Code Enforcement Gets Tough on Land Use Permits

In my report on the city council meeting of July 23, I mentioned that Mary Porter, who runs a towing service here in Menifee, was cited by t...

In my report on the city council meeting of July 23, I mentioned that Mary Porter, who runs a towing service here in Menifee, was cited by the County code enforcement as being in violation of a land use permit (or lack thereof).

The Press Enterprise published more information on that...

I also recall that earlier in the month, at the County Transition Meeting, Supervisor Stone mentioned that beefed up code enforcement, and has them looking aggressively throughout his district, looking under rocks, peeking over fences, and making sure everyone washed behind their ears.

If you consider these land use permits costs $9,457 to obtain, it's definitely one of the ways the County plans to make some money.

But being that Menifee is incorporating on October 1, I wonder if these small businesses can just ignore the citations.

Beginning October 1, the city is required to adopt all of the same laws, rules, and regulations that County has, so technically the issue won't go away. But once adopted, the city can also change them. I'd like to see the city become more business friendly, where new employers find Menifee an attractive place to do business, and give us all more places to find work closer to home.

When Mary Porter spoke at the city council meeting, she mentioned that she and other businesses affected by this employ some 300 people.


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  1. While I would like to side with Ms. Porter and the other business owners, the law is the law. Permits are required. When my husband and I looked into starting a storage business, one of the things we had to budget for was the permits. Why should some businesses have to comply and not others?

    While I can understand the financial burden, especially given the current state of the economy, if the county gives a reprieve to these businesses, they should give the same courtesy to all businesses. Of course, this will be very costly to the county/city.

  2. The chop shop / mechanic business my neighbor runs out of his garage has got to go. So does the furniture assembly shop and the shutter businees that are also on my street. This is not the type of "business" most people are refering to when they say "business friendly."

    It's nice to see code envorcement actually enforcing codes!

  3. Nominal fees for orderly control of zoning is one thing. But the county and some cities are sucking the public dry with fees and fines designed to help make up for the falling and projected further falling of property tax revenues. "The law is the law", as they say, but don't ever forget that major and minor crimes by governments great and small have been committed throughout all of history under the legal protections those governments give themselves. It's the case of the fox guarding the henhouse when government entities and agencies start feathering their own nest at the public's expense.

  4. Where do these anal, hard nosed, sanctimonious characters come from? The question was asked long before Mr. Law is the Law was around in Herman Melville's story of Billy Bud. An innocent man was hung because the the "law was the law" ending the story with the question: "Is the law designed to serve man or is man designed to serve the law?" The reality is law is created to serve people for their highest and best good. Law is fluid so it can be changed when it is no longer in the highest and best interest of people. Law is not law. Law is the tool of all Governments to use as leverage, whips, and harnesses to legally pirate people for its own survival. For that reason law and laws must be continually examined and reexamined to be permitted to be enforced.

  5. Code enforcement left these businesses alone for 15 to 20 years and now that the city is incorperating they go out and start writing fines. It's all about getting money for the county before it's gone to them. Not about law enforcement. I hope the city council sees through this farce.

  6. I think this is an outrage...

  7. It should be noted that these business running on Bailey Park and Zeiders Road are operating illegally, without permit and without contributing tax dollars to the community. While yes they do employ people, US citizens or not, its all tax free money Uncle Sam is not seeing. Just because you own land does not mean you can use it as a private RV storage lot and charge people by the lineal foot to rent. A lot of people know that they were operating illegally, and are now crying "whoa is me" because of the crackdown to clean up the area.

    Additionally, when large box developers like Walmart and Lowes come into town, they complain to the County about how they are paying to make street improvement and infrastructure upgrades, when the bootleggers don't have to contribute.

    Surely everyone can the truth here.

    People like Mary Porter need to find land with the allowable uses to run these business, and go through the permit process just like every other professional business.

  8. Is it possible some of these businesses can be grandfathered in for a nominal fee? Why attack long time residents? The next thing you know is that they will be forcing out anyone who owns a horse or anything other than a cat of dog. After that anyone who's house is the wrong color.

  9. I really must set the record straight.

    From some of these comments - one would believe that the goal of our group is to get out of going through the compliance process. Just the opposite is true.

    Keep in mind that some of our businesses have been here for 20-50 YEARS! The zoning has changed many times with no consequences to these established businesses. Some of these comments speak as though we just moved in.

    Our question is: Why did Riverside County decide over the last 2 months to cite Menifee businesses and residents EN MASS. Not one business was spared on Bailey Park. And from my understanding all but one on Zeiders Rd.

    Our request was: Time. We were cited by having a ticket TAPED to our fences and later received letters stating "discontinue use" Essentially - stop doing business. Go through the 8 months to 1 year application process to see if the request is approved before begining business again.

    If you watch the talk I gave to the city council, or if you could have heard me speak to the Press Enterprise, this would be clear. However, that was not printed as part of the story.

    We want to stay in Menifee. Hopefully, the new city (through the county if necessary) will find a way to make that happen.

  10. Mary your speech before the council is on YouTUBE at

    I think folks need to understand not only how much the land zoning has changed over the years, and not all of it above board, but they also need to understand how overwhelming the county processes can be. This isn't just a 'permit' fee. There's no limit to how much their "studies" can cost, let alone their recommendations. I really worry about some of the opinions expressed here.

  11. Let's not forget folks, that the County is collecting a lot less money from home builders because they're not building homes.

    The reason why the County didn't make this issue a long time ago is because they didn't have to. Now they need the money, and now they're going after the mom & pop businesses.

    They'll be going after each resident also, because I heard Jeff Stone say at the County Transition Meeting that he greatly beefed up the Code Enforcement division. They're gonna check behind everybody's ears to find some dirt. This isn't just an issue with businesses.

  12. So i find it funny how the county can enforce codes with these small business owners but cant seem to find the time to go after the developers for the code infactions Im sure leaveing streets unfished is some sort of code infraction right?Where the heck is AQMD on the dust control. These are huge fines. Something like 25,000 a day for every day the infraction is not corrected.

  13. J Bar Ranch needs to be cleaned up in many areas!! People live there and do sleep reqular hours at night! It is suppose to be residential on approx. 1 acre + mini ranches. On site Metal Buildings have popped up all over J Bar and many have contractors doing towing, pools, mechancial, meat trucks, painters, police, fire, many others and regular people coming and going at all hours of the day light hours which is ok, but after 9pm and before the sun comes up, COME ON!! Be real, It's not a commercial/industrial area and check Ordinace 348 of where your neighbor is not abiding by the rules set forth. Too many horses, cats, dogs chickens caged birds etc. on one given property. Allowing people to live in motor homes, trailers and make shift guest homes with electrical cords and water hoses. Regular Parties serving alcohol at Weddings, Receptions, sweet 16, graduations with LOUD music until the AM hours at residences that should require a CUP (Conditional Use Permit) and a mandatory notification to your neighbors. Vehicles being stored for a relative or friends. Speeding through the track is unbelieveable also. It's a 25 MPH speed limit zone that comes with golf carts, kids, horses, people backing out of their driveways, enjoying walking your dog/s with your family and friends that take the risk everytime they come off of their properties. We in J Bar Ranch should cut off access to outsiders cutting through our streets and placing everyone at risk of being killed because of traffic back ups on Scott Road. How about Solor powered Gates at all entrances for the residents of J Bar Ranch only? Want to talk about motorcycles, dune buggies and fast moving golf carts driven by so called adults and kids flying up and down the streets too? There is an Ordinance for that as well. The trails are for people, joggers, people walking their dogs, riding horses, driving slowly to the back of their property. What happened to keeping up on your half of every trail behind and beside of your property? It's not an area to dump your trash, rocks, bolders, horse poop, let your weeds, bushes/trees over grow the trails and be a safety hazard not to mention FIRE risk and lurking homeless people. Take a good look at your self. Treat your neighbors as you wish to be treated! Abide by laws and be considerate of others instead of being so selfish! Everything in life is not always about your self. You're most likely saying to yourself, "WHY is this person anonymous? We say "Because people are so ruthless these days and they would retaliate against us." And us is not one person but many through out J Bar Ranch. Why worry about who said all of these comments and concerns? let ask "What can I DO to help improve my part of J Bar Ranch to make it a safe, desireable, pleasant, peaceful and serene place to live?" Let's be open minded and discuss it through this site and see what others have to say.

  14. If Code Enforcement had more people in this entire County, they would not have left people alone for 15-20 years and the problems would have been fixed as they popped up everywhere.

    JEFF STONE, please bring on more CODE Enforcement Officers and clean up around here as you have done in Temecula as a Councilmember for years!

    Your the best Jeff so bring it on!

  15. Anonymous