City putting me out of business! Seriously!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lawnlandscape, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    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.
     
  2. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 829

    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.
     
  3. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    OP,

    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.
     
  4. chipk1

    chipk1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 393

    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.
     
  5. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    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.
     
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Sounds like one of those "lowball" whiners from lawnsite ratted you out so they can take your customers.
     
  7. THEGOLDPRO

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    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.
     
  8. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from 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.
     
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,303

    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.
     
  10. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    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.
     

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