The Green Industry's Resource Center

Thread Tools   Display Modes
Old 03-30-2012, 01:58 PM
landscaper22's Avatar
landscaper22 landscaper22 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southeast
Posts: 829
Originally Posted by OakNut View Post
I don't know if I missed "the point", but I don't think the government "stepped in" out of the blue and made up the rules AFTER the OP had set up shop and started running a business where he was apparently not permitted to do so.

As far as government "intrusion" goes, I have mixed feelings on this. I'm not allowed to have employees park at my home. I'm not allowed to store "supplies" outside (think bagged materials/mulch/etc), no "commercial vehicles", and a few other things. I don't want them telling me what I can and can not do on MY property, yet at the same time I don't live in a rural setting and I'd be freaking ticked if my next door neighbor (20' from me) started a motorcycle repair shop, and began piling up parts, old, broken bikes, tires, etc, and revving up dirt bikes at all hours of the day. (or ANY hour of the day for that matter)

There's a certain standard that folks should expect in a neighborhood - I'm OK with the restrictions placed upon me as a business owner. If I don't like the rules, I could move to a more suitable location where commercial vehicles and such are not an issue.

For the sake of the OP, I hope it's something as simple as applying for a proper permit, or working with them to make everyone happy. I hate to see any small business owner shut down.
Although I understand, when government gets involved, it never ends. It's always nice to have government step in when your neighbor has a problem, or does something you don't like. But, every law and ordinance has unintended consequences, and sooner or later will be used against you too. You know, local and Federal governments keep screaming they are out of money, etc., yet they can pay people to ride around looking for mundane city ordinance violations. Must be nice. I am not against neighborhood ordinances. If you live in a million dollar house on a golf course, you probably don't want your neighbor parking a tractor trailer next to your, or putting up a pink fence and purple shed. But governments are getting too bid for their own pants.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2012, 02:11 PM
landscaper22's Avatar
landscaper22 landscaper22 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southeast
Posts: 829
Originally Posted by cgaengineer View Post
The city sets the ordinance, you have to live with it. It's the same way in many towns across the USA...I, like another poster think you should have right to use your property, but at the same time your use should not affect my values.

Someone obviously thinks you are affecting their property value...maybe the guy complaining had to move his equipment last year?
Posted via Mobile Device
That's the problem right there. No, you don't have to live with it. If everyone has that attitude, we will be like North Korea. Again, there is a difference in having neighborhood ordinances and having the government tell you at gun point (more or less) that you can't do something. I know I am arguing with brick walls. But people better start watching out and stop being comfortable with all this control. Plus, what burns me up most is they keep passing these city ordinances, and much of the time the ordinance is put into law because the issue is a pet peeve of someone that has law making power in the city. So, their pet peeve becomes an ordinance so someone can ride around all day fining people for violating the ordinance
Example: A city in my area has a "Tree Topping" ordinance. Every tree on commercial and historical properties has to maintain its "natural flow". SO the city horticultural manager couldn't stand the fact that people butcher crepe myrtles. Okay, so people shouldn't butcher crepe myrtles. But you know, it's your d*$@ tree, and they should be able to do whatever they want with it. So, city adds crepe myrtles to list of trees that can't be topped off. So, this is passed and is strictly enforced, even though they didn't properly let people know. So they ride around making people replace crepe myrtles that have been butchered of face a fine. Now, this is the kind of thing we shouldn't have to just "DEAL WITH" Dealing with these things is what has this nation to the level it is at now.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2012, 09:46 PM
Meezer's Avatar
Meezer Meezer is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 269

I had a somewhat similar situation over a dozen years ago. A new "progressive" administration came into power in town. They changed things for the worse. In the end, I moved everything across the nearby state line in to a more "business friendly" state. It cost me money, however, my attorney inflicted monetary damage to the other side as well.

Keep in mind, if you can't operate any type of entity, business, etc., in a residential neighborhood, neither can the mayor, the police chief, code enforcement, etc.,. engage in business. Equal protection under the law & a good creative lawyer are 2 good things to have on your side.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 10:30 AM
chipk1's Avatar
chipk1 chipk1 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 381
Dude. I hate to say this but the pics you posted look like a landscape business is located in your back yard. I can see what the city is saying. I run a 1 truck business from my home, but my equipment is parked behind my privacy fence. My neighbors do not have to look at my stuff. I know it sucks, but you have grown beyond a reasonable point to be running form your home. I don't think they would have bothered you if they could not see anything from the road.
God is my pilot!
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 11:01 AM
grass-scapes's Avatar
grass-scapes grass-scapes is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Greensboro NC
Posts: 1,554
I received a letter from the COUNTY here about 4 years ago. I don't live in the city limits. Told me pretty much the same thing. I rented a warehouse facility and moved everything. Changed to a smaller place late last year and moved some of my stuff back to my house. I am not operating out of my house, but I have too much stuff stored here. Waiting on another complaint, but the person who I think complained the first time had his house foreclosed on. Rules are rules, laws are laws. I was mad at the time too, but did what I needed to do.

I think they have a saying... Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse. Something like that, anyway.

I am all for property rights, but I agree with the city on this one. I can almost guarantee it was an immediate neighbor. I wouldn't tell you if I called the city either.
By the time you can make ends meet....They move the ends.
Grass Scapes
Greensboro NC
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 11:03 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: District 9 CA
Posts: 18,365
Originally Posted by lawnlandscape View Post
I am so speechless right now. I don't know what to do. Yesterday some guy was walking down the street going door to door looking for the 'landscaper', that's how hard it was for him to find me. It was the Manager of Planning and Zoning.

Finally, after he found me, he told me its illegal to run a business like yours from your residence. I do live in the city, but the lots are about 3/4 of an acre in my area. I moved into this home 3+ years ago and have been operating off this property ever since.

Everything having to do with my business is not located anywhere near the street, and everything other then 2 trucks and 2 trailers is inside my 1,500 sq. ft. garage. I don't have any material piles, or any other equipment outside. Its VERY neat and clean.

There are countless of other guys within the city that literally have mowers lined up and topsoil and mulch piles on there front.. yes front.. yards.

Today I got a letter in the mail that says, "You are in violation of city zoning ordinances and you have until APRIL 6th to CEASE OPERATIONS OF THIS ILLEGAL BUSINESS LOCATED AT 16** N. 7TH STREET.

If the business remains operating after April 6th citations may be issued and this matter may be forwarded to the City Attorney for further action.

The guy said he got some kind of complaint, but I have a very good relationship with ALL my immediate neighbors and know it was not them. They all think this is ridiculous.

What can I do!!??

Do they really expect me to close my business within the next 10 days?!?

I only have one employee but I do hundreds of thousands in sales each year and I have hundreds of customers.

Why does this have to happen at the busiest time of the year!!!
Sounds like one of those "lowball" whiners from lawnsite ratted you out so they can take your customers.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 11:10 AM
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,223
lol the op was hoping we would all have a pity party with him and feel bad for him breaking the rules.
Official THEGOLDPRO fan club.HERE
2012 Equipment/Stripe thread Here
2011 Equipment/Stripe thread Here
2010 Equipment/Stripe thread Here
2009 Equipment/Stripe thread Here
Hurricane blower video Here
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 12:35 PM
PROCUT1's Avatar
PROCUT1 PROCUT1 is offline
LawnSite Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: TN
Posts: 4,909
You can argue all you want about government interference but in cases like this, most people want government interference.

I live in a residential subdivision. Its quiet. Its zoned residential. There is hardly any traffic on my street. I like it. Its why I moved here.

If my neighbor started a business at his house and now employees are showing up. Trucks and trailers are coming and going. And the property now looks like a truck yard, you bet I would complain.

Most guys get away with it. Small, owner operated, one truck operations. Most neighbors dont have a problem with.

Across the street the guy works for a towing company. He brings a tow truck home at night and parks in his driveway. Nobody complains. My neighbor has a lettered electricians van that he parks next to his house.

Down the street is a landscaper with a truck and trailer. He has a driveway with trees on both sides. He parks there and you drive by and dont notice it. Nobody complains.

I know the guy behind me is doing car repairs out of his house. He has a big garage with a lift. But you cant tell. He brings one car at a time. Works in the garage, door closed. No signs, no parking, it just looks like a house. Most of the neighbors have him work on their cars. The city knows about him. But again. Nobody complains.

I have 5 sealcoat trucks and trailers and a dozen employees that come to work everyday. If I had all that at my house, and all my employee cars coming and going, wouldnt my neighbors who bought a house in a quiet residential neighborhood have a right to complain?

Why cant Brickman buy a house in a residential neighborhood and use it as a terminal?

When you grow a business you have to be prepared for the additional overhead you are going to incur. Real businesses have to have a place to store their equipment. If you want to play in that arena you have to do the same.

I dont like paying rent for a shop. But its part of doing business.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 10:18 PM
Kelly's Landscaping's Avatar
Kelly's Landscaping Kelly's Landscaping is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Milford CT
Posts: 3,995
Originally Posted by lawnlandscape View Post
Here is a picture of what my home looks like on a daily basis. Its not messy or cluttered.

I am VERY clean.

The second picture is half way up my driveway. All my stuff is 300'+ deep behind my house.
I was totally on your side till you posted picks of the tiny lot and those homes nearly touching yours. I think it depends on your lot and I do not know if that's the norm for a neighborhood where you live. We have places like that here as well but there is also plenty of spread out country roads where no one cares if you run a business off your property. I think your renting for now and looking for a new location like a 2-5 acre old farm where you can live and run a business on your property again. And if you do find that decide if you are going to be under the radar again or if you want a variance before you invest in shop buildings again.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 10:31 PM
Meezer's Avatar
Meezer Meezer is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by grass-scapes View Post
I can almost guarantee it was an immediate neighbor. I wouldn't tell you if I called the city either.
Yeah, more often than not, it's a neighbor calling & complaining. That's what the code enforcement have told me in the past. The only time that anyone from the city was really aggressive was when they passed the city sticker ordnance. I saw the cops going into peoples driveways, etc., checking to see if they had the stickers in their windshields. If they didn't, they wrote out tickets & left them on the vehicles.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Layout Style:

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Grand View Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:00 AM.

Page generated in 0.11878 seconds with 9 queries