Sunday, February 23, 2014

Working Man's Business Being Destroyed by California Government

The business climate in California just got worse. Millions of dollars of one man's private property are up for auction March 1st, 2014, because San Bernardino County Court Judge David Cohn ruled that the County of San Bernardino could sell every piece of construction equipment on A.J. Acosta's 5.5 acre IC1 industrial zoned construction yard to comply with his Cohn's Court Judgement to "clean-up" the yard.

Judge Cohn's judgement ordered Acosta to return his Big Bear Lake, California IC1 zoned Business Property to it's "natural grade" vacant lot condition; an order requiring removal of approximately 30,000 (thirty thousand) dump truck loads of organic material that would have to be dumped down-the-hill (off the mountain) to a fully permitted facility. As well as removing most of the business inventory and equipment.

This judgement was impossible to comply with and remain in business. Obviously, if Acosta's land was returned to natural grade state it would be below Big Bear Lake in elevation and then flood with the next storms. It's impossible to continue running your business if you can't put equipment on your property or maintain your inventory. Acosta's property is the only construction yard properly zoned in all of the Big Bear Lake Valley. None of the other similar businesses are being ordered to do this.

According to the San Bernardino Sun;  "On May 2, 2012, Cohn permanently suspended Acosta from conducting any business, storage and recycling activity at the North Shore Drive property without prior land-use approval by the county. The judge also ordered Acosta to restore the property to a vacant lot by removing all equipment, vehicles, storage containers and parts from the property, as well as all stockpiles of mulch, dirt and rock. He also fined Acosta $721,000. . . . . READ MORE

A.J. Acosta Company owner,  Joaquin Andres (Andy) Acosta, maintains that this is just one action of many that the County of San Bernardino has been taking for over 20 years (Acosta bought this property in 1989). See Chronology. Acosta's property, 1000 North Shore Drive in Big Bear Lake, California

Bids received that would be necessary to comply with Judge David Cohn's order were in the neighborhood of 22 Million dollars. After the Court appointed Receiver, Eric P. Beatty took control of Acosta's property, locking the gate this month so that Acosta could not continue his business, the judgement was then modified for the Receiver, Eric Beatty's sake so that he would not have to comply with the same requirements Acosta was ordered to fulfill.

Thus the order was changed to accommodate the Receiver, Eric Beatty, requiring that he only had to remove only 1/3 of the material Acosta was ordered to remove. And he will sell all of Acosta's equipment to pay for the work.

Imagine that the County came to you and complained that the property your home was on needed to be cleaned up. And to comply with their "clean-up" requirements you had to dig up your garden, remove your wood pile, decking, asphalt driveway and any fill dirt or gravel that was put on your property so that your property was returned completely back to it's natural grade and state. And then imagine that if you didn't do that, they'd sell your house and car to do the job themselves.

This is un-American and destroys jobs. It also negates the State of California's efforts to create a positive business climate. The County of San Bernardino code enforcement is being used to crush a 30 year old business and put 10 employees on the street.

Judge David Cohn turned down Acosta's attorney's request to cancel the upcoming auction and allow him to move his equipment now that landowners in Big Bear Valley have come to Acosta's side. They have realized how serious Acosta's plight is and have made formal court declarations that they would grant him space to put his equipment. (Before this month, no one in Big Bear Lake would grant Acosta a place to park his equipment)

The San Bernardino Sun: Posted:  | SAN BERNARDIN0 >> A San Bernardino Superior Court judge on Friday rejected Big Bear Lake contractor Andy “A.J.” Acosta’s plea to halt the sale of his property, allowing an auction to proceed as scheduled on March 1.Despite an assurance by Acosta’s attorney, Robert Ziprick, that Acosta has finally buttoned down a location where he can move his heavy equipment, Judge David Cohn denied Ziprick’s motion requesting that Cohn reconsider his Jan. 24 order for a receiver to sell at auction everything on Acosta’s property at 1000 North Shore Drive.. . .READ MORE

The San Bernardino County Court mandated auction is scheduled for March 1, 2014 at Acosta's property, 1000 North Shore Drive, Big Bear Lake, California.

Side Note -- Here is the problem in the simplest terms:
  • Judge David Cohn orders A.J. Acosta Company to remove all of his business equipment and inventory from the 1000 North Shore Dr., Big Bear Lake, California, property so that land would be vacant and ready for remediation to it's natural state.
  • There are no properties in Big Bear Lake county area that are zoned for that equipment. Acosta searches for two years for a place in Big Bear Lake to put his equipment.
  • Because Acosta was unsuccessful finding a lot, Judge David Cohn orders the Receiver, Eric Beatty to remediate the property back to it's natural state.
  • The Receiver, Eric P. Beatty of SB Asset Partners LLP, obtains bids in the neighborhood of 20+Million dollars to remediate the property as ordered.
  • Due to the high bids, the Receiver, Eric P. Beatty asks the Court to make an exception for him and to alter the order so that he will only have to remediated the property back to the "Bonadimen Grade", an engineering term meaning that the property can be at an acceptable grade that won't encourage flooding.
  • The Receiver, Eric P. Beatty, is granted an exception to use the Bonadiman grade. (Term coined by Bonadiman Engineering firm.) The Receiver, Eric P. Beatty now gets lesser multi-million dollars plus
  • The Receiver, Eric P. Beatty, convinces the court that he needs to sell Acosta's equipment to raise the money for the remediation.
  • The equipment currently on the property is not enough to remediate the property to the Judges' specifications so now the Receiver, Eric P. Beatty, asks the Court to confiscate. All of Acosta's equipment including equipment Acosta has one other properties. This includes all equipment used for Acosta's firewood business located at Acosta's incorporated City of Big Bear Lake office site on Big Bear Blvd.
  • For example -- If Acosta or and employee ever drove one of his trucks onto the North Shore property, now that truck must be given to the Receiver for sale.
  • Why is the  Receiver, Eric P. Beatty, not acting objectively? He even took the remote controlled toy trucks and boats that Acosta's Boys play with, their snowmobiles and 4-wheelers and motorcycles. He even confiscated Acosta's heirloom Lionel Train set, a gift from Acosta's late father. Acosta's personal items stored in a container on the property were rifled through.
  • If the March 1st Auction does not yield enough money to meet the minimum multi- million-plus dollar bids that the Receiver, Eric P. Beatty obtained, then the County of San Bernardino will seize Acosta's land and sell that to "pay" for the remediation order.
So here's the summary of where we are at. The Judge is saying that if any equipment A.J. Company owned for 30 years EVER touched the ground at 1000 North Shore Dr., the Court has the jurisdiction to seize that property and sell it at auction. The County of San Bernardino is CRUSHING this small business. This is so wrong.


1 comment:

  1. The exact same thing is happening to StaRRanch by the judicial system and Eric Beatty in Riverside County. 120Acre horse ranch and destination wedding spot bankrupt and seized! Developers already have plans in place to build sub divisions in accordance with the City Plan.