My family has hired a contractor to construct a two-story ADU; the initial plans have been okayed by the city and the wood for the entire first floor has been assembled and the concrete laid. After this, the contractor identified a problem: after consulting with the utility company, we learned the second-story wall as planned is horizontally too close to the overhead power lines, requiring a change in the second-floor design. Upon consultation with the architect, we learned that not only does the second floor have to be changed, but the first floor would need alteration as well, because the workers building the second floor require additional room for scaffolding. Our contractor disputes this. It would be incredibly problematic if true, as that would require destroying a large part of the already constructed first floor and presumably raise our costs significantly.
We contacted our power company and they claimed the only way they could shift the power cables would be if we paid for a pole replacement, which would cost up to $25k. I am planning on visiting City Hall and asking what my options are, especially since they approved the plans. I have two questions:
Is it true that clearance for scaffolding is required, even if the first floor has been already assembled? I live in SoCal.
What is the simplest recourse for me to have the ADU built to standard and without sacrificing too much room or raising costs? Will pole replacement end up being the simplest option?