Anytime I have ever gotten a building permit I was check to see if my building and reason for building conformed with the building and zoning codes.
What happened with the “Soup Lady” appears to me to be one of those better to do it now and ask for forgiveness later.
What happened is the complex was built so the woman could cook and feed the needy on site; what happened is no one got a permit to allow the change in zoning resulting in the county disallowing her to serve food on-site, instead she must continue carrying her soup to locations around the county.
The builder who built the complex for the “Extreme Makeover” TV show said the county knew what the building was going to be used for. Great, but my contractors always wanted to see my permit before they started construction.
The blame lies not only with the builder, but the county for allowing the construction without the zoning change.
I’m sure the schedule was rushed because of the TV production, but now we have a mess, a beautiful complex that can’t serve the purpose for which it was built.
I have mixed feelings regarding the zoning. Seeing the ‘foreigners’ who appeared in opposition, those who left crime filled cities to come to peaceful Sussex County feared the scum of the earth would cross their lawns to a bowl of soup.
But, drug and alcohol addicts don’t look for food, they look for money to get their fix. Traffic could be another problem, but there is enough land for off-street parking.
I agree with Board of Adjustment member John Mills, who criticized the homebuilder for acting extremely irresponsibly by building a structure with that intent and not coming before his board and explaining their actions.
Thousands of volunteers worked for what they believed to be a good cause.
I will be interested when the show airs in November how they explain the building is useless because of a bureaucratic foul-up.