The truth about the massage places & more

Posted in the Doraville Forum

jake

Snellville, GA

#1 Aug 27, 2012
From: Murray J. Weed [mailto:mweed@fmglaw.com]
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 9:24 AM
To: Mayor Ray Jenkins; Maria Alexander; Brian Bates; Bob Roche; Blackmon, Rhonda; Robert Spangler; Pam Fleming; Donna Pittman
Subject: Funez Laguna Azul and Massage Parlors during Moratorium

I want to make the Council aware of a recurring issue and propose some solutions to the same.

1. As Council will recall you adopted a moratorium on certificates of occupancy, building inspections and building permits last year. In order to assure due process the moratorium had a hearing procedure built in to let those who claimed they had their paper work, etc. going before the moratorium, present evidence so they could move forward.

2. Council at the moratorium hearings often approved businesses under blanket terms. In other words, the Council did not specify what the approvals were for. Council elected not to have me present at these hearings. The Planner was not yet employed when the first hearings occurred. I understand he was present and commented at some of the later hearings.

3. The problem with the blanket approvals is that in many cases the approved business was a use not allowed in the zone where the use is located. This violates the law. Essentially "a permit issued for ... an illegal nonconforming use is void." Corey Outdoor Advertising, Inc. v. Atlanta, 254 Ga. 221, 327 S.E.2d 178 (1985).

4. The issue has reared its head now because a variety of the businesses that Council approved are now coming in for occupation tax renewal. When the staff processes the renewal they have found that many of the businesses approved in the moratorium, particularly the massage businesses and the nightclub Laguna Azul are not permitted uses in the zone now and were never permitted uses in the zone when they were approved.

5. How do we resolve this? The proper legal course of action in each of these situations noted above is to have the applicant seek a conditional use permit. Council does not have the legal authority to issue a use variance itself but it could allow the uses as conditional uses in the particular cases noted above. There may be some unknown situation out there where the use was never permitted and is not now covered by a conditional use but thus far that scenario has not arisen.

6. In that Council approved the uses while not having the authority to do so I advise that all of the processing fees be waived on the uses noted above and you review the uses under the conditional use criteria. I want to note that you are under no legal compunction to grant the uses today. You may grant or deny them. One never gets vesting in a use they were never entitled to to start with. See Corey. However waiving the fee in these situations and getting the people into the proper legal pipeline to clean this up for the future is a wise course of action.

7. There is an immediate need to address these issue. Ms. Funez of Azul Laguna is seeking to proceed with her club. She is represented by a lawyer who knows nothing about zoning but nevertheless the City, in my opinion, should resolve the issue once and for all. The same is true with the massage parlors. In each case, to my knowledge, none of them (except the two you just approved) are in the proper zone.

8. I need to tell Ms. Funez' lawyer something, preferably by Tuesday of next week.

In conclusion, I advise that each of the uses noted above be put forward in a conditional use format and the fees for the same be waived on those that Council approved during the moratorium hearing. You are not mandated to approve the conditional uses automatically. However the easiest way to permanently clean up these uses in these areas is to have them go through this process. Council can still review the conditional use each year to determine if it is still a fit for the community.





Jane

Atlanta, GA

#2 Aug 28, 2012
Is Murrary J. Weed the attorney that came before Cecil McClendon?
Rob

Atlanta, GA

#3 Aug 28, 2012
Wait a minute. So how did Buford Hwy. get so many massage parlors, check cashing joints, wholesalers and so many of what people call undesirable businesses? Something doesn't pass the smell test.
Okey Dokey

Atlanta, GA

#4 Aug 28, 2012
Well, duuuhh! It happened because of the incompetence of the past and present mayor and the four council members still on board. It will continue to happen with the addition of Robert Patrick.

Trudy Dean is our only cheerleader in city hall, folks! Get out the broom!!!!!!!!
Jean

Atlanta, GA

#5 Aug 28, 2012
Buford Highway is Doraville and Doraville has a bad name because of what it allows on Buford Highway.
Jake_S

Lawrenceville, GA

#6 Aug 29, 2012
Don't forget about the phony drivers license, ID, passport, and birth certificate joints.
I called DPD about this and they said it was in Chamblee.
So I called Chamblee Police Dept and they said it was in Doraville.
Probablty in both.

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