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One out of two isn’t bad

By Staff | Jan 28, 2009

To the editor,

On Saturday, Jan. 24, I received a letter from Louise Malia Johnson, supporting David Berger’s candidacy for City Council. She outlined “a few quick highlights” as to his qualifications.

1. He stopped the construction of a super-large home on Sanibel because it violated requirements of the Sanibel Land Development Code, specific provision being Section 86-43. The reason for this action was that the structure was not compatible with the neighborhood. As we know, this action lasted more than a year. In the process, it led to a divided neighborhood and the loss of property rights of the Mimms. If Section 86-43 of the Land Development Code was the basis of this so-called successful action, why are we now going through the process of amending Section 86-43 to make it effective?

2. We are advised “the codes for insuring neighborhood compatibility are under attack.” In a previous letter, I requested evidence of any established community in the U.S. where residential retroactive aesthetic zoning had been imposed. I have yet to hear of such an example. I’ve been advised that such restrictions have been imposed in commercial and historical districts. Does one suppose that other communities have had the good sense not to disrupt what is an established satisfied community by appointing a select group to decide what is compatible? Even when they can always fall back on a certified outside expert.

We are further advised “there are also those who would loosen our commercial zoning laws, and who support increased density in beach front resort development.” I will try my best not to be unduly rude with my reaction to this statement. This mantra is advanced every election cycle as to how the whole island is going to the dumps unless we select those who really care, as opposed to the non-caring individuals who couldn’t possibly have the same concerns.

3. I’m pleased to hear that David Berger is a fiscal conservative. One out of two isn’t bad.

Louise Johnson and I are long-time friends who continue to have a disagreement as to the role of government.

Dale Armstrong

Sanibel