Lot ordinance necessary

April 7, 2011

Did the Bonner Springs City Council cave into the crowd from a local bar as the article in The Chieftain seems to say? Is really “unfair” as the bar owner asserts to limit the use of the public parking lot to four times a year and to require a permit and a fee to do so? It is illegal not to do so?

Is it really too much to ask that business owners adhere to the law when operating their businesses; that they restrict their operations to their own property; that they not disturb neighbors, residents, churches and other businesses with their activities?

Has someone forgotten that residents and individual property owners have a right under common law to the use and enjoyment of their property? Has the council forgotten that for four years residents have appeared in person, and by petition before the city council, to question the appropriateness of private businesses using public, tax-supported parking lots — without cost to the business for private, profit-making endeavors?

Is it in the best interest of the community for the city council to provide preferential treatment for one business that seems to think it should have what it wants, simply by asking; or is it asking? It begins to appear more like persuasion by intimidation.

And if the city council is intimidated by the “crowd of supporters of events” for the bar, what are the residents of this community supposed to do?

The council has been presented with an ordinance to limit the use of the public parking lots. It was well researched and clearly written. It is an ordinance that is fair and uniform to all businesses and brings this city into compliance with surrounding cities, none of which allows or provides the use of their parking lots for private business use. The liability to the city is inherent in such use.

It has been asserted that the ordinance is vaguely written; it is not. It has been suggested that the ordinance is “unfair.” It is clearly fair in that it provides for any use of the public parking lots by private, for-profit businesses at all. There is no legal basis, without the ordinance, for allowing any use at all — particularly where residents have protested such use.

The ordinance clearly defines the use, scope, time frame, definition of both profit and nonprofit businesses as well, the need for permits and the requirement of a fee. In addition it requires that such use be regulated — as it should be.

Why then has this ordinance not passed? It is not the fault of the ordinance, which is badly needed and clearly written. It would correct an issue that has driven a wedge between people in this community for more than five years, has pitted friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor. If it is not intimidation, then what is it?

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