Sunday, June 24, 2012

Letter to the Editor re:county code enforcement. From, Betsy Duncan

Dear Editor:

For the record, I have no issue with Bump Parties.  Certainly I support the rights of a business owner to find new and inventive ways to generate income during this economic crisis.  Bump parties are for grown ups.  Alcohol is served, people behave badly.  Don't go there expecting My Little Pony World.

That being said, I want to take the opportunity to point to the real culprit....Calaveras County.  Once again they have proven to be inconsistent with the rules.  Code compliance is arbitrary and capricious with enforcement, and they have been for years.

Last week a property owner in Copper Cove received a bill for approximately $8,000 in fines and penalties for having horses on property zoned R1.  Our R1 zoning code does not address horses.  According to Todd Bar in code compliance, if it is not addressed, it is not allowed.  Unfortunately cats and dogs are also not addressed in R1 zoning.  When I questioned this, Mr. Barr became agitated and told me to contact planning.  When I spoke with planning I was advised that in the absence of an allowance for horses, they were disallowed.  Again I pointed out that this meant dogs and cats were not allowed, at which time I was told I did not understand planning.  I assure you that I understand planning and zoning.  The code should read "Domestic pets only as defined by Calfornia Code"

Our C2 code does in fact, address the Bump party.  In 17.36.030 (C2) it is stated that any public event of over 1000 persons requires a conditional use permit (cup).  Even with an event of less then 1000 persons the business owner would be required to prove that there was adequate parking and restrooms for the event.  Weeks in advance for the last 5 Bump Parties the county was contacted by taxpayers to verify that a CUP would be required.  Each year and this year included, the public was told that though the county required a cup, there was not a way to enforce it.

So this leads to a reasonable question for planning and our does Calaveras County manage to enforce rules they do not have, but cannot enforce rules that are clearly stated in the zoning codes???  If you are puzzled by Calaveras County and let them know how you feel.  Call 754-6390 and ask for code compliance or planning.

Don't blame a business owner for taking advantage of an inept County.  Blame the county. 

Betsy Duncan

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