Open Letter from Local Realtor’s Opposing View to Bishop City Council on Vacant Building Nuisance Ordinance

Sierra Wave reporter, Deb Murphy’s article last week, Bishop City Council Passes Vacant Building Nuisance Ordinance But Balks at Registry, brought a lengthy, detailed response from local realtor, Stan Smith, with Pleasant Valley Associates Real Estate, who wrote the following response in opposition to the city council’s actions on February 8, 2021.

Downtown District Planning Overlay for Tracking & Assessing Vacant Building Ownerships Still Not Needed! [PDF]

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10 Responses to Open Letter from Local Realtor’s Opposing View to Bishop City Council on Vacant Building Nuisance Ordinance

  1. Richard February 19, 2021 at 1:36 pm #

    Store front retail is dead. And a town can only have so many coffee/book stores. I see this getting worse.

  2. Josh D February 18, 2021 at 12:21 pm #

    Need to start Condemning & tearing down all, and I mean All of those “Dillapidated Old Buildings on main street ASAP,Bishop has been looking dillapidated for too long, time to modernize people, stop living in the past…

  3. Uptown Girl February 16, 2021 at 5:17 am #

    Just wondering:

    If it’s so worried about vacant buildings,

    Then why did the City Council not object to Inyo County buying land and constructing thereon a big ugly consolidated office building on the very north end of Bishop instead in town, to support downtown businesses?

    (Inyo County: San Quentin is calling – it wants its Cell Block 45 back).

    My fellow Americans, our public “leaders” are anything but.

    • truckstopsally February 16, 2021 at 10:55 am #

      Right? The city should have never approved that building! and should not allow for big projects like the county building or proposed courthouse to be developed on the edge of town – especially when there’s so much empty space they are supposedly concerned about downtown. Why didn’t they make it go into the empty kmart(s)? Why doesn’t the city encourage downtown improvements? Why did the ciyt approve something so ugly? Aren’t there standards in place for this kind thing?

      • Mid Town Guy February 16, 2021 at 7:59 pm #

        I’d like to just clarify a few of the concerns that were brought up here:

        First off, the City of Bishop currently does not have any architectural standards. This is something that historically the Council has avoided, but is _finally_ implementing as part of the downtown specific plan project that has been going on. It’s great to see community support for such measures.

        Secondly, even IF the City had such measures in place, they would NOT apply to a County building because of jurisdictional concerns (namely, County regulations supersede City regulations when it comes to applying them to the County). The City DID raise objections and concerns to further decentralizing the town and the designs, but given the jurisdictional issues they had nothing in their arsenal that would enable them to enact any change. You can blame the City for many things, but that building is not one of the things you can pin on the City.

        Lastly, to be fair, the County DID consult with all the available empty buildings at the time — namely the old Joseph’s and the old K-mart, and determined that the project would cost an extra $2M for either of those locations, and that they still wouldn’t satisfy their space needs. So they opted to save our money by building what currently lies north of the Y.

        • Uptown Girl February 17, 2021 at 7:44 am #

          Thanks Midtown Guy.

          The scenic and economic calamity that is the new County office building looks much better now!

      • Break One Nine March 8, 2021 at 8:54 am #

        I’ve finally figured it out:

        The semi-trucks parked along Hwy 6 are the scenic “mitigation measures” Inyo County adopted to shield the view of its ugly new building from motorists traveling south on US 395.


  4. same ole same old February 15, 2021 at 10:57 pm #

    Wow! What a long rambling letter with absolutely no point. Is this what counts for “journalism” these days? So you don’t waste your time, let me summarize the letter for you:

    “I don’t think the City should do anything at all to address vacant buildings in Bishop, so I’m going to make an exhaustive list of the properties I know have changed ownership in the last few years. I will conveniently neglect to mention properties that have stood vacant for many years, and say that is the right of the building owner to choose to leave them empty as they see fit — if the community doesn’t like that, too bad!! I will conclude by telling the City that they should not make a list of properties that are vacant so they can help in more ways to fill them, and will instead tell them to reach out the individual owners”.

    The last statement is the one that boggles the mind: how are they supposed to reach out to the property owners when they don’t even know who they are? How are they supposed to make “low-interest loans” available for improvements when they can’t even collate a list of vacancies and who owns them?

    This letter is typical of what we’ve come to expect in the Owens Valley: gotta make sure we do absolutely nothing to address issues, so that we can all just complain about the issues indefinitely. “The market will take care of it”, just as it always has in the last 30 years, right?

    • Charles James February 15, 2021 at 11:22 pm #

      It is long and perhaps excessively detailed, but Mr. Smith has a right to express his opinion, as do you. As a local realtor in Bishop, he is certainly qualified to comment on real estate issues in the Bishop area. And there is this: No one is being forced to read the letter.

      • Doug Talmage February 16, 2021 at 8:51 am #

        “Would the complaining person who posted at 10:57pm last night(2/15/2021) leave their name so someone may help them recover from a very negative-pessimistic mind set?” – Doug Talmage


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