Design Review Board No.1 had, in an earlier action, ordered that the
house have its top lopped off to conform with the city code. It gave
careful consideration to artistic renderings of two alternate plans that
axed off part of the roof.
Absent one member, the board unanimously asserted that altering the house
to reduce the height some five feet would destroy the integrity of the
At the November hearing, the zoning administrator approved a variance for
El Tovar that cleared the way for the owner to qualify for occupancy by
bringing other conditions up to code. But that was not to be.
Of all 196,000 inhabitants of our fair city, only one filed to have the
zoning administrator's approval appealed to the Board of Zoning
Adjustments, thereby delaying a resolution.
He waited until the absolute 11th hour, hoping against hope that someone
else would do it.
Every concerned citizen has the right to pay $500 and file an appeal
everyone except one who sits on the self-same board that will adjudicate
Is it legal? The city attorney assures us it is. Is it proper? There's
Permit me the following scenario.
What if the Board of Zoning Adjustments hears the appeal and renders a
decision of which the mayor strongly disapproves?
Would she be justified in paying the fee and filing an appeal to the very
public body she chairs as mayor?
If the propriety of this self-serving action were challenged, would she
be justified in saying : "I waited for someone else to file and no one
did? There is no statute, no ordinance, no charter provision forbidding
"The public should have no worry. I will sanitize this maneuver by
recusing myself. I won't talk during the hearing and I won't vote and I
will surrender the gavel and not chair the meeting."
In this wicked world of odd legalisms and the unfortunate omission of
official language to the contrary - it is legally permissible - but
Permit me to speculate on the mayor's motive.
We know she is sincerely opposed to the action taken. Is dedicated to
reversing it. She is also a very canny politician and we assume she would
not want to embarrass herself by bringing an appeal she expected to lose.