Friday, November 20, 2009

offsetting costs

A government budgets' numbers may say a lot but they certainly don't say everything. It would be disingenuous to flout a lower budget number when the costs were simply offset onto other parties.

For example, there is a guy in my nabe who was in the process of developing a six-story condo building as of right, in an area thats a mix of homes and apartment buildings. Some of the neighbors complained loudly to the local council member and had the area downzoned within a matter of months. In the interim the developer of course tried as best as he could to get his project vested to protect his interests, and so he engaged in illegal construction practices by racing the clock (working over hours) to beat the new zoning changes. In the end he was able to pour his foundation before the zoning change was made, but at the cost of quality and having to pay through the nose for the labor.

During those frantic months, the neighbors were constantly complaining to the DOB, having inspectors constantly visit and hassle the construction teams all in an effort to stop the project from getting vested. At the end when the developer thought he was vested, the neighborhood alliance complained to the DOB and he ended up having to go before the BSA which is the last authority on zoning and variance grants, and they ruled against the developer saying that his foundation wasn't to the original approved architectural/engineering specifications it was thus incomplete and any project would be subject to the new downzoning, basically making his project financially impossible to complete.

Now get this; he presumingly paid for the land based upon the allowable development rights, the city changes that while he is already underway with approved plans (which can take months to get from the city!), and he went through the trouble of obtaining financing, paying labor, architects, inspectors, permits, etc.

Now here is the best part-- it's been almost two years since the city stalled him by making it impossible for him to develop his project-- now the neighbors are bitching about the vacant construction site! So the city is now ordering this victimized developer to clean up his site, repair the construction fence that vandals have been breaking, and who do you think is being coerced to pick up the tag? The victim of course.

Government budgets never tell you the whole story. It's the same with recycling; make your victims pick up the cost of sorting trash so your budget can be that much lower.

1 comment:

CRM said...

It would be disingenuous to flout a lower budget number when the costs were simply offset onto other parties..
Thanks for post...