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Old 06-16-2005, 11:49 AM
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Fire Marshall

You guys who paint in your garage, watch out. The fire marshall showed up and told me to shut down, that i cant paint my car in a residential area. My area did not meet state codes, and it was a safety issue with the neigbors. Also that if i did have a fire my insurance would not cover it. He also stated that if i continued to paint there would be a very high cost fine, and maybe more problems from the city and state. So check out your local codes so you dont get in trouble. It aint worth it as far as the fines.$$$$. I told him it was my own car, and he said it made no difference.

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Old 06-16-2005, 11:58 AM
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Ongoing Issue

This is an ongoing issue for all of us in the Hot Rod hobby...As well as for the small business guys trying to run a garage or repair shop..finding a place where one can "legally work" can be quite a zoo..and then people wonder where all the jobs went..

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Old 06-16-2005, 12:08 PM
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I also have problems with people on my street complaining to the city about the garage \repair business I am running . "One car in the garage,body off and hasn't moved in 2 years" Not a very profitable business as I am my only customer go figure.
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:13 PM
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I would tend to believe someone knows the fire Marshall and he is using scare tactics to please his friend.

Ist of all if your painting only your cars (not for hire) your insurance will cover you. They may cancel you after a claim but he is full of BS.

Most areas I have ever been familiar with there is nothing they can do as long as you doing your own hobby work and not dumping solvents and paint on the ground.

When I built my garage in the woods I had to sign two pages of legal mumble jumbo saying I would do nothing for hire in the garage.
I'm in a county that you can't crap without zoning approval but I can paint my cars all day long and do relatives for free and nothing they can do.

I would force the issue and ask for copy of code your violating and copy of complaint. That alone may shut both of them up.

Never say die!
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:33 PM
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Just wanting to vent!!!
I own a repair shop in Michigan. Just go a letter in the mail today saying the city that I do business in wants a Business License for each business in the city. The up front 1 time fee will be $100.00 and then $50.00 each year. This is not much money, but just 1 more source that takes my money.

It does seam like the city or state wants to kill the small business owner, or at least the ones that play by the rules. this is not much different than the problem that Mrwood is going through, city and state officials think they know best, only if they made a living like we all do. I'm sure they would see things differently. Stand your ground Mrwood and hope for the best

Steve
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:46 PM
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Steve,
When I went on line to renew my corporations this year the costs doubled.
Don't remember being notified or reading about the "hidden tax increase"

A dollar saved, is a dollar the government overlooked!
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryK
Steve,

A dollar saved, is a dollar the government overlooked!
That is the truth!!!!

Steve
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:55 PM
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I fought with my local zoning board for over a year on this issue
and finally gave up and told them to go ******* themselves.
I'd gone through all the proper channels, went to a hearing, got
neighborhood support with signatures. complied with air pol. board for
filtration, etc. Nothing mattered, they actually said I couldn't even change
the oil in my dads car without being fined.
All this because I got one neighbor mad at me over something
totally unrelated.
Just one guy pushing the issue, and I use to work on his car!!!! for free!!.
Bottom line is the zoning board can say anything they want, it's up to
the circuit court judge to actually do something. The zoning board has
no legal power to do anything on their own. They rule on strictly
intimidating people to stop when they have no legal way of proving
them a business instead of a hobby.
I don't know about the fire marshall but I'm sure my neighbor would
have tried that too.
I suspect Barry is right in it's a scare tactic, please keep us informed.
I wonder what he would say if you were using water base?
Say you are.
My best advice on this subject is give as little info as possible to public
officials. Most of them really don't know the laws anyway.
It would be nice to hear what a layer would have to say for
us "hobbiest" to paint in our garage.
I do cabinets with lacquer regularly, talk about a fire hazard!!
If I got fined I'd take a label off a can of water base lacquer to
court and make a fool of them, they don't know what you're spraying.
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:37 PM
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I've been through this as well, about 16 years ago doing side work at night in a downtown garage, first the city cops stopping by to see what was going on at all hours of the night, then the fire marshall doing his inspection and making the recomendations needed for a safe work/spray area, then the state licensing guy writing down all the V.I.N. numbers from every car in the shop. The State guy left all the info and application materials needed to apply for a business license. I had contacted all the vehicle owners and explained the situation before he had. Many of the jobs were honestly barter deals trading labor for labor but I also found out this was illegal. In the end the Fire Marshall did his job by making the recomendations after the inspection, the State Guy did his by investigating the shop and supplying the business license info, and the City cops left me alone after I quieted the operation down a bit. I bet it would be a lot harder running a moonlight shop downtown nowadays. If you're working on your own cars and a few friends and relative's cars people should just mind their own business and leave you alone. Are they jealous? Are any hazardous materials affecting them? Some people don't feel you should work on your own car because they haven't a clue how to do anything for themselves IMO. A good friend of mine is in the exact same situation with his neighbors and township, he's still working. Good luck to you. Bob

The day I can't work on my own cars on my own property will be the day I go postal
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:43 PM
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Screw the Man.
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:19 PM
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Time to move out to the country where you have no neighbors. I haven't had a problem yet. Right now I live in town near a busy highway and cops drive by this area a lot. My neighbors are all old, but seem to be pretty decent. I try not to work too late at night though. I didn't worry too much when I lived at home out in the country and all the neighbors got a long well, but now worried it might happen. Thats like even if you don't drive a vehicle, it has to be licensed and registered to be in your yard. Thats bull. I haven't had my truck registered the last two years. Again I haven't had a problem yet. Can't they find something better to do then screw with a guy working on a few vehicles at home. And badbob, were you working on cars at night, or did you have a secret meth lab set up.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:11 AM
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This won't be very popular here but I have to agree with the fire marshal. First off, he if he is anything like the fire department in every city I have ever had business in, he CAN close you down. It is very simple, like the police officer can ticket you for "reckless driving" on HIS discretion, so can a fire marshal or chief close you down if he thinks you are endangering others, PERIOD.

The air quality control board, they can close you down as well.

Now, I am sorry, but I agree with them. If I wanted to live next to a body shop I would have bought a house there. Sure, you may be careful, I was when I did side work at home. But not all are, you may be desensitized to that smell from playing with it, but your neighbor can smell it in his living room when you open the can! It is WRONG to do ANYTHING that bothers your neighbor in such a way. And don't tell me "he does this and that," that may be true but we are talking painting right now.

A garage full of paint over spray with a gas water heater in the corner is ripe for an afternoon fire bell, come on.

Listen guys, think about this; Your neighbor is a roofer, he comes home after work and parks his tar wagon under your window filling your house with the smell of melted tar, are you going to be happy?

Brian
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Old 06-17-2005, 05:52 AM
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Martinsr: I agree with everything you said, I wouldn't want to live
next to a bodyshop either. This can be a real "gray" area.
Some are doing a lot of work with parts in the yard, working at night,
making noise and odors and obviously running a business in a residential
neighborhood, that's illegal and should be stopped.
Then there is the guy that wants to paint his own car or help a friend
once in a while, that's a hobby.
It's rally hard to separate the two some times.
I have had no problems with my neighbors in the past 15 yrs I've
lived at my present address, but I do go out of my way to be
courteous to them. I never work late in the evenings,
I never leave projects outside. I won't run my compressor early in
the morning or late, I don't vent my spraying toward their house,
just the common sense things to be nice. Most don't even know.
And when I picked this house I thought about my hobby and picked
a neighborhood that was nice but not heavily restricted.
You people like me that it is a hobby really need to be aware
of what you're doing and if you can keep all your neighbors happy
you'll never have this problem. It only takes one guy for you to piss-off.
I also help my neighbors at a really low cost whenever possible
(why can't we all just get along!!!)
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:07 AM
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I'm with you, sure it can be done "covertly" where the nieghbors aren't being bothered. What I am saying is IF the fire marshal comes by, there may be a very good reason that you are not sensitive to.

I epoxy primed my inner fenders one day out behind the garage. I am in a residential track with the three houses about a hunred feet away. One of my neighbors came and asked me what I was doing. He could smell the primer in his living room while he was watching a game on tv! This is a good one hundred fifty feet away. I felt like crap, there is NO REASON I should do that to my nieghbors. One of those houses has a 95 year old aliling man, can you imagine if he was in there smelling that stuff? I remember painting completes in my garage years ago. There was overspray over EVERYTHING in the yard, the dishes in the kitchen, it gets out of hand real quick. I was WRONG for doing that to my nieghbors.

There are always the jerks that push it on either side, the guy who is painting a complete every week or Mrs. Kravettes peering out her window waiting to see you do something wrong. The thing is, in my book the neighbor ALWAYS wins, he didn't ask to have a rock band playing next door 10 hours a day!

I have a co-worker who has a home in a neighborhood even denser than mine with houses about thirty feet apart. He has a friggin portable "booth" in his front yard and is doing side work EVERY DAY. He can do all the "free work" for he nieghbors he wants, this is going to catch up with him in a big way.

If you are restoring a car and you paint once in a while on this car, sure there is some common courtesy expected by your nieghbors just like when one of them is cutting down a tree with a chain saw early Sunday morning when you are trying to sleep in. But if that chain saw was running every friggin day.................

All I know is the neighbors are RIGHT and we are WRONG, period. If we can do it without bothering people, that is fine. But if ONE person doesn't like it,they win, no matter how big a jerk they are.

Brian
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:25 AM
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Bottom line is, do not expose other people to the health hazards associated with doing bodywork. Spray in an environment that is suitable with reguards to health and safety. I wouldn't want overspray on my dishes
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