Results from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request obtained this Thursday indicate major problems with the permitting process for St. Anne Lofts persisting two months after Howard Asch, the head of Code Enforcement (the building department) resigned. The "Bureaucratic Collapse" report from the Lansing State Journal, while very informative, appears to have missed the extent of the problems, and also did not document how the problems are continuing since Asch's departure.
City gives contractor go-ahead on fifth floor, in the absence of a building permit:
The most surprising finding is this: It appears that the City is allowing construction to occur on the 5th floor of St. Anne Lofts even though the City has still never issued a general building permit for the 5th floor penthouse. Pressed about this on Thursday, September 22, Planning Director Tim Dempsey could provide no clear explanation. (It wasn't clear he knew this until I pointed out the absence of the permit.)
How the fifth floor has played out:
Becasue the fifth floor was being constructed without proper approvals, on June 26, 2012, the City issued a Notice of Stop Work Order demanding that construction on the 5th floor cease, except insofar as required to weatherproof the building.
Weeks earlier, on June 6, Asch had issued a verbal order to quit it.