Mount Vernon Letter: County Could Eliminate BZA

Mount Vernon Letter: County Could Eliminate BZA

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I agree with Mr. Spiegel’s letter on “Evaluating Appointees” and do also have high hopes that Supervisor Storck does follow through with his stated commitment of appointing people to committees, boards, etc. that adhere to rules, regulations and codes.

Also in the May 12 Gazette there was an article regarding raising the meal tax. I offer the following as a potential way to help address both issues.

Do away with the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) and their staff. Their random enforcement of zoning codes is total anarchy. We the Fairfax County residents are left in complete disillusionment as to what zoning codes apply and when. The BZA chairman, Mr. Ribble stated in the Feb. 24, 2016 BZA meeting “We can do whatever we want,” when talking about zoning code enforcement. This shows a complete lack of respect for existing, approved by the Fairfax County residents, rules codes and regulations. I believe that this attitude would or should be inconsistent with Mr. Storck’s “Statement of Commitment.”

For example my case SP2015-MV-145 the BZA, under Mr. Ribble’s guidance, permitted my neighbor to leave in place a storage shed that by zoning code, due to its height, would be required to be located 12.5 feet from my property line, to reside 1.2 feet from my property line. Since then the neighbor has added to the roof line and reduced the distance to my property line to 8 inches.

Doing away with the BZA and the staff would save millions of dollars thus reducing at least in part the need for the meal tax increase. The zoning inspectors could stay and if a violation is noted by them the Sheriff could enforce adherence to the Fairfax County resident approved codes. If the codes need changing, let the residents approve the changes, not random decision-making by some elite appointed assembly. With no BZA, BZA staff dollars would be saved and the residents of Fairfax County would have a clear understanding of what the codes are. Everybody wins.

Gregory J. Maley