So, it's like this, see, I work in the planning department of a mid-sized city. I just started a couple of months ago after a seven-year stint in the private sector after a seven-year stint in the public sector - actually, I got my old job back but I digress - the point being that I've got a bit of experience on both sides of the zoning counter.
Anyway, I had an applicant in recently with a proposal for our downtown area for a stand-alone big name drug store with a cookie-cutter suburban site plan - building in the middle surrounded by parking. Did not in any way, shape or form even come close to meeting our downtown design guidelines. I gave the engineer the heads up as to what my comments were going to be prior to the meeting - I hate to throw anyone under the bus as that's happened to me during my stay in the private sector.
I go through the design guidelines (in place for almost ten years, now, in fact I mostly wrote them before I went over to the dark si...err, the private sector) and explain how the proposal doesn't meet them.
At one point he looks me right in the eye and asks if I'm willing to guarantee the success of the project if they follow the design guidelines.
Without skipping a beat I ask him, "Seriously? Are you seriously asking me that? Are you willing to guarantee the success of any project you work on?"
The point of my being on both side of the zoning counter is that never in a million years would I pose a question like that to a City official when I was in the private sector.
That got me thinking about all the other wacky things I've heard over the years in the course of my career.
I'm not sure if this sort of thread exists (I didn't see one) or if this is the appropriate place for it so, moderator, move it elsewhere if need be, but I'd be interested to hear what other planners have been hit with in the realm of wacky, bizarre, politically incorrect (I've got on in that vein but I'll let others have a turn first) and how you either (1) dealt with it and/or (2) how you wish you'd dealt with it.