Ken Leighton 3:42 p.m., July 16
Appeal over Romney's proposed remodel dropped. Project set to move forward.
Appeal due to lack of public notice was dropped two days after Ann Romney appeared at City Council hearing.
Who says non-agenda public comment at city council meetings doesn't have any impact? Of course, it helps when your last name is Romney.
On Thursday, two days after Ann Romney, wife of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, showed up unannounced at Tuesday's council hearing to "express concern" over the notification process for her proposed home remodel, the appeal has been withdrawn.
On Tuesday, Romney slammed the city's development services department
"The hearing officer's decision on the coastal development permit and site development permit for my home was appealed due to potential defects with the public notice. Notice defects can be problematic for transparent government and public participation, two things that Mitt and I strongly support."
According to Romney's testimony, the city clerk's office was late to publish the hearing notice, reducing the required period for public comment on any potential environmental concerns. That's when the appeal was filed.
"This appeal is being filed out of an abundance of caution," reads the appeal filed on May 29, 2013. "The subject of the appeal relates to the environmental determination. Environmental determinations are appealable to the City Council. However, the notice for this project is unclear about the appeal process and the legal authority the process is derived from."
After testifying about her own experience, Romney then focused her statements on San Diego's permitting process. She brought up the recent report by the State Auditor's Office that found several "shortcomings," as Romney put it, with San Diego's Development Services Department.
"I urge you to make sure that stronger protections are put in place in the future so that permits are processed efficiently and correctly and the public is afforded the proper notice and opportunity to be heard."
The Planning Commission will discuss the proposal at a June 27 hearing.