According to this Farmington Independent article, residents of the city are up in arms over the Planning Commission’s approval of addition of a parking lot in an area zoned for ‘heavy business use’ in their neighborhood. While the owner of the lot plans to park vehicles related to his business there, many of the arguments include “Not In My Backyard” and “Think of the Children!”
From the article:
Although it abuts a residential neighborhood, the property has been zoned for heavy business use since Farmington started zoning property in 1969, according to planning commission chairman Dirk Rotty.
Garvey approached the planning commission in January to request a conditional use permit to locate a truck repair shop at another property he owned on Fifth Street. He received approval for that business. At the same time, Garvey asked the commission to allow him to use the land he owns between Third and Fourth streets as a parking lot for some of the vehicles associated with his business.
“You can understand, this is our neighborhood. This is where we live. This is where we carry out our day to day activities of families in our back yards,” Joseph Gentry said.
Gentry said neighbors are concerned for the safety of the children in the neighborhood, particularly if there are going to be large trucks on the otherwise residential street.
The city has mandated he not conduct any repairs there, clear the remaining brush by June 1 (a challenge considering the weather lately), screen the lot to block the current residents’ view, and keep lighting pointed away from the surrounding homes. The owner has agreed to these items and has noted that no one has approached him to speak about the plan and have instead resorted to rumor mill and the spreading of “lies” to get other’s hackles up.
What do you think about this one? Is this simply your typical NIMBY thinking coupled with lack of understanding of zoning regulations going back 45 years? Do you think the neighbors have a point? Should everything they say be immediately invalidated when they resort to “think of the children” arguments? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.