Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An egregious legislative nullification of a citizen's property rights!

One of our fellow citizens was on the receiving end of a terrible screwing by the CCBOC last night.

A citizen named Everett Burch owns a mobile home park off of Harriet's Bluff Road down near the river. Specifically, it is at 127 Jay Street. The property is currently zoned R-2. Even though there is this mobile home park and dozens and dozens of other mobile homes on private lots in the area, it turns out that now you can only put a new mobile home in that area with a "special use permit." Planning and Zoning recommended that the man's request be denied, hence the appeal to the CCBOC.

After P&Z Directer, John Perterson, gave the P&Z presentation, the applicant's attorney, Michael Perry, got up and, using the same overhead projector, gave a much more useful and informative presentation of photos he had taken of the property in question and surrounding properties. A 360 degree view from the interior lot in the park where the man wants to put a mobile home shows nothing but other mobile homes.
The nearest "stick built" home is over 300 yards away and not in line-of-sight of the mobile home park.

Several residents of the park spoke up to say how much cleaner and better maintained the park was since Mr. Burch had purchased it. Significantly, the owner of the nearest "stick built" home also expressed similar appreciation and said that she had absolutely no objection to his adding another mobile home. Both Mr. Perry and the applicant pointed out that building a stick built home on the small lot in the middle of his mobile home park made no economic sense.

Not one soul from the neighborhood - Mrs. Zell's neighborhood - showed up to speak out against the request.

As I watched this unfold, I thought to myself that if ever there were a case needing a special use permit, this was it. I would certainly have voted to overturn the draconian staff recommendation on this one.

The CCBOC, with no discussion whatsoever - at least not in public - voted unanimously to deny the man's request. Their action is tantamount to stealing at the point of a gun the net rental income proceeds from putting a mobile home on that lot for the useful life of the mobile home.

It is my hope that the gentleman will have the wherewithal and the determination to challenge this egregious abuse of power in court.


Anonymous said...

Finally you have given me something that I can agree with totally. It appears that from the Federal Govt., all the way down to local govt., the people are rapidly losing their rights to anything. If the people in the immediate area have no problem with this issue, why should the Commissioners or Mr. Peterson and his P&B board?

Jay Moreno said...

I would note that the property in question is not only in Mrs. Zell's district, but literally in her neighborhood. There may well have been people who opposed this who brought their concerns directly to Mrs. Zell, who has a couole of challengers in July. The nay votes from the other 4 may have been a courtesy to Mrs. Zell.

Now, this next part of the story ought to really frost the applicant and all freedom loving citizens.

While Mr. Perry was narrating his slide show, I happened to notice that Commissioner Berry was turned in his chair facing the screen and animately taking notes (or so I thought) on a yellow legal pad.

After Mr. Perry concluded his presentation and all public comments had been heard, Commissioner Sears requested a 5 minute recess during which she went out of sight into the room to the audiences left of the dais with the county attorney to, as it turned out, iron out the wording on her motion to support the P&B Board's recommendation and screw the landowner.

During the break, Berry had an animated conversation from his seat with the other three commissioners still behaind the dais. Someone's mic was open.

Bery regaled the three wiht his story of how he had been sitting at his desk, staring out of the window for the last 4 days trying to write his way out of a plot impasse he had gotten into. He related how his "brain" tends to work best under stress.

Well, apprently, the envronment of the meeting had gotten his brain into gear. As Mr, Perry was presenting his client's case, the solution to the writer's block came to him. It turns out that he was not taking notes in preparation for a brilliant argument for or against the requst at issue, but was instead, writing his next novel!

Methinks the public would be better served if Mr. Berry would resign immediately and move on down to St. Augustine where he will not be interrupted by the occassional CCBOC meeting and pesky cktizen problems..