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Troutdale revokes permits for Kight's building

Inspection finds "Shed B" violates codes; permits were issued in error


by: OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - This is an exterior view of the building described as Shed B, which was permitted by the city of Troutdale and constructed for former Mayor Jim Kight on his property at 950 S.E. Jackson Park Road. Troutdale officials have sent a letter to former mayor Jim Kight, and his wife, Nina, stating that the city is revoking the permits and occupancy certificate for the infamous building known as “Shed B” on their property or what has been described as an illegal second house.

The process in which Kight had the structure built was originally called into question by city officials in 2012 and several state investigations followed.

JIM KIGHTThe structure originally proposed was a 768-square-foot garden shed, but ultimately what was constructed adjacent to his home on Jackson Park Road in Troutdale was a 2,013-square-foot building with a basement, two offices, a bathroom and a kitchen.

In Feb. 2013, the State of Oregon Building Codes Division concluded the building is a “residential structure” and that numerous legal processes were not followed during its permitting and inspection stages.

According to a letter from the city of Troutdale dated May 23, a recent city inspection of “Shed B” determined Kight’s structure violates numerous city codes and should never have been approved.

The revocation of permits and occupancy certificate for “Shed B” go into effect June 23.

“Based upon this inspection, I have concluded that the permit and the certificate occupancy for Shed B was issued in error,” said Stephen Winstead, acting building official for the city of Troutdale, who wrote the letter addressed to the Kights.

He also concluded that the structure was intended to be a single family residence.

Winstead’s findings were based on an April 23 inspection he conducted at the Kight’s property at 950 S.E. Jackson Park Road.

by: OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - The interior of Shed B includes this kitchen area. The stairs on the right lead down to a basement.Unless corrective measures have been taken or are in process, Winstead said the structure may no longer be occupied by anyone.

No one at the city was able to describe in further detail what the options for corrective actions might be pending discussion with the Kights.

In a statement released to the public, City Manager Craig Ward said Kight has until June 23 to remedy the violations outlined in the letter.

“The building official has determined a number of violations of the building code, zoning code and floodplain management code currently exist with the structure,” Ward said.

In the letter, Winstead said he and the city’s planning department is willing to work with Kight to bring the structure into compliance.

Kight also has the option to appeal the decision to the Oregon Building Codes Division, Winstead said.

As of Monday morning, June 2, the Outlook was unable to reach Kight or his attorney for comment by email or phone.

Following investigations into allegations Kight used his position to build the structure, the Oregon Ethics Commission handed Kight a letter of reprimand in April asserting that on five occasions in 2011 he failed to disclose potential conflicts of interest at City Council meetings.

At that time, in a statement emailed on April 8 to The Outlook, Kight said it was the fault of city employees if there were any mistakes made in permitting.

He wrote, “The bottom line is that homeowners don’t approve their own plans, do their own inspections and give themselves a certificate of occupancy. When the building passes inspection, you trust that the building meets all current building codes.”