My husband and I own Video 99 in Hespeler. We have owned it for 5 years now. We moved it 2 years ago from Fisher Mills Road to Milling Road. Our lease was up and the landlord wanted 50% more on the rent. We found a place 3 times as big, in an old building with good rent. The landlord told us the building was zoned for us, then told us to apply for a sign permit so the city wouldn’t give us trouble. We applied. Two weeks after we move in the zoning department calls to tell us they couldn’t approve the permit because our building wasn’t zoned for a video store. Believe me, we weren’t impressed. But, luck would have it, that city employee swept our application to bottom of a pile and forgot about it. A year and a half go by and that employee left or got canned, and a new person came in. I quickly get two zoning enforcement guys walking into my store, flashing me their badges, like they’ve come to take down an illegal operation. To their surprise I was calm and collected, explained what had happened. They left with news for the city and the promise to look into it.
For the last 6 months we’ve been waiting on meeting after meeting with negative responses each time. Now, the city has sent it to the Appeals division with a meeting planned for the end of July.
This appeals decision will mean either our store stays or it leaves. We’re at the end of our rope.
If you wanna know the kicker to this story… My husband and I had decided to relocate back to Newfoundland this summer and had planned to sell the store. The moment we get ready to put it up for sale we get shat on, one time after another. Our two year lease is up, the city is desperately trying to have us removed and there are no other spaces available in Hespeler that we can move the store to…so we can sell it. We can’t sell it now because the zoning in our building is currently up in airs.
As we wait for July 27th and the meeting that will determine our fate, we think about how the city and our landlord screwed us over. If our landlord knew the zoning of her building we wouldn’t have moved in and if we hadn’t been nice to the city and applied for a sign permit, the city wouldn’t have known the difference and we would have our store sold and happily making our way back home.
Tell me… does it seem logical that the city would want to make us close a viable business that brings in alot of taxes for the city and alot of people to downtown Hespeler? Is this how the city normally does business? Because if we get a no, come July 17th, we will be closing our store.