Grant Thomas Eddy's Permit

Grant Thomas Eddy's Permit

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Dyani St. Clair started this petition to Mayor Pete Rust and

Thomas Eddy, an esteemed business owner has been breathing new life into cities all across Utah for nearly 20 years now. He has helped thousands of hard working individuals by creating new job opportunities that allow residents to flourish. He has restored and replenished many businesses, and believes that by raising the standard in clubs, and bars, we can also increase the cities tax revenue from visiting tourists. Over the years, many cities have benefited greatly from the increase in tourism that he has brought to once previously "dead zones".

Always on the lookout for new opportunity, growth, and expansion, Thomas came across "The Mast", an adult entertainment venue that was once an exciting focal point in the small town of Green River. The owner, Carleen was looking to sell. Prior to this, in April of 2018, Carleen had leased her business as an option to buy to a woman who then proceeded to squat in the building, and illegally operate as the business owner. No payments were ever made into the lease, and Carleen was informed by the city that the woman had listed herself on the business license as the sole owner. Once the city became aware of the illegal activity that had taken place, they pulled the license with the promise of returning it to Carleen if she was successful in regaining her business. Unfortunately, that meant that she had to legally regain her business through the court system, which ultimately drained her financial reservoir. She legally evicted the unwelcome tenant in November of 2018. At this time, Carleen was informed that the disgruntled squatter had torn out out the electrical meter, knowing that the city had previously requested that the system be upgraded, and would not be willing to restore the power until this was completed. The city did not allow Carleen to access the building while her case was unsettled. She did keep in touch with city officials throughout this process, and was reassured on many occasions that this would not affect her business from future operations, and that her licensing would return to it's previous status. Her legal case was successful. Judgment was given in her favor, and the building and business license were returned to her, as promised, in the beginning of 2020. However, the devastating state, and inoperable condition of the building was made apparent. The neglect had taken it's toll, and she could no longer afford to repair the damage that was done. It was sorely in need of a face-lift and a fresh start.

Enter Thomas Eddy, who purchased the business and building in July 2020. Permits were retained, the business license was transferred, and tear out, and remodeling began. A few days after buying the building, a problem occured with the sewage piping in the basement. It was realized that the Mexican Restaurant abutting the building, had pumped their sewage through an uncapped pipe that was connecting both buildings to the main sewer line. Thomas contacted the city, who came out and inspected. The city contractor came out to try and alleviate the problem, but refused to seperate the systems, even though the law says that seperate sewage is required for the two buildings. He and the city were fully aware of the connecting system, and the sewage issue for many years prior to the sale of the building. He informed Thomas that the city had recently pumped the sewage out of the basement at their expense, in the hopes that it would be "picked up" by someone new, without knowledge of the dire situation, and that they could be rid of the financial liability. He voiced that the city would not pay to have the lines seperated, therefore it would have to be done with a private contractor, on Thomas's time and dime, as well as the disaster cleanup that would now be needed to repair the damage. A notice was sent out to the adjoining restaurant asking them to help cover some of the costs of separating the system. They refused, and continued to break in, and uncap the system in an illegal attempt to utilize The Mast's utilities. Thomas was forced to incur all of the costs associated with separating the water lines and sewage systems. This was a major setback, however, it did not dampen his spirits nor cloud his vision. The electrical system was updated. A new roof was installed to replace the dilapidated and leaking previous one which also did not meet current code requirements. New A/C & heating units replaced their outdated predecessors. Repairs were moving ahead quickly, and efficiently.

As movement progressed, another obstacle presented itself in the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses across the U.S. were forced into a mandatory shutdown. This hindered the renovation, and stopped nearly all businesses from operating for over a year. This pandemic is still ongoing, and in an effort to resume a sense of normalcy in the community, Thomas attempted to progress in the remodel, with the hope of opening at the end of the pandemic. This is when his efforts to complete the project were rejected by the city of Green River. Whilst filing for yet an additional permit to install the urinals, he was denied based solely on the city council's inspector, Ken Yager's personal bias toward the type of business that it was. He informed Thomas that he would not be granted the final permit because it was an adult entertainment venue. Thomas, righteously upset, contacted the mayor, and also city council members to no avail. During their interactions, a code applying to nonconforming businesses was referred to many times, as the sole reason that the building could no longer be used as an adult venue. The code in reference is in Chapter 9.5 section C (1) under nonconforming uses. This is what it states 

"9.5 Nonconforming uses

Any use or structure in existence in the city on the effective date of this ordinance that complied with all previously applicable legal and safety requirements is deemed to be legally nonconforming. A nonconforming use occurs when any property is used for a purpose or in a manner that does not conform to the use regulations, as described in the table of uses, Section 9.2, for the zoning district in which is located. A nonconforming structure is a structure that does not conform to the height and bulk requirements for the zoning district in which it is located. Such legally existing nonconforming uses and structures are not subject to the provisions of this chapter, yet any changes to such use or structure shall meet the following requirements:

(A)

No Area Enlargement: A nonconforming use may be continued on the same land area and within the same floor area as that which existed on the date when the use first became noncomforming. The area occupied by a nonconforming use within an existing structure of tract of land may not be enlarged or extended.

(B)

Structural Alteration: Except as provided herein, no person or persons may engage in any activity that causes an increase in the extent of nonconformity of a nonconforming structure. In particular, physical alteration of a nonconforming structure is unlawful if such activity results in:

(1)

An increase in the total amount of space devoted to a nonconforming use; or

(2)

Greater nonconformity with respect to dimensional restrictions such as setback requirements or height limitations.

(C)

Termination:

(1)

If active and continuous operation of a nonconforming use is discontinued for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months, the structure or tract of land shall subsequently be used only for a conforming use.

(2)

The right to operate and maintain a nonconforming primary structure shall not terminate if the structure is damaged or destroyed in any manner. Repair or replacement of such damaged or destroyed structures shall be permitted, providing that the repair or replacement will comply with Section 9.5(B) of this ordinance. Any nonconforming structure may be repaired or upgraded, so long as the extent of nonconformity is not increased.

(D)

Safe Condition: A nonconforming structure found to be unsafe must be restored to a safe condition."

 

However, after further research into the coding, we (and Thomas's attorneys) wholeheartedly believe that the 18 months does not apply to this particular situation as the building was in a horrible state of disrepair and completely inoperable at time of the sale. We firmly believe that the provisions listed foremost at the beginning of 9.5, and the additional wording in 9.5 section C (2), apply effectively and completely. The building is still in the process of being brought up to code, and being restored to a safe condition for operation. Therefore, the section 9.5 C(1) code does not apply.

The licensing for the business has remained active throughout this ordeal, and although the business itself was not in operation, it was, and still is being brought up to code. The sole reason that it has not been completed thus far, besides the obstacle of fixing the sewer lines caused by the illegal tampering of the building by the city to ensure the sale, is that the permit to finish has been repeatedly denied for an extended amount of months due to social discrimination and bias against the type of venue it is to be used for.

In a last attempt to plead with the council to pass the permits for finalization of the remodel, Thomas appealed directly to the city council at a community meeting. He was publicly made a mockery of, and it was implied by councilman Killpack that Thomas was a man of ill-repute and immoral. Killpack made a disruptive scene in the room, loudly stating that he would not deign to read the motion, because his disgust at the type of business that it was, prevented him from doing so. He also clearly stated that he "will NOT support a strip club, not in the city of Green River", to which Mayor Rust later agreed with Killpack by openly admitting that he also holds the same opinion. Mayor Rust also clarified with inspector Ken Yager that the final permit was initially denied based on the type of business that it is. The city council members held fast to the fact that the business was not in OPERATION for over 18 months, while blatantly ignoring the portion of that law that disregards those months if repairs are being made to ensure the city's safety requirements are being met. They completely ignored that the business has maintained current licensing, and does not need special permission to be an adult entertainment venue due to the lack of state licensing requirements.

In their decision making, they chose to ignore the fact that the building has been in a state of disrepair and legally inoperable since the date that Carleen regained her licensing, which ensures that its nonconforming status is protected. They ultimately denied his pleas to pass the permit so that he can finish the repairs and finally open his business. This has been a blatant abuse of power in an attempt to push out a legal business. He was then given the option to apply for a "special use permit" which they strongly implied that they would not pass, or to completely change the type of business to a standard type bar. The air in the meeting room was stifled with the councilmen's discriminatory attitudes and utter disdain.

This type of behavior is unacceptable in members that are supposed to represent their communities, and quite frankly, we find that it disgusting that these politicians are abusing their power to further their own biased agendas. Thomas has been left with no other option than to pursue this matter in a court of law, which we firmly believe he will prevail. Many of the residents that live in Green River have voiced their support of Thomas both in the city council chamber, and also across all forms of social media.

Please join us in our effort to stop city council members from ignoring the law, and only applying what is useful to their own agendas. It's time for the city of Green River to stand up to these comfortable corrupt politicians by voicing their support for new businesses and opportunity. We ask that the council hear the people of Green River, abide by their own laws, and pass the permit so that Thomas can finish his remodeling, open the doors, and bring new jobs to a community that can greatly benefit from the tax revenue that it will bring!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!