Holland Zones In On Problems

June 21, 1991|By Angela Gambill | Angela Gambill,Staff writer

"Dutch" Holland wants to be your "heavy."

The councilman urged about 50 District 3 community leaders Wednesday night to bring their zoning problems to him so he can lean on public officials and obtain quick results.

"If the complaint comes from me (to the zoning enforcement office), believe me, that works," he said.

Citizens don't even have to give their names if they're worried about irritating their neighbors, he said.

"If (offenders) want to argue, they can come up and arguewith me. We'll be the heavy," he said.

In an offer reminiscent ofthe old political machines, Holland promised citizens frustrated with repeat offenders he would resolve their difficulties -- by pulling strings or making the right phone calls.

"There's something they're involved with somewhere . . . somebody I would know," he explained."If they're builders, a permit can take two days or eight months. I'm using the power of the office."

The meeting at the Poplar Ridge community building was Holland's second gathering of the Council of Civic Associations, which the councilman formed to keep community representatives from his district informed about county business.

During the meeting, representatives from the county's planning and zoningdepartment explained the zoning enforcement procedure, including thefact that a complaint must be made in writing, although it can be anonymous.

They emphasized that zoning officials are not in charge of enforcing community covenants, health regulations such as rat infestation or sewage problems, or building codes.

Fines -- meant to scare violators into mending their ways -- will be collected, even if the county must take someone to court. One violator who kept moving locations and wracking up fines ended up paying $1,870.

Holland acknowledged that many people have had problems with zoning violations inhis district.

"It's my job to make sure they're corrected," he said. "We ask you just to call us and give us the information. The complaint will go to zoning enforcement, but it will come from me."

"Your name is not gonna appear or nothing, but you're our eyes and ears," he said.

He listed zoning problems that have been cleared up, including cars left for sale at a food mart, shingles cleaned up from Nabbs Creek Road and heavy equipment sitting on the end of a pier.

"We were fighting two years in the situation with business equipment," one neighbor testified. "We went to Mr. Holland, and it was cleared up in 2 1/2 weeks."

Joked Holland, "And because of that, I'm gonna need a bodyguard."

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