Morons in the zoning department

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Talk about micromanaging something out of existance... From the Denver Post:
Sledmaker on slippery slope with Silverton city hall
The handmade wooden sleds gliding around the streets and hillsides of Silverton in winter give this remote mountain town an innocent resemblance to a Norman Rockwell painting.

Now a feud between a few town officials and the sledmaker has cast tension over the snow-packed streets and threatened to put the skids on one of the town's few winter businesses.

Mountain Boy Sledworks has been turning out hand-crafted sleds in Silverton for seven years and winning national attention for the old-fashioned products. But a building inspector posted a "stop work" order on its door this month.

That order has to do with disagreements over complicated 25-year-old zoning rules. At its core, the problem comes down to one question: Is a handmade wooden sled a craft item or a manufactured product?

Style maven Martha Stewart, one of the celebrities who have ordered sleds, would probably come down on the craft side. Silverton building inspector Dee Jaramillo, however, argues that the sleds constitute manufactured, assembly-line products. As such, their creation in a shop behind Smedley's Ice Cream Parlor in Silverton's commercial core is a zoning violation. So Jaramillo posted the order on the door of Mountain Boy � an operation that provides seven of the town's 100 or so wintertime jobs.
Fortunately, clearer heads are prevailing:
Town planner Adam Sickmiller said while Hoskin is putting that appeal together, he has no plans to shut down Mountain Boy. The business is continuing to operate despite the order to stop.

Paul Zimmerman, who owns the Smedley's building and rents to Mountain Boy, said he will be happy when the sled war ends in this town of 500, where encounters with enemies are tough to avoid and jobs are even tougher to attract.

"It seems kind of crazy in these economic times to be fighting with a business," Zimmerman said. "We're a small town, and we should be able to adapt. It's not like we are in Denver."
And I wonder what Jaramillo will do with all her spare time... Silverton looks like a sweet | little town and the Mountain Boy Sledworks products look awesome

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 31, 2009 3:21 PM.

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