View Full Version : Any suggestions when meeting with the town for approval?

04-10-2012, 01:48 PM
I'm undecided if I should bring imagery as it maybe unsettling for people who aren't into haunted houses. The planner I spoke with said I can't paint the build black and orange nor put spiders and ghost stencils on it. I was thinking to myself seriously? What are the pluses in the eyes of a town for hosting a haunted house? I came up with the following.

Something safe/fun for kids to do
Possibly stimulates local economy if you get local businesses to sponsor you.
Charity donation

Front Yard Fright
04-10-2012, 02:27 PM
There are several pluses for having a haunted house in your town. Economical growth, supporting local businesses such as restaurants, gas stations, and even hotels. It also provides entertainment for your residents and as you mentioned, gives something for the kids to do to name a few.

Michael Inks
04-10-2012, 02:41 PM
Hey Paws, although I've never dealt specifically with a town council, I've had my fair share of dealings with regulatory government agency types. My two cents would be to have yourself covered by bringing lots of information. Be over-prepared. Show them that you care about the things that they care about... public safety being number one. While you don't necessarily need imagery from your scenes, I would definitely bring diagrams etc. to explain the layout of the haunt, fire exits, parking plans etc.

I'm guessing in this situation that they are going to want to see that you are treating this seriously as a business and have thought about and covered all of the logistics necessary to be safe and successful.

Let us know how it goes! When will you have your meeting?

04-10-2012, 03:00 PM
I thought about the same thing. I like what was said, be "over prepared"

However, me? I'm aiming at a building that's been annexed in by a SUPER small town. Like < 1,000 people I think. They don't even have a real fire marshal. Building inspector is non-existant. So far we can't find anyone to talk to! It's like the thought this place (and homes around) died, or fell off the earth!

May make me lucky, but I hope it doesn't bite me in the rear either!

Good luck paws!

04-10-2012, 03:18 PM
Hey paws,

If you are going up for a public meeting, then Im guessing you are asking the city to do something outside of what would normally be allowed in that location. Those discrepancies would be the first thing to address. Either how is the impact of your use not really much different than a staff level approved use, or show how you are mitigating these new or different impacts. I'm guessing negative impacts to the neighborhood will be at the top of the list: parking, hours, noise, traffic, crowd control, undesirable out of towners, trash, police issues, etc. Add to that the basic operational safety stuff.
These people generally are not into the haunted house thing and have a stereotypical view of the industry and the people involved in it. Show them itís a business and be professional. They are not interested in the visual elements in general except those that are visible to the non-paying public, such as signage and building painting. It is understandable that they donít want an orange and black building with spiders after you and Halloween have come and gone.
While there may be statistics (though probably not) to justify some positive economic impact, as a start up operation, you donít have much to offer. Focus on mitigating the negative and promoting the positive that is verifiable like community event and charity benefits.
Good luck.

PS im an architect with lots of experience with these groups and my better half is a city councilwoman and former head of the city planning commission, so I have some experience here.

Michael Inks
04-10-2012, 03:31 PM
(Frightener, if the town you're looking at doesn't have a Fire Marshall, building inspector, etc.., you might want to check the county and see what anvils they may be balancing over your head. They love to drop them at the most inopportune times.)

04-10-2012, 03:44 PM
rwrussom Yes they require having a special usage permit for the usage. One benefit to the location is it has it's own highway entrance and off-ramp abutting the property. I pretty much have rough answers for the crowd control answers and such. I guess only being open roughly 1 month is beneficial to me too. Having to wait 8 weeks is gonna really p[ut me up against the wall for building too. But every 1st year is the worst year I'm sure.