Friday, January 15, 2010

Nic Nak Liquors Not Yet Agendized by City Council

As many of you know, approval of the Nic Nak Liquor Store by the City Planning Commission was appealed to the City Council by concerned residents including members of the East Lorin Neighborhood Association and the Shattuck Crime Prevention Council. A written appeal was submitted pointing out in excrutiating detail the flawed justification of the Planning Commission. Interestingly, the appeal was submitted in mid-October, yet the matter has yet to be agendized by the City. Members of the Community were told the matter would likely be agendized in January then it was pushed back to February, yet we still don't have a firm date. We suspect the City is having difficulty in completing the staff report which must address each and every point raised in the appeal. The approval by the City Planning Commission failed to adequately take into account the entirety of the public record, discounted or disregarded important elements of the public record, and then essentially fabricated a new definition for variances to approve the project.

Importantly, a new issue has been raised by the community. A review of public ownership records shows that the land is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ashrious Pannell, but the building itself in which the proposed liquor use would reside is owned by Mr. Robert Oosley. Mr. Oosley is not one of the applicants and was not on the application that was approved by the Planning Commission. Normally, an applicant for a permit must have adequate site control with an appropriate legal site interest such as fee title, long-term lease, or other acceptable ownership so they can agree to and satisfy the conditions of the permit. Also, the City must ensure the applicant has adequate site control so they can enforce any conditions that are imposed on the project or on the land. In this case, most of the conditions of approval relate to both the land and the building. Apparently, the applicants have been questioned by the City and have informed them that Oosely is the maiden name of Mrs. Pannell. While that may be the case, it does not prove or verify that the Pannell's have an adequate site interest to be issued a permit. Mr. Robert Oosley is not Mrs. Ashrious Pannell. There is a split in ownership. Some members of the Community contend the Pannells must either have Mr. Oosley as a co-applicant or they must purchase the building from Mr. Oosely or enter into a long-term lease agreement with Mr. Oosley or some other acceptable form of legal site. With a split in ownership, the existing permit approved by the City Planning Commission may be invalid. In any case, the City must clear up this discrepancy in ownership before the matter is agendized by the City Council as it may not be ripe for review.