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Thread: Lawyers @#$%$#?

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  1. Default  
    #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    625
    The fire and building inspectors work for the county or city. The city/county issues the permits which lead to inspections. If the city/county does not want to issue a permit there is not much you can do. Fighting them would be an exercise in futility.
    Kevin
    Sleepy Hollow Productions, LLC / Folklore Haunted House
     

  2. Default Here is how I have it. 
    #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    82
    Everytime that I have worked with a city, I have to look into zoning for this type of venue. First off I check to see if Entertainment or Indoor Entertainment is listed within the zones permitted uses. But it could also be considered Indoor Recreation. So which one do I go to the city to see if it is allowed? Each city does not have a specific zoning code for haunted attractions. If I go and say it is Indoor Recreation then they have their own mindset what business would fall into that category. If I go into Indoor Entertainment then they would do the like wise. Some cities will put us as a traveling carnival, others would put us in the same category as a flea market. It is impossible for me to know exactly which words to use so the city is more tied to there own code books to allow the haunt to operate. hence the reason that I have started this thread. I have 4 or 5 locations currently that I have current agreements with the owners for operation. but this happened last year. Everytime i went to the city with the idea they would say " Wow I am not sure where to categorize that type of business, I would say since you are only open for 45 days that you would be in the same type of classification as a carnival which means within our codes, that means you can only be open for 10 consecutive days."

    Well, I need help with someone telling me to go to the city and talking them into allowing haunted houses to be within a permitted use for the zone. I do not plan to sue them and get on their bad side, They just need to have no reason to say NO.

    I could care less about hiring a lawyer, (I don't need those type of friends because they won't follow me to heaven But I do need help with someone that can work the system better then me.
     

  3. Default  
    #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ogden, UT
    Posts
    1,648
    I had to use a lawyer last year ... don't do it!!! Does nothing but eat your profits up.

    Move to a different city if you can. Not really an option for me since we own. We have our license this year only because another city supported us and put us in their travel brochure.

    If that doesn't work .... good black mail (i kid!!)

    Oh and Greg ... cities can be worse then fire marshalls. I love my inspectors, hate my city.
    ~HauntedWebby~
    www.lazarusmaze.com
    www.bbqandghosts.com
    "Doesn't expecting the unexpected make the unexpected the expected?"
     

  4. Default Non-profit 
    #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,034
    I most definitely agree with the posts about working with a non-profit group, which you would give a portion of your proceeds to. While that would come out of your profit, it could make the difference in whether you open this year or not.

    It makes the whole process easier, from the permit to the inspections. The media is also more inclined to give you discounts and freebies. Many people also might buy tickets just to support the group who might not have otherwise gone.
     

  5. Default  
    #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    204
    I guess I don't understand why the city would not want a Hanted attraction.....what is the down side for them
     

  6. Default well there are lots 
    #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    82
    Greg-

    There are lots of reasons why they say no. 1- they don't know any other words. 2- Haunted attractions attract thousands of people which can be a traffic nightmare 3- Haunted attractions usually attract mainly teenagers which cause mischief 4- They are open late and can add to the noise level if within a thousand yards of a home 5- Some very large haunts in my city that use to travel from location to location every year, made such a nightmare to the city that they have forever tainted the industry and have made it close to impossible to open one up.

    There are more friendly cities but I was just feeling the temperature if you know what I mean. I have 4 locations right now and want very badly to not have a repeat of last year.

    Ryan
     

  7. Default #$ 
    #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,034
    I think that last one says it all - guilt by association. All the more reason to join forces with a non-profit. Then the city will look at it as supporting the group, which just happens to want to run a haunted house. You by yourself, on the other hand, would be one of "them" going in with a haunted house looking for approval.
     

  8. Default  
    #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    204
    I guess since I have not gotton as far as dealing with the city, I am still confused as to what legal grounds they use to can keep you from opening....I think of the strip joints that open even though the city doesn't want them....there has to be a law or regulation that they use to prevent you from opening.....just not wanting you isn't good enough (I realize that they can make your life difficult). What is it that you need from them that they won't give you?
     

  9. Default non classification 
    #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    82
    if there is no actual classification in their code book or zoning code then they can choose where they put you. Like the examples I had mentioned before, if you consider yourself "indoor Recreation" they may consider you "High Density Entertainment" which they will say will not work for the building site that I had requested. If the city does not have a classification for your intended business then they will put you in any one they want.

    Next, Because it is not a retail store and would be considered an "Attraction" they can classify it as temporary business Carnival which is only allowed to operate for select days. They have the power if there is any loop holes!

    As for the strip clubs opening? There is a distinct classification for that. "Sexually Oriented Business" They do have guidlines and their own classification. Although the cities hate them, they have others clubs that have paved the way for them. There needed to be enough of them and a history of them before the city will create a classification.

    As for haunts here. There is only two cities that are really haunt friendly, as far as I can tell because they have haunts currently. But the sites that I have connections to are in cities that are a bit less knowledgable, therefore they could very well tell me to go to !@#$%^& when I try to submit for licensure. The whole point to this thread is to find out if there is either a lawyer or a consultant or pimp or anyone that understands zoning better then me that could help the city understand what classification I should be in. I understand the point of charity. It doesn't work with these people, I have joined with a charity. Still a NO. I just don't want to waste another 6 months with cities if I can just find someone under a grand that would help the city approve me.

    The more I realize it, the more I know that I am screwed. I will just have to battle it out to each and every city until I succeed.

    Ryan
     

  10. Default  
    #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    204
    Ok that makes sense.....sorry you are having so much trouble......
     

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