Common sense, William Logan believes, ought to prevail.

Common sense, William Logan believes, ought to prevail.

That's why the vice chairman of the Northland Community Council Development Committee raised a red flag at last month's meeting when a rezoning case came up for consideration. The committee shouldn't consider the matter, Logan said, at least not for purposes of taking a vote, as long as there are outstanding code violation citations on the property.

"I looked through, as we took up that issue, our committee procedures that I inherited ... some years back and there wasn't anything hard and fast that said we wouldn't hear something about a property where there were outstanding citations," Chairman Dave Paul said last week.

There will be from now on, more or less.

Paul said he planned to discuss the matter with members of the advisory panel, but that in general he intends to advise applicants that cases won't be considered for a formal recommendation if violations of the graphics or zoning code are outstanding.

Applicants in the future are being asked, along with a host of other questions, to reveal if there are any current citations on the property, according to Paul.

"We're sort of putting them on notice that they may weigh heavily in the committee's willingness to hear a case," he added.

By the same token, the committee chairman said he would rather not put down a strict rule because he doubts the members of the panel would want to stand in the way of progress as long as a developer is making a good-faith effort to resolve code violation issues.

"It can get complicated," Paul said. "As someone pointed out, it could take some time to clear code violations. We don't want to impede the whole development process if someone is taking concrete steps."

"A lot of what we do deal with relies on common sense, and this last issue is not the first time this has come up," Logan said last week. "The general basic understanding of the committee is it does not appear to be a good idea, it doesn't serve the community, when an applicant comes before us asking essentially ... a favor that they wish to do something outside the rules and at the same time be violating those same rules.

"Back to the common sense issue, we would simply request that they tidy up their affairs and join the rest of the citizenry in being good citizens and play by the rules before they ask us to go out beyond the rules," Logan said.

"It smacks of disregard for the committee, the process of the community, when an applicant has that kind of issue."

In the case of the rezoning application on the agenda April 29 that involved an East Dublin Granville Road site with several graphics citations still pending, Paul said the property owner and his attorney agreed to have the matter heard on an informal basis, a "look-see," in the parlance of the development panel, so it didn't matter that there was nothing specific in the committee's procedures.

"If the applicant had been a little less gracious about it, we would have to formalize that whole line of thinking," Paul said.

"It provides a legitimate mechanism to see that the code is complied with on those issues," Logan said.