Monday, February 17, 2014

Why is the County of San Bernardino Crushing This Small Town Business?

Imagine that you have worked hard and invested every dime you had back into the tiny business you started. You are 17 years old and you got a GED so that you could get out of high school early and help support your mother and six siblings after your parents' divorce.

And your efforts paid off. With an old pickup truck and a loan for a wood splitter (co-signed by an anonymous benefactor in Big Bear), you started your first business and it was growing. You worked early every morning and late every evening. You might take a few hours on a weekend for some fun then you were back at work. You work like this for years. Nine years later you are 26 years old and your business is thriving.

It's an American success story. They don't happen every day, but occasionally they do. A young Hispanic man who's mother needed food stamps to feed the family when they lost everything in a divorce, makes good. In fact, he defies the odds and builds a multimillion dollar business that supports and protects the town of Big Bear Lake.

But here's the thing. Not everyone is happy for your success. It's an old theme with many stories. And here is the current reality:  A.J. Acosta Company is the target for a business equipment and land grab from the County of San Bernardino. And they've been after him for years, changing rules and then selectively enforcing them, specifically targeting A.J. Acosta company.

The next court date is this Friday, Feb 21st with Judge Cohen in San Bernardino. At stake is the scheduled March 1st auction of most ALL of A.J. Acosta's business equipment and the loss of his business real estate. Judge Cohen's order stands to destroy the A.J. Acosta Company business. This is NOT the American way!!!

Here are some facts and some questions.

1. Andy Acosta bought his 1000 North Shore Drive property in 1989 with the urging of the County planner.  It's the largest piece of IC1 piece of industrial zoned property in the Big Bear Valley.

2. A.J. Acosta Company was in full swing and growing when the San Bernardino County changed the zoning rules in 1993.

3. Why did Andy Acosta's property end up on the county map for growth and rezoning when he had already been in business for 4 years and was the ONLY business then in compliance with the County zoning?

4. Why isn't anyone else who owns property with the same use as A.J. Acosta company in Big Bear also not being targeted by the County of San Bernardino?

5. Why is the County of San Bernardino insisting that Andy Acosta have a Conditional Use Permit  (CUP) for his business when no other similar business is IC1 zoned? 

6. Why is the County of San Bernardino insisting that his construction business property be returned to it's "natural state"? No one can do that AND remain in business.

County of San Bernardino couldn't justify eminent domain, so they instead have been selectively enforcing codes that are crushing this small town business and destroying an American success story.

Read the Chronology page for more details.

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