• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Favorite question or comment

Planzilla

Cyburbian
Messages
45
Points
2
It's late Friday afternoon and it's time to stop taking planning seriously! So how about posting the most amusing question or comment you have ever received while serving the public. My own favorite is a phone call from an irate woman in a rural area: "My husband is setting up a trailer in our front yard for his girl friend to live in. Doesn't he need a permit for that?"
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
My favorite is the property owner who came to our zoning office to determine if her lot qualified for what we call a "free" land split (dividing a parcel of record into 2 lots without the requirement of platting). When she was informed that it appeared her property was eligible, she asked "And how long will it take the County to reimburse me for my attorney and realtor fees, and whatever it costs to record the deed?"
 

Patricia

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
My best question came from someone who came in and asked to see a topo map. When I pulled out the quad, he asked "What are all those lines on the map?"
 

Linden Smith

Cyburbian
Messages
141
Points
6
A couple of my favs are the guy who comes in to get permit number 16 for a trailer on a 4 acre lot, "it's for my son." They all were.

Another is the mayor who screamed "It's my goddam lake and I'll do anything I goddam please with it!" He tried, he got impeached, and now is (I swear) serving 2-5 in Ohio for bank robbery.]
 

Cosmic

Cyburbian
Messages
33
Points
2
One that caught me off guard was; "How many chincilla can I keep in my garage?"
 

James Tedrick

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
At a public meeting for to present a less desirable improvement (policy killed the preferred):

"No matter how well you polish a turd, it's still a turd!"
 

James Riggs

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
While working for the Maryland Office of Planning (famous for "Smart Growth") I staffed a public information booth at the MD State Fair. Most people who stopped by the booth asked the simple "What is Sprawl?" One woman after hearing our definition of sprawl and why its bad, agreed by replying that "all sorts of people were moving into her neighborhood and traffic was becoming awfull." She was all for slowing growth in her neighborhood. Her husband, having heard his wife's new found political platform exclaimed that "it was a good thing that Smart Growth wasn't around when we built our house!"

To paraphrase the Michigan motto, "If you seek sprawl, look about you!"
 

Nan

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
From public hearing on adoption of a comprehensive plan:

"This proposed plan is too comprehensive."
 
Messages
5,352
Points
31
This guy wanted to put a mobile home (a trailer, not a manufactured home) on a single lot in a residential area. This is not a permitted, conditional, or even an accessory use.
 

pandersen

Cyburbian
Messages
243
Points
9
Got one that will beat all others!

Had a fellow who had two sheds (formerly used as chicken coops) who wanted a building permit to join these to "mobile" homes together in an L shape so that his son would have somewhere to live with his new wife! This is not a joke. Can you even imagine the smell associated with these structures - forget running water or sanitary hookups.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,191
Points
29
Dan said:
Posted by Planzilla on September 24, 1999 at 14:45:34:
From host 151.199.86.142 using client Mozilla/4.61 [en] (Win95; U))
Ahh, Planzilla. ONe of my favorite planners of yore. I wonder whatever happened to him

1999 might as well be 1950 in the world of Forums.
 
Messages
5,352
Points
31
Dan said:
Posted by Planzilla on September 24, 1999 at 14:45:34:
It's late Friday afternoon and it's time to stop taking planning seriously!
I guess we should credit Planzilla for planting the seeds of the "Friday Afternoon Club." Whatever happened to him?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,519
Points
69
[ot]
Planderella said:
I guess we should credit Planzilla for planting the seeds of the "Friday Afternoon Club." Whatever happened to him?
Don't know. He/she never posted with their e-mail address, and they never wrote me personally.

Occasionally they'd post from an IP that is part of a block owned by the National Park Service. That's really the only clue I have.

Some other old-school regulars now gone; Lisa in Las Cruces/Doin' Time in El Paso (threats by the boss, supposedly), Brent Wilson (came to the vBulletin site, posted a bit, and then disappeared), Linden Smith (once very prolific, didn't like the off-topic discussion in the FAC, last post/visit in May 2002), Planner in Purgatory (from Detroit, ?), Cosmic (?), Johnny Canuck (?), Jerry Weitz (?), and a bunch of others. That's not including the regulars on the "architecture side," when Cyburbia included architecture bulletin boards.[/ot]
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,966
Points
49
“Can I have a farm on the roof of my apartment building, with animals and such?”

I think I then offended the guy when I started laughing.

*Just think, someday, someone will wonder where we are! Or not :-\
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I have a few favorites (both from Davis, CA).

There was this guy from Berkeley that came up to Davis and I was working the counter that day. He wanted to ask some questions about the time door. I was thinking, "okay... maybe he means timer locks on doors", and I went and got a building code officer. Nope, he meant the TIME DOOR that his buddy told him was in Davis. He said he wanted to go back in time to get his kids before the divorce. Poor dude, totally lost it. I got crap for months after that from the building code guy though...

Another good one is a guy that wanted to know about zoning and use restrictions if he wanted to build a city under the rest of the city. I said that there weren't specific regulations, but there would be problems with utilities, so I sent the whack job down to public works to bug an engineering friend of mine. She was annoyed, but then had a good laugh over it.

We had lots of others, like a guy that built an A-frame shed so he wouldn't be stuck with the height regulations, since height was measured at the average between eave and peak. I wish I could remember all the weird questions and stories. There were lots of good ones.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
We had a woman from a Colorado suburb call us about land she wanted to purchase in our county here in rural central NY.

It became clear that she had never seen the municipality the land was in (the least populated community in our county) when she started asking about water and sewer rates, sidewalk maintenance and municipal trash removal. The town had none of these services or amenities. (Heck, this town barely had working snow plows.....)

We recommended she visit the land before she made a final bid on it.

:-0
 
Top