Old East Hill needs your support to keep business owners and residents accountable for what’s best for our neighborhood. We appreciate the value of local businesses within our district but it’s critically important for residents and business owners to keep to the guidelines put in place in order to maintain the charming and desirable community we’ve created. We have a considerable combination of commercial and residential use; in order for everyone to stay happy each business and resident needs to understand its limitations.
What’s Going On?
A business in Old East Hill is attempting to change City Code for the second time in 10 years to support its business needs. The proposed code change only benefits the business, for everyone else it causes harm. A code change opens up our neighborhood and yours for future issues. For example, if a business in our district can change a code now to benefit itself then any future business can use “they did it why can’t we” approach to bend the rules to suit its needs. This is unacceptable and very scary.
Summary of Concerns from over 50 residents in Old East Hill
- The business is currently operating under a Conditional Use Permit but is asking for “Permitted Use by Right”. Permitted use by right means that the neighborhood loses an additional layer of protection from the City; essentially the people lose the ability to comment or limit current and future aspects (like expansion) of this business or any new ones.
- Old East Hill has well-established historic preservation guidelines that have been disregarded. If this business is granted By Right Use and its Conditional Use permit is removed our concerns as a neighborhood will be much harder to act upon. Currently our option in dealing with unwanted aspects of this business, such as noise, is by filing a notarized affidavit, under oath, with a witness who lives at a different address. This shifts tremendous workload to the resident, with little to no impact on the business owner. The requested code change would pose even more imposition on the resident.
- If the code change is approved, anyone can open a C-3 type (less restrictive) business in a C-1 area in two thirds of our district. In looking at a city map from 2014 there were 72 homes in the residential area and 162 in all other zones (234 total). Roughly 70% of our neighborhood will be directly impacted by this code change. Imagine unwanted businesses scattered around all of Old East Hill permitted by right. If this code change goes through that could happen to our neighborhood or yours.
- A change like this establishes a legal precedent which could be used to add unwanted use to North Hill and Seville. Other businesses could argue for C3 provisions in other C1 districts.
- A code change should benefit the entire area, not just one establishment. There is an adjacent business that will be negatively impacted by the proposed code change.
- City Codes lose authority if it’s easy to change them. People are less likely to comply with the rules if they believe they can easily change them to suit their needs.
- In 2008 the business had very clear requirements put in place by the city. These requirements have been disregarded.
WE BELIEVE THIS CHANGE WILL HAVE A DRAMATIC AND NEGATIVE AFFECT ON OUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND PROPERTY VALUES, AND WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT AND HELP
We request City Council require East Hill Vet Clinic/Pensacola Pet Resort Too operate within the original permit granted in 2008.