Many of us are front counter planners and have to deal with the general public on a variety of issues ranging from rather complex development issues to general code enforcement questions. Every City, town, and village runs into the same type of annoying individuals time and again. What are your favorites?
1. "Mr. Knowshisrights" - believes all matters pertaining to law can be conveniently found in one beloved document...the Constitution. If it doesn't say you can or can't do it in the Constitution then it ain't a law. Of course he can operate a gun shop in the middle of a residential development - the Second Amendment says so. Naturally, it's quite alright for a church to host outdoor rock concerts at 120 decibles at 2 am - the First Amendment guarantees it! I'm afraid you have NO right to require a 30 foot front yard setback...setbacks are nowhere to be found in the Constitution!
2. "Mr. Irrelevant" - Mr. Irrelevant is happy to talk to you about his zoning concerns at 10 o'clock. Hope you didn't have any plans cuz at 10:30 he would like to ask you a few things about his taxes - my they've gone up. At 11:00 he tells you about what Councilman Smith told him in 1978 when they were building the new high school. By the way, he saw a garbage bag fall out of a Sanisafe disposal truck last week it was near 1234 Main street. Oh, and why does he have to present his voter registration card every election, you'd think they'd know him on sight by now....
3. "Mr. Loophole" - Is a clever chap. A little too clever for his own good. Often overheard saying things like: "Okay, so you're telling me an accessory use is something incidental to a principle use, right? So it stands to reason that everyone has to go to the bathroom right? Even people in residential zones, right? So I don't see why it's not 'incidental' when people use one of the 8 coin operated porta-potties on my front lawn - when you gotta go you gotta go, right?"
4. "Mr. Anal" - he means well and is more than willing to do what it takes to do it right all by himself. No, he's never built anything before in his life but he's a highly intelligent individual and is capable of following instructions - he's an accountant after all and they follow lots of instructions. He simply needs to ask 15 or 16 or 23 questions as he thinks of them 15 or 16 or 23 times a week to make sure he's doing things right. Does he need to redo the application again after he notices the erasure on line 5? When someone comes out to measure will they be using metric measurements and converting or standard measuring devices? Is it alright if he fills out the paperwork with a blue ink pen, he's got a black ink pen too, if it's not okay? When it says five business days does that include a half day next Monday, because after all, he didn't submit until noon today.....
5. "Mr. Angermanagement" - Let me tell you something you little (&*@*^ s the next time I get a )%^&(_! letter from the city saying I gotta (*^&^$* do another 7^#$&%( thing I'm going to *()&E#*%^*( )*^*&^ and then I'm going to (#^(#@)()_*+ you *^#ing (*^%*^ers
6. "Mr. Phonycalm" - sort of the antithesis of Mr. Angermanagment. Mr. Phonycalm is really seething yet is eager to show you how very reasonable a person he is. He'll tell you in a smarmy tone of voice "So, do I understand correctly you're saying that I am breaking the law and am, therefore, a criminal because I have parked my car on my front lawn? I see. I suppose that I should therefore contact the local law enforcement agency to report the other felons on my block who are flagrantly violating the laws of this land by parking campers and boats on the grass beside their driveways? It seems only reasonable after all...."
7. "Mr. Taxpayer" - he's entitled to very finest administrative services available to humanity dontcha know? Why should he pay to have his property surveyed - shouldn't the city do that? Naturally, you should be more than happy to search for and provide copies of all building permits applied for on alternate years since 1958 by contractors with last names who begin with the letters 'c', 's' or 'h'! After all HE pays your wages!!!!
8. "Mr. Bigshot" - My god, aren't you in awe of his very presence? It is a privlege for you to review his development application for a Bigboxes R Us store! What do you mean, your little community of a mere 100 thousand is asking for photometric plans - isn't that cute - you'd think they were building in New York or LA.....Of course you're going to support his parking variance request aren't you - he's bringing much needed tax dollars to your community!
9. "Mr. Honorandglory" - No, he didn't remove the junk car after the violation notice you sent him last year because he was being treated in the VA hospital last week for prostate cancer. Yeah, he fought in the Big One. Many of his buddies died on the sands of Iwo Jima, defending your right to be free and here YOU are sending HIM a zoning violation notice. My god, Hitler and Tojo won after all!
I'm sure I've missed a few. Please feel free to provide your own nominees. Better yet, I'll promise you Total Consciousness on your deathbed if you can provide the REMEDY to counter each of the above named nuisances.