Apparently, the owners of the house, which is in a quiet, unassuming residential area, are interested in opening an umbrella factory. Yep -- an umbrella factory.
Frankly, I'm kind of surprised we got the notification. We cannot see the house from here, it's on a parallel street and behind the houses across the street from us. The city thinks we're within 400 feet of the proposed factory location, but that'd take some pretty impressive crow-flying; for all practical purposes, it's closer to a 300 or 400 yards away than 400 feet, if I were to guess. That being said, I appreciate getting the notice and having the opportunity to inspect the full proposal at the Zoning Office, or to attend the hearing if we want.
I don't think it's going to end up being anything like what you see in the photo I've included here; I can't imagine my neighbor is going to hire a bunch of immigrants or illegals and put in a sweat shop, which is what the picture seems to show. And even if they did hire some folks, I can't imagine there being a whole lot of impact to us, except perhaps a longer ice cream line at the Arctic Island this summer.
Not sure this is worth taking time off from work, but I may submit my questions in writing. Here are the things I'm wondering about:
- What kind of umbrellas will be manufactured there? If it's the little ones that go in drinks, I think it would probably be OK.
- What are the risks to neighborhood if they start opening all the umbrellas indoors? Will we be swept by a swarm of locusts, or by a string of bad luck?
- If they're going to be making patio umbrellas, would we be able to participate in the quality control process by setting a couple of them up in the garden, sitting a spell, maybe enjoying a glass of wine?
- Will neighbors get a discounted price on purchases?
If this gets approved, I'll let you know what kind of umbrellas they're going to make. If we get lucky, maybe we'll have a party!