City putting me out of business! Seriously!

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

  1. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    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.
  2. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,078

    If renting a storage space would truly be devastating to your business, maybe they are doing you a favor.

    Seriously, find a place to park that enclosed trailer that has some visiblity and get some advertising for your buck. Then rent a storage unit and park one truck and triler in there. i know you are out $200 a month. Sorry.
  3. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,389

    I would not say anything to the city and move equipment away for a month or two. Then put up a fence blocking the view of your backyard. Then move your equipment back home.

    If you go to the city and lose then they have that on record and you will not ever be able to come back to using your house for business.

    Just walk away quietly and then come back and see if you can get in another 3 years before you get another complaint. The fence may block it enough that you will never get another complaint.
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    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?
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  5. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    As the chairman of our local planning commission and board of zoning and appeals my advice to you would be to get a petition signed by your neighbors stating that they don't mind. Apply for a variance through your board of zoning and appeals. You will be given a chance to plead your case and there should be given an opportunity for public input. Encourage your neighbors to attend and speak in favor of you. What you have is a codes Nazi but there should be a board of zoning an appeals in place if your city has a zoning ordinance. It will likely cost you a small fee which should be less than an attorney's fee. That's where I would start. If that fails, them move on to plan b
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  6. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Why is this a shock?

    This is why they have zoning. Residential areas are for living. Commercial areas for business. What is so hard to understand about that?

    Ive been through the same stuff before where I lived. I bought a piece of commercial property zoned for exactly what I wanted to do with it. Moved my stuff there and moved into the house. No zoning change needed or anything. Within a couple months I got my first visit. You see. Even though it was zoned for what I wanted to do, I still needed a permit. Long story short it was going to cost $25,000 in engineering and fees to get that permit. I bought the property for nothing. But that was my own fault.

    If your neighbor had a small trucking company and a big driveway, why cant he park a couple of tractor trailers there?

    Your other neighbor wants to open a restaurant in his living room.
    Another neighbor is a mechanic, wants to open a shop in his garage.


    You also have other neighbors who want to live in a residential area free of business activity. So they move into a properly zoned area for that.

    You chose to try and skirt the rules. And got caught.

    If youre going to be a big boy business. Then you have to play by big boy rules.
  7. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I stopped putting advertising on our trucks and that seems to keep the bylaw orificers away.

    One of your neighbors or some-one in your area complained, regardless of what you've been told.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  8. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,082

    Mostly here in Texas, they allow some exceptions to people trying to make a buck-
    -there is a difference between just storing equipment and whether or not you have customers coming and going-
    --it all has to do with what your neighbors think...someone had it out for you and called the cops
    -I would NOT recommend only moving your equipment for 3 months...I'd move it and build the fence in the same month and then wait like 6 months and move your stuff back in--the city guy will hate to come out and keep inspecting only to find no violations and likly give up-
    OR-go down and plead your case and use the words...I'm just trying to get by...times are tough-
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    The title of the thread is not correct. It should read: "My city is enforcing the regulations, and I am in a bind."

    It is not their intent to put you out of business, as the title, and descriptions suggest. They are enforcing regulations that are in force. You may wish them to be selective about enforcing the regs, but, if that be the case, then what other ones do you suggest they enforce selectively?
  10. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903


    None of his business.

    How wild west of you.


    No kidding? And it's more than likely illegal to run service vehicles without lettering and certainly is if they meet DOT specs and from the pics they look like they do so....another bad "idear."

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