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Author Topic: Pima County Zoning Enforcement hassel  (Read 12527 times)
bassman1977
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« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2006, 05:59:53 PM »

You know, just reading this thread really pee'd me off.  I'm an 11 year Navy Vet (and counting) and this is the type of crap that I'm out gettng shot at for?!?!?!?!  People have way too much to b*tch about these days.  If they would put this kind of effort into something productive instead of what the neighor is or isn't doing, or who's using what word to describe this or that, or who is worshiping whatever God on whatever day of the week, then this place might actually be a 100 times better.

BTW...if you didn't find out which neighbor it was, you can find out through the Freedom of Information Act.  I would make it a point and have some nose to nose words with that jerk.

Just my opinion, no need to fire back because my mind won't change on how I feel about this.
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ctsoth
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« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2006, 01:40:25 AM »

No, it is not the states business to tax me for my hobby.  I have a problem with other people trying to control the actions of others, especially if it results in an increase in tax revenue.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2006, 05:50:49 AM »

Quote from: ctsoth
So, is your local government there to serve you as they would claim, or to establish dominion over you.

I would say that any local government is there to serve ALL the people. Even the ones that have a complaint against any activity that takes place on YOUR land.

IF your neighbor feels threatened by anything that you do then HE has the right to complain to the authorities.  IF his complaints are justified, YOU LOSE. In return YOU can always file suit against the complainer for harressment or some other concoted grievience.  Now YOU can always " get yer gun " to settle the score but again YOU WILL REALLY LOSE.

Sooo,  I suppose that is why there are courts of law to settle scores between warring neighbors.  

I think what is really needed here is AN EDUCATION IN CIVICS, or, is that no longer relevent .
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2006, 07:24:59 AM »

Quote from: bassman1977
You know, just reading this thread really pee'd me off.  I'm an 11 year Navy Vet (and counting) and this is the type of crap that I'm out gettng shot at for?!?!?!?!  People have way too much to b*tch about these days.  If they would put this kind of effort into something productive instead of what the neighor is or isn't doing, or who's using what word to describe this or that, or who is worshiping whatever God on whatever day of the week, then this place might actually be a 100 times better.

BTW...if you didn't find out which neighbor it was, you can find out through the Freedom of Information Act.  I would make it a point and have some nose to nose words with that jerk.

Just my opinion, no need to fire back because my mind won't change on how I feel about this.


Further reading this thread I am intrigued by your statement. In the past 11 years where has the Navy " been shot at "? Are you a Navy Corpsman ? assigned to medicate the Jar Heads ?

I personally have 22 years of Army service. I am retired so let compare notes  and don't try the BS route on a REAL BS'er.  wink Some of these poor unknowing civilians? might get the wrong impression. Wouldn't want that now, would we?  After all THEY are paying to keep us and really THEY should have some straight POOP.  Tongue
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bassman1977
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« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2006, 09:06:22 AM »

I'm a Navy Seabee.  

I'm not comparing notes because I wasn't intending on starting a pissing match and now that I think of it, kinda regret even mentioning anything.  If you wish to go further on this, we can do it via PM but I'm not doing it in public chat.
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thomashton
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« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2006, 10:49:24 AM »

Yup. I can vouch for the Seebees.

We had several of them on my base in Northern Baghdad while I was there and they were just as suseptible to the mortars, rockets, and other incoming fire as we soldiers are.

They were just fortunate enough to not have to go out on the streets. But yes, our Seebees with us did get shot at . . . with indirect fire.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2006, 11:34:37 AM »

In our area, we were out in the streets, in polling stations, running supply convoys, and everything else.  That was about 50% of our unit.  The other 50% were doing camp improvements and other projects for the Army and Marines.
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thomashton
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« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2006, 12:02:39 PM »

Great work Bassman.

Kind of hijacked this tread didn't we which is too bad as I am super interested in it.

Thanks for your service. The Seebees made my life in Taji all the better the year I was there.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled complaining about local government. cheesy
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2006, 12:08:38 PM »

Of a more practical matter regarding the alleged infraction. When you received your complaint, it MUST delineate the specific statutory citation w/ whcih you are alleged to have violated. Read the portion of the statute. Within the statute it will delineate the requirements of both you and the state's obligations. If you are being charged w/ a general nuisance statute independant of a beekeeping statute, your argument is that the beekeeping statute provides a statutory framework for compliance. If you are in compliance w/ the beekeeping statute, it should preclude prosecution under a general nuisance statute. By being in compliance w/ the beekeeping statute, you are by legal definition not a nuisance under any other statute. Any other interpretation would result in every beekeeper being a nuisance. The purpose of having a beekeeping statute is to define the appropriate ways and means to keep bees. Complying w/ the specific statute CAN NOT result in a violation of another statute. That would result in citizens being unable to know which statutes are controlling in every situation. That is an untenebale situation w/ no court would allow. Keep us updated please.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2006, 12:55:45 AM »

Following is some more information about this case:

These are the statutes referred to in the citation:
--------------------------
18.95.030 B4
4. The erection, construction, reconstruction or alteration of any structure, or the use of any property or structure, not in conformance with this code constitutes a violation;
[How am I not in conformance?]

18.07.030 E
E. Beekeeping is permitted in all zones subject to the requirements of this section:
1. Density. Except in the Institutional Reserve (IR), Rural Homestead (RH) and industrial zones (CPI, CI-1, CI-2, CI-3) wherein one colony is allowed per 2,500 square feet, the following maximum number of colonies per lot area apply:
a. One-quarter acre or less: 2 colonies
b. More than 1/4 acre to less than 1/2 acre: 4 colonies
c. One-half acre to less than 36,000 square feet: 6 colonies
d. 36,000 square feet to one acre: 8 colonies
e. Greater than one acre: 8 colonies plus one colony per additional 2,500 square feet of lot area above one acre. (I was keeping only 6 colonies)
2. Bee hives shall be kept a minimum of thirty feet from any exterior lot boundary line.
3. Except for lots with an area greater than one acre  (the property in question is 1.04 acres, making it exempt from this requirement, yet I have established such a barrier of shade-cloth for my own convenience) , a barrier shall be erected that will prevent bees from flying through it. Such barrier shall:
a. Be at least six feet in height and shall consist of a dense plant or hedge or any opaque constructed material;
b. Extend at least eighteen feet beyond the hive(s) in both directions.
4. Fresh, clean watering facilities for bees shall be provided on said premises.
5. Upon determination by a zoning inspector that a property owner is not in compliance with the zoning standards for beekeeping, the Pima County health department shall be notified. If the same property owner is determined to be keeping a colony or colonies deemed a nuisance or hazard by the health department, the course of action shall be determined by the health inspector in cooperation with the zoning inspector.  (when does zoning perform the requirements of this paragraph?) (The Health Department has made two separate inspections, having received their own complaints. I have copies available. My bees pass with flying colors both times.)
6. Exceptions:
a. An exception to the provisions of this subsection shall be permitted for a period not to exceed sixty days for bees actively participating in commercial agricultural activities.
b. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed or construed to prohibit the keeping of bees located or kept within a government facility, a school, or a university facility for the purpose of study or observation.

-------------------------------

The statute, repeated above, as specifically pertains to Beekeeping, clearly outlines the requirements of the beekeeper and those of the county officials. The purpose of having a specific statute that applies to Beekeeping is to define the requirements for keeping bees. By complying with this specific statute, how can I then be in violation of another statute? If this were true it would be impossible to know which statutes were controlling in every situation, and furthermore it would result in every Beekeeper in Pima County to be in violation.

Neither of the two statutes stated (see above) as violations of the Pima County code by citation PO6ZV00159-1, indicate any such violation.

The bees were temporarily relocated off the property on 10 April 2006 and have not yet been returned.


Thanks KONASDAD for your input.
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Joseph Clemens
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No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Yarra_Valley
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« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2006, 01:52:20 AM »

Your hearing is today isn't it? Good luck!
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2006, 05:31:58 AM »

yes....good luck Joseph.
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TREBOR
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« Reply #52 on: May 11, 2006, 08:45:42 AM »

Quote
If the same property owner is determined to be keeping a colony or colonies deemed a nuisance or hazard by the health department, the course of action shall be determined by the health inspector in cooperation with the zoning inspector.

   so..... they can make they're own rules anytime it suits them....
Quote
Of course, zoning enforcement drove by on the 17th and issued us, 3 - $750 citations. Two for my brother's hobbies, playing with old cars (keeping a junkyard) and having his workspace outdoors (open storage). Incidentally they wrote my citation for keeping 6 empty swarm-catching boxes.

 so sence you wont do what they tell you, they go after your family as well........sounds like the MOB....!

Quote
I think It may be time to contact the local ACLU chapter.
You are being HARRASSED, major big time    

   YUP, if it were me I would put the max number aloud, and by all means take it to the state level, and if that dosn't work, go to the federal level
  bring it out into the open so everyone can see it, .....for what it really is..  there may be some job openings...!

 Good Luck.......... Smiley
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2006, 09:51:25 AM »

IMHO, sometimes less is more in these situations. I would contact your state Dept that in charge of beekeeping. Dept of Agriculture for example. Start asking soem questions . Empty hives are not hives, they are boxes. A hive is a living breathing community. You dont say in your letter how you have alleged to have violated. Perhaps a call to your local representative would be of assistance too. Bees ae a vital part of the economy. Keep us posted.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2006, 01:06:25 AM »

KONASDAD,
The citation references the two sections of the zoning code (see my earlier post) and then states the violation to be, "Beekeeping without a permit".

This seems rediculous, nowhere in the code is there any reference to any permit for beekeeping.
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Yarra_Valley
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« Reply #55 on: May 12, 2006, 03:29:32 AM »

So what's the end result?
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #56 on: May 12, 2006, 10:41:13 AM »

Turns out this was just the arraignment hearing. They weren't interested in any input at all. So, all I got was an actual future hearing date of 15 June 2006. At this hearing they simply received my pleading (my plee was [responsible], the options were, responsible/not responsible/no contest). I didn't even need to say a single word.

Keep in mind that they seem to be attempting to confuse the issue by also citing us for having about 1/2 dozen inoperable vehicles (my brother's hobby), and also a citation for the clutter that goes with the vehicles. The plan now is to clear the vehicles and clutter in the next several weeks. Have them reinspect to then set aside those citations. I will need to return at least one hive by that time (I plan to use one of the Italian Cordovan's - so gentle you'd have to squeeze them against your skin to even get them to sting) - so they won't set aside the beekeeping citation, then I can take that "Beekeeping without a permit" issue to the actual hearing.
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
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12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #57 on: May 13, 2006, 01:52:58 AM »

As I retired cop I get peeved when I see local officials exceeding their authority.  The citations for the vehicles is an attempt to validate the citation about the bees.  Just the thought of AHB's drive some people crazy these days.

Have a copy of the ordance (posted previously) and read it to the court.  The DA will hate that but it gives you the chance to determine if the zoning official or the DA have done their homework.  Chances are that the DA will dismiss at this point.

At the hearing you get to cross examine witnesses.  Have the court supena the two health department officials as defense witnesses.  If you've got copies of their reports go over those with each while they are on the stand.  Focus additional questioning as to how close were they to the hives etc as well as review the ordance with them and get their opinion as to whether they believe you are complying with it.

The Municipality (which includes a county by definition) must present its case to prove you guilty.  If the citing officer is not at court the DA will attempt to have a continuance--refuse and demand a trial then and there.  The DA will be forced to dismiss.  They may then try to recharge you again later but if so then just go in and cite the prior dismissal and the reason why and the court should dismiss with predjudice and lecture the DA.

If the citing official is in court focus on how close he got to the bees, whether he observed bees coming in and out of the hives at the time, etc. If he says he did (and he will) I hope you have witnesses to your having moved the bees and set up the dummies because you can then impeach the SOB.  Case dismissed, case closed.

This is not legal advise, I'm merely relating, from my own experience, how a court will most likely operate during a trial or hearing in a case similar to yours.
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Yarra_Valley
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« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2006, 04:34:54 PM »

Hey Joseph,

what happened on the 15th?
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2007, 01:47:23 AM »

Sorry to have kept everyone hanging for so long. A few distractions have kept me busy until recently.

So here is a (not too brief) update:

There was an actual hearing with the hearing officer presiding, zoning enforcement was present to give their case. They reduced the fines they were asking for the disabled vehicle infraction and the junk collecting to $200 each. To stress the point that this was about my keeping bees, they asked the hearing officer for a $250 fine for keeping the bees. Then I presented my case, the hearing officer asked for copies of all my supporting documents, including my logs of phone conversations I'd had concerning the beekeeping issue. He then deliberated through the weekend, and on Monday gave his decision. He upheld the $200 fines for each of the unrelated infractions, but disregarded the zoning enforcements request of a $250 fine for the beekeeping and instead reduced it to $1. If my brother could have completed the cleanup of his collections within another 30 days all we would have to pay would have been the $1 for my bees, but he is still working at cleaning up his collections, and so he has had to pay those fines. I paid my $1 beekeeping fine, and still refuse to obtain the $40 "beekeeping permit". My brother is nearly finished cleaning up his collections (I hope he gets done quickly), and there is a reinspection coming soon. I returned one active hive to the apiary enclosure soon after the final hearing, I created the enclosure for the comfort of the bees, and for my own comfort, it was not required by the statute in the code.

The hearing officer, in his decision, explained that the zoning enforcement supervisor was granted broad powers to interpret the code -- the beekeeping permit is her own interpretation of the code. The zoning officer who began my case, was a recent hire to that department, from the beginning he has been appologetic and cordial, explaining that he came to this job from law enforcement and that he was astonished by many practices of his office. Almost immediately after my final hearing he quit the job. My last inspection was done by his immediate supervisor, not the woman who has the final say. He confided that he knew of the county supervisor's intentions to eliminate beekeeping in our county. He did not intimate what her motives might be. But added that it was she, the county supervisor, that was pressuring them to take such stronghanded tactics in my case.

However, the hearing officer seems to be the more rational and just in managing the beekeeping issue. If I am cited again for beekeeping, I hope my earlier hearing will help any future issues in this regard. If so, I am not too unhappy to pay $1 fines each year, rather than $40 for an imaginary permit.
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
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