I am puzzled. When I played by the rules, openly and honestly seeking information about creating a guesthouse where my wife and I could rent our second home for profit, I was told the law states that the zoning …
I am puzzled. When I played by the rules, openly and honestly seeking information about creating a guesthouse where my wife and I could rent our second home for profit, I was told the law states that the zoning must be changed to R3-B-3, and that a public review by the P&Z was required to see if anyone objected (and why) and to thoroughly air the request in public.
I learned that we were responsible for costs relating to these procedures, and that, if we passed the P&Z hearing, we must then appear at a city of Fairhope Council meeting whenever our issue made the agenda, to further explain our reasons and see if anyone in the audience or on the council objected.
Then I was told that before opening, I would have to pass a full inspection by the city concerning electrical, plumbing and other criteria to ensure the safety of guests and meet the high standards required. This, too, I did, but it took months of very hard work and many thousands of dollars to upgrade to meet these standards.
When we set up the business, all the tax entities — federal, state, and local — had to be informed, and the stiff penalties related to failure to pay all the entities involved were fully communicated to us in the process.
Then we had all the costs associated with advertising, joining marketing organizations, and the like before we could open our business.
Now I understand that all I really had to do was open the house, make thousands of dollars without following the law, as laid down by federal, state, and city governments, and listen to Mike Ford imply that we should ignore the law because it brings in tourist dollars. That is a great message to send to our children and residents: that rules are made only for suckers, and special favors exist for others who evidently are above the law.
My only question is: Why did we have to spend all that time and money to meet all of your rules in the first place? If you’re not going to enforce your own laws, why have them at all?