BY LINDA BENTLEY | JULY 2, 2014
HOP target fights back
CS MotorSports gated off the Echo Canyon Drive alignment south of Fleming Springs Road to provide quiet title to their property
CAVE CREEK – It appears that CS MotorSports owner Chris Schulze is fighting back against his neighbors, who have complained about his business for years and the town, which revoked his home occupation permit (HOP) in May for exceeding the scope of what was approved for his automotive repair business at 41355 N. Fleming Springs Rd.
Schulze was subsequently granted permission to build a four-foot high dirt berm around his property, while neighbors com-plained operations were continuing despite the HOP being revoked.
On Friday, neighbors became even more outraged when they learned Schulze had removed the Echo Canyon Drive street sign and erected metal gates on both sides of the road on his property, blocking off access to southbound Echo Canyon from Fleming Springs.
As it turns out, Echo Canyon Drive runs through the property and there is no recorded easement.
Despite the dirt road having been there even before the home was built in 2002 and used for access to other properties in the area, a cursory look through property records reveals no easement was ever recorded by any of the property’s prior owners nor was one ever deeded to the town.
Neighbors who filed the complaint about the HOP being unsightly and out of compliance with numerous vehicles parked outside on any given day, still see the auto repair business operating and vehicles parked outside along with dirt piles and now metal gates blocking off access to Echo Canyon.
While area residents who have used Echo Canyon Drive to get to their properties for well over 10 years very well may have prescriptive rights to use that “easement,” it appears they will have to go to court to get it.
A local resident who asked not to have his identity disclosed said, “This is the very type of thing that happens when poorly written or poorly thought out codes or regulations are adopted by government. The original draft for the home occupation permitting portion of the zoning codes had consequences for holders of HOPs that did not abide by the regulations. It had a process to handle complaints by neighbors. All these ‘teeth’ were omitted from the adopted document and that has left the town helpless or unwilling to deal with a home business outside the very finite guidelines of the HOP code.
“And now, you have these same HOP businessmen emboldened by their ability to tell the town where to go and they have decided to close a public road down and tear out the town’s street signage. I hope nobody south on Echo Canyon needs a fire truck. The Cave Creek Council needs to tighten up on the HOP codes once and for all. This is obviously beyond out of hand.”