Friday, August 24, 2007

Concord Shakedown

I got a letter from the City of Concord today about my business license. I was notified that my license application was incomplete. One of the hidden things they do is require a Zoning Compliance Fact Sheet for all new businesses in the downtown area. Nobody mentions this and it's not part of their website, but they zap you with this when you apply for the license.

Apparently there's zero investigation into the suitability of a business when a license is filed, everyone is approved, I'm told by planning, so planning has taken it upon themselves to tack on this additional "fact sheet." With an application fee of $570! My wife is an attorney and she points out the questionable legality of requiring an "application" fee for what's called a "fact sheet." It's essentially a dual-permit.

What irks me most, despite the fact that they have to have another city division do work that should be done by the permit people (why did I send them $350?) is that this came as a surprise. It's a bait and switch operation that businesses won't know about until they actually apply for their license.


  1. Quick update: I've got an attorney whose checking to see if this issue is a good candidate for a class-action lawsuit.