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(Dayton Daily News)   Couple faces $97,000 in fines after judge orders them to stop using their own driveway   (daytondailynews.com) divider line 63
    More: Asinine, Warren County, civil fine, counterclaims, pairs, court orders  
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9991 clicks; posted to Business » on 01 Dec 2012 at 10:05 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-01 08:12:47 PM
First thing we do . . .

/You know the rest
 
2012-12-01 08:14:47 PM
So, they added a lot of traffic on a residential street for a business in another county? After just asking "a Twp official"? Was it just a friend of theirs who said "Yeah, that should be cool"?

Pave a drive to a road on the other side. If there is a mountain in the way, maybe that's why you got a good deal on the land.
 
2012-12-01 08:26:47 PM

Zarquon's Flat Tire: So, they added a lot of traffic on a residential street for a business in another county? After just asking "a Twp official"? Was it just a friend of theirs who said "Yeah, that should be cool"?

Pave a drive to a road on the other side. If there is a mountain in the way, maybe that's why you got a good deal on the land.


From the sounds of it, the real issue is more like a "Drive 5 miles to get to my own back yard" sort of deal (as in, drive out of your residential driveway, turn left, drive 2 miles to the next intersection, turn left, drive 1 mile to the next intersection, turn left, drive 2 more miles, then turn left to get to your own back yard that just happens to be zoned differently than your front yard and is in another county all because your neighbors are being dicks because they don't own the land next to your back yard), and yes, I know it's probably more complicated than that, but this is what it sounds like to me.
 
2012-12-01 08:39:37 PM
seems like a bunch of neighbors who would be happier living in an HOA
 
2012-12-01 08:47:31 PM
Sounds like they opened a small "home-based" business of lawn care, then decided to open a large scale storage business in a residential area. This increase in traffic is what pissed off the neighbors.
 
2012-12-01 08:47:56 PM
A small town I used to live in had an ordinance that you could only have one driveway on your property. That meant no "U" shaped ones either. One person built a second driveway. The cops came and were going to write him up. He said it was for utilities access. The cops left to ask the officials about that. They came back and said that was fine. So people started putting in utilities accesses and that was the end of that ordinance.
 
2012-12-01 08:59:17 PM
It depends on state laws but in most states you can force a right of way to your land. There was a lawsuit here a few years ago between two family members where one refused to let other cross his land in order to get to their property. The judge ordered a right a way be created for a drive to connect the access road to other family members land. Not quite the same thing but if their state has a law like that they might be able to force those neighbors to give up some of their land in order to have a approved access to those peoples property. At that point I'm sure whatever problems the city and the neighbors have will suddenly be resolved.
 
2012-12-01 09:31:34 PM
That's what happens when you don't go through proper channels to get approval. I'm guessing none of the neighbors got a say in it initially. I don't blame the neighbors one bit
 
2012-12-01 09:37:35 PM
Looking at the aerial image from the address they give in the article, this is way more than a "home-based" business. It's gotta be a good 600 or so feet behind the first house (looks like there's actually multiple houses on the lot), and the "business zone" the self storage area is technically in is bordered by a creek behind an empty lot in the actual business zone. In other words, short of subletting from the owners of said lot and then building a bridge to their property over said creek, there's no way you can access that place from the rear.

Sounds like they tried to get around the rules to get this done in the first place, putting commercial business in what is a very residential street (which borders a pretty big subdivision) and are now trying to keep from getting their legal asses handed to them.
 
2012-12-01 10:00:15 PM
he's running business traffic thru a residential driveway. If I had to listen to that at all hours I would be pissed too. side with the courts on this one
 
2012-12-01 10:11:06 PM

ltdanman44: he's running business traffic thru a residential driveway. If I had to listen to that at all hours I would be pissed too. side with the courts on this one


Exactly. It's all fun and games until the gravel trucks start loading at 5am.
 
2012-12-01 10:17:34 PM
If the people that are having this dispute with the county are reading this, here is a little advice. Please do not let this guy ever speak for you on this dispute. If he offers any help or any words of encouragement, kindly decline and distance yourself from him.

From the comments

Posted by KeithGillis at 10:23 a.m. Dec. 1, 2012
Agenda 21 begins....Also, sounds like Mead is like any other ambulance chasing lawyer looking for a payday.
 
2012-12-01 10:33:00 PM

Too_many_Brians: Sounds like they opened a small "home-based" business of lawn care, then decided to open a large scale storage business in a residential area. This increase in traffic is what pissed off the neighbors.


This. People don't live in the country to be around other people.
 
2012-12-01 11:05:34 PM
Land of the free.
 
2012-12-01 11:07:19 PM

FriarReb98: Looking at the aerial image from the address they give in the article, this is way more than a "home-based" business. It's gotta be a good 600 or so feet behind the first house (looks like there's actually multiple houses on the lot), and the "business zone" the self storage area is technically in is bordered by a creek behind an empty lot in the actual business zone. In other words, short of subletting from the owners of said lot and then building a bridge to their property over said creek, there's no way you can access that place from the rear.

Sounds like they tried to get around the rules to get this done in the first place, putting commercial business in what is a very residential street (which borders a pretty big subdivision) and are now trying to keep from getting their legal asses handed to them.


Yeah, I'm kind of torn on this. The road the driveway is on actually looks like a pretty big road so I don't think traffic is a huge issue there. I think the biggest problem is that there are four houses on the same "driveway". I'm guessing one of those four owners is pretty well connected politically and has gotten somebody involved. I'd be pretty pissed if I had RVs and trailers and flatbed driving down my driveway every day (like it looks like there are in the storage area). It seems to me like the owners with the storage space should have gotten something in writing before putting such a big enterprise at the end of a shared entryway.
 
2012-12-01 11:09:20 PM
ALWAYS get it in writing.
 
2012-12-01 11:20:02 PM

Zarquon's Flat Tire: So, they added a lot of traffic on a residential street for a business in another county? After just asking "a Twp official"? Was it just a friend of theirs who said "Yeah, that should be cool"?


From the opening of the article, it sounded to me like it was a rural area not a residential area. Plus, the photo looks like it's a rural area, not residential. If you're going to build a house in the country to get out of the urban and suburban sprawl, don't start complaining about the smell of horse manure. See for yourself.

/my house is zoned commercial
 
2012-12-01 11:26:59 PM

eggrolls: ALWAYS get it in writing.


Amen!

As a local planning commissioner I hate these kind of fark-ups. The people in the residential district are entitled to enforcement of the rule about home occupations, but if it can be proved that the local planning director - city employee - gave them false advice they may have a case for compensation. No responsible planning commission or zoning board would grant such a variance.

In fact, it's not a variance, but a zoning change.
 
2012-12-01 11:28:50 PM

The Reverend Smith: Land of the free.


Homo the brave.

/ Play ball !
 
2012-12-01 11:29:00 PM

Yakk: ltdanman44: he's running business traffic thru a residential driveway. If I had to listen to that at all hours I would be pissed too. side with the courts on this one

Exactly. It's all fun and games until the gravel trucks start loading at 5am.


Why do you hate business?
 
2012-12-01 11:37:21 PM

Lost_in_Oregon: eggrolls: ALWAYS get it in writing.

Amen!

As a local planning commissioner I hate these kind of fark-ups. The people in the residential district are entitled to enforcement of the rule about home occupations, but if it can be proved that the local planning director - city employee - gave them false advice they may have a case for compensation. No responsible planning commission or zoning board would grant such a variance.

In fact, it's not a variance, but a zoning change.


What good would getting it in writing do? In the article, the township admits that it gave bad advice about using the driveway but says that their initial position doesn't matter since the court has ordered the family to stop. That the family was initially told it was OK is not in dispute.
 
2012-12-01 11:40:59 PM
County screwed up when they gave the okay and lived with it for years then when the population exploded people complained about the noise not understanding or caring what kind of area they had moved to the powers at be found a loop hole to fix a problem that was not one.

Either the landowners should be compensated or allowed to use the driveway as they have been.
 
2012-12-01 11:44:46 PM
As much as I'd like to sympathize with the 'home business' owners, there are multiple avenues to working with the government. I don't know anything about zoning laws, but I do know that if a Judge issues your family a court order, you obey it.

They're right, that this is a red tape nightmare of the government's doing. But they should have sought other means of remedying the situation. If you're being threatened with a court order and you can't or won't fight it -- find another way. Purchase land elsewhere? They obviously have the money to do it. It's not fair, no. But they literally held off to the last minute to deal with the local government. They had plenty of time to fix the situation.

Instead they defied the court and are now surprised that the court is going to crack down on them. If you're going to protest the government, be prepared to deal with the consequences. It's not like they're sending in riot police to pepper spray you.

Contempt of court is contempt of court no matter what's fair and what isn't. This is a nation of laws. You either fight the government or you work with them. This family business decided to do neither.

Unless you call openly and willingly defying a court order as fighting the government. In which case don't be surprised if you get a massive fine.
 
2012-12-01 11:45:05 PM

Lost_in_Oregon: The people in the residential district are entitled to enforcement of the rule about home occupations, but if it can be proved that the local planning director - city employee - gave them false advice they may have a case for compensation. No responsible planning commission or zoning board would grant such a variance.


What residential district? To me it all looks rural or possibly commercial. (I'm too lazy to look for the county zoning maps.) It also looks like some genius builder subdivided some land to build lots of houses and didn't bother to tell the suckers new owners the sort of things permissible in the area, and then the local government who doesn't want to lose the lucrative residential property value increase and accompanying taxes sides with the new whiners.

Maybe this couple should close the storage business and instead raise hogs. That would require much less traffic. Of course, then the haters would hate on the smell. It would be a terrible shame if the woods there accidentally caught on fire. I'm not saying anything; I'm just saying.
 
2012-12-01 11:45:24 PM
This is pretty simple case, and the neighbors are right to be pissed. This is way more than a home business. But why are they doing this and not having the other county put in a driveway for their commercial property?
 
2012-12-02 12:00:40 AM

RickN99: Lost_in_Oregon: eggrolls: ALWAYS get it in writing.

Amen!

As a local planning commissioner I hate these kind of fark-ups. The people in the residential district are entitled to enforcement of the rule about home occupations, but if it can be proved that the local planning director - city employee - gave them false advice they may have a case for compensation. No responsible planning commission or zoning board would grant such a variance.

In fact, it's not a variance, but a zoning change.

What good would getting it in writing do? In the article, the township admits that it gave bad advice about using the driveway but says that their initial position doesn't matter since the court has ordered the family to stop. That the family was initially told it was OK is not in dispute.


An application and ruling grants enforceable rights. If the planning commission or zoning board granted approval it would be via a resolution that carries the same weight as the city council granting approval. Second, a formal land use application would have resulted in the land owners within perhaps 300 feet being given notice. If they failed to voice an objection they lose standing to raise an objection at a later date.

---

I presumed it was zoned residential because of the statement that "he township determined the Grays' businesses failed to qualify as a home business . . . " Home business rules are only created, and only make sense, for residential districts. They exist to reduce traffic and eliminate undesirable activities; here, for example, that would include tattoo parlors.
 
2012-12-02 12:52:23 AM

Too_many_Brians: Sounds like they opened a small "home-based" business of lawn care, then decided to open a large scale storage business in a residential area. This increase in traffic is what pissed off the neighbors.


Yeah it sounds like something almost everyone would be pissed off about, subby did a good job at trolling though.
 
2012-12-02 01:28:46 AM

steamingpile: Too_many_Brians: Sounds like they opened a small "home-based" business of lawn care, then decided to open a large scale storage business in a residential area. This increase in traffic is what pissed off the neighbors.

Yeah it sounds like something almost everyone would be pissed off about, subby did a good job at trolling though.


Yep, this. Whatever approval they got was for the modest storage units, which would have had little daily traffic and little noise. Then they changed their end of the deal and put in a fully operating business with a full complement of trucks, equipment and employees. I'll bet they could have simply moved the business to a business-zoned site, but then they'd be giving up the competitive advantage they have of not having to pay leases and taxes and permits. Of course, when this is all over, it would have been the cheaper course of action. Especially when the counties, state and Feds start looking at all the taxes and other fees they have avoided through their little deception. They said they'd have a discreet home-based venture but they didn't keep that promise, that commitment to their neighbors and community - and they are not above the laws that their neighbors, competitors and other businesses seem willing to observe.
 
2012-12-02 02:04:26 AM

felching pen: steamingpile: Too_many_Brians: Sounds like they opened a small "home-based" business of lawn care, then decided to open a large scale storage business in a residential area. This increase in traffic is what pissed off the neighbors.

Yeah it sounds like something almost everyone would be pissed off about, subby did a good job at trolling though.

Yep, this. Whatever approval they got was for the modest storage units, which would have had little daily traffic and little noise. Then they changed their end of the deal and put in a fully operating business with a full complement of trucks, equipment and employees. I'll bet they could have simply moved the business to a business-zoned site, but then they'd be giving up the competitive advantage they have of not having to pay leases and taxes and permits. Of course, when this is all over, it would have been the cheaper course of action. Especially when the counties, state and Feds start looking at all the taxes and other fees they have avoided through their little deception. They said they'd have a discreet home-based venture but they didn't keep that promise, that commitment to their neighbors and community - and they are not above the laws that their neighbors, competitors and other businesses seem willing to observe.



This is Fark, STOP MAKING SENSE.


/very well stated, bravo... 
 
2012-12-02 03:05:47 AM
When I went to the first (and only) meeting about opening a store in a certain village, the planning board people were happily surprised at how much preparation I had done. I get the feeling that this kind of thing would happen more often if the town officials were slacking, which seems to have been the case here.

Although why you would buy property that crosses county lines and then try and run multiple businesses on it, at least without a lawyer or two to make sure it's legit use...

(and only) = location fell through, small town, etc etc.
 
2012-12-02 07:09:13 AM
But... but small business owners! And they are doing it for charity!
 
2012-12-02 07:17:40 AM

Lost_in_Oregon: eggrolls: ALWAYS get it in writing.

Amen!

As a local planning commissioner I hate these kind of fark-ups. The people in the residential district are entitled to enforcement of the rule about home occupations, but if it can be proved that the local planning director - city employee - gave them false advice they may have a case for compensation. No responsible planning commission or zoning board would grant such a variance.

In fact, it's not a variance, but a zoning change.


As a reporter who used to cover smaller-community zoning issues ... you have my sympathies. Zoning folks almost always only get personal recognition only when they're widely perceived to have screwed something up.
 
2012-12-02 07:29:18 AM
As someone who has had dealing many times with Planning and Development and county inspectors.

My sympathies are with these people. You will often get bad information or locked into a war or words with the county.
And believe me it's not just a case of having paper work in order.

The officials can be as petty and vindictive as any 14 year old adolescent.

I have spent hours outside waiting on inspectors who will not even hint at what time they may arrive ,but demand total access to the property. Or have inspected the wrong property and logged in my address as failed in the network ,resulting in a trip to the county and trying to prove they made a mistake.

// Silt fence. I had one inspector who routinely looked for the slight tear or damaged silt fence. (often occurring when a contractor back over /clip the fence.) Takes 10 minutes to repair ! This old man would slap a "STOP WORK" until further inspection . The client would go crazy thinking there was some structural problem . Man it's only a mud fence

The silt fence was to keep dirt out of the street and washing into the streams. Okay good thing.

But even if the fence was on top of a hill and dirt doesn't run up a hillside and a branch fell on the fence this man would shut the job down until a re inspection was scheduled. ( at a $25.00 fee )

Now for the funny part. 1/2 mile down the road in commercial job. A future Home Depot was being built. The area the size of five football fields with dust devils spinning around and four foot high cloud bank of dust and dirt.
Totally exempted from same environmental controls and inspector harassment.

I dared to ask how their dirt was different from my dirt ? Their dirt is commercial and your dirt is residential.
 
2012-12-02 09:14:42 AM
This couple obviously is trying to harm their neighbors' property values and should be shut down. They don't have the right to just do whatever they want at the expense of others. Well done by the Twp here.
 
2012-12-02 09:51:52 AM
Grew up right around there.Typical shenanigans on behalf of the complainers
 
2012-12-02 11:03:31 AM

The Reverend Smith: Land of the free.


Free for a fee
 
2012-12-02 11:18:14 AM
they act like they own the land or something. They should skip paying their property taxes for 2-3 years, then they'll find out who really owns what.

/silly peons.
 
2012-12-02 11:51:36 AM
This is one of those issues that makes me sound like a dirty libertarian. Their land, they get to do what they want with it. I actually happen to be opposed to how we do zoning. If it's so important that the government has to shut down a business, the business owners should be automatically compensated for the value of the business. This is a completely different issue than a business itself breaking the rules.

It just seems like idiocy how we decide to give businesses the death penalty.

I've seen neighborhoods sprout up around land owned by a gravel company that successfully fought to have the gravel company barred from using its own land. Sorry, but if you moved in afterwards you should have zero say in what happens on that land. Sue the guy who sold you the land without disclosing the proximity to future excavations if you like, but you should have zero say on legal happenings on the property of others.
 
2012-12-02 11:56:55 AM
The zoning board when they opened may be completely different people then there are now. The people in the office probably are clueless... poorly educated, like the ones I worked with in a building & zoning office. Couldn't understand decimal file system, were having out black permits, couldn't read maps or codes... couldn't schedule worth shiat... I had to clean up their messes and couldn't get the job full time as the civil service test hadn't been offered since I was 13. 10 years later they still haven't issued a new test. 20 years ago these women applied? Yeah that'swhy yyour local gov is farked.
 
2012-12-02 12:57:04 PM
Some years back we had a section of road that went through a high end residential area to connect with a highway. While a block further was another road that did the same thing. Folks started using the first road as a short cut, which annoyed the home owners, even though the road was there before they built their homes.

Eventually, a group of lawyers who lived there managed to have the road, where it entered the small community, closed and since folks drove right past the closed signs, put up a steel barricade.

A few years ago, another road was scheduled to be widened, due to increasing business on that side of town. One side of the road was residential while the other was more or less commercial ranching.

City and county leaders were unpleasantly surprised to discover that, over 60 years ago, when the road was surveyed, someone goofed. All of the homes were too close to the state right of way or partially on it.

To widen the road, they'd have to take sizable chunks of people's front yards.

The residents were rather irritated about all of that. Some houses would have traffic passing right outside their windows.

The city and county, after a period of the usual political blame game, uncharacteristically chose not to widen the road and instead selected another, less developed road 6 blocks away. I figure the idea of facing 20 or so lawsuits from the land owners may have discouraged them when they totaled up the cost to fight them all.

Around 50 years back, the city chose to slightly widen and rework a major two lane road -- and one home owner discovered his house -- or the back of it -- had been built right smack up against the county easement.

The road was widened and the guy now has a sidewalk that goes right under his bedroom windows. Been that way for decades now.

The latest road squabble involved a major road, along which are mainly homes. About 30 years back, at one end in the commercial zone, the city removed a two lane bridge over a main canal and replaced it with an unusually wide cement one. No one seemed to know why. The road kind of bottlenecked at the bridge which was two lanes wider.

About 8 years back, we found out. There were plans to 4 lane the road. Traffic, over the years, had tripled. So began a 5 year battle with the city and the many residences along a 5 mile stretch that finally cumulated with the plans being scrapped.

For now. My city leaders tend to be sneaky. They planned to eventually widen the road when they installed that bridge 30 years back. They just never told anyone. Which means a lot of homes built along the road during that time did not know they'd have a 4 lane highway coming through.

Since the population here has exploded and the road is now heavily used, I suspect eventually they'll find some way to widen it. Probably through the new eminent dominion laws.
 
2012-12-02 01:40:04 PM
Obviously, the d-bag forgot to pay "campaign" contributions to city/county officials

Walmart would never make a simple mistake like that.
 
2012-12-02 01:46:31 PM
Landowner discovers the little chunk of land at the back of their property is in a special business tax zone. They get permission from some township schmuck to use their residential driveway to access their "home business". Then they proceed to expand the "home business" into a full commercial operation.

Sounds to me like a premeditated attempt to game the system. Their little scheme didn't work out as they planned, and now instead of sucking it up and buying an easement to the industrial park a few hundred feet away, they decided to whine and cry about it.
 
2012-12-02 02:31:43 PM

BolloxReader: This is one of those issues that makes me sound like a dirty libertarian. Their land, they get to do what they want with it. I actually happen to be opposed to how we do zoning. If it's so important that the government has to shut down a business, the business owners should be automatically compensated for the value of the business. This is a completely different issue than a business itself breaking the rules.

It just seems like idiocy how we decide to give businesses the death penalty.

I've seen neighborhoods sprout up around land owned by a gravel company that successfully fought to have the gravel company barred from using its own land. Sorry, but if you moved in afterwards you should have zero say in what happens on that land. Sue the guy who sold you the land without disclosing the proximity to future excavations if you like, but you should have zero say on legal happenings on the property of others.


The character of an area changes, and our country's policy is to encourage growth.

So... grow up.
 
2012-12-02 02:48:21 PM

halB: BolloxReader: This is one of those issues that makes me sound like a dirty libertarian. Their land, they get to do what they want with it. I actually happen to be opposed to how we do zoning. If it's so important that the government has to shut down a business, the business owners should be automatically compensated for the value of the business. This is a completely different issue than a business itself breaking the rules.

It just seems like idiocy how we decide to give businesses the death penalty.

I've seen neighborhoods sprout up around land owned by a gravel company that successfully fought to have the gravel company barred from using its own land. Sorry, but if you moved in afterwards you should have zero say in what happens on that land. Sue the guy who sold you the land without disclosing the proximity to future excavations if you like, but you should have zero say on legal happenings on the property of others.

The character of an area changes, and our country's policy is to encourage growth.

So... grow up.


Think about how many threads we've had here about new neighborhoods built around farms and how the residents complain about farm noise and smells. There is something seriously farked up about residential areas getting approved so close to farms and industrial businesses that have already been operating for some time - it should not happen at all unless there's a stipulation (or something) that those businesses can't be sued by the new residents.
 
2012-12-02 03:14:28 PM
I work less than 2 miles from there. Springboro/Clear Creek Township is a wonderful combination of NIMBY plus underwater-McMansion plus close-the-door-behind-me-elitists plus good-ole-boys.

The region was farmland 20 years ago, now it's a major suburb.
 
2012-12-02 03:16:48 PM

ClavellBCMI: Zarquon's Flat Tire: So, they added a lot of traffic on a residential street for a business in another county? After just asking "a Twp official"? Was it just a friend of theirs who said "Yeah, that should be cool"?

Pave a drive to a road on the other side. If there is a mountain in the way, maybe that's why you got a good deal on the land.

From the sounds of it, the real issue is more like a "Drive 5 miles to get to my own back yard" sort of deal (as in, drive out of your residential driveway, turn left, drive 2 miles to the next intersection, turn left, drive 1 mile to the next intersection, turn left, drive 2 more miles, then turn left to get to your own back yard that just happens to be zoned differently than your front yard and is in another county all because your neighbors are being dicks because they don't own the land next to your back yard), and yes, I know it's probably more complicated than that, but this is what it sounds like to me.



Sounds like to me they were running trucks and other equipment in and out of the land that is zoned commercial using that driveway that is zoned residential instead of negotiating, i.e. paying for, a right of way on the other side of the property where the zoning is all commercial and has the necessary infrastructure to handle commercial traffic.

In other words the property owners are being douche bags.
 
2012-12-02 03:50:30 PM

BolloxReader: This is one of those issues that makes me sound like a dirty libertarian. Their land, they get to do what they want with it. I actually happen to be opposed to how we do zoning. If it's so important that the government has to shut down a business, the business owners should be automatically compensated for the value of the business. This is a completely different issue than a business itself breaking the rules.

It just seems like idiocy how we decide to give businesses the death penalty.

I've seen neighborhoods sprout up around land owned by a gravel company that successfully fought to have the gravel company barred from using its own land. Sorry, but if you moved in afterwards you should have zero say in what happens on that land. Sue the guy who sold you the land without disclosing the proximity to future excavations if you like, but you should have zero say on legal happenings on the property of others.


Normally I would agree with you but in this case it's unclear whether they actually own the entirety of this "driveway," which is actually more of an access road that four or five houses have driveways leading off of. It's possible that the road is not owned by these people or that the deeds on these houses say that it can't be used for commercial traffic. Without looking at the property deeds and knowing exactly who owns that access road, it's hard to tell if this is kosher. Given that they didn't get written permission to use the "driveway" for commercial purposes and just went with the word of a friend on the city council, I'm willing to bet they knew it wouldn't normally fly.
 
2012-12-02 04:10:35 PM

BolloxReader: I've seen neighborhoods sprout up around land owned by a gravel company that successfully fought to have the gravel company barred from using its own land. Sorry, but if you moved in afterwards you should have zero say in what happens on that land. Sue the guy who sold you the land without disclosing the proximity to future excavations if you like, but you should have zero say on legal happenings on the property of others.


You should generally be allowed to conduct whatever activity you want on your property, so long as those activities do not negatively impact neighboring properties. As the old saying goes, your right to swing your fist in the air end when it meets my face.

In your example with the gravel pit, they failed to secure a proper buffer around their activities. As such, the owners of neighboring properties were shouldered with part of the cost in the form of decreased property values. That's not fair. Either purchase enough of a buffer or do something to reduce the impact of your operations.

Having said that, there are some exceptions. In northeastern Oregon, people have been purchasing parcels zoned agriculture and have been subdividing them into smaller parcels of 2 to 5 acres each. Yuppies from Portland and Seattle then come in and start small vineyard operations while also plopping a weekend home in the middle. Traditional farmers are upset because these city folk complain about the dust kicked up from plowing in neighboring fields. Due to tight water supplies, spraying water prior to plowing to keep the dust down isn't usually feasible.

The local governments have been responding by placing restrictions on how small these agriculture parcels can be subdivided. The have a vested economic interest in keeping the traditional farms going, so they are working to ensure that conflicts never have a chance to start. Just keep the people who might complain locked out. To build on that old saying I just used, your right to not have a fist hit your face ends when you enter a boxing ring, so the government is trying to keep the bystanders out. I think it is a good compromise
 
2012-12-02 06:49:41 PM

Too_many_Brians: Sounds like they opened a small "home-based" business of lawn care, then decided to open a large scale storage business in a residential area. This increase in traffic is what pissed off the neighbors.


In other words enterprising entrepreneurs are attempting to run a business on their own private property and the government is trying to tell them what they can or cannot do with their own private property. . Sounds like a Constitutional violation to me.
 
2012-12-02 07:10:09 PM

Warlordtrooper: Sounds like a Constitutional violation to me.


Except that it isn't. Zoning regulations have been around for ages. It's what stops a neighbor from suddenly building a factory in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

I noticed that a few people are commenting on the fact that this is a rural area. My experience has been that a residential parcel is still a residential parcel, regardless of where it is located. Instead of a city zoning commission, you have to deal with the county and/or the state. The rules might be a little more liberal, but there are still rules.

If you want to rezone your residential parcel to light commercial, fine. Do it through proper channels so the neighbors can weigh in. If you feel that is an undue burden, the libertarian paradise of Somalia awaits you.
 
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