I am always amazed that people in the most educated 144 sq miles of the planet never seem to do any research before writing letters to the editor and worse often style them as if what their writing is fact vs their own opinion (“fact”). Today’s topic is the recent letters regarding the proposed Wendy’s.
All the letter writers assume that the Planning and Zoning Commission or the County Council have the ability to deny the developer approval for a Wendy’s (“fact”). The actual fact of the matter is they do not. Another fact is I have repeatedly warned the Council about adopting broad ordinances approving various types of structures in our various zones. A more prudent approach is to be specific and change the ordinance governing waivers and special use permits.
To be specific County Staff, as spelled out in the meeting agenda, acknowledge the plans meet and exceed all requirements in our current zoning regulations.
Our state Supreme Court in El Dorado v. Santa Fe County v. Central Clearing House stated the following, “In that case mandamus was issued by the trial court directing the county board of supervisors to approve a subdivision plat. Although the plat had conformed with all legal requirements for approval, the board had delayed action until it rezoned the land and then denied approval on the ground that the subdivision did not conform with the new zoning law.
Mandamus was affirmed by the Arizona Court of Appeals… “The shocking consequences of a finding that the Board possessed such unshackled authority is well illustrated by the facts of the present case. Here the Board held action on the plaintiff’s submitted subdivision plan in abeyance pending future consideration of a proposed zoning change despite the fact that the plan complied completely with the zoning ordinance then in existence.”…The trial court is directed … to proceed in a manner consistent with this opinion.”
The only thing the Planning and Zoning Commission or Council has the power to do is “request” not “mandate” changes in the design of the property, which I will do in a letter to P&Z based on my experiences as a customer and employee of McDonalds when it was on the property in question.
I for one welcome Wendy’s with open arms as I can’t stand McDonalds and I bet so will many others, but only with an actual workable parking lot design.