Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Native American Descendant's Property Grabbed by Government

Business property owned for 23 years seized after County bureaucrats manipulate conditional use permit; 10 working-class minority families lose livelihood. Please Help!

Big Bear Lake, CA—February 3, 2014— Embattled business owner, Joaquín Andrés (Andy) Acosta, owner of AJ Acosta and Company, is being forced to lay off 10 longtime Mexican-American and immigrant employees in the small mountain community of Big Bear Lake, CA, as a result of a San Bernardino court order. The order approved the seizure of heavy equipment, trucks and tools from business property Acosta owned over 23 years, while neighboring properties are left alone running similar businesses.

Acosta, who is 12% Native American, said, “I can really relate now to what my ancestors went through. I’ve had this property for more than 23 years. County bureaucrats singled me out, changing zoning usage after I bought the land. I just turned 50 and I’m seeing my legacy taken away.

It feels like I don’t live in a free country if a guy who works in a government office can change the rules on a whim and wipe out the business I built that feeds my family, my workers and their families. I don’t know how to fight this anymore. I’m out of money and I’m out of time.”

Andy Acosta is not a criminal; he’s an ordinary small business owner, life-long resident of Big Bear Lake and a family man who has owned this property since 1989. Yet, the tools he needs to continue employing workers and serving his community were seized recently by the San Bernardino County government to be auctioned off this March. And the land he bought, which was zoned properly for the type of business he has been running, is supposed to be vacated and returned to its natural state.

Acosta’s next door competitor has a son who just happens to be the local Fire Chief who receives a paycheck from the County of San Bernardino. Additionally, one of the business owners of the same neighboring property works at the Community Services District, a branch of the County funded by taxpayers. As far as Acosta knows, his neighbors are not receiving equal treatment.

“Somehow the County came up with the idea that the property on either side of me could remain ‘as is’ but mine would have to be returned to its natural state,” said Acosta. “Did they play Eeny, meeny, miny, moe that day or was it just a case of ‘let’s kick out the brown guys’? It never made sense. It seems personal.”

Acosta was a young family man with twin boys and a successful construction company when he purchased his North Shore Drive property in 1989 with the encouragement of county officials. Then, after three years in business on the property, San Bernardino County changed policies and bureaucratic officials insisted that to stay in business, Acosta had to file for a Conditional Use Permit paying several thousand dollars. That fee quickly escalated when the County bureaucracy decided it was only a deposit for additional to-be-determined fees. Eventually the County bureaucrats decided the permit fees would be close to $100,000. This is years after Acosta bought the property.

Acosta decided to fight the County bureaucrats’ runaway money and power grab. That began years of conflicting requirements between different government agencies and utilities, revoked permits, escalating fines and expensive litigation.

Acosta is pro-business and civic minded. He has donated many free cords of wood to community fundraisers and civic groups over the years and actively participated in the safety and welfare of Big Bear Lake and City. Over the past two decades, Acosta and his crew have fought area wildfires and cleared avalanches when the existing government workers were overwhelmed.

Despite being besieged by a vindictive County bureaucracy for over a decade, Acosta has managed to stay in business for over twenty years, surviving this terrible economic downturn. During this time, Acosta has kept as many of his employees working as financially possible.

Nonetheless, the County of San Bernardino is now insisting that Acosta vacate his North Shore Drive property and “rehabilitate” that property to its natural state, a court order that is impossible to comply with and still remain in business.

San Bernardino County government’s hostile actions violate Acosta’s Constitutional rights as well as contribute to an increasingly negative business climate in the State of California.  Their demand that Acosta remove any trace of his construction business and restore the property to its original vacant lot condition is a strike at the heart of small business, working-class family, minority rights, and American industry. The cost of compliance has been quoted between nine to thirty million dollars, an amount far above the value of the property. And that does not include the loss of Acosta’s life-long business.

The San Bernardino County bureaucracy using the State of California’s judicial system is railroading Acosta. This is costing California taxpayers millions in wasteful government spending and is a tragic loss to the residents and visitors of Big Bear Lake.

A. J. Acosta Company are seasoned timber and heavy equipment experts with more than 30 years of timber and forestry management experience in the residential, commercial, and government sectors.

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Big Bear Lake, #govt #nativeamerican #teaparty #landgrabs #landrights #dems #minority #county #sanbernardino #chicano #Latino #Hispanic


  1. File a low suit immediately!!!

  2. http://www.bigbearcentral.com/deadgiants.htm Acosta removed dangerous dead giants!

  3. No matter what color, this is just completely wrong and way out of line.

  4. Go fight for what is yours
    Go file a law suite for discrimination of race color sex religions and any thing else you can get
    F¥€k them back

  5. He must be republican..the liberals steal lie and cheat to get thier ways

  6. What kind of minerals did they find on his property? Gold, Irridium, most likely it's a Uranium mine that they are seeking. That would make a great deal of sense, as to why there are armed military present on the mountain, guarding the Acosta Estate. More redneck politics, for an ass-backwards Code Enforcement of greeeeeeeeedy beings. So pathetic...

  7. I grew up in this wonderful city and its a shame that the government can pull this off. Not only should the guy get his property back...but should also be fully reimbursed for damages to his and his employee's lives by the goverment's greed. The community should be the ones in charge, not some dude who needs another "toy" car to drive around in.

  8. Why do we allow our country to be turned into a communist country where we have no rights? I learned years ago when I got my real estate license we do not own our property. The government can take it at any time. When I was in banking I learned by Wells Fargo Bank that Social Security was nothing short of a pyramid scheme. When I was a tax preparer I learned our government takes our taxes we pay then turns around and pays people not to try to better themselves by working harder. (The more they earned the less earned income tax credit they received). Then I knew we were being lied to. I knew the Ruling Class runs our country and bullies us into submission. Doesn't this make you angry? It does me and I will never stop trying to right the wrongs these people in Washington as well as other government entities perfrom, like San Bernardino County, have been stopped. To help Andy get together and fight for him. And fight all tyranny no matter who is being harmed. That is what we do as Americans. This is how we ensure our children and grandchildren can live in liberty and prosperity! .

  9. This is a desperate cry for help after several years of doing nothing but fighthing and thumbing your nose at the County. Your land looks horrific compared to your neighbors. Maybe the County employees that you are trying to throw under the bus has some sence of respect for our community and what their property looks like. Sorry Andy - I mean Joaquín Andrés - you did this to yourself.

    1. If you want to compare my North Shore property to some of the others look at the maps on my page http://ajacostacompany.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_6.html
      There are more than 30 known logging, recycling, and/or firewood businesses in the vicinity of A.J. Acosta Company’s current operations which are not currently known to have a Conditional Use Permit mandated by the County of San Bernardino. Some of them are commercially zoned, others residential zoned, but none of which are IC1 zoned.
      I maintain that my North Shore property is not the worst industrial property in the Big Bear Valley. In my opinion the issue of aesthetics as applied to an industrial property in an industrial zone is merely an excuse to seize my business and property. You can see by looking at my Chronology that this latest issue is part of an almost 20 year struggle with the County over property rights.http://ajacostacompany.blogspot.com/p/chronology-of-andys.html