Georgetown City Council member Rachel Jonrowe has once again found herself in the middle of yet another controversy. Last week, the issue of Jonrowe refusing to say “Under God” during the pledge of allegiance, while on the dais, erupted. This week, it appears Jonrowe may not have followed the basic rules and regulations of obtaining permits and inspections for construction projects at her residence.
The City of Georgetown website spells out the permitting process in great detail when it comes to residential and commercial projects. Below is an excerpt.
Q: When is a permit required?
Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing system requires a permit.
A permit is required for: (For full list visit the city of Georgetown permit page here.)
Demolitions, Additions, Remodel, Renovations, Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool Process
- Submit application along with required documentation as listed above online at www.mygovernmentonline.org
- Pay fee of $65.00 once application is accepted and you receive notification
- Allow ten business days for review
- Permit is approved
- Electrician requests electrical permit under main permit#/Plumber requests plumbing permit under main permit#
- Layout Inspection
- Pool Steel and Plumbing Rough
- Deck Bond and Deck Steel
- Swimming Pool Final
According to records obtained from the City of Georgetown, in December 2014, Jonrowe applied for a permit to construct a pool at her residence. According to inspection reports, it appears the layout was approved on December 11, 2014. An inspection for the pool steel/plumbing rough and pool bonding was scheduled on December 23, 2014 but was cancelled. On December 29th, the pool steel and pool bonding inspection sequence was conducted. The pool steel/plumbing rough portion passed but the pool bonding inspection failed.
Comments by the inspector under the pool bonding portion that failed inspection states: “Pool bond is good, but need electrical permit”. The information provided by the City only indicated records and inspection history on the pool occurred up to the 12/29/14 inspection and nothing after that date. If in fact no further inspections occurred, that would indicate no electrical permit, electrical inspection or a final inspection of the pool was conducted.
Fast forward to October 2016, Jonrowe stated to several people she was renovating her home. No permits for the renovations were located at that time. Then on March 8, 2017, the Wilco Sun published an interview stating Jonrowe was conducting “an extensive house re-model” on her home which appraised at $301,452.00 in 2016. Oddly, only two days prior to the story hitting print, an “Electrical Trade permit, Mechanical Trade permit, Plumbing Trade permit and a Residential Remodel, Alteration, Addition or Accessory permit was issued.
According to documents from the City of Georgetown, no final inspection report on the remodel appears to have been issued.
At a forum held last weekend, Jonrowe was critical of the permitting process. Jonrowe stated: “In a lot of ways, this process seems to goes a lot smoother for the big companies that come in to Georgetown than it does for individual homeowners.”
One resident stated: “I have to follow the rules, why doesn’t she? Claiming ignorance won’t cut it either. After all, she is a city council member and should know the permitting process better than any one else. Why has she been remolding her house since last year but never applied for or received any permits until a few weeks ago? Odd coming from someone who supports more guidelines and HARC regulations. She needs to explain herself.”
We will update you on this major issue as we receive more information.