I read the Jan. 10 article discussing drainage “hurdles” for long-planned developments and am amazed that projects approved over 10 years ago have never been built. Developers have held onto their construction entitlements under the 2004 Vested Rights Act that allowed them to be approved and literally “banked” for up to 16 years.
Common sense morality tells me that if you come before a town with plans to build literally anything, and those plans are approved, you have “talked the talk.” The idea that you can now play a game with your approval or entitlement and not be required to “walk the walk” in a timely fashion is patently absurd.
This is nothing but “development insurance,” and it is an unseemly advantage for any developer to get his approvals lined up and then “wait things out” for up to 16 years, only paying (I would think) minimal taxes on undeveloped property.
But now the “vested angel” wants her due because of drainage and flood issues that have changed the course of some of these entitlements.
I wish I could pay for stock and lock in a price, then tell the seller that I may want to change my mind in 10 or 15 years so just hold onto it and we’ll renegotiate later. Yes, it’s a silly comparison, but I still don’t get this self-serving deal for developers.
If you approach a town and receive approvals, you should be given a limited, yet understandable and due-diligent amount of time, to put a shovel in the ground and build. Sixteen years is ridiculous.
It has happened in Mount Pleasant, where a developer is finally building something that looks nothing like the original rose-colored grand scheme and design brought to the planning staff and the town about 10 years ago.
For many years, this property sat there with nothing happening as an adjacent developer pleaded and finally won his case to have Hungryneck Boulevard extended to meet his traffic considerations for his already-completed development. I guess “vested” means “whatever and whenever.”