Construction and Authorization
For New Hampshire and other states across the U.S., state law requires that people seek permission from local or federal agencies prior to the creation of either new or revamped structures. The permissions granted depend on the kind of construction one is seeking. They may vary from local approvals for planning and zoning (such as variances, building permits, and/or special exemptions) to more complex permits issued by the government agency (such as SEC authorizations).
The United States is not unique in requiring approvals prior to construction. Many countries require builders to submit construction plans or provide proof of the proposed construction site prior to beginning construction.
The United States and other nations are very strict about approvals prior to the construction of any project. Approvals allow for the monitoring and regulate the type of development that happens. Failure of builders to obtain approvals prior to construction may have different consequences based on the extent of the construction and its impact on the surrounding environment. For instance, the construction of an individual-family home with no building permits could cause fines or issues regarding financing. In the most extreme cases, the courts might order the tearing down of the non-approved building.
The Diter Case
Recently, a French court ordered property developer Patrick Diter to demolish a Renaissance-style mansion, valued at some $64 million, due to construction without proper permitting. The Attorney General for the appeals court in Aix-en-Provence asserted that this developer “executed important works on a land without authorization,” and the court agreed. The building that is the focus of the case is located on 17 acres of land. It has 2 helicopter pads, stunning gardens, as well as 18 distinctive suites. Diter is said to have bought the property legally. However, the Court found that the construction was carried out without authorization. It eventually directed Diter to demolish the entire structure within 18 months.
While the Diter case is definitely an extreme instance, building without appropriate permits should be avoided by property owners to safeguard the existence of their buildings. If property owners are uncertain about what construction requires a permit, they should contact an attorney for supervision.
For more information on building permits and the process of lawful construction, please contact us by calling (603) 856-8411. You can also contact the office here.