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Arizona's First Political Blog

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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009
War Against The Clown

The average citizen has limited, if any, contact with their city government. Outside of library, park, or the emergency services it's pretty mysterious. So if you are not involved in a crime in some way, have your house on fire, or need a copy of "My Pet Goat" city government is just some distant thing that tends to hold their elections at wacky times.

That is until you want to to do something crazy... like build on your property or open a business. Then you enter some strange some circle of Hell. Coyote Blog has a number of posts on the subject, from what it takes to serve coffee to remodeling his pool.

Then there is Jack in The Box

Now not all go for the power of Jack, but the food has helped me meet my business travel budget and I like the ads. Years ago when I lived in Chandler, the local franchise at the corner of Chandler & Arizona Avenue won a special place in my heart for resisting the power of city-backed developers.

Then I read this:

Those flat-roofed, chunky Jack in the Box restaurants built in Valley downtowns during the 1960s and '70s have been thorns in the side of urban redevelopment since disco balls went out of style...

... Phoenix and Mesa forced the chain's downtown spots to rebuild and move or leave.

Municipal officials have complained that Jack in the Box restaurants that went up when hippies were groovy don't fit in with modern multi-story clusters of upscale condos, shops and restaurants.

I think that's sweet that private businesses, ones that apparently are doing well enough to remain in business since "disco balls", have been forced out of their prime locations because local city officials want to replace them with visions of Richard Florida's new urbanism. So it's not enough to jump government hurdles to start a business, but then you have to remain in the good graces of local bureaucrats to stay in business. Note the article doesn't say the Jack in the Box restaurants had health or business problems, they were simply tacky and in the way.

Then lo and behold guess which Jack franchisee is causing problems again...

The 30-year-old Jack in the Box in downtown Chandler was supposed to be demolished and moved years ago after city planners decided in 2000 that a restaurant represented by a huge white head with a pointed nose and party hat "does not meet the intent of 'dining' within the City Center District designation."

May I never get on the wrong side of a city government's intent.

Darn city officials, probably all milkshake hating extremists