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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 04-04-2008, 02:45 AM   #1
Chad Skola
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City Laws!!

So I decided to start getting paperwork ready for a future affiliate and as I was filling out my papers for a business license...(by the way i was going to be starting out of my garage)...and it says that you cannot use your garage as part of the business. Has anyone else ran into this problem? It really is bumming me out. I thought everything was just falling into place.
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:31 AM   #2
Camille Lore
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Re: City Laws!!

Here in PA, you can have a home related occupation, but it must be "no impact" in order to not need permits, etc. That means no signs, no employees outside the home, no people coming in and out. Basically an ebay style thing.
We have a provision in our zoning ordinance that allows more however. As long as you show you have parking, that your signage will be within a certain limit and a few other little requirements.
My suggestion would be to go to your city's Planning and Development office and ask to speak to the zoning officer. Explain to him or her what you are trying to do and ask if they have any suggestions for how you might be able to accomplish this. If they say it is not allowed per local laws, ask if there is any type of Zoning Hearing Board or variance process you can go through.
If you can buddy up to the zoning officer, they will be more likely to try to help you find ways to get to your goal.
Are you in a residential area, or would it be classified as mixed use?
Best of luck, and keep us posted.
As aggravating as it seems, these laws are in place to protect you from things like a heavy construction company starting next to your home.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:13 AM   #3
Chad Skola
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Re: City Laws!!

Thanks when I get a free day I will run up there and talk with them.

Yes it is a residential.
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Old 04-04-2008, 05:28 AM   #4
Randy Tarasevich
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Re: City Laws!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Skola View Post
So I decided to start getting paperwork ready for a future affiliate and as I was filling out my papers for a business license...(by the way i was going to be starting out of my garage)...and it says that you cannot use your garage as part of the business. Has anyone else ran into this problem? It really is bumming me out. I thought everything was just falling into place.
Sounds eerily familiar to my city.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:44 AM   #5
Matt DeMinico
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Re: City Laws!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Skola View Post
So I decided to start getting paperwork ready for a future affiliate and as I was filling out my papers for a business license...(by the way i was going to be starting out of my garage)...and it says that you cannot use your garage as part of the business. Has anyone else ran into this problem? It really is bumming me out. I thought everything was just falling into place.
Heh, considering I've been thinking of moving to SLC, that's a bummer.

But seriously, if you ask me, do it anyway. I'm very not happy about the state of nanny government these days (see a few links to my blog posts below). Cities have all sorts of oppressive laws that prevent private individuals from doing simple things to make their lives better WITHOUT harming anyone else (that's the key).

The long and short of it is, "it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission". My city may well have the very same ordinance, but I'm not about to call City Hall and ask them if I'm breaking any laws, simply because why on God's green earth would it be illegal for me to run fitness classes on a 680 square foot slab of concrete firmly planted on the planet earth that happens to be surrounded and covered by wood, vinyl siding, and roofing shingles?

This first one is a classic, one of my favorites:
http://keepusfree.blogspot.com/2005_05_01_archive.html (w/f safe)

The second post down on this link is a good real-life example of where all this government intervention into private property rights has led us.
http://keepusfree.blogspot.com/2005_06_01_archive.html (w/f safe)

This post is a good summary of the way things work (well, how they were designed to work, both in 1777 when the Articles of Confederation were drafted, and 1787 when the Constitution was drafted)
http://keepusfree.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_archive.html (w/f safe)

Keep in mind, I'm no lawyer, just a moderately angry soverign citizen of the united States of America (look up the history on why the "u" in united is lowercase (or at least was commonly written lowercase for over about a century)). So just like myself, if you do break any laws, you'll have to be prepared to defend yourself in court, or be good enough with people to avoid court, which depending on the city, and city employee who's in charge, may or may not be easy.

And to respond to Camille's post, a construction company operating next door would in fact be a nuiscance to others due to the dust, excessive noise (beyond what would be expected in a residential neighborhood), and air pollution.

Last edited by Matt DeMinico; 04-04-2008 at 06:54 AM..
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:07 AM   #6
Camille Lore
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Re: City Laws!!

I was going to commend you for going into the city offices and finding out how to do things... Most govts have recourse to fine a property owner in violation a separate fine per day that a violation occurs. I wouldn't recommend the asking forgiveness way.... esp. since you will probably irritate people and you may need something in the future. You may genuinely have recourse if what you want to do isn't allowed.
The Supreme Court upheld zoning as a proper use of government and being in the interest of public safety, health and welfare. Not to say that some laws couldn't use updating... certainly they could.
Most people don't like laws, but what would happen if there were no stop signs?
Anyhooo... take this as the opinion of a local zoning officer.
If you have questions or anything, feel free to PM me.
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:26 AM   #7
Matt DeMinico
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Re: City Laws!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camille Lore View Post
I was going to commend you for going into the city offices and finding out how to do things... Most govts have recourse to fine a property owner in violation a separate fine per day that a violation occurs. I wouldn't recommend the asking forgiveness way.... esp. since you will probably irritate people and you may need something in the future. You may genuinely have recourse if what you want to do isn't allowed.
The Supreme Court upheld zoning as a proper use of government and being in the interest of public safety, health and welfare. Not to say that some laws couldn't use updating... certainly they could.
Most people don't like laws, but what would happen if there were no stop signs?
Anyhooo... take this as the opinion of a local zoning officer.
If you have questions or anything, feel free to PM me.
Stop signs are a completely different example. You cannot run a stop sign without threatening someone else's safety. You have no clue whether or not someone else is coming, and threatening someone else's safety is a crime, hence the law.

Similarly, a city ordinance that says you can't use your garage for any part of your business is an unconsciably broad law. Lately we've tended to lean more towards safety, security, and comfort for "the people" than we have towards freedom for "the individual". So long as the individual isn't restricting another individuals freedoms or rights, they can do as they please. "The individual" is what this country is based on, not "the people". "The People" is what the USSR, East Germany, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. are/were based on, and we all know how those turned out.

When you permit freedom to "the individual", then "the people" as a whole benefit. But if you start sacrificing individual freedom, there is no end to the dark path you are treading down. As an example, in college, students are asked this question: "Would you murder an innocent little girl to save 1000 lives?" And over 60% of college students answered "YES" to that question. That is despicable, what sort of world would this be if we allowed such things? But we allow them in a small sense every day with "little" ordinances that restrict the freedoms of "the individual" in favor of "the people" by requiring them to ask permission and pay hefty fees for a wholly lawful activity they want to take part in to better their own lives and the lives of others.
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:15 AM   #8
Camille Lore
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Re: City Laws!!

So I really didn't want to get into a property rights debate.
Just trying to help a fellow CFer out.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:07 AM   #9
Derek Maffett
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Re: City Laws!!

I agree with Matt that this is a stupid law. Really, it's just meant to increase power of the government and revenue.

However, all arguments of government being wrong lose force when the men with guns show up. "Fair" and even "law" doesn't matter all that much to these people and you will suffer as a result.

Maybe the government is so completely unjust that you don't have to listen to some laws. Certainly a law governing the number of children we are allowed to have would be unjust and could be disobeyed, but with other such unjust laws, you have to carefully consider whether it's a very safe idea to disobey.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:14 AM   #10
Matt DeMinico
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Re: City Laws!!

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Originally Posted by Derek Maffett View Post
I agree with Matt that this is a stupid law. Really, it's just meant to increase power of the government and revenue.

However, all arguments of government being wrong lose force when the men with guns show up. "Fair" and even "law" doesn't matter all that much to these people and you will suffer as a result.

Maybe the government is so completely unjust that you don't have to listen to some laws. Certainly a law governing the number of children we are allowed to have would be unjust and could be disobeyed, but with other such unjust laws, you have to carefully consider whether it's a very safe idea to disobey.
And make friends in high places.

And sorry for going off on this one, but things like this just really get me ticked, and I almost see it as my life's goal that something is done about it.
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