1 week ago, 07/17/2014 at 3:25pm
All About The Money
Our Town has been awash in the elevated pool controversy for well over a year now. There have been letters and opinion pieces in this newspaper, phone calls, emails and letters to Town officials. Town Council meetings have given hours of public comment time to residents to voice their opinions and concerns. The Local Planning Agency has weighed in and produced an elevated pool policy. False rumors of bribery led to our Town spending taxpayer money to investigate the rumored accusation. The Town lost several professional staff members, including a Town Manager, Director of Community Development and a Zoning Coordinator during this year of controversy.
All over a pool built too close to a seawall with a valid permit approved by staff after consultation with the Town’s attorney determined that there was nothing in the Land Development Code that prohibited it. Our LDC was too murky to prohibit it outright. Council actions since have set a precedent on how they interpret the LDC. And they’ve taken initial steps to begin to clear up the murkiness that haunts our LDC. But what is clear now, was not when permits were issued. I know not everyone agrees on that issue and that’s fine.
What’s not so fine is how a small group of residents have essentially taken up residence in Town Hall, repetitively demanding answers and private meetings, taking untold hours of staff time and making threats of legal action if they don’t get their way. That way being the tearing down of the elevated pool.
But when that was agreed upon in a settlement agreement with the developer, that wasn’t enough. The barrage of demands continued. It seemed as though nothing would satisfy the neighbors, not even the tearing down of the pool.
And then came the first whiff of what at least one resident wanted. Cash. Instead of paying the plaintiffs the $250,000, he would like the Town to pay him and a few neighbors. Wow.
So their loss of view, their concern about LDC variances and setbacks, the angst of the battle to preserve their quality of life -- all of it could be washed away with a little cash.
And if the Town and developer won’t agree to hand over the cash, then the neighbors will sue.