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The Lake News Online
  • Top Ten stories of 2013: 3 — Trouble in P&Z ‘Paradise’

  • From amped-up bars to mismatched maps and tracts of unzoned acreage, Camden County Planning & Zoning was awash in troubles during 2013.
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  • From amped-up bars to mismatched maps and tracts of unzoned acreage, Camden County Planning & Zoning was awash in troubles during 2013. "Another week, another P&Z controversy," one Facebook commentator put it succinctly.  While P&Z may not have been in the news every week literally, it certainly had more than its fair share of attention-grabbing headlines. Proposed changes to the county's ordinance for P&Z enforcement trickled over into the year from 2012 before dying out due to protests from citizens. A permit application for outdoor music at Paradise Tropical Restaurant & Bar met with staunch resistance from neighboring residents with a lawsuit filed in an attempt to make the county enforce its code. Instead acoustic paneling and other abatement policies were approved through the permit after an appeal of the initial denial. The issue went quiet with the end of the summer tourist season, but the effectiveness of the sound deadening measures is sure to be tested this spring. A proposed satellite parking lot for the Gators entertainment complex has also gone back and forth in P&Z this year as Prewitt Enterprises weighs its options for a 28-plus acre tract. This property and others in the area have gone unzoned since P&Z implementation in 2004 due to confusion over the boundaries of the Village of Four Seasons. Confusion was also the name of the game in an unexplained difference in P&Z maps from the 1997 election and the 2004 public hearings. As 2013 ends, this issue and other rising questions about the standing of P&Z and its related fees and requirements remain unanswered and unresolved.
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