Incremental zoning changes seem to be the rule around Jefferson County starting with a series of changes until the owner gets what they want or what they need. How many times do you know of a property's zoning being changed from one class such as residential up through to commercial with changes to height, density or whatever since it just does not seem that much of a change from before.
Then, when all is said and done the end change from the first change is monumental and may increase the value of the property substantially from what it was originally. The result is that buying property at one price and then obtaining changes to the zoning or restrictions which favor commercial development is not a bad investment IF you know the zoning and variance process.
Now what does that have to do with the following story where the National City Tower is about to be sold and now needs a variance to complete the sale because the original variance allowed an increase in height when built but now it turns out to have been built taller than allowed?
The seller says please, please, please allow the variance to allow us to sell the property. No one is objecting now, but who would???
Look at the original rules for the variance for height and density and set-backs from the road and see if there is a reason for the variance other than allowing a seller to make a profit.
I am not familiar with zoning that much, but you would think the change to allow a sale and thus a profit ought to benefit the city, the neighbors and the community rather than simply to line the coffers of the seller only. How about some fines? Big fines!!!
Just a suggestion for some creative ways to increase revenue at the expense of those who do not follow the rules and then ask to be allowed to profit by the mistake.
What was that old saying? "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission?" Well, it is not only cheaper but more profitable too.
Why are businesses permitted to hold government and the public hostage in both down and up times for the economy?
Now for an even tougher question.... Which regulator or regulating authority missed the extra height on the building and did nothing for sooooo many years??
As two separate comments stated at the CJ -
Amazing that this is a story and that any zoning variance is needed since the building has been standing for 40 years. It also shows that zoning is arbitrary and many times useless. If they limit something and that something is beyond the limit but does no harm, what was the purpose of the limit in the first place? Just another exercise in government bureaucracy.
I wonder if the building was measured back in 1972 to find out how tall it was. Surely, if they did, they couldn't have been off by 10 feet. I would love to have been a fly on the wall during that conversation: Sir, I'm sorry to inform you that your building doesn't meet code because it's too tall. Now we can handle this two ways -- one is to shave ten feet off your brand new building and the other involves unmarked bills in a plain brown wrapper . . ."
Here is the CJ story:
The owners of National City Tower, who have a deal to sell the 40-story building, are seeking a zoning variance permitting the structure to be as tall as it is — 505.3 feet. That's a bit more than the 495-foot height that was authorized before the building opened in 1972.