Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Outzen Nails It

In a clear and irrefutable manner, Rick Outzen points out that the City failed in it's process regarding disposal of surplus property surrounding the Long Hollow Radio tower.

http://ricksblog.biz/mayor-and-city-council-violated-its-policies-with-radio-tower-lease/

How many ways did the City mess up or override processes in this matter?

  • Failure by the City to follow established policies
  • Failure of the City to require proper permitting and oversight
  • Failure of the City to notify residents
  • Failure of the City to require proper planning
  • Failure of the City to follow required zoning
  • Failure of the City to follow public records laws

Incompetence or deception?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Weren't you on the council at the time frame in 2012?

Maren DeWeese said...

Anonymous,

Yes I was. Transcripts are below. Bad facts were given by Reynolds when asked. I repeat incompetence or deception?

Ms.DeWeese: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I seconded this but I had some of the same concerns Dr. Pratt had with the Long Hollow. The project for the Greenway Hollice Williams at Long Hollow is a great part of that, and this part of design is to be opened up eventually for a promenade and some of the neighborhoods to the north actually would access the whole Greenway from that area. I understand, I am actually looking at a satellite, there’s a great deal of space where this is sitting and it couldn’t be used for other things, but have we discussed or looked at the issues of eventually opening this area up if the basin is actually redesigned sometime in the future.

Mr. Reynolds: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I have been advised by our publics works department that this land cannot be used for anything else, period. The only reason that it can be used for this is because there was a preexisting tower there.

Anonymous said...

What was the final vote on this? Did some council members oppose?

CJ Lewis said...

City Attorney Lysia Bowling's last minute November 12 legal analysis seems faulty. Section 12-1-6(A) of the Land Development Code provides, "It is the intent of this title to allow these nonconformities to exist but not to encourage their continuation." Bowling's memo focuses on the nonconformity of the "use" but seems to mostly ignore the nonconformity of the tower, i.e. the "structure." Section 12-1-6 describes three types of nonconformity - lots, structures and uses.

Bowling does not even tell the Council in her memo that the 250 foot tower in place in 2012 belonged to the City of Pensacola, a fact she presumably knows if she read the background material to include the Council's public records from 2012. Oddly, Bowling instructs the Council that the "construction and maintenance" of the tower "has continued uninterrupted...since 1991." That seems a creative leap of legal logic and disputed by the facts.

The physical act of taking down the old tower (owned by the City) and replacing it with a new tower (not owned by the City) presumptively seems to be an affirmative act that encourages the continuation of the nonconformity. Further, Section 12-1-6(C) provides in part that a nonconforming structure (in this case the original 250 foot tower) "...may be maintained provided that no such structure shall be enlarged in a way which increases its nonconformity."

In addition to the obvious fact, that the original tower was not maintained but replaced, the new tower is 150 feet taller than the old tower. Even an elementary school student knows that 400 feet is taller than 250 feet. Whether the old tower had been raised by 150 feet, or as in this case replaced by a new tower that is 150 feet taller, both acts would seem to "enlarge" the tower "in a way which increases its nonconformity."

Most people reading Bowling's memo would probably disagree with the way she has distorted the plain language meaning of the words "increase," "uninterrupted" and "enlarge." On the upside, Mayor Hayward is probably going to give Bowling a big bonus for what here seems like her third bad legal memo in a row in addition to her eagerness to say nothing, i.e. turn a blind legal eye, when Hayward acts unilaterally in violation of the City Charter and Code of Ordinances.

Anonymous said...

No one should blame the Council for what occurred because they were deceived by the Mayor who sponsored this agenda item, and the City Administrator Bill Reynolds who worked directly for the Mayor and carried out this scheme. Council had no idea that the Mayor and Bill Reynolds had been negotiating behind their backs for months without their consent or approval for months. Dr. Pratt and Maren DeWeese asked the right questions about the future of the storm water pond and about the existing plans to improve this area as promised to the citizens to connect with the Hollice Williams Park and use the property as it was intended for, a contributing and attractive storm water pond (similar to what was done at Admiral Mason Park). For those who were on the Council in 2012 and who are still on the Council, you need to investigate this fraud, fix the problem and remove the tower to come into compliance with the law for that Conservation District.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Mr. Church reads this blog, I've seen his comments. I have a question for him.
Mr. Church, which radio stations are either on your tower or are planning to move to it?