Residents of the two story “Square at Strawberry Lane” condo complex off Walnut and Park Blvd. have lived within the law for many years and are unhappy about a planned development which would be outside the law.
Quarsar Development wants to build a 119-foot-high complex which is illegal. The land is zoned to allow buildings of only 45 feet in height. To get around that law, the developer is asking the planning and zoning commission for an exception to the law–just for their property–which would make the plan legal.
We find it ironic that cities and counties spend countless hours and dollars formulating master plans and passing ordinances which set forth the rules–only to make “variances” on a routine basis. It makes a mockery of the process.
Imagine if the speed limit was 35 mph, but if you had enough money and influence you could go to the council and get a “variance” which would allow you to drive 50 mph. Traffic enforcement would be impossible with each motorist bound by different limits.
That is what happens with land use laws when one party must obey the law, but the neighbor is allowed to build a tower. Do we sense another Depot Bench fight with a developer which will end in a “compromise” of an 80 foot tower which is still outside the law?
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