Remember when we heard the commercial interests running our land development redesign brag about how they managed to rid us of that troublesome Special Use Permit?
Of course, it was mainly troublesome to the commercial interests in charge of writing the new plan — as were neighborhoods and residents troublesome to that group.
However, we gave them the benefit of the doubt. After all, no one who lives here ever supported a SUP that, once one was permitted, turned into a “Special Use Right” under threat of litigation by the next developer in line.
Well, folks we should have suspected a Plan B all along.
The latest move by Artist Boat to retrofit breached city regulations by use of a Planned Unit Development, page 79 of our Land Development Regulations plan, is exactly the same way a SUP was used in the good old days.
The misapplication of PUD intent and language is being done right before our somnambulant eyes by city management subverting the rules of our LDR, in the Artist Boat case. Not only is it a corruption of the PUD rules — but it’s also well after the fact. Syntax, grammar, verb tense and context of the rules clearly insist that PUDs are intended as a before-the-fact process.
There’s so much wrong with Artist Boat claiming to be a well-run business, while pleading that they just didn’t know they were in violation of their permits or their lease as they were building unapproved sheds and destroying the safety and decorum of two of our well-established neighborhoods to justify council voting no.
Rumor on the street says our city attorney is a large part of this official undermine of our rules.
Our “I will enforce our codes” mayor doesn’t seem to mind the code-subterfuge either.
This column isn’t talking about the ethics of the remaining LDR artisans on our planning commission. The list of financial entanglements, non-recusals and attacks on the public during session will make the ethics complaint irrefutable.
It’s not even about retro-legalizing illegitimate use of a property. The city has long been doing that on the West End by helping private property owners block beach access.
I’m talking about replacing the same old process council voted to abandon with a new title right before our eyes: corrupting the LDR and expecting we just won’t see it for what it is. We do see it for what it is.
Each of us have to ask ourselves if we want PUDs used as the hocus-pocus version of SUPs. If you do, expect PUD to become a “right to have” approved after the first couple squeak through. T
That’s where the current damage inflicted by the marina and Artist Boat to the neighborhoods will become a fundamental damage to the entire city.