Town Could Be Setting Bad Precedent

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Editor:

C-2 zoned property is for inside sales; C-3 zoned is for outside. A "conditional use permit" changes C-2 so it can be used for outside sales with restrictions.

I own the only C-3 individually-zoned property on North Beeline Highway. My property was purchased in 1970 because previously I researched zoning and had an outside business plan.

During 2003-04, we lost $5,000 in C-3 store rental income because of vacancy. During 2003-04, "Town Licensed Peddlers" were in C-2 zoned highway property across the street selling merchandise outside.

I complained to the town in 2003 by phone. I was told "Licensed peddlers are exempt from zoning because they have no address." So July 26, 2004, I sent the town a written complaint.

On Aug. 3, 2004, I received a letter from the town manager acknowledging that peddlers operating from C-2 were illegal. I thought the zoning issue was ended.

Later I found out the town decided to let their "one year" peddlers licenses expire. Therefore, they had to wait for licenses to expire before further action.

I believe as a coverup for their previous errors, the town officials have "villainized" me to the peddlers as an unwarranted complainer. In fact of law, I only requested by civil rights enforcement. The town's community development director supports Mr. Winn's grievance against me and recommends changing C-2 zoning to allow outside craftsmen by permit. This CUP permit is regularly $325 for the applicant. The director, with prejudice against me (in law called civil contempt) waived the fees -- so Mr. Winn would appeal his case to Planning and Zoning on March 28, 2005, free.

Now, these same town zoning officials recommend to change the zoning codes permanently so on the main highways 87 and 260, craftsmen (like Mr. Winn) will be able to sell their products outside from properties zoned C-2.

Mr. Winn's appeal is a precedent-setting case, which breaks all previous zoning codes. Once this happens, hundreds of other doghouse makers, landscape metal crafters, quiltmakers, etc., will have the same outside display and sales privileges for town permits. The Zoning Department will really be powerful. This will be direct competition and lost income to every inside C-2 merchant in Payson.

This "precedent case" would make it even more difficult to rent existing vacant commercial store buildings, which are too expensive for outside peddlers. The CUP permits are a permanent thing. The residents will see these swap meet craftsmen forever.

This is not protecting Payson's future or giving citizens the high standards of growth they truly want.

Nicholas Brotcke, Payson

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