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Oldtimer
03-13-2006, 12:48 AM
LF may charge landscaper fees

Lake Forest is a Chicago Suburb

BY LINDA BLASER
STAFF WRITER

Lake Forest is considering adopting a landscaper's fee ordinance to protect residents against unscrupulous service providers.

A preliminary draft of a Lake Forest City Ordinance called for charging $200 for a Class 1 Landscaper License, $300 for Class 2 and $600 for Class 3. Each class is based on the weight of vehicles used.

In addition, landscapers would be required to pay $1,000 per vehicle for a Class I Vehicle License, $2,000 for Class II and $3,000 for Class III.

One landscaper calls the proposed terms "outrageous".

"Rather than a $300 annual fee, which is reasonable, your fee could be in the thousands of dollars, $6,000, $8,000 or $10,000, based on the number and sizes of your trucks," said Bob Kinnucan of Kinnucan Company in Lake Bluff. "The fees and penalties are exorbitant."

"We work all over the North Shore," Kinnucan said. "There is not a municipal license ordinance (anywhere else) that requires the level of fees the city of Lake Forest" is considering.

Some 50 landscapers attended an informational meeting held Tuesday morning in City Hall to gauge feedback on the rough draft of the ordinance, officials said.

"City staff is working with the landscapers to come up with a program to serve the city's needs and to be as fair and as equitable as possible so large and small companies aren't being overburdened," Assistant to the City Manager Marcus Peccia said Tuesday afternoon.

"We want to work hand-in-hand with our landscapers," Carina Walters, management analyst, said Monday, adding that she doesn't expect the ordinance to come before the City Council until late March or in April, if at all.

olderthandirt
03-13-2006, 01:23 AM
Don't live in Chi Town but a lot of the local citys require a lisc/permit that range from $50 to $400 per yr. and when your working in 8-10 it can get expensive.
The good part is that some enforce the code and check that your registered. They do this by the names on the trucks or yard signs or just asking? they look like a neighbor walking over for an estimate.
Once busted theres a fine and the cost of the lisc. so that you can finish the job. Eliminates a lot of low ballers and week end warriors

The bad part is some just take the money. Every ones still working but the guy who paid for the lisc. is starting in the hole. but I noticed a trend that the citys that don't follow up with the lisc. requirments seem to make the news a lot more from fly by nites ripping people off and the residents are starting to demand action.

Also the cities that rquiree a lisc and persue enforcement keep a list that any new clients can call and find out who is legal to work in there city. Great selling point :)

6'7 330
03-13-2006, 01:41 AM
Don't live in Chi Town but a lot of the local citys require a lisc/permit that range from $50 to $400 per yr. and when your working in 8-10 it can get expensive.
The good part is that some enforce the code and check that your registered. They do this by the names on the trucks or yard signs or just asking? they look like a neighbor walking over for an estimate.
Once busted theres a fine and the cost of the lisc. so that you can finish the job. Eliminates a lot of low ballers and week end warriors

The bad part is some just take the money. Every ones still working but the guy who paid for the lisc. is starting in the hole. but I noticed a trend that the citys that don't follow up with the lisc. requirments seem to make the news a lot more from fly by nites ripping people off and the residents are starting to demand action.

Also the cities that rquiree a lisc and persue enforcement keep a list that any new clients can call and find out who is legal to work in there city. Great selling point :)

Many municipalities around the Chicago area require a license.Most range from 50 to a 100$, some higher, the license fees get steep when your service area includes a lot of surburban towns.These towns require all contractors,not just landscapers.Many of these towns take enforcement seriously, and send out code enforcement officers to check out contractors.Some of these villages are taking in hundreds of thousands, maybe millions from contractor license fees,and they want to get their little hands on every dollar they can.In these municipalities, no license, no liability, contractor don't work.

olderthandirt
03-13-2006, 02:24 AM
Many municipalities around the Chicago area require a license.Most range from 50 to a 100$, some higher, the license fees get steep when your service area includes a lot of surburban towns.These towns require all contractors,not just landscapers.Many of these towns take enforcement seriously, and send out code enforcement officers to check out contractors.Some of these villages are taking in hundreds of thousands, maybe millions from contractor license fees,and they want to get their little hands on every dollar they can.In these municipalities, no license, no liability, contractor don't work.


Yes great, You have to pay if you want to play. I would like to see it mandatory in every city WITH STRICT ENFORCMENT. Start with 1k in each city just for the right to work and it would eliminate the part time wannabe

But the enforment and penaltys have to be strict and serious. 10k 1st. time caught with out a lisc. and word would spread like wild fire.

topsites
03-13-2006, 02:53 AM
Yes great, You have to pay if you want to play. I would like to see it mandatory in every city WITH STRICT ENFORCMENT. Start with 1k in each city just for the right to work and it would eliminate the part time wannabe

But the enforment and penaltys have to be strict and serious. 10k 1st. time caught with out a lisc. and word would spread like wild fire.

ahahaha and what happens the day you forget to renew yours?

lawnman_scott
03-13-2006, 04:02 AM
The title to the thread is "scrub eliminator". How exactly will these fees affect the so called "scrubs"? I didnt catch the part about fining homeowners for hiring someone without a license.

Richard Martin
03-13-2006, 05:56 AM
What I want to know is how do they define a Landscaper? 100% of my money is derived from maintenance, I do no installs at all. About 97% of my money is from lawn servicing and 3% from bed maintenance. Do I consider myself a landscaper? Nope, I'm a Lawn Service. In my state Landscapers are required to be licensed. Since I do no installs my state doesn't require me to get a license.

A lawn aimed at licensing landscapers does no good if they don't consider lawn servicing to be landscaping.

olderthandirt
03-13-2006, 08:56 AM
ahahaha and what happens the day you forget to renew yours?

Is your brain connected to your fingers? or do you enjoy just rambling on?

You get a notice every yr that its time to renew, the same as with lisc plates and taxes and your web site and, and, and, well I think even you could understand the concept.

jschu13
03-13-2006, 09:58 AM
While requiring a license can help keep the industry "professional", I think the LF/Chicago proposal is totally unreasonable.

Landscape25
03-13-2006, 10:35 AM
Paying the fees has nothing to do with how honest you are (maybe how poor you will be), it is a way for them to make money, that is it.

Remsen1
03-13-2006, 10:59 AM
I think it's crap. The landscapers working above board will pay out the butt and the scrubs will still find a way to get in there. What do the landscapers get for their fee, besides policing, because in my opinion it is not enough and it won't be effective?

Littleriver1
03-13-2006, 11:34 AM
I don't understand why anyone would be happy to get the Gov. involved in business. I don't know what they told you the money was going to be used for, but what ever it was, it was a lie. You can be sure that tax will never be reduced. What it amounts to is the City Gov. is using you as a tax collector. The good citizens have so much money they can afford to pay someone to cut their grass, so I guess they can afford more tax. But already being taxed up the wazoo let us make the Lawn Boy collect the money for us then he can up his price and no one will see how we screwed them. The right to cut your grass tax. Sure sounds like a good idea to me.

daveintoledo
03-13-2006, 12:07 PM
id be glad to pay a couple grand if they really enforced the rules... i:)

GrassBustersLawn
03-13-2006, 12:40 PM
I doubt that it will ELIMINATE many if any SCRUBS. The LEGAL guys will pay it and the illegal won't....just like they do with everything else like TAXES, INSURANCE, etc.

Also, I can't wait to see the ROSEY SMILE on the CLIENT'S FACE when they get the first bill after code is enacted.

......Monthly mowing service...........................$200
......Fertilizing..............................................$ 75
......Monthly Dumb@ss Ordinance assessment....$ 10

I'll bet the phone will be ringing of the hook in those LCO's office!


Mike

Landscape25
03-13-2006, 12:51 PM
You can't buy integrity.

dlr1
03-13-2006, 12:57 PM
Yes great, You have to pay if you want to play. I would like to see it mandatory in every city WITH STRICT ENFORCMENT. Start with 1k in each city just for the right to work and it would eliminate the part time wannabe

But the enforment and penaltys have to be strict and serious. 10k 1st. time caught with out a lisc. and word would spread like wild fire.
most people who try to be legit dont have that kind of money for a couple years , did you?

dlr1
03-13-2006, 12:58 PM
The title to the thread is "scrub eliminator". How exactly will these fees affect the so called "scrubs"? I didnt catch the part about fining homeowners for hiring someone without a license.
what about scrub customers who dont pay for a good job?

boatdude
03-13-2006, 01:03 PM
Everyone...go back and read post #12 by Littleriver1. He hit the nail on the head. We need less gov't...not more.
bd

LawnBrother
03-13-2006, 01:38 PM
I agree with those who say that it is just another way for the city governments to make some more money. Half the police out there are sitting around in their cruisers most of the day anyway, so how is a new licensing fee going to get them to enforce the law when they should be doing it to begin with? They could enforce it if they wanted to already by stopping people and asking for the vendors licenses and other licenses that are already required to legally do business. I personally would like to see more enforcement of the law to make these guys go legit or quit, but it just doesn't happen from what I see.

olderthandirt
03-13-2006, 01:47 PM
most people who try to be legit dont have that kind of money for a couple years , did you?

Yes! I was starting a business and new that I needed working capital for just such things. If you can't pay to play then sit on the side line or do what a majority of mow-joes are doing now. Work Illegally.
That exactly why they need an ordinance to protect the consumer and in return it weeds out the "biz" that can't afford to buy a lisc. And all it takes is enforcememt to eliminate 50% of the mow-joes the day the law is passed and they annouce what the penealty was, providing they make it high enough to discourage anyone from non compliance. 5-10k fine for a 1st offense and would cut the competition 1/2

olderthandirt
03-13-2006, 01:50 PM
I agree with those who say that it is just another way for the city governments to make some more money. Half the police out there are sitting around in their cruisers most of the day anyway, so how is a new licensing fee going to get them to enforce the law when they should be doing it to begin with? They could enforce it if they wanted to already by stopping people and asking for the vendors licenses and other licenses that are already required to legally do business. I personally would like to see more enforcement of the law to make these guys go legit or quit, but it just doesn't happen from what I see.
Cop don't enforce it building inspectors and with the new money they could hire more. You want to be treated like a professional trade then expect to pay and have to be inspected like one

hoskm01
03-13-2006, 02:02 PM
I agree with those who say that it is just another way for the city governments to make some more money. Half the police out there are sitting around in their cruisers most of the day anyway, so how is a new licensing fee going to get them to enforce the law when they should be doing it to begin with? They could enforce it if they wanted to already by stopping people and asking for the vendors licenses and other licenses that are already required to legally do business. I personally would like to see more enforcement of the law to make these guys go legit or quit, but it just doesn't happen from what I see.


Police would not enforce this "city code". It would be something the finance department or some city hall type of group would have to enforce, like a "code enforcement" department. Unless of course the Police have absolutely nothing better to do in this town, there are many more pressing things to do other than molesting landscapers for a permit. And that sitting around in a cruiser you refer to is called patrolling, proactive enforcement, or generally keeping the area safe rather than just responding when something happens.

Perhaps things are different there in Chicagoland, but any PD around here couldn't care less about a landscaper without a license.

one man gang
03-13-2006, 05:23 PM
Police would not enforce this "city code". It would be something the finance department or some city hall type of group would have to enforce, like a "code enforcement" department. Unless of course the Police have absolutely nothing better to do in this town, there are many more pressing things to do other than molesting landscapers for a permit. And that sitting around in a cruiser you refer to is called patrolling, proactive enforcement, or generally keeping the area safe rather than just responding when something happens.

Perhaps things are different there in Chicagoland, but any PD around here couldn't care less about a landscaper without a license.

For those that are not familiar with this town, it is a very rich, snobby and uptight place.

Precision
03-13-2006, 05:25 PM
This is like the second amendment.

Making it illegal to own guns, only takes guns out of the hands of the law abiding.

Criminals don't get guns from gun stores, they steal them.

No difference here. The legit will pay more and the scrubs will go further underground.

If it were that easy it would already be done. The problem is the enforcement side.

Sort of like making it illegal to wear red underwear, How the hell do you enforce that?

Remsen1
03-13-2006, 06:47 PM
Cop don't enforce it building inspectors and with the new money they could hire more. You want to be treated like a professional trade then expect to pay and have to be inspected like one

If it means having government involved in yet another aspect of my life "NO WAY!"

Are you really confident that the renues would be put toward keeping the riff raff out? Do you trust the government?

cantoo
03-13-2006, 11:26 PM
Enforcement is the key here. I think there are enough rules everywhere they just need to enforce them. They are worried about customers getting ripped off, what business is it of government? The customer shouldn't be trying to get something for nothing and sometimes you get what you pay for. They should be responsible enough to ask to see your insurance and business licence if the law requires you to have them where you work. The $1000 is just another grab I think. Do car dealers have to pay these fees? What about every other contractor business, electrical, plumbing, siding installers, etc? Customers need to be responsible themselves.

tcls83
03-14-2006, 02:03 AM
Exactly what cantoo said.

HOOLIE
03-14-2006, 02:57 AM
Enforcement won't happen with this...they already got your money, what's their incentive??

They should lower the fees, and like Mac or someone said, make the first offense huge, like 10k, that's enough to deter people.

yrdandgardenhandyman
03-14-2006, 03:38 AM
Enforcement won't happen with this...they already got your money, what's their incentive??

They should lower the fees, and like Mac or someone said, make the first offense huge, like 10k, that's enough to deter people.


But enforcement, fines and fairness is most likely not the point. Most of the time, with this kind of requirement, the point is to collect as much money from those willing and able to pay and to minimize cost by having as little enforcement as possible.
As an example, in my town open burning was banned on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and all federal holidays. As far as enforcement, they will only respond to an open fire violation if a homeowner who lives within 500 feet of the violator makes a complaint. A cop or code enforcement officer can drive right by a violator and can not enforce the ordinance without that 'proper' complaint.
I know this isn't a perfect analogy but the point is that these are mostly feel good and look good laws and are only made for the purpose of giving the appearance of dealing with a problem. It makes the people who are complaining happy because they feel their complaints are being addressed and it makes the people who are being complained about the feeling that their rights to do certain things are being reasonably protected.
I don't think the city enforcement people are going to walk up to everyone mowing a lawn or installing mulch and ask for permits. Maybe, if they are in uniform and using company lettered trucks and equipment, they will be approached but the part timer and the scrubs probably have nothing much to worry about. And if you think the customer is going to turn them in, wrong!!
The customer who uses scrubs will still use them because they will be able to charge a much lower price.

Littleriver1
03-14-2006, 08:28 AM
Some of you sound like little girls crying about a cheater in a socker game. In stead of trying to get some one else to fight the battle, step up and out smart them. If you do not know every thing there is to know about lawn service and put that knowledge to it best advantage, then some one will always be taking your money from you. Some times we just need to be smarter. If it is really as bad as you think it is in "MY town" and you can't make it there, then move. If you think you can't move then you are the one holding your self back. Go back to school and learn what you need to make it and come back and share it with us. If you ask the right questions here, you may not need much learnin.

jsbmaine
03-14-2006, 09:17 AM
uh, CAPITALISM

What's so scary about that. If somebody else can do the job cheaper and still keep the quality up, then you need to look at your business. If they can't match the quality of work you do, then the customer will come to you. But it's insane to try to regulate others out of the business. It's right up there with taking land by eminent domain. It's all good until they want YOUR land. Or in this case, it's all good until someone decides YOU are the scrub.

Do quality work, and let that speak for itself. Don't try to create even more silly regulations. Eventually the red tape will strangle everyone.

dlr1
03-14-2006, 09:58 AM
Yes! I was starting a business and new that I needed working capital for just such things. If you can't pay to play then sit on the side line or do what a majority of mow-joes are doing now. Work Illegally.
That exactly why they need an ordinance to protect the consumer and in return it weeds out the "biz" that can't afford to buy a lisc. And all it takes is enforcememt to eliminate 50% of the mow-joes the day the law is passed and they annouce what the penealty was, providing they make it high enough to discourage anyone from non compliance. 5-10k fine for a 1st offense and would cut the competition 1/2
if every city you worked in charged thousands, you had that kind of money? must be nice. I started thinking this was the land of opportunity if your rich!

cantoo
03-14-2006, 07:11 PM
Keep in mind I said "if" you are required to have insurance and licence where you work. I would prefer that I didn't have to pay for it but if I pay it then everyone else should also pay. I have never seen any type of enforcement person here yet every year I pay for my insurance and licence. My wife is taking the exam tomorrow morning. All she needs it for is to spray round up around buildings and concrete but the law says she needs to be certified so she's going to try. It would be easier for us if she could do it instead of every month I have to go and spend 5 minutes at each place doing the round up.

Scotts' Yard Care
03-14-2006, 07:46 PM
The free market is the only regulation we should ever have. Period. The government screws up everything it touches and the less we have of it, the better.

Sir mowsalot
03-14-2006, 07:50 PM
This discussion is alot like Williams grove speedway where i live. It was built in the 1920's in the middle of a corn field. Since then housing developements have been built close by, and every year without fail, some group of whining little snot nosed citizens ***** and moan about the sound, and want all kinds of ordinances put in place. The point is they knew that speedway was there well before they built or bought a house close to it. Why not flippin move it it bothers you that much? The same applies with this thread, the scrubs and part timers were always in this business well before we came along, and we knew they were there, my feeling is if you dont like it you should find another business to go into. If you want to have it like contractors with inspectors and code enforcement officers then you should become a contractor. I honestly couldnt give a rats ass about scrubs and lowballers, if they do crappy work then their client will fire them, and hire me, and if they do good work, then i will have to compete with them, which is just fine with me . NO MORE GOV'T. You really want some little snot nosed by the book geek walking around with some kinda authority trip going on?
ANd another thing, if you would have to pay these fees, you will of course pass the cost onto your customers, which thinks the prices got to high, which then will turn to someone much cheaper and your right back where you started, and now you'll have fees to pay.

Scotts' Yard Care
03-14-2006, 08:06 PM
Are customers so ignorant that they don't realize the yard service will just pass those costs onto them? I hope not. Price the work high enough and you will kill the industry because people will get their own mowers and do it themselves.

olderthandirt
03-14-2006, 08:20 PM
If you want to have it like contractors with inspectors and code enforcement officers then you should become a contractor.

Its threads like this that show how little some people know, I am a contractor. A landscape contractor and I work in a city that require a $600 yr. fee. You can not even plant grass with out calling for an inspection when your done. Why? because they want to make sure that you did not change the small swales that drain the water around the houses.[neighbors don't like being flooded out] The other contractors along with myself pass the cost along to out customers and they pay it. The inspectors are out every day and if your caught the job is shut down till the 1 day a month that you can pass there test and pay for your lisc. along with the fine. Customers love waiting on that kind of person. When you move into this city and buy a new house your told of the laws and given a list of all the co. that have a lisc. to work and prices have gone up every yr.
If all you do is mow and go then I can understand why you would not want to pay a fee. But if your a contractor the added cost of being lisc. is added into the cost of doing business.

SodKing
03-14-2006, 08:51 PM
I hear this same argument on the pesticide forum every day...Enforcement is the key, in the pesticide field they make us get a lic and pay fees but then joe spray dude without a license sprays anyway because he knows he won't get cought. Where it is town based, you may have better enforcement which would be good.

I also agree with Mac. You have to pay if you want to play! but at the same time I would also be up their ass about enforcement or selective enforcement and would try to get on any committee that oversees the enforcement.

Sir mowsalot
03-14-2006, 08:55 PM
.

Its threads like this that show how little some people know, I am a contractor. A landscape contractor and I work in a city that require a $600 yr. fee. You can not even plant grass with out calling for an inspection when your done. Why? because they want to make sure that you did not change the small swales that drain the water around the houses.[neighbors don't like being flooded out] The other contractors along with myself pass the cost along to out customers and they pay it. The inspectors are out every day and if your caught the job is shut down till the 1 day a month that you can pass there test and pay for your lisc. along with the fine. Customers love waiting on that kind of person. When you move into this city and buy a new house your told of the laws and given a list of all the co. that have a lisc. to work and prices have gone up every yr.
If all you do is mow and go then I can understand why you would not want to pay a fee. But if your a contractor the added cost of being lisc. is added into the cost of doing business.
My mistake for not clarifying more of what i was talking about. My apologies. Im talking about mowing , and shrub trimming, tanbarking, cleanups.
I have always been skeptical of adding more govt into our lives. Though it could start off as a sincere idea for the good, somehow though once in place it seems to veer of course thru time from its original intent, and becomes simply another quagmire of red tape with more fees, and more intrusion.

Sir mowsalot
03-14-2006, 09:10 PM
The free market is the only regulation we should ever have. Period. The government screws up everything it touches and the less we have of it, the better.
I got to agree with that. More red tap=more cages and less freedom. Gov't tries to protect us from ourselves becuase after all we are little children who need big brother to look after us.

lawnman_scott
03-14-2006, 10:36 PM
what about scrub customers who dont pay for a good job?
small claims court