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43 nightmares
12-06-2012, 03:25 PM
Ok where do I start.Well i am on the second time in 2 years with me trying to get a permit with my county for me to start a haunted attraction. I have worked in and built stuff with a non profit one in the past for 15 years.Now i want to start my own but the county is giving me a hard time about getting a permit when there are four others in my county doin one but since they are a non profit and they are doin one for a fund raiser they say they tend to over look them and since mine is gonna be a businees i have to have a recreational permit and i have to go through the fire marshal and the state department to make sure its gonna be ok and the drive way goin in is ok when everyone else has not had to go through all this. So my question is has any had this problem or some advice cause i go back in feb. to the county meeting so they can vote on the permit. Zack

mrfoos
12-06-2012, 07:03 PM
My local department of planning and zoning were saying the same thing. Our drive in was a single turn in on a busy road with non-ideal visual clearance. Initially they said it was too dangerous. It wasn't. It's just their job to cover their own backsides. I don't know that it was necessary but we let them know we were planning on hiring the local police department to put a police car with lights at the entrance. When you start the process everyone is non-committal and nebulous with their requirements. Ask for specifics.

What are all the concerns? Write them down.
Who will I need to sign off on this? Write the names/departments down.
If these people say it's ok will this be approved? Who will make the approval? What is the time frame for the decision?

Have faith there is an end to the process. Just start walking it with confidence, take notes of all conversations and names, and keep progressing forward. Pretend it's a murder mystery and you are the star - Sherlock Holmes. Your job is to track down the clues on who did it, where, why, and how. Politicians and government types tend to relent with time and pressure. Eventually they just want you to go away. As long as you stay professional and polite.


Also, going through "fire marshal and the state [traffic] department" indicates areas of concern for the publics safety - which of course is normal and expected. It's shameful that they would put safety concerns to the side for non-profits and reserve them only for for-profits.

Greg Chrise
12-06-2012, 09:17 PM
Over time, what happens is the fire marshals and other authorities use you as a rule guinee pig as the first pro haunt in the area, then turn around and understand how the charities should have all of these concerns as well. The result is the charities get run out of major towns with no one willing to put up serious money to make a building or haunt design meet code. In reality it isn't difficult until you get into having to have fire retardent, fire detection and fire suppression systems. Exits and proceedures are not that difficult but the former is simply big expenses.

Trails and outdoor events might be easier for compliance financially but then require more money in other facilities needed like more permanent bathrooms and egress over natural obsticals, more wide spread electrical grid rated for outdoor concerns.

SO my advice is not to keep mentioning that none of these other events has to do that, the public workers will make that happen themselves as the learn what it is "supposed to be" or freak themselves out with potential safety issues that generally never happen. This has already happened in many parts of the country and eventually charities aren't able to slide on the scale of initial event requirements. It may take several years to go down but this is what happens, so you don't want to be fingered as the guy who made everyone else comply with the codes.

Allen H
12-06-2012, 10:29 PM
You are opening a business in their county, do as they ask. It does not matter what someone else has to do- you do as they ask, or offer a mutually amenable solution.

43 nightmares
12-07-2012, 04:53 PM
thanks for the advice and u right i dont want to be the bad guy here im trying to be very professional about it all but its a lil agruvating .....but no sooner than i posted this the fire marshal called me back and we talked for a while and he seemed really cool about everthing.....but for the most part he was really cool that i was gonna including him during the build process veres trying to shrug him off like some of the others was trying to do. zack