Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This Could Happen to You and Your Business

A good man is losing everything because the San Bernardino Court is auctioning off his business tools and property to the highest bidder Saturday, March 1st. Seizure laws put into place to seize the ill gotten gains of drug lords and mobsters have been used to crush the A.J. Acosta company, a small logging, snow removal and tree felling business in the mountain town of Big Bear Lake owned by Joaquin Andres (Andy) Acosta.

What was the “crime” Andy committed? He didn’t “clean-up” his IC1 commercially zoned property to the County Court’s continuous and cost-prohibitive changing standards. So they are making an example of him, putting into effect a police action that is shockingly punitive. They haven’t gone after any of the other 30 or so wood lots in Big Bear Lake except for A. J. Acosta Company. Just Acosta’s, and his property is the only property in Big Bear appropriately zoned for the type of business he runs. 

Yet don’t think it can’t happen to you. If San Bernardino Court Judge David Cohn’s judgments stand, anyone who doesn’t comply with the County’s highly subjective opinion of what constitutes a public nuisance on private land could be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and their business will be destroyed. 

The last 5 years have been a terrible time in the heavy equipment construction industry. A.J. Acosta Company tightened it’s belt, and kept the company going. Acosta kept plowing avalanches, fighting fires, cutting down dangerous trees, processing firewood, mulching tree waste and providing support for search and rescue teams in Big Bear Lake and surrounding Southern California communities. Until now. 

There are many complications to any lawsuit. But here is one simple truth. Government is ruining one man’s life, destroying a dozen jobs and denying the residents and visitors of Big Bear Lake the services that keep their town safe. Acosta has asked for just a little more time to comply with the courts judgement, but they are denying his many requests and forcing the auction of a 30 year old business, ramrodding it through in a few short weeks. 

The Receiver, Eric P. Beatty makes money, the Auctioneer makes money, the County makes money and everyone else loses: Not only the people of the Big Bear Valley, but any resident of California who may come up against Judge David Cohn’s precedent setting legal rulings when they find themselves faced with heavy-handed and selective code enforcement in the hands of power-hungry bureaucrats.  

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