Permits for the rich and famous

Super disappointing article. This article seems like just more of the machine cranking out drivel under a deadline. "What are we going to write about this week for the sheep? I know, cheap swipe hack work at the usual easy target; rich/successful is bad. Yep, that'll work. Send it to press." The cheap swipe aside, it demonstrates a total lack of understanding with regard to how difficult it is to get a project, any project, through San Diego City government. If you want the real story, ask any small business owner, from the local dog sitting business to a restaurateur about how absolutely infuriating it is to work with the various city department to get permits. Completely conflicting requirements, apathy and sometime well meaning but misguided interpretations of building codes create absolute gridlock that kill many businesses before they even open. Now imagine you're not opening a business in a friendly neighborhood, but rather building a home in that shark tank called La Jolla where every neighbor with a McMansion is concerned about "bulk and mass" and how it might encroach on their view or privacy. And these neighbors all know someone who knows someone on the architectural committee, building department, etc. to whom they can complain to try to stop construction of a neighboring house. This is all in addition to the usual difficulties of winding one's way through the labyrinthine building approval process. While "lobbyist" is a loaded word, here it means someone with the knowledge to navigate this otherwise overwhelming morass to get something done. Architects, engineers have to do this everyday for their clients on normal projects and their fees for doing so make Mr. Peterson's look paltry. Hiring a professional to deal with the roadblocks thrown up by sophisticated yet petty neighbors, various community committees and city government doesn't, in and of itself, indicate corruption. If you want to do something meaningful, go talk to an architect or general contractor for one of these projects and get the whole story as to why a "lobbyist" was necessary rather than just slinging mud.
— September 25, 2012 11:45 a.m.

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