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Used car dealerships: the bane of my existence!

Gedunker

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The bane of my existence!

Last night at our planning meeting, a used car dealership was under review for conformance with the comp plan and any development issues germane to it. One of the conditions our commission has instituted is the prohibition of any "banners, streamers, flags, pennants or other attention getting devices". This has been very well received in the community.

Last night's applicant was seeking to amend his 3-month old approval to permit twice as many vehicles and "flags" after we issued him a notice for violating the terms of the original approval (too many vehicles, some parked off-site, and cheap 12" x 18" US flags mounted on the antennas of the vehicles).

The boy wants to fight this one -- he corraled me in the corridor after his case was heard (it was forwarded to the zoning board with a favorable recommendation) and I could tell he plans a "patriot" defense. I heard him say to his partner on the elevator "They are a d@mn sight better than anything else". I intend to report to the zoning board that it should continue to refuse the "attention getting devices", even if they are the national colors. (Isn't it more than a little crass to use the colors to sell used cars??)

Another used car dealer is suing us for denying his renewal after he violated something like 17 of 21 conditions-of-operation.

What is it with these guys? Are they all just schmucks?
 

Maister

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I just knew any thread titled "The Bane of my Existence" was gonna be a good one.....
Yeah, don't you just love the Patriot defense? A good variant of it is the Patriotic Veteran Defense. You know the one......."I was crawling around getting shot at by (Japs/Koreans/Vietnamese) about the time you were born and you're trying to tell me I can't do whatever I want with my OWN land? You'd think we were living in Nazi Germany........."(ad nauseum) :-#
 

Gedunker

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Rumpy Tunanator said:
Just be thankful you don't have this guy in your town.

LOL. Thank goodness my wise guys don't have an advertising budget B-)
 

Maister

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The local chain of Belle Tire just opened a store in Portage. First thing they did was to erect a 50 foot flagpole out front and run up a 20' x 30' flag.
 

NHPlanner

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Used car dealers rank about 2nd from the bottom of the food chain for me, above realtors and below attorneys.
 

JNA

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I Agree, add to the list:
mini storage operations,
those small yard style signs found in the r-o-w
 

BKM

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An even better subspecies is the temporary out-of-town dealer that sets up shop on a vacant lot in town. We had multiple banners and one of those gigantic gorilla balloons. A quirk of our code is that if a non-profit group "sponsors" the car sale, they get more days per year. So, the dealer tells me the nonprofit group brings the gorilla onto their site. :)

What is really interesting is that our LOCAL used car dealers are at war with the out of town dealers. So, "Rocco" always gives us a call every time there is a new temporary auto sale.
 

Repo Man

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We had a similar issue. A car dealership wanted to mount American Flags on every light pole in their lot. I denied them as our code says that flags may only be on a flag pole. They appealed my decision to the Plan Commission and the commision denied them too, saying that it was tacky, not patriotic. The manager was quoted in the paper as saying ""I was a little dumbfounded by the fact we can't wear our patriotism on our sleeve here," he said. "This was our way of showing a little patriotism. Right after 9-11 we went out and purchased American flags for our service department and our showroom. A lot of people have made favorable comments about them." Then he ended by saying "I walked out of that meeting as an American citizen and thought I just can't believe what happened in there"
 

Cardinal

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It happened at a plan commission meeting I attended. I and a couple others offered our own patriotic defense. To paraphrase; " As a veteran who has fought a war for this country and seen fellow soldiers die for their flag, I am frankly offended to think that anybody would so desecrate our flag as to use it as little more than an attention-getting device to hawk their tacos." The commission offered to let them have a flag pole in the front yard. My suggestion to you would be to run this proposal by the VFW and American Legion in your town. Ask them if they would like to comment on this use of the flag.
 

otterpop

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In Helena, last year, there was a controversy because a veteran's group wanted to mount a flagpole that exceeded height requirements with an American flag that exceeded the dimensions allowed. Of course they purchased the pole and flag before the fact. When the City notified them of their violation, they appealed it to the City Commission, and eventually won. Their defense primarily was the bigger your flag and the taller your flag pole, the better of an American you are. So apparently those WWII soldiers who raised the flag at Iwo Jima were just a bunch of lazy sunshine soldiers.
 

el Guapo

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Cardinal said what I had to say. There is a big difference between used car huckster and a true patriot. What ever happened to tastefulness?
 
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If they were true patriots, they would be doing something to support the veterans/troops. They could be doing valuable community work for the benefit of this nations deserving REAL patriots -- the ones willing to bleed and die and carry psychological wounds for the rest of their lives if they don't come home with a toe tag -- AND getting legitimate free publicity in the paper for it. Their use of the flag smacks of "prostitution" to me.

As a career military wife who has moved all over the world and mostly raised my kids alone for the privilege of supporting my husband's career, and as the daughter of a guy who fought in BOTH WWII and Vietnam, -- gee, can I cite a "patriot defense" if I slap **** out of people like that?

Just wondering.

I was patriotic when patriotic wasn't "cool". The so-called "patriotism" since 9/11 of folks who normally don't give a sh*t turns my stomach.
 

sisterceleste

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NHPlanner said:
Used car dealers rank about 2nd from the bottom of the food chain for me, above realtors and below attorneys.
We have some engineers around here with their own firms that always bring in the worse project on marginal lowlands...bottom feeders
 

Zoning Goddess

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The HUGE Chevy dealer here got around the flag limitation by posting two "stylized" US flags, with his logo, on every light pole on his site. There are hundreds out there.

He's also the guy who got massive publicity by taking keys away from old ladies for up to 4 hours until they bought a car.
 

Gedunker

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Zoning Goddess said:
He's also the guy who got massive publicity by taking keys away from old ladies for up to 4 hours until they bought a car.
The Chevy dealer here did that, too! Until he tried to pressure a guy that worked in the local prosecutor's office :-D

Stay tuned for the hearing in April: I can sense that this guy intends to make an issue out of this. I may talk to a couple friends from the local VFW post and see how they feel about it.
 
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