Keep decisions final and fair


This happens from time to time.

Something gets approved by one governmental body or another, and complaints arise after the fact. Sometimes, people just missed the approval process the first time, and never got an opportunity to voice their concerns. Other times, people just don’t realize what they’re getting until it’s there.

Either way, it’s a tough spot.

We’ve seen this with new developments, road construction and, now, Captain Jack’s Mini-Golf in Bethany Beach. Some residents have complained about the noise and bright lights coming from the facility during the summer season. Completely understandable, if you were living adjacent to the business.

However, it really is too late now to make wholesale changes.

For one thing, while it’s important for a town, county, state or federal body to listen to their consitiuents and always continue to strive to improve the quality of life of which they govern, it is also important that people can trust the system. That there is a series of processes designed to most fairly and accurately reach a conclusion that is best for all parties. Certainly, an appeals process is always desired, but it’s probably too late to make significant changes after a business or development is already running.

Which brings us to our second reason. The business owners have gone into these endeavors with the belief that they are allowed to do what they were approved to do. They make plans, pay for design help, invest money into materials and put the sweat equity into their dreams, while adhering to the specifics they were approved for.

What if a governing body then announced that they have to start over from scratch? That their whole business plan was wiped out after all the initial investing was done?

They’d have problems. And we’d all have a system with problems.