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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  I am a businesses law attorney, with experience advising and representing owners and investors.
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I leased a property that has a

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I leased a property that has a building on it on Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA. I have a non-profit 501(c) and I wanted to put church, food bank and a recycle center there but after i acquired all the items i needed to open church and put food bank there, the city of sacramento XXX XXX advised me i needed at least $13,000.00 dollars to purchase special permit to open church.Jean told me they didn't want a church or a food bank or a recycle center there because it will draw all the homeless and kinds of people that they don't want in that area.She said Del Paso Blvd.has a partnership that is restoring Del Paso Blvd.& they want it for arts,museum and of that sorts and that is the kind of business they want in that area only.I was finally approved to open my recycling center on the property by calrecycle.The first day i opened Jean immediately shut me down and stated i cannot do the recycling inside the building and that i could do my recycling out of the storage container that i had put next to the building and she advised me again they 'DO NOT' want a recycle center there,the city doesn't want those kinds of people there at all but since i am approved by cal recycle that i can do recycling from the storage container and i have to utilize the building for something as it is considered a host to the recycling and cannot be empty.So I decided to use the building for my office and rent out a space to another person to use for a office.I opened recycling only for a few days and she came again and shut me down.She said offices will not work for the building and we needed to think of something else to put in the building. When i thought of "what about a small convenience store?", she said yes that will work.But before she left she stated again that Del Paso Blvd. Partnership does not want us there. Immediately after she left on this day i purchased the license for my convenience store.I went and bought chips, soda, candy, gum, energy drinks other drinks and water.I contacted her and advised her we now have convenience store.When she returned to see our convenience store she said we didn't have enough inventory and she would take her pictures and speak to her adviser.She contacted me after speaking to her adviser and advised me my convenience store was approved by her supervisor.A city investigator came from accross the street during this time to look at our store and spoke to my wife.She said he seemed satisfied at the time he left and stated if anything we need that they may be of help to give him a call. My wife called him a few days later and asked if there was any grants or funding the city may help us to get to help generate the store much better. He told her there is nothing they can help us with that way and the city will be giving us fines until we are shut down. The next time Jean returned a couple weeks later she said we needed to keep our door fully opened to our convenience store.My wife explained to her that i am in college full time and the times i'm in college which is for about 1-11/2 hours twice a week for two times on those days that, she needed to close the door down but not all the way and she put sign that store clerk is at the recycle center but the store is always open for business. She said as long as no one says anything.Now on April 11, 2013 XXX XXX came into the building yelling at us saying she is shutting us down that the store is not open and that her supervisor was there and said our store is not open.Even the way she came yelling at us was extremely un-proffessional.She shut us down and said we have to have put more items in the store.My questions are does anyone have the right to decide how much inventory we need to put in our small convenience store?And i have been reading on all the cal recycle rules and regulations and because i am non-profit recycling center i do not see or read anywhere that it states we have to have a host on the same property or that we have to put anything at all in the building on this property. Because we are non-profit and we are in the right zone and are approved for cal recycle-i don't know if it is legal that i have to open something up in that building in order to open my recycle center.She gave me a $900.00 fine for not having the door all the way open also and contacted my landlord that i lease the property from which caused him to have concern on me. Is this legal also to fine me $900.00. Jean stated in her email to me yesterday that i must establish a legitimate business on site that is the primary use. She stated the primary use HAS TO BE OPEN AND RUNNING FOR AWHILE BEFORE THEY WILL CONSIDER THE RECYCLING CENTER TO BE OPEN.I cannot find any rules in cal recycle that states i have to open another business on this property to open my recycle center.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Attorney William B. :

Dear Customer, Thank you for using Just Answer, I would like to assist you today.

Attorney William B. :

I am sorry to learn about this significant legal issue you have, I may need some additional information to fully help you, but I believe I may have some unfortunate news for you (at this time). It appears from what you have indicated that you did not receive any permitting from the City Planning Department (going to an individual who claims to have authority from the City is insufficient to actually get a variance or special permit to allow you to operate a facility or operation that is out of conformity with a neighborhood plan or zoning plan). While I understand that Sacramento in particular is trying to rebuild itself and has taken some rather lax standards on how to process these variances, you can properly apply for a variance (for your preferred use) through the City Planning department.


The down side is that you do not have any grounds to enforce your "handshake" agreement with a single individual from the city. Absent the agency action to approve your variance or special permit, you cannot operate your property outside of the neighborhood or zoning plan. Going through the agency will provide you the proper protection to proceed with your business.

Attorney William B. :

At the same time, an individual such as this person also does not have the authority to do the following: (1) they cannot change the zoning or neighborhood plan to suit their own needs, they must go through a process too; (2) they cannot enter onto your property and "shut you down" they must go through administrative action, and then failing that, ask the Court to do so - they cannot physically come to your store and close your doors.

Attorney William B. :

I would recommend contacting the zoning department for the City. You can speak to them about your proposed business plan and find out whether or not it is a conforming use and what steps need to be taken to file any request for variance or special permit if necessary: http://www.cityofsacramento.org/dsd/planning/zoning/index.cfm

Customer:

We have business license and the city building plan they later approved.In the building plan the city required that before we open for business on the parking lot that we are suppose to occupy the building on the premises which we did by purchasing a business license for convenience store. Then we called them for an approval and they came and approved it.After two months of being approved and opened the city came back again and shut us down as they complained the door to our convenience store is suppose to be open. And they also stated we need to put more items in our store.Our question is do they have any right to tell us how much or many items to put in our store as we are putting as many items as possible based to our income.?

Attorney William B. :

I am sorry, I understand the issue a little bit better now. Yes, they can regulate the amount of merchandise in your store, and the hours you are open. The building plan that you received was based on your approval of an operating business. You had your business approved, and now, in order to maintain your building plan (so that you can continue operating as you want to) you need to keep providing services at your convenience store at the same level you did when you first received your approval.

Customer:

Thank you for your reply but do they have any right to force us to occupy the building when the cal recycle rules states we as a non profit organization needs to be in a convenience zone, which we are, but we are not required to be in a supermarket site Why are they forcing us to occupy the building while we already established our recycle center in the parking lot? And what will we do if we fill the store and they still tell us to run the store awhile before we can open the recycle center?

Attorney William B. :

Dear Customer, I do not have all of the details or facts regarding your specific case - Cal Recycle rules would not trump the local zoning ordinances in this regard, what I can tell you is this. If you believe that your property is being unfairly targeted for zoning variances, you have the right to go to the planning board and ask for a hearing. There is a procedure for an administrative review process that you must go through if you believe that your property is being unfairly marked or unfairly treated under the zoning laws.


The administrative system is set up with a recognition of the fact that most of these rules are arbitrary, and therefore, they have multiple levels of appeal, and a board to make a determination. Most effective appeals have photographs showing maximum utilization of the site, how it fits into the surrounding neighborhood, and how the proposed use is a conforming use for the neighborhood. You may be able to get some support from the Chamber of Commerce or the BBB.

Customer:

Thank you so kindly for all your information. I am a proposed law student, as of now i am taking basic business law classes which to be transferred to law school 2014. Can you please help me to know some of the web sites that will be helpful for me to research concerning what i am going through or similar cases.I give u a rating of excellent service. Thank for all your quick replies and best wishes in your future.

Attorney William B. :

You will need to look for administrative procedure. The procedural process generally works with a request to a junior official, then to a more senior one, and finally to an administrative body (such as the planning board). If this fails, you can finally appeal to the City Council. I don't have a link to the Sac City Administrative Policy, but either McGeorge or UC Davis SOL will have them. You can try asking at UC Davis about their clinic programs to see if someone is interested in working on a business law project.

Attorney William B. :

Best of luck with your business law studies, and with law school as well. Best regards, Bill

Customer:

thank you sir! you gave us some good information and help.

William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 4185
Experience: I am a businesses law attorney, with experience advising and representing owners and investors.
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