Re: Item 22, Ordinance Extending by 12 Months Development Entitlement Approval Periods or Expiration Dates
Village Laguna values the existing deliberative process for granting extensions of time for Design Review and other approvals. Any applicant whose approval is about to expire can pay $265 and ask for a two-year extension, and at the end of that period, for an additional fee, he can ask for an additional year. The public hearing in response to this application gives the board an opportunity to assess whether either the zoning code or neighborhood conditions have changed materially since the approval, and, where it finds that they haven’t, it approves the extension.
The proposed ordinance would grant these extensions automatically, bypassing any consideration of possible problems. We appreciate that the ordinance’s objectives are limited to one-year extensions and that it sunsets at the end of 2010, but we object to it anyway.
Because of the way the system works, some of the expiring approvals may be five years old already, and material changes may well have taken place in the interim. We’d like to see the board continue to take a look at them before extensions are granted.
In particular, we oppose the revival of approvals that have already expired. The people who allowed them to die could have kept them alive for $265 each, and it seems unfair to the others who paid to go through the process that you should hand them this gift.
We urge you to let the extension procedure continue to operate as originally intended.