Lompoc Closed for Business

“Officials are trying to persuade local merchants to be more flexible and stay open later to serve commuters who arrive back in town late in the day. She said officials are drafting a plan that will help them look to Los Angeles and other urban areas in hopes of luring businesses from dirty, gridlocked, crime-ridden cities to the relative calm of the Central Coast.”

20 years ago Lompoc officials were dying to keep businesses open. Today they want to charge $2,000.00 to $4000.00 to allow me to modify the hours I set in a project planning meeting 3 years ago.

When you start a project in Lompoc you must pay a minimum permit fee. Ours was about $4000.00. That is just to start a business, in a location, that had already been the same business multiple times.

Now, at that meeting you are asked, when will you be open. Using your best guess you give a set of hours.
Low and behold you learn something very critical, you must start your work during the hours you said you wouldn’t be open.

Thus begins the ‘code enforcement’ or ‘Pay to Play’ attitude of today’s staff.

I made that 1 mistake of saying I would be open until 9 or 10. Well, to my surprise, grape farmers want to give me grapes from midnight to 4 am.

So when I approach the city for a simple update amendment, it turns into a task of feats, to first, show them what an amendment process is. I had already done 2 for zero charge.

Once I am able to educate the new city staff on their processes, they begin to tell me their old process was wrong & I owe about $4000.00 to do the hours change because it is a new project process & new permit and restart the whole thing over.

Lompoc Citizens, this is not new, this is not even par work, this is the lowest consistent effort & capability of planning department and business inspection process that continues to hold Lompoc from growing.

My stories go on and on. My tale is not one that is unique, it is a daily attack on small business in Lompoc.

My story is today, but this link is from 20-year-old LA Times article:

Article on Planning & Zoning Updates from 2007: