Rio Dell Building Department Fraud

October 28, 2006
City of Rio Dell
c/o Karen Dunham, Administrative Assistant
675 Wildwood Ave
Rio Dell, CA  95562

Re. Wolff Computer Solutions-Business License

Dear Ms. Dunham,

We recently received your letter, dated Oct. 23rd, 2006, regarding the need for a business license.  The reason there is no business license is that there is no business. 

You cite a business name of Wolff Computer Solutions, which is a business we had hoped to open over three years ago when we lived in Eureka.  The plans were put on hold due to our moving to Rio Dell and we had hopes of being able to open a business once we were settled here.  That never happened however since we have been so busy trying to deal with the misappropriation of the housing rehab money and the subsequent investigations.  Considering the current city administration, we will never open a business in Rio Dell since we can not trust that we would be treated fairly. 

We are curious about why the city would think there is an unlawful business here?  We do have a personal website,, but that is not a business.  People are allowed to have personal websites, even in Rio Dell.  As a community service we list some local businesses but there has never been any charge for advertising.  We simply post local businesses that we patronize and that are deserving of some recognition.  Steve has assisted some people with their computer problems but that is due to his desire to help out and we have not charged anyone a fee. 

You also cite Sec. 6.18 of City Zoning Ordinance #252-2004 regarding on-site signs, I assume you are referring to the sign out front which states the website address.  The sign is clearly smaller than 2 square feet and as far as being illuminated, that would be the seasonal Halloween lights.  After Halloween, there will be Christmas lights.  I am fairly confident that seasonal decorations are allowed, even in Rio Dell.  Perhaps the city would like to address the very large “for sale” sign being suspended above the property across the street.  If the city wants to begin enforcing codes and ordinances, then it needs to do so across the board and not just for those without close ties to the city.

The city has a number of blatant code violations that are deserving of the type of attention they bring to our family and a fictional business.  The city could start with the building department and examine the fraudulent permits and code violations that we have presented to the city in the past.  City Council members have brought up questions about possible code violations such as the lack of handicap accessibility for the crosswalk at Center St. and Ireland, near the schools.  This is a new section of sidewalk that would have been required to follow the current code on ADA accessibility. 

Are paved driveways required on new construction?  There is new construction right behind City Hall that only has a concrete pad in front of the garage and gravel to the street.  How about a subdivision on Painter St. that is not subject to any of the infrastructure improvements standard with new subdivisions, such as paving the road.  It seems the obvious small subdivision was approved as individual projects and the contractor built eight identical houses (so far).  We have seen a number of small subdivisions being constructed in other towns and they are all subject to building codes that require infrastructure improvements.  We have been told that there will be 14 houses by the time that subdivision is done.  All of them identical and no paved street required.  This is at the gateway to Rio Dell, on a large lot that is prime real estate for any developer.  Where else but Rio Dell could a developer build this subdivision and avoid the most basic requirements.  The city now has a gravel road to maintain as the developer walks away without any responsibility.

These are just a couple of examples of what is being allowed to continue in Rio Dell with the full knowledge of city hall.  What type of liability is the city choosing to take on by approving these new constructions which fall so far below the most basic codes, not to mention simple construction practices?  The citizens of Rio Dell should not have to continue to pay the price for the favoritism that is shown a couple of developers and select members of the community. 

Please focus the attention of city staff on the very real problems in Rio Dell that affect every citizen.  We are pretty tired of the “special treatment” directed towards our family while the city ignores the problems created by fraudulent activities, code violations and developers profiting at the expense of the taxpayers.



Sharon Wolff
3 Painter St.
Rio Dell, CA  95562


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