If the porch was encroaching on the road frontage then If I were you I would go to the planning department and get a copy of the "sue of the land" for your property. This will indicate any monuments and landmarks that designate where your property lines are located. Then call the building department and enquire as to the set back regulations for your area. With these things and a 100' tape measure you should be able to figure out where your property lines are and also if your porch is indeed encroaching on the easement. If it is not then thumb your nose at them and tell them to get the hell off your property. Well.......Dont put it exactly like that. Try to be diplomatic about it. (as you sit there cleaning your shotgun).
As for the width of the porch that is none of their business so long as you permit it properly and it also does not encroach the setback of the easement.
Another thing you can do is take this to the cty council and petition for a varience.
What this is basicly, is asking for permission to build the porch on the easement.
If the city council can be shown that the porch will in no way interfear with anything that must pass down the road, or cause a problem in the future, they will usually grant the varience. They will usually add the stipulation that they can recind the varience if the city finds it necessary to do so in the future, or for any other reason they deem prudent. At that time you will have to dismantle the porch.
Taking this matter to the state will not do you any good until you have exhausted all local possibilities at the local and county/parish levels. This would of course be in the form of an appeal, and should be handled initially by an attorney that understands realestate law.
Actually it would be a good idea to consult with one now just to be sure that everyone is playing by the rules.
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At this point if the deck has not been built.I would simply retract the plan to build it and add some steps. Once you get the CofO you can get settled in and deal with the city at your leisure.
Right now you have enough on your plate to deal with. Take care of your family first.
If the deck has been built then dismantle it and build the steps only. As your door is set back into the house this qualifies as your landing and you can run stepds directly off the face of the house. With guard rails of course.
As for the set back starting point it is the part of the structures foundation or structural wall face that you begin at. Not the front door threshold. If it were the threshold then people would be building all the way to the easement line and putting the door into a long hall way and say that the door is back the required distance to satisfy the setback regulations. Please remember that set backs are there for a reason. Mostly for emergency crews to access your home in case of fire or other natural disaster. If everyone built 2 and 3 level homes right to the easment then when they collapse (heaven forbid) into the street the emergency crews are blocked from getting through.
But like i said earlier. Take care of your family. Get settled in and then build the porch. A 6x6 deck isnt that big. Two hours and I can have it neetly stacked against the building. Less if I have a helper pulling nails or screws out.
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