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Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??

Author Topic: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??  (Read 6576 times)

Offline envisiontj

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Hello, the county I live in (Clackamas County, OR) wants to regulate my teaching/training in my garage.  They say that even if I am not opperating as a business or collecting money that I have to go through their Planning Department and pay $450 per 3 years.  They said that if I have anyone over for training other than my family members that I will fall under this need.  I explained that this is not a business, and that we were all just getting together and training together.  In the end, I told them that I will not pay their fee and that I will not stop training.  This is my house and I have a right to have anyone on my property that I choose and have the right to train on my own property.

One additional comment she made was that I am increasing the flow of traffic in the neighborhood, even though I run small classes and only have a few people over per class.  She said that I would be allowed to have people over for a bbq, but not for training because bbqs are normal and everyone does that, whereas normally people would have to go to a training facility to train.  I used the example of people getting together to lift weights, etc on their own private property.  In the end, nothing changed.  She said she will pursue enforcement, which the next step will be a letter to me.

Any advice?  How can they regulate this on my personal property?  I can KIND OF understand if I was operating a business.

Sigung Trent Junker
Sifu Trent Junker
Realm Of The Tiger Kajukenbo - Portland, OR
Under GM Gerry Scott

Offline Patrick Campbell

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 06:20:08 PM »
Pay the $450. Or actually open a school in the town. Have your students cover the dues. Any number of options but all of them are in compliance as the law is the law unfortunately and unless you change the law you are really stuck.

Pat
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Offline envisiontj

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 06:33:10 PM »
At this point, no specific law has been cited.  What right do they have to say I cannot train on my own property?  There is no noise compliance issues.  I am not acting as a commercial business, but rather training with friends.

If they can do this, then they can tell me I can't have gatherings of any kind on my own property.
Sifu Trent Junker
Realm Of The Tiger Kajukenbo - Portland, OR
Under GM Gerry Scott

Offline KBOWARRIOR

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 06:36:51 PM »
Easy, you are having a BBQ twice or three times a week. She said you could. While at this BBQ, you just so happened to show some stuff. In reality, they can't regulate activities at your house that are non business in nature. I would be letting your local paper and your city attorney know of this.
Sifu Mark Wallace
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Offline onephatboydave

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 06:46:18 PM »
Cook some hotdogs on the BBQ after training it's probably a county ordinace their trying to get money for the county.   I would be really surprised if a deputy would even respond to that call.   
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Offline Ghost Rider

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 07:38:49 PM »
Ask them to be specific on what ordinance you are in violation of and ask for it in writing stating exactly what ordinance you are violating.
Ask them to put it in writing that it's ok for you to have a BBQ but not a work out.
Or ask them which ordinance it is that says that?
Ask them for their card and a case number.
Then tell them to have a nice day.
Apparently one of your neighbors is complaining.

sounds like a bluff to me, as you said you can have anyone you want at your home and you can work out if you want to as long as you are not creating a problem such as traffic, niose or collecting $ without a permit.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 07:40:30 PM by Ghost Rider »
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Offline GM J. Willis

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2012, 08:35:50 PM »
I agree with Sifu Wallace, go by there rules and have those bbq's. So on paper everybody wins ::)
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Offline Ron Baker

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 09:02:11 PM »
Did the county contact you directly, or did you hear about the ordinance and contact them? 

GM Harper is right to ask specifically for the complete ordinance.  The person you spoke to on the phone is probably a clerk and not someone who understands the ordinance from a legal perspective.  If you can get them to point you to the ordinance, then post it here. 

This sounds like a money grab by the County.  Now, Sigung Pat has a valid point; it might be worth paying the $150 every three years.  But then some laws and ordinances go too far.  This one sounds like it just might.

Post the ordinance.  There are a few legal beagles who log in to the Cafe once in a while.   
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Offline onephatboydave

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 10:59:42 PM »
Sigung,

I try to look up the ordinance on the web your county has quite a few. I would ask which ordinance you are in violation of.  Like GM Harper said it has to be specific to what you are doing or there is no violation.  When they tell you which one let us know...


Dave
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Offline punisher73

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2012, 06:47:14 AM »
Just from an LEO standpoint and enforcing our townships ordinances when working there, I would call BS on that one.  They might have something like a "disorderly house" or something like that, but last time I checked we all still have something called the US consitution and Bill of Rights that give us the right to peacefully assemble.  If you are blocking traffic or thoroughfares and aren't created a noise disturbance, then legally the govt can't say what you can/can't do on your property (excluding business stuff, which you said you aren't).

I would fight it, if I were you.  Find a local attorney that has free consults and talk with them about the law as well.
Kevin A. Hirakis
SW Michigan

Offline envisiontj

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 01:04:48 PM »
Hey everyone, thanks for all the replies!!

I actually talked to a friend of mine that is a lawyer this morning.  At this point, I am awaiting a letter (if they actually take the time to send it to me) - then I will know specifically what law/ordinance they think I am violating.  I will then take whatever actions necessary to fix this - I will not be paying them.  There is no way I am going to pay the county so that I can have people come onto my personal property and train.  Sure, that may be the simple answer, but to me it is not the correct answer.  I am not one to give in like that.  That is what businesses do to people all the time - incorrectly charge people in the hopes that people won't fight it and will take the easy way out and just pay.  This just causes more and more of this cra* to happen.  With the economy the way it is, the government and many businesses are doing whatever they can to get any money in.

Anyways, I appreciate the insights and will be utilizing some of the ideas, if the need arises.  I will also be sure to keep you all updated as this progresses.

Trent
Sifu Trent Junker
Realm Of The Tiger Kajukenbo - Portland, OR
Under GM Gerry Scott

Offline John Bishop

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2012, 02:38:55 PM »
Sounds pretty stupid.  Friends can't get together and workout at their house.  Does this just cover martial arts?  Or are they going after the people playing badmitten or volleyball in their back yards, too.  How about the groups of people getting together to pay poker?  They must have police raids every time some housewife has a Tupperware party. 
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Offline Patrick Campbell

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2012, 02:43:44 PM »
Someone has propbably just got a beef with you training martial arts. Haters everywhere.

Pat
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Offline Jason Goldsmith

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2012, 09:10:08 AM »
My guess is they think you are charging the people you want to train at your house; in that case, you be in violation of some ordnance. 
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Offline envisiontj

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Re: Legal Advice - use of garage for training - County Violation??
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2012, 06:58:52 PM »
I received the letter today. The county is closing the file on this case. The letter said that my story matched well with the complainant's story and that they are not going to pursue this. It did state that I need to make sure that all "friend's" vehicles here are parked safely and not in any way affecting traffic. Basically, to make sure that noone is even slightly on the road, completely in my yard, etc. It did also state that we could train together here, but no lessons of any sort could happen without going through the county. I think that has more to do with money and the county wanting their piece. So, all is good.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and insights.
Sifu Trent Junker
Realm Of The Tiger Kajukenbo - Portland, OR
Under GM Gerry Scott