City, builder need to compromise on 'last stand'
The city council finds itself in a quandary with the burger stand that was not built as proposed.
Tonight, the council and the builder, Mary McClure, will need to settle their differences, but at the least both sides are going to have to give a little.
Mrs. McClure is a longtime builder and developer in Porterville and has had her run-ins with the city and its planning department more than once. In the early 1980s, she and her husband, Clint McClure, hanged the planning commission in effigy over a dispute she was having at the time. In their defense, the McClures have also done several projects without any controversy.
The latest issue involves what Mary McClure once referred to as “The Last Stand,” her final project that is to be a fast food restaurant on East Putnam Avenue just east of Legget Street. A sign indicates it will be home to another Red Onion hamburger stand.
The controversy is the building was not constructed as the plans submitted to the city indicate. The plain, square building looks nothing like the drawing given the city, and to further complicate matters, the project does not conform to all requirements made in the conditional use permit issued for that area in the 1980s.
A city building inspector did sign off as to the correct plumbing, electrical work, but it was when the city was to sign off on the project and turn it over to the occupant that it was discovered it was not built as purposed.
The city has options. It can require the builder to tear down the building and start over, it can require significant modifications, or there can be some compromise. Unfortunately, there is the issue of setting a precedence here. If the building is allowed as is, does that open the door for others to not build what they propose as well?
We would encourage the compromise, but that the builder make significant modifications, especially to those requirements in the conditional use permit and some facade improvements so the building is a little more appealing.