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Poll results: Do you like appearing at appeals?

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19. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, I love stickin' it to fools.

    10 52.63%
  • No, the confrontational aspect of it displeases me.

    7 36.84%
  • The ever popular, other.....

    2 10.53%
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Thread: Appeals and other such nonsense

  1. #1
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Appeals and other such nonsense

    AIB Rumpy's BIG Day and the recent Public Speaking Thread and some incidents at work where it seems everyone is preparing for an appeal, just wonder how you feel about them?

    I love the prep work (except the mindless photocopiing) and the testifying on the stand.

    Hate stupid decisions and the ignorance of many appellants. Also hate that in my previous jurisdicition we were consitently held to a high ethical, moral and just about every other standard you coul dimagine. They seemed to forget, we had nothing to gain by lying and cheating the system.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I can be a very frank and up-front person, but despise confrontations. I find private sector planning to be much less confrontational - more facilitation, negotiation, consensus building, and mediation, less saying NO.

    Then again, in no case has I been a code enforcement officer since I entered the private sector. Perhaps this is a topic for a split thread - Should planners EVER be code enforcers?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I never minded appeals, any more than other cases. They could get real ugly, of course, but that just increased the likelihood that I'd stay awake...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    I don't like it because of the confrontation but also because it kills your productivity. Taking even small decision back to torrs for an appeal process is a chore and sucks up lots of time - other work piles up in the mean time. I shouldn't complain though, it has been at least 10 years since I've had to do that sort of work.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    All I know is that this hearing is going to be cutting into my shotgunning hour

    Maybe I should pull a Kramer and go with the vodka for the hearing


    Seriously, I really don't care about them, althought some of them are a waste of time and taxpayers money.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  6. #6
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    All I know is that this hearing is going to be cutting into my shotgunning hour

    Maybe I should pull a Kramer and go with the vodka for the hearing


    Seriously, I really don't care about them, althought some of them are a waste of time and taxpayers money.
    The hearing doesn't start until 1:00, so a 4-5 martini lunch works for everyone. I'll be laughing and your performance goes on you evaluation. Cheers!! Oh, wear a tie and at least a sport jacket. Don't embarrass me.

  7. #7
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    No one has ever appealed one of my decisions.

    Threatened to kill me? Yep... But never an appeal.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    The hearing doesn't start until 1:00, so a 4-5 martini lunch works for everyone. I'll be laughing and your performance goes on you evaluation. Cheers!! Oh, wear a tie and at least a sport jacket. Don't embarrass me.
    What, this goes on my evaluation? That ain't right. You better watch out when I start swinging that 2x4.

    Oh, I don't even own a tie or sport coat. Can I wear the Tunanator hat?
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  9. #9
    I don't do any code enforcement, but at my last job I loved Board of Appeals meetings. My favorite times were when I told someone at the counter not to waste money on their application fee because there is no way the Board will grant the variance. Then they show up and the Board spends about 2 minutes talking about it and denies the request.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  10. #10
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff
    No one has ever appealed one of my decisions.

    Threatened to kill me? Yep... But never an appeal.
    You've never had a decision appealed? Dude, then you haven't lived. Or you've never worked in a community that gave a damn. These are the best hearings ever.

    Good luck Rumpy, I'll be in the back row. They didn't call me to testify. Just tell them what you think you know.

  11. #11
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Repo Man
    I don't do any code enforcement, but at my last job I loved Board of Appeals meetings. My favorite times were when I told someone at the counter not to waste money on their application fee because there is no way the Board will grant the variance. Then they show up and the Board spends about 2 minutes talking about it and denies the request.
    Yeah...I have no problem with ZBA petitions, because generally people haven't built the stuff yet. I do hate it when people build stuff, and then whine and cry to you that this will be the end of the world for them if they have to remove it.

    I hae yet had to go the court for a building/zoning violation and hope to never have to.

    No...planners should not be code enforcers...here, we actually have retired police officers as two of our code enforcers, so it's not a problem for them.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
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    I am interested in the comparisons between the American and Irish planning appeals system. It seems obvious from your posts that the Planner who adjudicated on the original decision has to appear before an appeals board. Who makes up the board? Are they Planners? Who can appeal?

    The system here is quite different. At local authority stage anybody in the whole country can object to a development. You dont have to live near or be affected directly by the development. In this way, the whole population are seen to monitor development (thats the reasoning anyway). It cost 20 euro to lodge and objection, and this must be done within 5 weeks of the application being lodged.

    So 8 weeks after the application is lodged, a decision is made. The applicant (1st party) or objector (3rd party) have 4 weeks to lodge an appeal to the appeals board, called An Bord Pleanala. This costs the third party about 200 euro, and from 600 up for the first party. A Planning Inspector gathers the relevant info from both parties and the Local Authority, does a site visit and then makes a recommendation. The Board themselves sit and decide whether to follow the inspectors recommendation.

    The Board is made up of Planners, Architects, Professors, Environmental Specialists and one or two persons who would have connections to the construction industry. The Board is considered to be completely independant, and is not subject to the same political machinations as council chambers.

    hearings where the parties and Planners meet to present their submissions in person happen rarely. usually in cases of significant depth or complexity. Apart from this the Board's deliberations happen in private. The Inspectors reports are readily available after a decision has been made, but if the Board go against the inspectors recommendations, no in depth reasons are given. While this gets on peoples nerves, they are generally seen to be upholders of Government policy and better planning principles due to their independent status.

    It usually takes them about 3-4 months to make a decision from the date of lodgement of the appeal.

  13. #13
    My jurisdiction has two types of appeals: one that the Zoning Officer issued a zoning permit in error, and the other that the Board of Zoning Appeals or Plan Commission erred in its decision. The first is heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals (at $50US filing fee). If the aggrieved is still dis-satisfied, they may appeal to the local circuit or county court. In the second instance, the appeal is to the court system (typically county court, but also to circuit court). In this, the court is required to determine whether the Bd/Comm'n erred in procedure and, if so, remands the docket to the city to reconsider.

    I've been called as a witness in a federal pron case and have never been so uptight. Thankfully, I did not have to testify. In county cases, I've testified many times and am amazed at how poorly prepared are most attorneys for the plaintiffs.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  14. #14
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rem
    I don't like it because of the confrontation but also because it kills your productivity. Taking even small decision back to torrs for an appeal process is a chore and sucks up lots of time - other work piles up in the mean time. I shouldn't complain though, it has been at least 10 years since I've had to do that sort of work.
    These are the same reasons I hate appeals. I had two at the same time last November and it set other work into a pile that kept building.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  15. #15
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rem
    I don't like it because of the confrontation but also because it kills your productivity. Taking even small decision back to torrs for an appeal process is a chore and sucks up lots of time - other work piles up in the mean time. I shouldn't complain though, it has been at least 10 years since I've had to do that sort of work.
    These are the same reasons I hate appeals. I had two at the same time last November and it set other work into a pile that kept building.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  16. #16
    I hate the confrontation and the the waste of time. 99.9% of the time, they are not granted a variance anyway. Most of the time it is a business trying to get out of paving their lot or installing the required landscaping. I despise it when people and businesses think they are something special and try to get out of complying with regulations that everyone else is subject to. I don't mind, however, if there truly is a unique situation and a good reason for a variance (ie: lot is only 50x50 and there is not even room for a shed if they were to abide by our setbacks...).

    Chet - after years of trying to do code enforecement and planning, I do not believe that planners should be both. I honestly hardly ever have time to do planning duties. Most of my time is eaten up by zoning enforcement and questions ("what are the regulations for....?"). And it is always such an interruption! I love helping the public, but some days it is too much!

  17. #17
         
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    I just sent out over 100 letters regarding code enforcement (primarily sign code, but some others)...I am fortunate that I don;t have to do much code enforcement, we have an entire portion of our Dept devoted to it, however I sent the letters because the violations were in a district that I work with primarily and felt if I sent the letters, perhaps I would have a better response and not pi$$ everyone off as much as an "official" letter. It worked, most of the violations have been taken care of with very little resistance and anger (rare around here) AND I recieved a nice "thank you, keep up the good work" letter from the district association...
    As far as appeals, I don't really mind them but then again don't have all that many. I have had 2 in the past year, one is a house where the guy wants to build in the floodway and let his daughter and grandchildren live there, no I don't have a problem telling this one NO and the other was a porch on Main Street...applicant wanted to build a porch with posts into the street and started construction, the Board approved a canileavered (sp??) porch, he appealed...I now have a structure with no posts in the ground AND the owner and I are still friends

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