Business Challenges in Simi Valley

It’s been referred to in letters to the editor, comments on this blog and Brian Dennert’s, as well as comments on the Ventura County Star. Depending on the nature of your business, moving shop to Simi Valley can be a difficult and expensive task. It is one of the issues that should be addressed by all candidates for City Council and Mayor.

When I consider my own business endeavors in Simi Valley, setting up shop was a relatively simple and inexpensive task. I leased space in a small office, registered for my business name and opened my accounts, paid my Simi Valley business tax, and that was that. But if your business requires construction, zoning changes, or anything else that may modify existing infrastructure, you’ve got quite a task ahead of you, not to mention tens of thousands of assumed costs.

For the next several months, I’ll be following a specific case of a business owner setting up shop in Simi Valley. His business exists currently in another city, but he wants to bring it in Simi Valley where he lives. He has faced several obstacles and has had to dig deep to pay for thousands of dollars worth of unexpected costs. His desire to press on and bring his business home is motivating him to continue, but his frustrations are building and his concern that his dream won’t pan out are starting to feel more real.

As these milestones are reached, I’ll share his progress and hope that our candidates are prepared to address these issues and propose their solutions.

9 thoughts on “Business Challenges in Simi Valley

  1. Mike,

    I would be interested in reading your explorations of some of the zoning requirements and other municipal codes. Some of them might be very worthy but I doubt the public knows they are required by our city government.

    This includes design elements like the stacked stone you posted about before and other issues like a wall to black the view of shopping carts.

    Thanks for the link,

    Brian

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  2. Mike,
    May I make a suggestion? If this person is working with the planning department, public works or any other department, please make sure they keep track of all contact they make with the city, the times, dates and persons to whom they speak with. Also, if this person has someone else interact, specifically a contractor with someone or a department, make sure they do the same thing. Just my thoughts.

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  3. Barbra,

    There is a fear of retaliation. I’ve been in the building dept when staff has over stepped their bounds. You feel like your are walking on egg shells the rest of the way through.

    There is another business in the works and they got chewed out by one the crotchety workers recently. Holy Cow, can we discourage people anymore?

    Loosing the Farmers Insurance training center and the expansion was another departmental failure. Farmers moved the operation to Camarillo or Calabasas. When that training center was in operation Farmers was filling our hotels to capacity and those people here for training were eating in all our restaurants.

    Opportunities like the Farmers Training center don’t show up at the door step of Simi Valley everyday.

    So Barbra, there are people on the other side of the counter in their experience that are trying to tell council that the new position of Tour Guide or whatever label is on it today isn’t going to solve the deeper problem of the departments looking at the business owners as problems rather than partners with the city.

    Too bad we cant follow a dozen businesses through the process so we can get a better outlook. There are many times I have been to the building dept that they have been extremely helpful, accommodating and friendly.

    It would be great to know where they exceed, meet and do not meet expectations.

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  4. Ted, There is no question that we have some crotchety employees, but what business doesn’t? And yes, the entire Council is aware that a person is afraid to come forward because of retaliation, but we, the City Council can’t solve the problem if they don’t come forward. Sometime when you have a minute I will tell you my plan for taking care of this.

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  5. Barbra,
    Crotchety I can deal with, it’s the fact that if you go in one day and get an answer, from one person, for your project.
    Then you go in for something else on your project and it’s a different person, they want to go over all your prior stuff and tell you that it is wrong and you will have to re-do it. SOUND A LITTLE COSTLY?????

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  6. Jackie,

    Would you be willing to use me contact page to send me an email with the contact name of the business owners? I would like to get some details on their struggles and follow up with them as things progress.

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  7. Mike, the City Council is aware of getting an answer from one staff person and then getting a difference answer from another one….again. And we do realize that there is retailaton, but agin…I can’t help if no one comes forward. How can we make it stop if it continues to happen. That’s why the Council has elected to set up the permitting process, and although it is just be formulated, I will be sitting on that committee.
    Jackie..PLEASE, PLEASE ask them to call me. I will keep it confidential, but I can’t help if they won’t talk.

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  8. Barbra,

    My original contact has declined to participate in this discussion because they feel they have made good progress with the city and wants me to make it clear that they are not concerned about retaliation. They are content with the belief that things will move smoothly from here on out. Just an FYI.

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  9. Why does a city council member need a confidential call to fix the problem? I would think that after all those long years in power, the city council would know how to address a problem. Obviously, back door deals for friends to help bypass the mess they created is how our city council wants to operate instead of just fixing the issue for everyone.

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