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Sol?

lowlyplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
69
Points
4
What do I tell this guy?

A walk-in, an older guy with his wife. He operates a junkyard, like his daddy done, in an area that used to be the middle of nowhere and is now rapidly suburbanizing - even with him there. The problem is, when we did our comp plan about 10 years, we rezoned him from "Heavy Industrial" to "Rural Residential." He claims he never got any notice from the City (which I believe - we weren't all that great about noticing back then - in the early 90s).

He wants to pass on his business to his children (who I'm sure have no interest in operating a junkyard), and being non-conforming will make that very difficult. He thinks that our junk car ordinance is "communism and hitlerism." He described threatening the code enforcement officer with a crowbar, then looking him up in the phone book and calling him at home to yell at him some more.

Right down the street are brand-new subdivisions at $200-300K.

I felt a lot of sympathy for this guy - the suburbs came out to him and he had no interest in them - but I didn't have a single helpful thing to say. I know this happens everywhere - what do you'all say to these folks?

I sent him to our deputy director, btw, who is known as an accomplished talker...
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I'd probably invite him into my office, after putting a couple pictures of Joseph Stalin on the wall. I would explain the situation (growth, planning for the area, etc.) and why the city made the changes it did. After that I would outline options (and their liklihood as well as implications) for him: 1) try to pass on the use as grandfathered; 2) attempt to relocate the business to a suitable site, and perhaps redevelop the existing ground; or 3) request that the city consider rezoning his property back to a zone in which the business would be permitted. Your strategy of passing him up to someone else to deal with also has merit.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,387
Points
25
lowlyplanner said:
He claims he never got any notice from the City (which I believe - we weren't all that great about noticing back then - in the early 90s).
For [insert diety's name here]'s sake, man. Isn't it obvious?

Have the City Council return the zoning back to Heavy Industrial - immediately! This man has been wronged.

;)
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
um give him a rubber chicken to play with and not a crowbar

can you grandfather the property even if it changes hands the use is protected as long as its not out of biz more than 6 months (upon his untimely death with said chicken)



*a bit of humor there folks*
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I was thinking of a bouncing burning tire on to the property to hasten the destruction of the non conforming use, but throttling a person with a rubber chicken has its merits too. I'll have to buy me one of those.

Seriously, as soon as someone starts to threaten me I ask them to leave and come back when they can be rational. Still waiting for a few people to return.

Other serious replies are listed above apply for rezoning, petition for a rezoning (ie ask that it be considered next time you revise the documents), get him to speak to someone that can help him in a manner he thinks he should be helped ( council memebr, director other person).
 

lowlyplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
69
Points
4
He's currently grandfathered, and has been operating the whole time. He never actually threatened me, only described with great enjoyment how he threatened someone else. It's a fine line I guess.

I've already got my pictures of Uncle Joe up, so that part should be easy.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I guess I don't see how it would not be able to continue its legal non-conforming use if passed on to his kids. We allow non-conforming uses to continue even if there is an ownership change. Heck, the kids may want to end the non-conforming use and sell it to a developer.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Just sell him on the BLING BLING factor....

Like how much BLING BLING he's going to get for the property if he sells it to a developer.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Mike D. said:
Just sell him on the BLING BLING factor....

Like how much BLING BLING he's going to get for the property if he sells it to a developer.

May I quote you on that next time I am at a public meeting dealing with concerned citizens about development encroachment? ;)


PS. 5 minutes later, still have not stopped laughing! Thanks.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Mike D. said:
Just sell him on the BLING BLING factor....

Like how much BLING BLING he's going to get for the property if he sells it to a developer.
If it were another use, perhaps it might have value. I suspect that as it has been operating a long time as a junkyard, it might have some significant environmental issues. Perhaps that is another avenue you might explore -- using brownfield funds to help purchase or relocate the business, then clean the site for redevelopment.
 
Messages
5,353
Points
31
Michael Stumpf said:
If it were another use, perhaps it might have value. I suspect that as it has been operating a long time as a junkyard, it might have some significant environmental issues. Perhaps that is another avenue you might explore -- using brownfield funds to help purchase or relocate the business, then clean the site for redevelopment.
Brownfields funds would only be applicable if the current property owner isn't responsible for the environmental contamination at the site. The program is supposed to reward innocent property owners.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,551
Points
24
If this guy is interested in taking this city to court, I know of a fine firm that specializes in expert witness opinion and testimony in condemnation and rezoning cases... ; )
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
lowlyplanner said:
He wants to pass on his business to his children...
Give him words of encouragement. Tell him that while he will most likely not be able to pass the business on; he will on the other hand now no longer have to be losing sleep over estate taxes. ;)
 
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