed off on both the underfloor framing inspection and the underfloor insulation from the drivers seat of his city vehicle.
The framing inspections passed, even though the roof trusses did not fit the revised plans, and the contractor took the trusses apart and scabbed them back together. Photo documentation and visual inspection was provided to the city inspectors and Mark Whitmill, Kyle Richardson and Rachelle Nicholas, and it was pointed out that the city plans on file as public record prove this. The inspection results were altered from 'passed' to 'needs review. (Rachelle Nicholas heads up Building Code Enforcement and Dangerous Building Reports in Eugene).
The city initially approved the framing and building inspections prior to July 7th, 2009. When the revised plans were released to the homeowner, the structurally unsound home was already built.
In Mid July, regardless that Eugene City Code requires all new or reconstructed utilities be underground (Stamped in RED on front page of plans), Frank Casebolt, Electrical Inspector, passed the roughed in electrical inspection. Missing electrical boxes, 2 branch circuits that not only didn't exist but the trenches were not even dug didn't matter. Overhead power lines didn't matter. Mr Casebolt passed it.
When evidence of the missing branch circuits, and a licensed home inspector report describing more than 17 fire hazards in the home was brought to Mark Whitmill's attention, the electrical permit was cancelled.
When photo documentation and OLHI reports showing structural instability including :
Trusses cracked end to end, house cracked in half from foundation to foundation, floors dropping away, subfloors lifting and allowing visibility into crawlspace, crushed rimboards, missing permanent bracing, ceiling in living room falling, electrical wires running through metal truss plates, and so very much more,
the city refused to comment, stating that it was the 'homeowners responsibility'.
When the homeowner called for new inspections, a new correction memo was issued by the city for lack of continuous support in the underfloor framing. Sound familiar?
The city refused to complete any other inspections, cancelling them due to inspector unavailability, either they were out sick or just 'not available'.
In July of 2010, Homeowner brought in a reputable Builder and local Engineer to determine what repairs could be made. After less than 10 minutes under the house and 15 minutes in the attic, the builder and engineer determined and informed owner that they had never seen anything like this building, and the only way to repair it would be to raze the home and start over.
Bankrupt at this point, the owner walked away and let the bank have it, after providing the city with a summary 'dangerous building report', and the offer of numerous Oregon Licensed Home Inspector's reports illustrating defects was made to the Code Enforcement Office. All details and information was declined. The City was not interested in the proof of how dangerous this building is.
8 Months have passed, and while all this information is public record and available on the city website - inspection dates, results, permit issue dates, plans review dates - all out there is black and white, the city has now gone back and RETROACTIVELY PASSED the original inspections.
It can only be assumed that the city has done this in order to allow the investment buyer of the forclosed dangerous building (while quite beautiful is structurally dangerous) to complete some cosmetic repairs, hide the defects, and sell the home to an unsuspecting family.
255 Baxter Street in Eugene Oregon, 97402 IS A DANGEROUS BUILDING. The structural defects, shoddy workmanship and corrupt officials who are simply trying to cover their own backsides are putting human lives at risk by facilitating residential homes like this one through nonexistent inspections, and the refusal to do their job in keeping Eugene Residents Safe.
The Mayor of Eugene, Ms. Kitty Piercy, made this comment in reference to the situation at 255 Baxter Street Eugene, OR 97402
'I cannot make a judgement about this....I believe you have pursued concerns with City Employees.'
In Eugene, Oregon, the corruption within the Building Department that allows officials to put lives at risk is understood, accepted, and apparently, rewarded.
Mark Whitmill Building Administrator of Eugene
2575 Lincoln Street
Eugene, Or 97405
Building permit for 2575 Lincoln Street 05-03151-01 issued in 2005 remains open, repairs still underway for 'interior remodel' at a total license fee of $712.47. (based on dollar amount of repairs, the fees for a 1200sf house are in the thousands of dollars, Mr. Whitmill seems to have gotten a discount)
Kyle Richardson Building Inspection Supervisor at City of Eugene
Home Address highly protected and not public....
Seda Collier - Building Plans Examiner
485 E 32nd Avenue
Eugene, OR 97405
3 permits issued to her home, all fees paid in full (and relative to work, unlike M Whitmills) and all work completed. A thread of honesty in her life, it seems, unless it pertains to other peoples construction plans.
Rachelle Nicholas - Dangerous Building Official in Eugene
86604 S Nicholas Drive
Eugene, OR 97402