Monday, October 13, 2008

Curiouser and curiouser

I waited. Finally, on April 28th, this shows up in my email list:

From: Osborn, Rex []
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 5:39 PM
To: Osborn, Rex; Richard Behling
Cc: Baird, Greg; Rey, Lantz; Bricker, Dave
Subject: RE: Response to your Code Enforcement Question

Mr. Behling:

Thanks for your patience in this matter. I have spoke with the Chief of Police, City Attorney, County Health and have conducted a site visit of the property in question. I have also spoke with the property owner and others who frequent the property. Here are my findings.

Based upon on our investigation, there are no violations of the health code, business license requirements or other applicable areas as you have brought to our attention. We did specifically work out the following regarding your primary concern the "noise violation". The owners of the property have taken measures to reduce if not eliminate the noise that has been coming from what has been determined to be an ice machine located near your southern property line. The owners have placed the machine on a professional timing device that only allows the machine to operate during daytime hours, within the allowable time for the noise ordinance. Realizing that your complaint specifically indicated that the noise of the machine was extremely disruptive, I along with the code enforcement officer who I supervise stayed at the site to first hand hear the machine function. The actual "ice drop" was several seconds in duration and the noise minimal. If I were the investigating officer of a noise complaint, I would not issue a citation based upon what I observed.

Regarding the business license issue, there is no requirement from the City of Manteca to have a business license for this property. This is based on researched information that the owner of the business does not conduct any business in Manteca but in another community, where they do have the required license. The permit that the owners of the catering business have was issued by the County which allows them to house on their property the vending vehicle, it is a Cantina Permit and is inspected by the county and they meet all the requirements. I even researched if the vending vehicle (taco truck) was illegal to operate in Manteca on residential streets and it falls within the legal weight limit. There is no food preparation at this location and no sales takes place at the residence. With all of this in mind the owners of the property have complied with all required rules, regulations and laws that would regulate that business and be able to reside in Manteca.

At this point the City of Manteca which includes all departments is considering this case and complaint closed with no further action. Unless you determine some other applicable law or regulation that might need to be review, we will not be taking any additional action regarding your complaint. You can direct any future questions or concerns regarding this specific property directly to me and I will address them as required.

In regards to you taking "involuntary compliance enforcement", I still don't know what that is, however based upon our findings I have no alternative suggestions for you in regards to this situation as it stands today. There will be no other enforcement actions taken by the City of Manteca at this time.

I appreciate you taking the time to allow us to conduct our investigation and share these findings with you. Based upon the changes made by the property owners I believe the issue has been resolved.


Rex J. Osborn
Rex J. Osborn, PAO
Office of the Chief of Police
Manteca Police Department
1001 W. Center St.
Manteca, CA 95337
Phone: 209-239-8441Email:

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Looking back after many months on this communication, the single, absolutely most important issue was NEVER mentioned. (Stay tuned.)

At the time, I was totally shocked. This supposedly intelligent code enforcement supervisor said the neighbors took steps “to reduce if not eliminate the noise?” Was he really serious in referring to the ¼-inch plywood? Remember my anger turning to laughter when I first saw it? Well, the laughter turned back to anger again!

My hopes rebounded somewhat when he next informed me that “the owners have placed the machine on a professional timing device” to alleviate nighttime operation. The next three nights, however, proved that such a device was a lie, a pure fabrication.

How does one digest the indigestible? Every other item of “research” he mentioned was nothing but regurgitation of the myths told him by others in telephone conversations. Did I mention vomit? Again I had to summon the strength to slog through it.

Some heavy duty smoking was going on in the offices of Wonderland.

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