Saturday, August 3, 2013
Further Ramifcations For Rescues Re SB6
What it shows you is what they are aiming at.
This is not based on stupidity or a lack of understanding. They understand just perfectly.
They want to bring rescues under their control. To regulate and manage them, license them, inspect them, define them, and have CONTROL over them.
And yes, unless a specific threshold is included in that regulation (like housing more than x dogs at a time, or selling more than x dogs per year, any rescue in Mult. Co. would fall under their definition of a "Facility" because the "site" (this can and almost certainly would be defined as anyplace any of the rescue's animals or records are housed, including the homes of the director and primary officers, plus logically, all foster homes) is used for boarding and training as listed in Section 1, as well as for selling, or bartering as listed in Section 2.
So now, not only will you have to pay for a state license (under SB6) and be subjected to "administrative" searches and inspections, but you will also have to pay for a facility license (under Mult. Co regulations) and be subjected to inspections and "administrative searches" for compliance with that set of record keeping requirements and regulations.
And then they'll spring the next level of control on you and tell you that since you are now defined as a facility, you have to be zoned to have a "facility" and that you will have to go through a zoning and permitting process, which will cost you several hundred bucks at least and take the better part of a year (been there done that). You will almost certainly be denied (I was and I live in a very rural area on acreage).
At the very least you will be denied the first time and have to either appeal the denial (costs more $$) or reapply (more $$ of course). In fact I am pretty sure they deny these sort of apps out of hand the first time, just sot they can charge you more money. And beyond the fees, they can lay any requirements they want on you (Mine was waaaay over $20k in facility improvements including a separate septic system just for the animals, construction of a concrete floored kennel building -to control run off and water contamination, plus hiring a noise abatement contractor to design and install special noise abatement controls.
The basis for these ridiculous requirements?
Well they are based on what they required with Greenhill Humane Society's facilities permit. The fact that Greenhill is way more than 10 times as big as my rescue and uses a kennel model rather than a home model, made no difference.
Even if I didn't use the kennels, I'd have to have them). But most of you that live in residential zoned areas will find you simply can not get a permit for a facility at all. Where you live (and therefore where your rescue is "located") will not be zoned to allow that sort of use at all. In my area it was allowed but only with a special use permit, and I could not get that. So those who live in an area not zoned for such use will simply be SOL.
By the time all is said and done, not only will you be out hundreds of dollars and months (or years), but win or lose (and there really is no winning) you will now be under their microscope, high profile, on their radar, and they will be targeting you aiming to shut you down whenever the mood strikes them, because you are in violation of this and that blah blah blah.
The only reason I was able to stay in operation was I spent $130k to buy the lot next door, and the head of the local animal control (at that time) was a supporter of rescues and helped me find a legal way to dodge their rules. But it did limit how many we could have here. At his suggestion we sidestepped their whole mess by purchasing two non-commercial kennel licenses, one for each legal lot.
That allows you to have up to 8 animals on each property. Of course they have to have shelter, so we had to spend another $20k on a barn on the other property, so we technically met the minimum shelter requirements. We were lucky in that the AC Director was on our side and helped us, and because he understood that the animals would not really live on that other property, that we were saying that only so we met the letter of the law.
Had he been like the folks at Mult. Co, we would have been out of business. And that was before this SB 6 shi_. SB 6 will simply be a layer on top of all this, and a way for local authorities to get involved when they had no rationale for involvement otherwise. Now they can open you up like a sardine can and see what other ways they can regulate you. SB 6 more than anything else will be a way to wedge the door open and get the regulators inside your homes and lives.
Folks need to understand just how dangerous this all is, and how it will all be used in a concerted effort to bind rescues and control them. SB 6 is one of the last pieces in a puzzle that gives them the control they want. Now you will get caught up in the red tape and bureaucracy.
You will end up completely under their thumb(s) and they will "let" you operate, if they feel like it, by ignoring rules or creating a special allowance of some sort. But all that means is that they can change their minds the minute you aren't a good little child. It means that your rescue exists only by their good graces.
Speak out against them? Bang you are shut down because... Refuse their requests? Bang you are suddenly being inspected and what do you know, you are in violation of...
We found out (after the fact, no one mentioned this while we were applying or going through the process) that had we gotten our special use permit, they would have "approved" our "facilities" and that would give them full control over all aspects of the "facilities", including buildings, structures, fencing, driveways, parking, etc..
We would have been unable to change anything about the properties without their permission, right down to fences. And of course that permission costs you and takes time and involves lots of re-inspections etc. Just to move a fence 20 feet or add a gate would have involved 2 inspections minimum and cost a couple hundred dollars in fees. Once they get their foot in your door (and that is what SB 6 will do for them), your life is changed forever. And they control your rescue from there on.
Oregon is a "big brother", big-government state.
We live our lives here in OR only because the government lets us.
As long as people keep voting for politicians who support more government and voting for more government control and oversight of things that are not related to running a state, this is what you will get.
The old saying "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have." is absolutely true.
The one thing everyone here should remember come next election, is that SB 6 was created and forced on us by one political party, the Democrats. Voting was extraordinarily partisan. If you voted for a Democrat for almost any state office, you helped make SB 6 possible.