Public Zoning Advocates
It is time that a Public Zoning Advocate be provided to assist neighbors with defense against a developer that desires to rezone a nearby property, that will have a negative impact on their community and quality of life.
Developers often buy a property and soon thereafter make great efforts to rezone it for the sake of instant profit. They have deep pockets, high-powered lawyers and friends at City Hall.
Neighbors are at a huge disadvantage. They are greatly concerned about the negative impact this project will have and wish to find a better course of action. With little if any knowledge of zoning codes and legal process, they must attend Planning and Zoning meetings, go on the record in front of the Municipality Commissioners and perhaps even hire an attorney to fight this costly and timely battle.
It’s time to make this fight a bit more fair. Legislation is needed to help citizens defend their rights, preserve their community and maintain their chosen quality of life.
If the courts offer Public Defenders than our municipalities should also offer Public Zoning Advocates. A pool of qualified Zoning Attorneys or Law School Professors and Students could be assembled. A modest pay scale could be established or fees could be pro bono.
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