Ken Rakusin is frustrated.
You would be too.
Since 2009, the owner of Gordon Brush Manufacturing Co. has been trying to expand his 51,000-square-foot City of Commerce factory by 20,000 square feet. That would mean a larger factory floor, more office space for the engineers who work with customers to design new products, conference rooms, a spacious cafeteria.
It would mean room to expand beyond Rakusin's current workforce of 85. More sales. Higher payroll. More property tax, sales tax, income tax. A $1.5-million investment in construction alone.
Four years on, and he's still trying. "I've almost given up," Rakusin, 61, told me one day recently as we toured the plant. "For the life of me, I can't understand it. If I rented out the building and moved to Nevada, they'd welcome me there with open arms."
The glitch apparently has something to do with a provision of the Los Angeles County building and fire code that would be affronted by Rakusin's construction plan. Before we get to the details, let's recognize that his experience underscores a major flaw in California's business development program, such as it is. Call it the missing middle: No one has the responsibility to mediate among various code and regulatory agencies in cases where it might make sense to work around the rules in a rule book to enable a California manufacturer to remain in place and even expand.
Source: Los Angeles Times. Read full article. (link)