Spot zoning is generally a pernicious practice used in cities that impacts an individual or a small group. Picture a proposal for a variance to allow a gas station next to a residence. The homeowner would object, but many people two or three blocks away wouldn’t care and might even welcome a convenient gas station. If left to a majority vote the variance, or spot zoning, would go through.
Establishing a small area around a fire tower to allow the tower to stay in spite of the general rules governing the area has been called spot zoning [“Out, out damn spot zoning” January/February 2011]. This is a mischaracterization. In allowing a fire tower to remain no one person is impacted more than another. The general public is impacted for good or evil depending on one’s point of view.
I come down on the side of those who want to retain the fire towers. One should remember that the towers’ original purpose was to preserve the forest, not to advance one group’s interest over another’s. We should retain this bit of history and thank those whose past efforts helped preserve the forest for all of us and for future generations.
Frank Guilfoil, Marcy