May 20, 2024

The Warren County Board of Building Code Appeals met Tuesday afternoon, May 22, in the Warren County Government Center to hear the concerns of Kristie Sours Atwood, a Bentonville resident whose house was built by a local company, owned by Martha and David Buracker.

Ms. Atwood’s home burned to the ground on March 15, 2015, and she subsequently hired Buracker Construction LLC, whose agent was listed as Martha Buracker, to rebuild her family home.

Atwood and her attorney, David Silek, told the panel that despite major issues with the home as building progressed –as well as unfinished items –the Warren County Department of Building issued a Certificate of Occupancy on July 19, 2016.

Silek told the panel that David Rushton, of Able Building Inspection, Inc. had found over 125 items requiring attention in the wake of the county permitting.

Despite the fact that Ms. Atwood and her family have been living in the home, with repairs not made, the County did eventually perform a partial re-inspection March 16, 2018, after which a Notice of Violation was sent out regarding some, but not all of the issues that needed correction.

David Buracker, the husband of Martha Buracker, who helped build Atwood’s home, sits on the Building Code Appeals Board and had to recuse himself from Tuesday’s proceedings.

Due to the volume of material, submitted by Ms. Atwood and her attorney, the board decided to postpone any action and reconvene on June 7 at 3:30 p.m. in the Warren County Government Center.

Watch the video, here:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-dGz4so8jI[/embedyt]

Royal Examiner has confirmed the following:

Virginia Department of Occupational Professionals (DPOR) found that Buracker Construction LLC is an unlicensed entity and has never held a contractor’s firm license in the State of Virginia, though it has operated as a business in Warren County since 2002.

Mary Broz-Vaughan, of DPOR, wrote in an April 26 email, “Our records do not reflect a contractor license under the name BURACKER CONSTRUCTION LLC.”

“Board for Contractors Regulation 18 VAC 50-22-230 requires licensed contractors to operate under the name in which the license is issued. Contractor licenses are not transferable, and a change in business entity (e.g., from a sole proprietorship to a corporation) requires a new license pursuant to Regulation 18 VAC 50-22-210.”

  • Martha T. Buracker trading as Buracker Construction is licensed in Virginia, according to DPOR.
  • Buracker Construction, LLC is not licensed in Virginia, according to DPOR.
  • Martha Buracker filled out a Warren County building permit application on July 8, 2015 in the contractor  name of Buracker Construction, LLC  and was granted a permit by Warren County in the name of Buracker Construction.
  • Martha Buracker signed a consent order on June 12, 2017 after being found in violation of Virginia code and agreed to remedial education and payment of fines totaling $950 to avoid suspension of her Buracker Construction license.
  • Virginia Attorney General’s Office Investigator C.M. Olson confirmed to Royal Examiner earlier this month that the office is investigating the complaint as a possible violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
  • On April 13, in a meeting with Royal Examiner Editor Norma Jean Shaw, County Administrator Doug Stanley and County Attorney Dan Whitten, Ms. Shaw was told that the issues between Ms. Atwood and Ms. Buracker were nothing more than “a friendship between two people that had gone sour during the time the house was being built.”

The Board, meets on an as-needed basis to ”hear and determine appeals from any order, requirement, decision, or interpretation made by the Building Official or his agent in the administration or enforcement of the Virginia Statewide Building Code”, according to the Warren County website.

The board is comprised of the following members: Dan J. Hotek, Chairman (Shenandoah District); Paul J. Thomson, Vice-Chairman (North River District); David Buracker (South River District); George E. Cline, Jr. (Fork District); Thomas McFadden (Happy Creek District); D. Wendell Hatcher, Alternate.  Information about the board was just put up within the last two weeks, according to Doug Stanley, at the request of Building Official David Beahm.

Following the nearly two-hour meeting Tuesday, the board chose to meet again on June 2 at 3:30 to continue Ms. Atwood’s appeal.

Updates to this story will be published as additional information becomes available.

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