Kicking the Law in the Teeth (5/5/09)
Imagine someone bought the home next door to yours, tore it down and built a gas station in its place -- and when you complained to the zoning board, they told you that since it was already built, they'd just let it remain because razing it would be excessive punishment.
Well, that's pretty much what happened to the Tucker Station neighbors of the Javanon Soccer Club, after the Metro Board of Zoning Adjustment made a similar ruling in connection with the 23,000 square foot facility the club recently built without getting the proper zoning clearances.
But wait - it gets better.
Ali Ahmadi, the founder and president of Javanon, also happens to be the Metro Public Works engineering supervisor who handled the plans for the facility.
And we've now learned that members of the city zoning board met in secret -- in violation of Kentucky's Open Meetings Law -- just before voting on the final disposition of the case.
Of course, the city did place a warning in Ahmadi's personnel file for his role in the incident. But I'm guessing that won't have the president of an independent business quaking in his soccer shoes.
It's often been said it's easier to act first and seek forgiveness than to ask for permission. But that isn't the way the law should work. And in this case, there should have been a far bigger price for Javanon to pay.
But what do you think? Call and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.