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View Full Version : Zoning issue FFL Sacramento County . Help please


joe_sun
07-28-2008, 12:09 PM
/edit

Hit a snag...

I called Sacramento County Licensing and they said the area is zoned "M2" and sales are not allowed in the area.

Am I dead in the water here?



Hello everyone

I've really been thinking of opening up my own "Internet Transfer" gun store. This is something I've been thinking about for a long time and it seems it's going to happen. Hell I'm even thinking of calling it "Internet Transfers" if the name isn't already taken.

I'm just trying to make sure I understand 100% what's involved before I go to the bank for a loan.. IF I even need one.

My Father-in-law owns a building out in Un-incorporated Sacramento at near Power Inn and Gerber. He said he would rent me a space so I WILL have a store front location. He has an alarm and an Internet connection I can use. I understand I need a safe, a computer, a card reader a bound book, copy machine, fax and printer. I WOULD have set business hours. Probably 3-4 hours twice a week.

What I'm curious about are the licenses and permits and what order to get them. Is there a thread out there that would explain this?

1. I think the first step would be to establish a sole prop for the company

2. Get a sellers permit from the CA BOE

3. Get a COE from the DOJ

4. I've been told I need a permit from the Sac SO.. but I can't find anything on this

5. Apply for an FFL

Am I missing anything?

Thanks!

Jon

joe_sun
07-28-2008, 2:57 PM
Hit a snag...

I called Sacramento County Licensing and they said the area is zoned "M2" and sales are not allowed in the area.

Am I dead in the water here?

bwiese
07-28-2008, 3:31 PM
Dead in the water? Probably.

Zoning issues are always a big part of being a CA FFL.

Find another more favorable location.

tcrpe
07-28-2008, 3:38 PM
Hit a snag...

I called Sacramento County Licensing and they said the area is zoned "M2" and sales are not allowed in the area.

Am I dead in the water here?

Options:

Under Table IV, shooting ranges are allowed in M2 subject to: (2)
Permitted provided the use is located not less than five hundred (500) feet from the boundary line of a residential land use zone or interim residential zone, nor less than five hundred (500) feet from any residential use and subject to issuance of a conditional use permit by the Board of Supervisors after a recommendation by the appropriate authority.

230-12. Uses Not Provided for in the Table
If a use is not listed in the table or shown as a permitted use in any other zone, the Planning Director shall make a determination as set forth in Section 110-30.5. (Amended 6/95)

Non-conforming uses can sometimes be done under a Conditional Use Permit.

Or perhaps a Zone Variance.

Or get the property re-zoned so that you can do it "by right".

Or find another location.

First read the applicable sections of the Zoning Code, don't have them interpret it for you.

tcrpe
07-28-2008, 3:42 PM
Hit a snag...

I called Sacramento County Licensing and they said the area is zoned "M2" and sales are not allowed in the area.

Am I dead in the water here?


On CUPs:

ARTICLE 3: CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS
110-30. Generally
Use permits, revocable, conditional or valid for a term may be granted by the appropriate authority for any of the uses or purposes for which such permits are required or permitted by the terms of this Code. Because of their unusual characteristics, conditional uses require special consideration so that they may be located and developed properly with respect to the objectives of the Zoning Code and with respect to their effect on surrounding properties. To grant a conditional use permit, the appropriate authority shall find and record in writing that the establishment, maintenance or operation of the use, building, or structure applied for will not under the circumstances of the particular case be detrimental to the health, safety, peace, morals, comfort, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of such proposed use or be detrimental or injurious to property and improvements in the neighborhood or to the general welfare of the County.



Under what Zoning would it be allowed?

Start there.

Read the Zoning Code, don't rely on them to do it for you.

joe_sun
07-28-2008, 3:53 PM
Thank you for the information!

The family owns the building at the location and that is really the only thing that makes this feasable.

I started reading the code online and I think I'll need to print it out. It seems A CUP is possible but a public hearning is required.

When I asked the County if there was "anything I could do" they said I could get a use permit and it would cost 13K Not sure where they are getting that figure from.

tcrpe
07-28-2008, 4:11 PM
Thank you for the information!

The family owns the building at the location and that is really the only thing that makes this feasable.

I started reading the code online and I think I'll need to print it out. It seems A CUP is possible but a public hearning is required.

When I asked the County if there was "anything I could do" they said I could get a use permit and it would cost 13K Not sure where they are getting that figure from.

First, I don't practice in Sacramento County.

See:

http://www.planning.saccounty.net/forms.html

Fee schedule:
http://www.planning.saccounty.net/forms/docs/pdf/Planning%20Fee%20Schedule%2010-1-2007.pdf

Zoning Administrator's action is $948, I don't see a fee for "Conditional Use Permit".

Ask for a copy of the fee schedule and a calculation as to how the fees are charged.

Most of this you can do yourself.

tcrpe
07-28-2008, 4:25 PM
I'm looking at this right now, and gun smithing is allowed in M2 see J.18 in Table IV.

That's pretty close to the character of what you propose, and the Zoning Code doesn't pretend to precisely predict the character of future businesses.

Right now, stop taking with the people at the counter, read up on what is allowed and what isn't allowed, then make an appointment for a meeting with someone in authority. They may call it something like Design Review Committee or Preliminary Application Review Committee.

Know a Civil PE in Sacto? Talk to him.

Make a complete proposal, present your facts well, and lead them to a Director's Hearing and determination.

It's stupid beyond belief that they think they can collect $13,000 for this.

I think you can do this by right if you play your cards well.

Worried about a public hearing? Don't be.

joe_sun
07-28-2008, 4:36 PM
You're awesome. I really appreciate your help!

I just got off the phone with my Father-in-law (aka owner of the building) and he said the building down from him sells tile. It might be wholesale but he sells it, has a showroom (he thinks) and customers are in and out all day long.

Sorry what's a Civil PE?

/edit

Also when you say "M2 see J.18 in Table IV" I don't see anything of the sort at where I'm reading.

http://www.planning.saccounty.net/zc/toc/index.html


Everything is listed as Chapters and articles listed as a code such as

ARTICLE 1: PURPOSE
105-01. Intent

tcrpe
07-28-2008, 4:50 PM
You're awesome. I really appreciate your help!

I just got off the phone with my Father-in-law (aka owner of the building) and he said the building down from him sells tile. It might be wholesale but he sells it, has a showroom (he thinks) and customers are in and out all day long.

Sorry what's a Civil PE?

Registered Civil Engineer (Professional Engineer).

The problem you are having is that you are going to the people at the Planning Department counter, and asking if it's OK with them to sell guns, even though you are acting as a transfer agent and NOT ACTUALLY SELLING GUNS. Unless I misunderstand you.

What you need to do is line up your ducks and go to the County Planning Department and explain why you have the right to do what you want to do, and precisely what it is that you propose to do. As a peace offering, a negotiating chip, you'll extend the fees for a Director's Review.

And that is a proposal you make only to someone in authority.

In Kern County, after 30 years, I know all the county and city department heads well, and this would be a no-brainer.

You might benefit yourself by finding someone local who knows the sacto dept heads personally. That would be a Civil PE. With gray hair.

BTW, the no selling in a M2 zone is BS. What do you suppose the manufacturer's do with all their goods?

Besides, your are NOT SELLING GUNS. You are selling a transfer and repository service, are you not?

PM me with anything else, I don't think anyone else is interested in this . . . .

tcrpe
07-28-2008, 5:02 PM
Also when you say "M2 see J.18 in Table IV" I don't see anything of the sort at where I'm reading.


See:

http://www.planning.saccounty.net/zc/toc/docs/13th-Printing-NEW-EDITION-060921-T2C30.pdf


It's in the Industrial Uses Section, PG II-101, Services. You are offering a service.

The more I think of it your activities very closely resemble a gun smith.

hoffmang
07-28-2008, 8:33 PM
One option is to just get your 07 FFL instead of an 01 FFL. Then you would actually be a manufacturer and 07 FFLs can get all of the needed items from CA DOJ to perform all the functions of an 01 FFL. You could also build guns...

-Gene

bigmike82
07-28-2008, 9:31 PM
"PM me with anything else, I don't think anyone else is interested in this . . . ."
Actually...some of us are for future planning purposes. :)

weezil_boi
07-28-2008, 10:27 PM
Jon... you sneaky bastage :) I didnt know you were up to all this!

Man, you gotta build guns too... to re-coup the cost of all those jigs!

tcrpe
07-29-2008, 7:20 AM
The Zoning Code M2 allows mail order businesses. In the modern world, that equates to internet businesses. I can't imagine that the County staff would argue that point.

So, let's say you are running:

D.11 Mail order business by right.

J.18 Gunsmithing by right.

Define your sales business as a "mail order" (internet, same thing), to cover your sales, no showroom, and you are good there.

Show that your activities most closely resemble gun smithing, that is, you provide interim storage of guns and act as a transfer agent, the only functional difference is that one guy drops it off, and another picks it up, and you, instead of going after it with a screwdriver, work on the paperwork.

In your Use Statement, point out that you don't have a showroom, don't have plans for people to walk in from off of the street, won't be advertising in the newspaper, and that sales are based upon internet transactions (i.e., mail order). People would come by basically by appointment.

tcrpe
07-31-2008, 8:13 AM
I'm not that familiar with Sacto County, but you may need a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for a commercial space. Are you planning and tenant improvements? If not, pursue a Business License first.

Does SMUD require a C of O before they will power you up?

I'd write up a short three or four paragraph Statement of Operations, just to have it in hand. Re-read and edit it to get it perfect.

First, try applying for a business license. That may be the end of your adventure, and they will issue it.

Or they may send you over to Planning, due to the nature of your activity.

Then, I'd go into the planning department and explain what you are doing, and how it most closely resembles mail order and gunsmithing, and I'd ask what I had to do to get a C of O.

You may need a Planning Director's determination of conformance between your proposed transfer and repository service and the gunsmithing definition. The mail order / internet is a no-brainer. Here in Kern County the former would be a no-brainer, too.

Do we have a local to Sacto engineer here on CalGuns? He/she may know the local culture better than I.

Now here's a little secret I use in unfamiliar territory. Buy a newspaper, go sit in the govt waiting area for a while and size up the clerks/technicians at the counter. See how they interact with the public. Read their body language. You may find one that seems a little more caring or personable. Or you may not, but it's worth a shot.

I found this:

http://www.bizincorporation.com/lice...Occupancy.html

Keep me posted.

If you want to call me 661-xxx-xxxx, after 6pm.

Tom, PE