Who rents space?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by indy2tall, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. indy2tall

    indy2tall LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 417

    I have a few questions for you all and then I want to open a can of worms!
    1. How far on the average do you drive each day to your first yard or account?
    2. How many of you rent storage space to store your equipment, truck and/or trailers?
    Now for the can of worms. How many of you that operate out of your garage realize that you are (more than likely) in violation of your town or counties zoning laws and one complaint from a PITA neighbor could severely harm your ability to do business? Now before someone says I am full of it let me say I have researched this rather deeply and have been told by more than one zoning official in several counties that your home based business must be conducted INSIDE your home in what would normally be the living area and that your garage, even if it is attached, does not qualify.
    Now I realize that the zoning people turn a blind eye to this situation unless someone complains but for all you part timers (like myself) who are growing your business and planning on going full time do not forget about this.
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Ummm.... only if you're in the city. You didn't research enough.

    However, someplaces here in MN, if your pickup has company lettering on it, you cannot park it in your own driveway, it's considered a commercial vehicle.

    There's other places as well where you cannot park your own trailer anywhere on your property, or a boat along side the garage, or an RV cannot be parked in your yard.
  3. indy2tall

    indy2tall LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 417

    Although zoning will obviously vary from one area to another and state to state in the metro indianapolis area and in the surrounding counties the zoning laws are very very similar between people that live inside the city and those who live out in the country. Just because you are not in a city does not mean you are free from the long arm of big government.
  4. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    My most distant account is about 6-7 miles from the yard I rent. I've been working on tightening my route, so we don't do much driving anymore. Years ago, I used to park my rig at my parents house, never had a problem, but we were on a dead end street. I remember going to town hall to ask the same question and one of the inspectors basically just said they wouldn't bother me as long as they didn't get complaints.
    Now, I really like having the yard, park everything there, go home, and don't have to look at that stuff while I'm trying to relax. And no more rotten grass smell. Only thing that stinks is if I need a machine or blower at my house, I have to drive over and get it.
  5. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    This is exactly why I operate from a storage area. That and I really want to keep my business life seperate from my home life. Two years ago I had my trailer and truck parked in front of my house for a few hours one evening and two days later the county inspector showed up. He said there were complaints I was running a business from my house and wanted to take a look. I let him look around the yard and told him I keep my stuff elsewhere, sometimes I bring it home to eat dinner and park out front. Some neighbor complained about it. He said as long as it's not there overnight no problems. Kinda pissed me off that someone would complain in such a short amount of time, but whatever.

    The storage space I work out of is a mile away and it takes me about a half hour to drive and load up every day. It's wasted time, yes, but a necessary evil.
  6. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    I operate out of my home for now, however my PITA neighbor just filed a complaint last week and i got a visit from the zoning guy. I now have to store my trailer over the winter and for the foreseeable future. He was pretty friendly about everything, basically said the neighbors are always complaining about something in town and he can't just ignore it.

    This wasn't exactly a great way to end the season.
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Another thing that helps, is I've got alot of equipment that my neighbors don't, so I do stuff for them all the time.

    One guy uses my log splitter to split his wood, gives me a $50 gift card to a different restaurant each year.

    Another one has a pasture that needs to be mowed, so we mow it twice a year for him.

    Another one has horses, and nowhere to spread the manure, so my dad goes and gets it and spreads it on the guy's pasture, kills 2 birds with one stone.

    Another one runs a construction business, so he's always running up and down the road with trucks / trailers.

    I look at it, that yes, I COULD charge money to some of my neighbors for things they use / I do, but I get the money back in the fact that I don't have to have another area to keep all my stuff.

    It DOES help too that I live on a 1/2 mile long dead end road with 11 houses total on it.

    Everyone on the road has at least 5 acres, with most having 7-12.
  8. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    I have both. I have a pole barn on my property in which I keep all of my equipment most of the time. However, it's on the back of the property in the lawn. I can't get to my snow equipment in the winter if it's there, so, I have to rent a moderate size storage unit to put my snow stuff in the winter. (Plow, spreader, snowblower shovel, hoist ect.). I only pay for it as long as I have to. We have a 5 acre lot, and really couldn't bother the neighbors if we tried. As for the zoning, I didn't know about that, but, it makes sense. I see that being more of a problem in subdivisions than anywhere else, but, I'm sure the rules probably apply in most areas. Nobody's hasseled me yet in two years. I'm friends with both of my neighbors, have done work for both, and it's woods across the street. In fact I've done some work for some of the police officers in our town as well. I think I'm safe for now.
  9. qps

    qps LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 1,484

    I also live in Indy and going through the zoning thing as we speak, I think a competitor complained ( he got turned it) and I didn't...so he turned me in...currently trying to get a 5 acre lot rezoned light industrial to relocate, zoning inspector get me a 50.00 fine for have a trailer sitting in my drive....my drive is also 300 ft long.;) ....hopefully in a month or two my other property will be rezoned and the new shop can be built..someone always wants to mess with you
  10. wacamaster

    wacamaster LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Posts: 198

    I think having some land is the key. I have 4 acres and everyone around me has minimum that. I would never consider EVER EVER getting a complaint with my truck and trailer out front all the time. Half my neighbors have dozers and bobcats laying around.

Share This Page