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Post  Oldenginerod on Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:10 pm

Sad As of 5pm last night, I have been told by my local Shire Council (County?) to stop operating my business from my home after 20 years, or face a max $198,000 fine. It seems that someone dug into the archives and discovered that a permit I received in 1996 prevents me from carrying out any commercial operation in my shed. I was originally told to apply for a certificate of "Existing Use Rights", meaning that if I had been doing it for more than 15 years without being told to stop, my rights override any regulations. My lawyer agrees saying that they have no right to stop me, "if" they accept evidence that I have been working as long as I claim. They continue rejecting my evidence but offer no evidence to the contrary. Even sworn statements (Statutory Declarations) are rejected.

So guys, unless I start a long & expensive legal process, or decide to retire very early (not an option) it looks like some bumpy roads ahead.

I know you guys can't do anything to help, but just knowing you back me up is encouraging.
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Post  ticomareado on Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:19 pm

Shouldn't have turned in your guns.
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Post  Cribbs74 on Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:24 pm

Rough news,

Do you live in a rural or a residential area?

Not knowing anything about Australian law I am a bit stumped. Does your business cause some huge eyesore or something? Just doesn’t seem lawful to tell you to cease and desist when that is your source of income. Do they expect you to live on the streets now? Who goes out of their way to make someones life miserable for no reason? Mad

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Post  batjac on Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:31 pm

Man! That sucks! Don't know what to say.
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Post  1/2A Nut on Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:33 pm

That bites! What are you selling out of your shed? Perhaps it's a noise issue to someone who
turned you in?
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Post  ticomareado on Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:38 pm

"Who goes out of their way to make someones life miserable for no reason?

Well if you were watching TV news feeds from Westerville, Ohio last Tues. evening, I'm sure a few people came to mind.
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Post  Mark Diedrichs on Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:57 pm

Mr.Roddie , How un neighborly... If you ask me!!! You may have to use the under the table method from here on out!!! Best of luck!! Mark
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Post  NEW222 on Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:27 pm

Sorry to hear of this Rod. I know you are in Australia, and I am in Canada, an aquaintance had a similar thing happen to him. And in the end, he won as he then found a way to make it as a 'hobby', and no longer a 'business'. They have now been doing so for about 20 years since and not a thing has changed...
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Post  aspeed on Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:50 pm

I move every once in a while. I would just find a place with the right zoning. Usually I can make a bit of money at the same time from fixing up the old place. Not sure of your options. Good luck in any case. I was laid off at 50 and just retired. Surviving so far.
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Post  Marleysky on Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:31 pm

Rod, I really feel bad for ya! Like you said not much we can do, other than give you moral support and hope things turn out in your favor.  I can get really worked up about “our” government and those in charge. That’s part of the reason I moved out of the “city” of Grand Rapids. They have written or copied laws ( from other cities) that prevent the citizens from having any rights or freedoms. In the city, I couldn’t change the oil or do any mechanical work on my own auto, unless done inside a enclosed garage, not in the driveway or parked out in the street.. it is illegal to have a non working or not currently registered vehicle on your property, blah, blah, blah right down to you have to cut your grass, mow your lawn, it can’t be taller than 6”, or they’ll send a contractor out to mow it for you and send you the bill along with a $$fine. It only gets worse if you live in a “condominium village” where the HOA (home owners association) has a “Rule Book” that bans anything they don’t like, which is just about everything.
So,  do you have a possibility of renting or  leasing a “official” commercial establishment, that would be acceptable to the local Shire?  Is that what they want? You to request and pay for a business license? Grease the squeaky wheel? Cross their palms with gold?
Or, sadly but now happier, what happen to a guy I know who had his own “auto Repair business”. The people who owned the building he was renting, decided they wanted it for themselves, he was “evicted”. He auctioned off all his equipment and has since gone to work for a “Dealership” and no longer has to do payroll, pay bills , hire or fire employees or taxes. He goes to work, does his job, quits at 5pm and goes home happy and is well paid.
It just sucks to have your freedom to work at home trampled on. What if you were a farmer? No food for the hungry or milk for the thirsty!
Sorry you gotta go thru this.   Keep a stiff upper lip!  lol!
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Post  Oldenginerod on Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:59 pm

Thanks guys.
We live in a "low density residential" area on 1.3 acres.  First in the street.  No junk.  Very neat garden and lawns thanks to my good wife.  No houses close.  Don't start before 8am.  Don't work after 5.30pm.  No noise, no pollution (burning trash), sealed driveway so no dust, concrete washdown area with in-ground oil separator, don't work on Hot-Rods.  All that matters not to the council. The planning overlay states, "no automotive mechanical repairs" so they determine that one rule fits all.  They claim they had a complaint that my customers, as they drive in and out, are endangering pedestrians.  What?  Only pedestrians are dog walkers at 7am and 6pm, plus a bunch of kids that catch the school bus who walk down the middle of the road (no pathway) with earphones in and their eyes glued to Facebook.   So who's causing the danger?  Sadly, I suspect that it's the parent of one of these kids who made the complaint, but won't take responsibility for their own child's road-sense.
Blow up Mad!
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Post  Admin on Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:14 pm

So sorry to hear about this Rod.

Sadly, this isn't the first time I've heard of these things happening. It happens here in the States as well, especially if they are unlicensed. Not too long ago one of the local suburbs shut down a guy running a small engine repair business out of his garage. Biggest complaint being the increased traffic and constant engine running noise...

I hope you can get this all sorted out without too much trouble.

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Post  Cribbs74 on Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:00 pm

I guess my next question is of you have been doing this since the late 90’s without a peep then what has changed?

Also, was this rule in effect 20yrs ago when you started doing this type of work?
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Post  RknRusty on Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:02 am

Cribbs74 wrote:...Also, was this rule in effect 20yrs ago when you started doing this type of work?
If not, maybe it could fall under a "grandfather clause" that would nullify their action.
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Post  Oldenginerod on Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:45 am

RknRusty wrote:
Cribbs74 wrote:...Also, was this rule in effect 20yrs ago when you started doing this type of work?
If not, maybe it could fall under a "grandfather clause" that would nullify their action.
Rusty

Never heard of Grandfather clause. We have what's know as "existing use rights". If I've managed to fly under the radar for 15 years or more I'm apparently protected by state law. Council doesn't see it that way, even though it's worded into their regulations. This will be my main defence when I meet with the Shire CEO in a week.

In answer to Ron's first question, the only thing that's changed is my use of the building. Permit always said car repairs wasn't permitted. I didn't start to use the shed as a workshop until we moved here after building the house in '99. Permit stating the rules was issued in '96. So I forgot!! Shh How many of us read all the Terms & Conditions every time we sign up for something, and commit them to memory for ever? If I haven't been directed to stop the activity by the authorities in 15 years, I'm all clear, except that the council continue to deny this law, contradicting their own regulations. They're either very stupid, or as I suspect, they're dragging this out as long as they can hoping I'll fall for the bluff and quit. Problem seems to be that they're happy to see me waste time and money fighting it in court. I want to head it off before then.

Well, look at it this way. If they beat me, at least I'll have more time to build and fly Clapping (Until the money runs out!)
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Post  Levent Suberk on Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:50 am

Looks like I'm now unemployed!! Great-10
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Post  getback on Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:53 am

Rod you have a lawyer and that's a plus when you go in , i agree there just trying to cause a stink because someone had something to say about your working at home after all these yrs. Did you not just build a new building a couple years ago and are you using it or could you ? Best of luck with what you want to happen , it does suck though ! I figure if you are to retire at a age of 62-65 then thats not that much more time People can be cruel and nasty !! PS if it were me i would run some engines to take some frustration out Very Happy sunny
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Post  crankbndr on Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:09 am

Come to America!!! Your skills are sorely need here!  Too many "technicians" and no mechanics. Having repair work done around here is a nightmare.

And Ill buy you a 1911 as a welcome to America gift.
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Post  akjgardner on Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:29 pm

I hope their cars break and they can’t get anyone to fix them. This crap really torques me off . Hope it works out for you
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Post  getback on Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:43 pm

This crap really torques me off . Hope it works out for you wrote:
Hey Joe i likey that.. torques me off !! Very Happy
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Post  rsv1cox on Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:28 am

Burns me up too Rod.

I was born and raised in the "Live Free or Die" state of New Hampshire. Says that right on their license plates. Many had backyard businesses. Couldn't survive with out them. Same here today in rural West Virginia.

I would never think that Australia would be that straight laced.

"You can't fight City Hall" But I would give it a try.
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Post  Oldenginerod on Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:23 pm

rsv1cox wrote:Burns me up too Rod.  

I was born and raised in the "Live Free or Die" state of New Hampshire.  Says that right on their license plates.  Many had backyard businesses.  Couldn't survive with out them.  Same here today in rural West Virginia.  

I would never think that Australia would be that straight laced.  

"You can't fight City Hall"  But I would give it a try.  

I'm not lying down yet Bob.  I think that's just what they're trying to do.  They'll make me think I have no hope and they end up getting their own way the easy way.  Expect me to give up and fade into oblivion.  If I go into the meeting being armed with their own regulations, which allow me to continue, hopefully they'll back off.  Even if they don't, I'm willing to go higher.  Just got to figure out how much I can afford.  If it gets too steep I may just have to start suing for lost income plus pain & suffering.  Always good to have a few threats up your sleeve to get the authorities worried.  Well, that's what they do to us, so game-on. Devil
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Post  Oldenginerod on Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:12 am

Sorry to bore you folks with more of this, but the latest update following a meeting (grilling!) with a panel of four from the council today is that I can continue to work for another 28 days, at which time I must apply for a "certificate of compliance".  Trouble is that the application not only has to include multiple forms of evidence to prove what I've been doing here for 15 years, but they want to know stuff like customer numbers, delivery truck movements, waste disposal, equipment installation, future business model blah blah blah. Mad
They assured me "we're here to help get you through this".  Yeah right! Just jump through these incredibly difficult hoops, pay us all this money, bow and scrape, and we "might" consider letting you keep working.  They also continue to assume that my lawyer knows nothing about anything and disregard his understandings of the law.  They don't want to get their own legal advice because that costs the town money. (But it's ok to force me to pay for a lawyer).

Oh well, onwards and upwards Sad Goodbye
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Post  fredvon4 on Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:01 am

Not a bore...I think most of us are interested for many reasons...sounds like local bureaucracy in Australia is not much different from us here in the US. I bet most of us desire the Little guy to beat city hall, I know my own battles have been epic (in my mind)

sounds to me like you will eventually prevail... if some busy body neighbor made the stink...they ( your councilmen) have to appear to BE DOING SOMETHING

I personally hate the "we must do something" officials...this is where the very worst of law making occurs IMO
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Post  ticomareado on Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:33 am

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