This is timely. I spent the better part of last night in a zoning and planning board meeting. I'm the IT director for a couple of small private schools for Kids with Dyslexia. One of our schools is currently located in the basement of a really old church. It works for us now, but our lease is running out and we need more space to grow.
We found a generous landlord willing to lease us space (way below market rates) in a brand new building - it's beautiful. It is part of a small financial complex, and the space is perfect for our needs. This landlord sees this as a temporary growth space, and he is offering to renovate a larger abandoned school for us over the next two years as our permanent home. He has a philanthropic foundation that would fund the renovation.
But there is one problem. The current (temporary) building has commercial/retail/office/daycare zoning. It does not currently have school zoning as an approved use.
We tried to argue the fact that currently "daycare" is an approved use, and teaching little kids how to read isn't a significantly different use. They didn't want to hear it. The sticking point? Parking. The landlord needs to completely redo a traffic/parking study to show how taking a few parking spaces from an enormous parking lot and dedicating them as "pickup and drop-off" spaces will impact the remainder of the parking lot.
Keep in mind, the entire parking lot and complex is privately owned by the landlord - there is no public parking anywhere in this complex. Presumably any parking problems would be the business of the tenants and the landlord.
That's what we thought, be we were wrong. The town denied our application and that means there will be no summer program this year.
So tell me - Government preventing a bunch of kids getting summer reading enrichment over a handful (3) of parking spaces is a good thing?
Sorry - people that extoll the virtues of Government have not had complex enough dealings with government to know any better.