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Thread: Variance denial causes fits of depression

  1. #1
         
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    Variance denial causes fits of depression

    I am not making this up.

    We have a hearing coming up regarding a variance request for a multi-million $ trophy home that clearly does not warrant approval. We told the applicant verbally the staff recommendation would be for denial. Today the applicant submitted a letter from his wife's psychiatrist supporting his claim that a denial of the variance would cause his wife to fall into a deep state of depression and, possibly, a suicidal state.

    They are now threatening a personal injury suit against the town for "mental anguish" and "pain and suffering" if the variance is denied.

    God how I love this job...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    It's America -- countersue! The aggravation which this lunatic is causing is detrimental to your health, leading to hypertension and increased risk of heart disease.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    What a high-maintenance, yuppified, SUV-driving, cell-phone-in-restaurant-talking, boutique-shopping, latte-sipping piece of crap.

    Its yuppie-whiners like this to enable bottom-feeding sleazoid lawyers and lily-livered zoning board members to thrive, at enormous social and economic costs. Hopefully the judge with laugh this one right out of the courtroom if it gets that far.

    "Mental Anguish...Pain and Suffering?" I'm feeling like that right now just being reminded that people like this exist in the world. But I'm certainly not going to sue anyone...

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    To: Y H, Careful, you might wind up by getting sued by other bottom feeders such as carp, catfish and maybe even leeches for defamation. TR

  5. #5
         
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    Hey! he is the one that bought the property that required a variance in order to accomodate his castle. He should have made certain the variance was in place before he purchased. He is the one responsible for putting her in this situation.

  6. #6
    It makes my day to hear other planners in other cities, in other countries, experience as much anguish as I do

  7. #7
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Tim Thompson (206.183.140.242)
    Tuesday, December 5, 2000 - 02:22 pm
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I thought I had heard all the far fetched variance justifications, but Brent...this one is officially the most bizarre argument for a variance I've ever seen! :P
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plannibelle's avatar
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    Big cities get lawsuits all the time. Most of us here, expect it and figure it's part of the job. When we hear "ohso and so Enviormental Defense Fund is suing us over a environmental impact report, or whatever. We look at them and shrug.

    When you have huge big business lobbyists and full time politicians afoot, it's MO.

  9. #9
         
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    Yeah, we are threatened with lawsuits daily. I am involved in two lawsuits right now, so it does not phase me at all to be threatened with another. For the record, I have not lost a suit yet.

    What continues to phase me, though, is the lengths people will go to have projects approved/denied. Or the types of projects folks consider a nuisance (how about a children's soccer field at an elementary school, for example).

    Aerdona, you may deal with a lot of lawsuits, but how many letters have you gotten from psychiatrists saying the variance approval is critical to the applicant's mental well-being?

    Follow up - the variance was denied. Our planning commissioners handled the situation very well. The applicants went away and we never heard from them again.

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Originally posted by Brent
    What continues to phase me, though, is the lengths people will go to have projects approved/denied. Or the types of projects folks consider a nuisance (how about a children's soccer field at an elementary school, for example).
    Which seems even more ridiculous when you consider that you're in a resort area, and many of those million dollar houses that would be affected by such a "nuisance" are occupied only a few weeks or months a year.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plannibelle's avatar
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    Zoning Administrators Like Judgies?

    This may be a new subject but variances and approvals got me thinking...

    We have up to about 7 Zoning Administrators. In many ways they are like judges with ones who are require a higher threshold from the applicants for the entitlements, while other ZAs just about approve anything before them.

    I got a call from an applicant who said " I sure hope such and such is the ZA!" Meaning, this particular one would approve an outdoor copper plating facility over quicksand next the home for asthmatic children...

  12. #12
          Downtown's avatar
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    The key to getting something passed through our Planning Board is to put it on a night with a heavy agenda. 6 of our 7 board members are over 65, and by the time 10PM rolls around, they are so ready to get to bed, they'll pass anything. Conversely, woe to the applicant who comes on a light night, because the Board feels like they should be at the meeting until 9PM anyway (we start at 7, every Tuesday night). On light nights developers have been known to have every single tree species on their planting plan picked over by the board.

  13. #13
         
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    "Which seems even more ridiculous when you consider that you're in a resort area, and many of those million dollar houses that would be affected by such a "nuisance" are occupied only a few weeks or months a year."

    Bingo!

    You'd think that would make people less sensitive to NIMBY-type issues, but in reality resort area trophy homes are really just investments that people sleep in when they ski...so the NIMBY factor is exacerbated to a ridiculous degree. One of my current lawsuits involves a whitewater park where adjacent residents complained about the noise of the water features...their real issue was the idea of kayakers using the public property next to their condos - but people will grasp for anything they can call a nuisance to have a project defeated. I am also being sued over a seasonal hockey rink that people consider a nuisance. We were recently threatened with a lawsuit over a permit for a swimming pool at a single-family residence - the neighbors called it an eyesore. OK, I've divulged enough info for this thread...

    I was recently printing out some geologic hazard maps on the GIS and decided to do an extra map that showed "litigation hazard zones" throughout town. There were varying degrees of lawsuit hazards. These included "Extreme Lawsuit Hazard Zones," "Zones of Whining and Rhetorical Threats," and "Zones of Name Calling and Letters to the Editor." Our town manager laughed so hard he cried.

    You really need a sense of humor to do the resort planning thing.

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