4/18/2007

A Blog Lullaby...

Last night I accompanied a client to a zoning board of appeals hearing. They wanted to be granted a variance that would've allowed them to build their new home outside of the established site setbacks in the ordinance. Their existing home that will be torn down was built before the new ordinance and is currently outside the setbacks. The new home would be an improvement. They wanted to do this in deference to their neighbors, so that they would obstruct as little of their view of Lake Michigan as possible. This would've also allowed them to keep an existing well rather than dig a new one (between $3000-$4000).

Long story short, they were denied, unanimously, despite making every effort to be sensitive to their surroundings. Their neighbors all wrote letters of support for what they wanted to do. I'm not anti-codes by any means. I think they need to be there to keep people from running amok. However, there has to be some common sense and flexibility.

I'll bet that made you sleepy! I got drowsy just writing it.

*Edited to add: This is not the zoning board we went before, but apparently they all look about the same. Ours had four people: one older woman and three older men.

12 comments:

vikkitikkitavi said...

Nobody knows that the real rulers of the universe are zoning boards.

Speaking of which, have you ever read the Jane Smiley novel "Good Faith"? Its subject matter is building and real estate development. Given your line of work you might find it especially appealing.

Anon. Blogger said...

I had to go before them here in AZ. I couldn't beleive the number of times that they said no - when the request was so simple.

I was granted mine - one of two approvals that day. It took a bit of talking, however.

Maybe I'll do a sleepy post, too!

Flannery Alden said...

Maybe you should have slept with one of them.

teri said...

It's interesting to know that even though you have the support of the universe you still get f^cked by the government!

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

Ever think it's more of a power trip for them, than what's in the community's best interest?

Sad.

Skylers Dad said...

I'm with Flannery on this one Chris. Take one for the team and sleep with the old lady!

Frank Sirmarco said...

...or one of the old men!

Grant Miller said...

I've covered so many of those meetings it makes my eyes hurt.

Valerie said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Bubs said...

So obviously you and your client didn't show up with a fat envelope full of cash. Sheesh.

Dale said...

One older woman and three older men? You were here last night? We're not a zoning board Chris!

Emmanuel said...

I work in the development world as well in a redneck Canadian town in BC that is kind of the equivalent of the "Silicon Valley/wine country" of Canada. Development s going off like crazy here.

The City councilors are so conservative they approve everything. Everything. Let's see, let's plop a 4-storey "Urban Chic" condo way out in the suburbs where everyone lives on 5 acres with hobby farms and ranches. Approved. Shhheeeeeessss..

Chris, seems like your request made sense though.