Wednesday, November 16, 2005

CAC Smackdown

You've got to love the Critical Area Commission (CAC). Here you've got one State body that actually seems to have no qualms standing up for the environment and protecting our shared resources. They, as one of the final lines of defense, didn't hesitate to tell Janet Owens and Jack Keene to take their unwanted and inappropriate schemes for Franklin Point Park back to the drawing board, and now they're standing up to Stephen "Rubber Stamp" LeGendre, in the case of the home/lighthouse/pool on Little Dobbins Island.

LeGendre is the County Hearing Officer who racked up an 86 percent approval rate for variance requests in 2003, and who determined that developer Daryl Wagner's illegally built home on the Magothy could remain (but that the pool, gazebo, and lighthouse had to go). The Critical Area Commission believes that the variance standards weren't met, and is appealing the County's decision to let the house stand.

So, not only did Wagner not get the permits to build his house, he violated State Critical Area laws as well. And, he's a builder who should know better. Mr. Wagner's lawyer, Robert Fuoco, presumably beginning to feel the heat of several State agencies breathing down his neck, is apparently searching for a settlement, "It appears as if this case will take several years, and with a lot of resources involved, unless everyone is willing to sit down and figure out a reasonable accommodation."

Ideal response from the powers-that-be: "Not unless that "accomodation" involves razing your client's home and accompanying kitsch paradise, reforesting the island, and going back to the proper agencies, hat in hand to plead that Mr. Wagner doesn't deserve the maximum penalties allowed by the law."

As West/Rhode Riverkeeper Bob Gallagher said, "Failure of government to enforce the law doesn't give anyone the incentive to follow it," particularly those without a well defined sense of right and wrong.

Crimes Against the Magothy: Exhibit A

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