BOA corrector

| | Comments (1)

Something Bill LaFortune deserves, but hasn't received, credit for, is reshaping the city's Board of Adjustment (BOA). The BOA is a quasi-judicial body that is authorized to grant variances from the regulations of the zoning code. The BOA also considers requests for special exceptions, where the zoning code allows a certain use in a certain set of circumstances, but the BOA must weigh neighborhood compatibility before granting the exception.

A variance is only supposed to be granted if a hardship exists -- something about the arrangement land and buildings that would result in an absurd situation if the zoning laws were strictly applied. A hardship can't be self-imposed and can't be economic in nature. By state law, the BOA can't grant "use variances" -- for example, they can't authorize the use of a house for a restaurant in a residentially-zoned area.

Until recently, variances were routinely granted in cases that lacked a legitimate hardship. I remember a case where an outbuilding was approved when it greatly exceeded the zoning code's limits on accessory building size. The BOA found the hardship to be that the lot was large.

Mayor LaFortune's three appointments to the BOA -- Clayda Stead, Frazier Henke, and Michael Tidwell -- have taken a strict approach to granting variances. They understand that, while they may think something should be permitted that isn't, it isn't their place to legislate from the bench.

Council pressure played an important role in the new appointments. Some councilors made it clear that they wouldn't support the reappointment of certain BOA members. In this case, at least, LaFortune respected the Council's wishes and sent down new names.

One final note: I have a great deal of respect for David White, one of the BOA members who was replaced by LaFortune. Although I didn't agree with his approach to the variance issue, I appreciated his fairness, integrity, and availability to answer questions. Dave regularly attended meetings of the Midtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, often right after the conclusion of marathon BOA hearings, and was willing to explain his rationale on controversial decisions and to help us understand factors, such as court decisions and federal law, which the BOA has to weigh alongside the text of the zoning code.


susan said:

Senator Jim Inhofe -- we have received many calls to our home to vote for LaFortune.

He admits LaFortune has made some mistakes, but Senator Inhofe also notes he has learned and has
a plan in place for another term.

Kathy Taylor is not pro-life. If you are mad at LaFortune for first term mess-ups and vote for the independent candidate, all it will do is help vote in Kathy Taylor as a DEMOCRAT for our next Mayor of Tulsa. The independent has no chance whatsoever of winning -- obviously!

Who wouldn't like to see Chris Medlock, Simonsen,
Michael Bates and other good people added in some
type of job to help the new Mayor whoever it is
Taylor or LaFortune.

The chance of Kathy Taylor hiring Medlock, Simonsen, Michael Bates is slim as Kathy has plenty of democrats waiting in the wings to be thanked (as in good titles and new jobs) and the Tulsa World won't write about it in that way of course.

The Tulsa World used LaFortune to get the Vision passed. When it came to Bill Lafortune sticking up for the zoo vote with the creation exhibit that would go alongside other tolerated
exhibts that are now at the zoo, Bill LaFortune still stood up to have equal rights to let the creation exhibit be on display.

Other areas of Tulsa County are having votes -- one in Bixby and they have no idea the 20 million dollar package will make their property
tax go up significantly. It will help Bixby grow though and bring in more business. No one
including the Tulsa World even has printed out the exact cost and the higher dollar amount of your home, the higher the property taxes.

For the people with $200,000, $300,000 and million dollar homes in Bixby, they will have quite a leap in the property tax bill if yes gets
passed completely. They are all very good ideas,
but my point is most people in Bixby have no clue
about the new charge to their property tax and
the Tulsa World
has kept mum on it all --

The Tulsa World newspaper purposely has twisted
stories about LaFortune to make him look bad.

If you are Republican, I urge you to give LaFortune another chance. Senator Inhofe urges
every Republican to keep him and let him make a fresh start and bring in the good people.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 2, 2006 11:05 PM.

Dick on bickering, role of the auditor was the previous entry in this blog.

BatesLine orientation is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]