'Chronicle' Got Junk Story Wrong

RECEIVED Mon., Nov. 29, 2010

Richard Whittaker,
    Re: “Chapel of Junk?" [News, Nov. 19]: OK, you got it wrong. First, there were never any “serious health and safety issues.” Christmas lights were the only thing the city said was dangerous. There were never any “structural problems.” There was an easement issue. If it wasn't for the 5-foot setback, I might have been able to get the Cathedral certified by my engineer before anything was taken down.
    I never threatened to “completely demolish it.” I briefly agreed to get a demolition permit when code asked for it. When City Hall heard about that, they found a way to work with me.
    Also, the final agreement does not prevent me from opening to tourists. It only limits how many car loads per day and these limits are the same as every other person in Austin. There are no special rules for me.
    I can have as many events as I want, so long as I follow the same Public Assembly Code Enforcement rules that everyone else has to follow.
    Any chance you can print the real information? I know some people care.
Vince Hannemann
aka Junk King
   [Richard Whittaker responds: The terms of the full agreement between Mr. Hannemann and the city of Austin regarding the Cathedral of Junk are discussed in "Don't Touch My Junk!," p.22.]
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