Thursday, April 9, 2009

ZONING: ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Correction: The article below reflects two changes. Mark Speed was not the inspector who showed up at the Leo's home and blew smoke in their face. That inspector was Frank Glavenski. The article has been changed to reflect that. Also, the change to Michael Baugh was made after the Leo's contacted the Mayor and the Governor about the IPL problems. My apologies to Mr. Speed for the error. One other thing of note. Flood was removing signs about liquor sales etc. The people who owned the business next door, close friends of Rick Blackwell, were angry at the competition.

Okay okay. Yes I know I spend a lot of time writing about zoning and IPL but really they are so incompetent that it is too easy sometimes. Take today's Courier article for example in regards to JAVANON and Ali Ahmadi 'Illegal' building prompts warning courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal.

A warning? Are you serious? This guy has been warned before and still built a building illegally due to the incompetence of the good old Board of Zoning. Of course this only reinforces what many of us already know.

There are two ways of doing business with Board of Zoning. One for insiders and another for everyone else.

Take this story into account. As you may recall a previous story I did about John Flood Louisville News and Politics: John Flood and Code enforcement again.... citing his arrogance and abuse of powers, as well as, his propensity for using racial slurs.

The business used for this story is located on Lower Hunter's Trace between Dixie and Sky Blue. For those in the area it is a small strip building with a liquor store in front and a haircutting business called The Edge owned by Jennifer Leo.

During the election season last year Mrs. Leo had signs on her property advertising beer sales etc. She was well within her rights to do so but apparently Rick Blackwell took offense when contacted by his friends of the business next door and Flood was the hammer. John Flood showed up at 8 pm on a Friday Night with his muscle, or wife, MaDonna Flood in tow to remove the signs. When confronted by the liquor store owner asking what he was doing, the owner was told "get back in the store you camel jockey."

Gee no surer sign that Flood was up to no good and in the wrong. But just in case some of you may wonder how he was wrong remember this. Flood had the right to issue a citation and give the owner's 30 days to comply or refute the citation before ANYTHING could be done to remove the signs.

Obviously Flood chose to ignore the regulations he was in charge of enforcing. More interesting is why would Flood be in the PRP area off duty, with his wife MaDonna who represents Okolona area, removing signs of opponents of Rick Blackwell? The answer is obvious. Politics at its worst. Blackwell did not like the signs being there and the machine thug took care of it for him.

The problem did not end there. Since this started the Leo's have been harassed at home, at their business, and on any property that they own. IPL inspector Frank Glavenski showed up at their home one night and when Mrs. Leo opened the door proceeded to blow smoke in her face from his cigarette. Yep real professional. He supposedly was there demanding that they move a trailer off their property. Only problem is it was a single axle trailer and allowed by IPL own rules.

Another example of abuse? Derby City Ink, a tattoo shop located in the strip building, was forced to move when IPL cited a zoning problem. They used the excuse that the building was zoned C-1 and therefore a tattoo shop was not allowed.

Straightforward right? The problem is that the shop was in existence for 1 and a half years AFTER being approved by Zoning AND passing all health department requirements. Gee real coincidental that they were forced to move costing the Leo's rental income on their property AFTER the Leo's were found supporting opposing candidates.

Yep I know some will label me a wing nut, or a conspiracy theorist, for this side. So be it. But all the problems started when Flood and his wife decided to illegally do a favor? for a sitting Metro Council member.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, chances are it is a duck. Know what I mean?

They were accused of running a business out of their home because the trailer is used to transport signage in relation to a business they do own called Leo and Sons Sign Co. There are no customers that come to their home for any business whatsoever. Why would they? The Leo's own commercial property for their businesses and do not need to run one from their home.

Another example of inspector's harassing people that follow the regulations.

Leo and Son's signs do commercial work for businesses around the City including a most recent example with Tuscany Restaurants. According to IPL own regs a new sign is required to have a permit pulled to do any work.

A sign face change, not changing the sign but the wording on it only, does not. Inspector Mark Speed decided to issue a stop work order against Tuscany restaurants for some violations they had concerns with. Fair enough.

Unfortunately, Mark Speed decided that the stop work order should include the FACE change being done by Leo and Son' s sign company as well thus he violated his own regs.

Not fair.

When Mark Speed was called by Mr. Leo his response was pathetic at best. He told Mr. Leo that "today is the first day you will work by the book" then hung up on him. When Mr. Leo called back Speed hung up on him again.

If we are using this example of a face change to issue a stop work order then we must shut down every gasoline business in town, and any busines who advertises on one of their own signs, including schools that adevrtise sports events etc.

They all do face changes daily by updating prices, announcing the next sale, or letting you know when Friday night's high school game is.

Apparently Speed does not know the rules he tries to enforce or has the same God complex notorious in Flood and Michael Baugh. There was one positive from all of this though. When there was an established personality conflict between Speed and the Leo's they asisgned another inspector to the case. Michael Baugh. This change was made AFTER the Leo's wrote the Governor and the Mayor about their problems with IPL.

When Baugh was asked why he was inspecting their properties, since he was assigned to another area, they were informed that he was specially assigned to them only.

Gee I would feel so much better.

Mr. Leo followed up with a call to Allen Porter, Speed's boss, and was told he would look into the matter. Of course Porter then sided with Speed against the evidence in their own regs citing that Mr. Leo was right.

When Bill Schreck was called, as the next step in the process, Schreck stated there was no stop work order. Problem is Mr. Leo has a copy of the stop work order including his sign face change that requires no permit.

Confused yet? Wish I was. The bottom line is a simple one. In our free society elections matter. Do not support anyone but an incumbent or the incompetents will send a goon squad to harass you. They apparently rely on this intimidation tactic to keep their elected job. This is not our free Democratic society at its best.

Funnily enough, if you work for the City like Ahmadi does you can build a building in plain sight and be ignored until it is done against the same zoning folks who continue the idiocy as outlined over and over again throughout this blog. I mean why not? Get away with it and get a "warning." Pathetic as usual but not unexpected form this group of incompetents.

Honestly how can you build a building this size in plain sight and be ignored until it is completed? It defies any rational thought process doesn't it?

Tear JAVANON down. Send a message that what is good for one is good for another. Please do not use the same old "but what about the kids" argument. If anyone was worried about the kids this would not have been done this way. It would have been done correctly in the first place.

Fire Ahmadi. He is part of the cancer that permeates the good people, and businesses, who are trying to do their job honestly in this City. He is not above the law. How many chances do you get to do the same thing wrong and illegally? Fire Schreck since he is the figure head used by Abramson then cut the head off the figure.

Remember if we continue to allow the incompetency to run amok we are all only one yard sign away from harassment.

Your thoughts?

7 comments:

  1. I have 3 issues with this posting.

    1. IPL has no regulations, they enforce laws passed by Metro Council or the State.

    2. It is impossible that Baugh took over for Speed because of a personality issue. Speed is a building inspector, Baugh is a Property Maintenance inspector. Two very different divisions.

    3.The way a "building this size" was built is because there was a permit issued appropriately. The approval for the plan from PDS was in error, pointed out by the lawyer in you last post. IPL had no reason to question the approved plan when submitted to the construction review staff.

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  2. Mr Springston, its easy to see why you were a candidate for mayor and never mayor. One side of story isnt news and its largley inaccurate.I have read your blog once and it was so far from the truth it boggles the mind. You seem to be very bitter because you cant get elected that you have retreated to the safety of the blogosphere where you can spew your lies and hate without regard to facts or truth. Im surprised that a learned man such as yourself would print anything without fact checking at least some of it if truth or integrity was of any interest. You sir are a disgrace to bloggers around the world and should be ashamed that you have completley slandered someone you have never met or talked to. Life must be very easy for someone who believes that only one side of a story is all that is needed to form an opinion. The really sad part of it is that your opinion just doesnt matter to anyone because of the inaffectiveness of one sided whining, nobody with any self respect places any value on the rantings of a bitter blogger who cares nothing about truth and cannot tell the difference between fact or fiction. Good luck with your blog and I really hope your hate filled factless rants play out well for you. Meanwhile I will continue to live in the real world where truth and integrity really do exist, good day to you

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  3. Metro 3 points to be made. 3 answers.

    1. IPL enforces their interpretation of law. Agreed. Regulations as defined is: Regulation refers to "controlling human or societal behaviour by rules or restrictions."[1] Regulation can take many forms: legal restrictions promulgated by a government authority, self-regulation, social regulation (e.g. norms), co-regulation and market regulation. One can consider regulation as actions of conduct imposing sanctions (such as a fine). This action of administrative law, or implementing regulatory law, may be contrasted with statutory or case law.

    This is terminology not necessarily us differing on intent.

    2. According to the article in regards to Mark Speed I stated this: A sign face change, not changing the sign but the wording on it only, does not. Inspector Mark Speed decided to issue a stop work order against Tuscany restaurants for some violations they had concerns with. Fair enough.

    Unfortunately, Mark Speed decided that the stop work order should include the FACE change being done by Leo and Son' s sign company as well thus he violated his own regs.

    Mark Speed's work was done as a commercial inspector and in conjunction with the stop work order in regards to Tuscany Restaurants.

    The change to Michael Baugh was made after the Leo's wrote to the Governor and Mayor about their problems with IPL.

    Admittedly the sentence leading up to this included Mark Speed as one they had a personality conflict with. He was one among the entire IPL conflict but not the only one. I meet you halfway on this point. Interpretation of the sentence.

    3. i never said IPL had anything to do with JAVANON. I blamed the Board of Zoning as appropriate. Reference the beginning of the article: A warning? Are you serious? This guy has been warned before and still built a building illegally due to the incompetence of the good old Board of Zoning.

    Thanks for the comments.

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  4. You anonymous guys always amuse me. Of course I could out some of you but why? That would indeed hurt the integrity of this site and myself since I assure confidentiality when folks speak with me or comment. As a matter of fact thanks to an email I received from Mark Speed and then verified by Mrs. Leo you will note the correction that starts the article. That is integrity. Correcting a mistake.

    But I digress.

    I will say this. Anyone with half a brain knows that 2 elections lost does not make one bitter. In fact choosing to run for Mayor has nothing to do with bitterness. I always agreed I had no chance to win against a machine with unlimited money and resources. Sadly, our elections do not allow true competitiveness. Incumbents always have the advantage and outsiders will not win unless they are rih and can buy the election.

    Running was a way to make sure the issues were discussed openly for the voters to insure that for once we would have answers on the issues not hide behind the normal deceptions in races. I accomplished that as was the intent.

    Slanderous lies? Even Frank Glavinsky admitted he was smoking when on the porch and that he was wrong for doing so.

    I must say this much though in Mr. Glavinski's favor. I have been researching him for a few weeks now and all indications are that he is one of the good guys overall and as fair as he can be. Other than this one time incident. As I have stated before most are good guys. I know a few inspectors myself and understand that they work with impossible management, and in a very stress filled work environment thanks to idiotic policies they do not control.

    By the way. You may want to rethink the "safety" aspect of the blog you accused me of hiding behind.

    No one who cared about safety has ever called out and submitted the kinds of evidence I have against the heavy hitters. They certainly do not put their name on it as I do.

    There is no safety in that completely the opposite.

    So continue on your rants without facts to back it up and thanks for making me the highlight of your day.

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  5. This is a rather unsual post that I will provide my true identity, and for a change have something positive to say for both sides (Mr Springston & Metro Government) After being made aware of the current corrections made to the blog regarding myself, I decided to contact Mr. Springston to set the record straight on my behalf, in a private email versus blasting and ranting on the blog. This was a matter that I took very personally to be reported incorrectly. There were issues in the original blog about why we were on the property, what the nature of the violations were, and who was involved where. My personal & professional experience with the named consituant went a little differently than what was reported. After emailing Mr. Springston, I received a phone call asking myself to contact Mr. Springston directly to get my side of the story.

    After a 25 minute long conversation with Mr. Springston, I was pleasantly surprised. The conversation went in a completely different direction than what I had expected. Mr. Springston made me aware that he had researched my professional record, speaking with several constituants (including the one who wrote the letter to the mayor to complain about my smoking) he then apologized to me and showed me that he is a true man. A man who will stand up for what he thinks is right, & admit when he's wrong. You can't fault a man for that. Yes, I was smoking with my back turned as she came to the door. It was a bad call. But I did not blow smoke in her face & it was extinguished as she opened the door. And after the letter was sent to the Mayor, the constituant apologized to me personally, stating she was having a bad day and being picked on. This was also verified to be true by Mr. Springston. I always try to treat people the way I would want to be treated if they were to come knocking on my door. With "RESPECT" With "INTEGRITY" With "DIGNITY" while they were a visitor at my home or place of business. And I commend Mr. Springston for looking into my professional background to see that 1 complaint in 5 years overrode multiple compliments on a regular basis. I also appreciate the fact that he acknowleged that I am one of the good guys.

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  6. I'm really interested to learn about the decision on the illegally built buidling for Javanon. I had a pool and a deck installed in my backyard last year and one of my nosey neighbors decided to cowardly contact the City of Louisville to inform them of my pool/deck. I did the BOZA thing and stood there and took my insults from the likes of Judith Francis, Leah Stewart and Mike B. Needless to say, I lost and I lost my appeal for reconsideration which means that I now have to uproot my $13,000 pool and deck after getting permission from LG&E and AT&T for having it there. I can honestly tell you that I have absolutely no respect or regard for this organization because of their unwillingness and inability to listen and understand reason. If we're going to have people regulating rules then have people on the board that know and understand business and people. Once anybody hears the verdict, please post. I REALLY NEED TO KNOW. THANKS.

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  7. Thanks for the comments Mr. Glavinski. I appreciate the fact you are willing to use your name and go on public record like this. It says a lot of positive things about your character and truly lets me know that indeed you are one of the good guys.

    Cam- Dick Irby just did a piece on fox41 concerning JAVANON. The Board decided to let the building exist but added 17 restrictions to use. Essentially those involve what hours it can be used, lighting restrictions, etc.

    Your story is one that is all too common for many of us in the community. I recommend legal help seriously. There are so many blatant examples of the Board deciding one way for things like JAVANON and another for private homeowners. You should have a field day.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading LNP. Open and honest discussions of local politics and relevant issues is important to voter understanding. Please listen to the "Ed Springston Show". We broadcast Monday through Thursday evenings at 7 PM on local media outlets. Please check for the links.
Yours truly,
Ed Springston

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