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Poll results: what would you do with a bad site plan that wants to get bigger

Voters
18. You may not vote on this poll
  • if it meets the Ordinance, oh well - not my fault the Ordinance didn't work, they meet it

    2 11.11%
  • make him fix the problem and make sure the addition doesn't make it worse

    10 55.56%
  • only make sure the addition doesn't make the problem worse

    3 16.67%
  • deny the project - fry him!

    1 5.56%
  • other, see below

    2 11.11%
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Thread: When a bad site plan approval wants to expand

  1. #1
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    When a bad site plan approval wants to expand

    what if you have a site plan that went through the process of site plan, got approved, met the minimum standards in the Ordinance, then when it went into operation, did not have enough parking, wreaked havoc on the neighborhood, etc.

    then the original developer comes back and asks for an addition to the building?

    what would you do?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
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    West Valley, AZ
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    3,895
    If it administratively reviewed. I use light coaxing to encourage him to fix the past problems. If it a commission review, I drop the hammer. Fix all the issues.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
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    Staff meeting
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    I don't know. At a minimum, the addition should work, but in certain circumstances I could see requiring the whole dealy be fixed.

    Though, I guess it would depend on the size of the addition. Is a just a small proportion of the existing or a doubling or a tripling, etc? If it's small (say 10% of existing or less) I might be more lenient, but if it was large (20%+) than probably go for "fix all".
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  4. #4

    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Calgary, AB
    Posts
    146
    Are the original decision-makers still around? Depending on the processes in place where you are, you could try to make them look bad by making a spectacle out of their errors in judgement.

    ...that is, unless the bad decision was one you made.

    Sarcasm aside, I would work with the client to do as much as you can to remedy the situation and do what you can to make the site work. Is the site so badly off now that there's no way any addition can be permitted?

    Stress to the client that it's in their best interest too to make the site work. (Neighbors of the site will likely be breathing down the client's neck already)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
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    3,872
    Every code should have language that says no site plan amendments/special permits/variances will be issued to code violators. I've seen it happen too many times when a developer doesn't maintain landscaping, has an illegal use, sign etc and is allowed to expand. The City usually doesn't care enough to do anything about it.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
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    #NoogaStrong
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    2,714
    No only have I conditionally approved an application to fix current problems (usually pertaining to the condition of their drainage basin or site) but I have also required 3rd parties aka cell tower sites to comply and get the primary owner to fix said problems.

    This works great because if you distrupt the cell phone company they have as much if not more influence on the land owner since you are now distrupting service and the primary land owner hates this because you are interupting their possible revenue stream.
    @GigCityPlanner

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2002
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    Southeast US
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    552
    "Bad" planning is different from "not meeting requirements."

    If the site plan still meets parking requirements with the addition, we would counsel with the applicant and point out the problem. If he still insisted on his "bad" plan, we would probably grant the permit, because it met the requirements. Maybe we have a "bad" ordinance that needs to be adjusted before the next similiar application comes in.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
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    South Milwaukee
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    8,935
    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    "Bad" planning is different from "not meeting requirements."

    If the site plan still meets parking requirements with the addition, we would counsel with the applicant and point out the problem. If he still insisted on his "bad" plan, we would probably grant the permit, because it met the requirements. Maybe we have a "bad" ordinance that needs to be adjusted before the next similiar application comes in.
    I would respectfully disagree. Standards change over time, as technology develops and innovation occur. I once worked for a City that never repealed a charter ordiance requiring hitching posts and spitoons. Was it a bad site plan for not incoporating these elements? No.

    Likewise, they had a minimum parking stall of 9'x18'. Have you ever seen a Yukon Denali XL try to fit in one of those? My response: "The code says minimum. Your stalls will be 10'x20'.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Southeast US
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    552
    I don't think we really disagree.

    You pointed out that an ordinance can be "bad" if it is not updated to eliminate absurdities. Or, it should be followed in order to avoid later charges of selective enforcement (or failure to enforce), which could result in the court voiding your ruling or your whole ordinance or city payment of damages.

    Your example regarding the parking space may lead the city into trouble, because it looks like the applicant may have met the city "minimum" requirement, and having met the minimum requirement, he cannot be forced to provide more, no matter how logical it may seem at the time. Maybe the ordinance needs to be "improved" to meet evolving industry standards for car/suv sizes as you say, or they may not be allowed to park there.

    Now if code officials start sometimes requiring 30 foot long spaces, it may require the code to be "improved" to provide for a maximum space size in order to protect the city against charges of personal arbitrary and capricious enforcement.

    I think if staff arbitrarily starts requiring all spaces to be 20 foot long when the ordinance does not require it, the city and its ordinance is at risk.

    And yes, once I saw an abnormally long suv/truck pull into a Home Depot lot and asked him what the size was. It was 26 feet long.

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