Son of Backassward
There is sufficient language in the Comprehensive Plan as reason to propose reverse-angle parking on Bay Avenue as a policy in line with stated town goals.-Staff report
Like a sequel to the classic horror film, Plan 9 from Outer Space, reverse-angle parking is lurking behind the tomb stones, ready to wreak more havoc in the lives and souls of Cape Charles residents—this time on Bay Avenue. For some unknown reason, there is a high level of concern among members of the Planning Commission (members who have never actually been seen on Cape Charles beach), that there is somehow a major parking issue on Bay Avenue, and that steps must be taken to remediate the problem or a scenario as dire as a zombie apocalypse is most surely imminent. This, of course is patently ridiculous (the parking problem, not the zombie apocalypse), and is indicative of the shoddy, half-baked thinking that led to the Planning Commission’s ruining Mason Avenue’s small town appeal by stupidly implementing reverse angle parking there.
Many people ask me, “How did you get such a perfect tan and what do you do keep such a smoking hot body—I tell them it is because I don’t wear sun screen, socks, underwear or deodorant, and I ride my bike, or walk to the beach at least four times a week; the first thing I do when I get there is check the parking situation (mainly to gauge the density of the beach). 99% of time, there is nary a parking issue. Take the 4th of July out of the mix and you have “no tienen ningún problema de aparcamiento”.
What we currently have on Bay Avenue is a random, Grateful Dead style, first come, and first serve free for all; it has its own flow and rhythm, and exists perfectly according to its own rules—in other words, it is Sympatico with the true essence of the old, real Cape Charles. The Cape Charles beach is laid back and relaxed; it just is, it does its own thing–and this organic freedom drives the pin headed control freaks on the Planning Commission and Town Council completely insane. They can’t stand the idea that there is one little place left in Cape Charles that is not completely controlled, or has not been destroyed by needle beak government bureaucracy—with their greasy little fists clenched in rage, they vow to do whatever it takes to bring the last bastion of our love, sex and dreams under their iron-fisted control—in short, they want to be able to write a bunch of parking tickets. The parking on Bay Avenue is organic and free, and we don’t need stupid meddling from the Town to ruin it, and in the process make it more dangerous (now they want us to unload our beach stuff right in the middle of the street). How badly can the geniuses on the Planning Commission jack up the beach? Will the people stand by and let them destroy its laid back essence? Stay tuned.
Bed knobs and Broomsticks
Believe it or not, the current zoning ordinance lacks a definition for the term “bedroom.” However, a standard definition is needed for the Zoning Ordinance. Staff has proposed the following draft language for “bedroom” to be included in ordinance (Article II Section 2.9):
“Bedroom – a room designated for the purpose of sleeping. A bedroom shall not have any cooking or food preparation appliances. It shall have an egress window, a functioning smoke alarm, a closet, total fenestration area of not less than three (3) percent of the total wall area. A bedroom may have bathing and sanitary facilities within the room’s footprint.”
The Zoning Ordinance also prohibits “accessory dwelling units” in town, even as they are promoted in the Comprehensive Plan: “reasonable consideration” should be given “to promote affordable housing.”
The Commission briefly discussed this issue, and plans to continue moving forward with a recommendation to Town Council.
Staff was recently contacted by a potential business owner interested in opening a brew pub in the Commercial – 1 district, in the structure on Peach Street next to the laundromat. As was reported in the Mirror last week, the Future Land Use Map has that parcel listed as R-1 residential. Staff will make textual and map changes, so this should no longer be an issue. Of issue now, is that there currently is no language in the zoning ordinance that accounts for a brew pub. From Planner DiRe’s staff report:
Staff is proposing the following definition for inclusion in Article II Section 2.9 of the Town Zoning
Ordinance:Brew pub – a restaurant-brewery that sells 25% or more of its beer on site. The beer is brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar on site. No more than 40% of the gross floor areashall be used for materials and equipment used in the brewing process.
According to staff, a brew pub is not among the enumerated uses, but does fall into the classification of “eating and drinking establishments” (Article III Section 3.6.B.16), “restaurants” (Article III Section 3.6.B.30), and “Any other commercial or professional use which is compatible in nature with the foregoing uses and which the Zoning Administrator determines to be compatible with the intent of the district.” (Article III Section 3.6.B.36). The Commission needs to study the language, and do more research on ‘Brew Pubbery’, before moving forward on this request.
All this is well and good, but it is nonetheless disturbing to find just how unprepared the Commission was regarding this issue. During discussion, it was readily apparent no one on the Commission had even taken a cursory look at what exactly is involved in the brew pub business, and they seemed perfectly content to sit back, adjust their bibs and let the Town Planner spoon feed them in their high chairs.
As an aside, Planner DiRe also mentioned that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Reed v Town of Gilbert, which severely limits local government’s ability to regulate speech and sign ordinances, and “requires local governments to reconsider how, and why, signs are regulated”. Of note, this is the same Planning Commission that bone headedly patched together a totally bogus and illegal sign ordinance as a means to attack and restrict the free speech of citizens that happened to have the gall to call out the Mayor, Town Council and staff for dubious and debatable activities (“Community Center Now”).
Taken in context, the current Mayor and Council should move to dissolve this commission so as to minimize the pain and suffering they have, and will continue to inflict upon the citizens of Cape Charles. We realize that the Commonwealth requires the Town to have a Planning Commission, yet this deficit can be solved quickly and easily. The Town could contract Pete Bauman to enlist several of the stray cats that he is acquainted with, and convince them to serve in this capacity. Just print up some name tags and plop them up there. Insane you say? Well, if these cats had been on the job last year, would we have reverse angle parking on Mason Ave?
So who’s crazy now?