Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"What fresh hell is this?"

From small business owner Warren Meyer, writing on the regulatory state:
... Consider Ventura County, Calif., just north of Los Angeles. We run a campground and marina in the county, and when we took it over, the docks were getting a bit old. The county condemned a small building on the docks, so we bought a modular office (about the size of a shipping container) and moved it into the parking lot next to the dock entrance. Thus began a bewildering journey through the Ventura County offices. Before we could even begin to permit the new office, we needed permission from the county to demolish the building the county had condemned--that cost us a couple hundred dollars and several forms. Then we needed a disposal permit for the demolished building--more forms, more time and another check.

Once the old building was gone, we then needed a variety of permits for the modular office, including--at the height of my frustration--a soil sample from under the concrete of the parking lot where the office sat. Each approval required another payment and a lot of my time figuring out the next step, because nowhere is the whole process documented.

Somewhere along the way an enterprising employee of mine made coffee in our new (not yet legal) office for the early morning fishermen, but we soon found that to continue to provide coffee would require the installation of a triple cleanup sink, which in turn would add marginally to the load on the current septic system, which in turn would trigger a county requirement for us to build a new $2.5 million sewage treatment facility. Uh, never mind on that coffee. ...
Read the whole thing here. Our burgeoning regulatory state stifles productivity, which in turn stifles job growth. Is it any wonder that states like California have been facing an exodus of businesses for years? Or that California's broke?

No comments: