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A ruling Monday by the Board of Zoning Adjustment may finally end months of debate about what to do about an illegal building. After a third, long, public hearing, BOZA handed down its decision.
Javanon and many of the people who live near it have been involved in a long, loud disagreement. Neither side is completely satisfied with the outcome, but most on both sides agree it's time to settle up and move on.
One Javanon parent, Sandy Steier, said on Monday, "When the building was finished, we were very disappointed to find out there may have been some mistakes made during the construction process."
Javanon Soccer had denied wrongdoing in the past, and even threatened to file suit instead of seeking Zoning Adjustment approval for its illegal building. But on Monday it was apologetic and willing to make amends. "We've tried to do everything that we could that BOZA has requested," said Bob Steinmetz, another Javanon parent.
But Javanon's neighbors continued to ask for strong penalties. Attorney Steve Porter insisted nearby residents are stuck with a big white elephant in the middle of their residential neighborhood because Javanon skipped the zoning process: "It would have been a shorter, better designed, and more attractive and more appropriate building for the location. It would have received intensive review by all parties including Javanon, staff, and the neighborhood."
Javanon has put up a fence at the front of the property and agreed to install major landscaping -- trees and shrubs which will eventually screen the building. But BOZA turned down a request the building be painted or that cosmetic changes be made to improve its look.
BOZA member Leah Stewart said, "Because we heard testimony, it meets the minimum requirements. I'm not sure there is anything we can do." But BOZA chairwoman Judy Francis pointed out, "I think these folks need to be scrutinized in the future, anything involving this property."
In the end, BOZA ordered frequent inspections to insure Javanon completes improvements and observes rules limiting noise, traffic, and light pollution. In return, Javanon's illegal building will be able to operate legally.
Neighbor George Verzolles was asked, "Do you hope it's finally over?" He replied, "I hope so. If they complete their commitment, it should be over, I hope."