Letter to the Editor: Good Governance Demands Following the Zoning Code

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Some people just don’t know when to quit when they are winning.

Two recent letters from residents living in Big Canyon chastised Council Members Will O’Neill and Noah Blom for voting to allow the owner of a Shell station to add an automated car wash to his under-built and underutilized property in order to stay competitive and profitable.

Instead of winning graciously and counting their lucky stars that five other council members chose to disregard a 6-1 Planning Commission vote and a City Planning Staff recommendation to approve the project, these residents decided to attack O’Neill and Blom for following our Zoning Code.

Does the Council really want to position itself as the decider of winners and losers in the free market? What happened to the ideas of free enterprise, capitalism and property rights? How quickly these American values go out the window when a group of vociferous residents complain about a business owner trying to compete in a changing business environment.

Their solution is to disregard our zoning code because they made a choice to buy a home overlooking a service station at the intersection of Jamboree and San Joaquin Hills, two of the busiest streets in Newport Beach.

As Councilman O’Neill stated at the meeting, good governance demands that we follow the zoning code as it is written, not to throw it out on a whim.

Councilman Blom concluded, and I agree, doing anything else is “bad business”.

Joe Garrett / Corona del Mar

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