Planning Commission Demands Awesomeness Documentation – April 1, 2012
Eye Staff Report
CITY HALL, APRIL 1 – In a sharp rebuke to Community Development Dept. staff, the Planning Commission last week called a staff report “incomplete” and ordered it rewritten.
At issue was a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for “The Ammo Nook,” a new manufacturing facility and store to be sited in the former LDS Meeting House location on A Street.
The facility would include arms manufacturing and a retail shop stocked with everything from bullets to hand grenades as well as an assortment of land mines and flamethrowers.
Outside on A Street, a 40-foot-tall AR-15 assault rifle replica would slowly rotate on a pedestal, rivaling Pierson’s “big hammer” and the McKinleyville Shopping Center’s Totem Pole in grandeur.
The CUP app was deemed “insufficient” by planning staff after applicant Al Flork failed to fill out the pre-application checklist. A copy attached to the agenda showed that “BITE ME, OBAMA” had been scrawled on each page in what appeared to be crayon.
A Street neighbors roundly criticized the project as inappropriate to the neighborhood. Retired librarian Gertrude Glink said the giant rotating rifle would swivel past her kitchen window just 10 feet away once every minute, and that the loudspeaker blaring recorded sounds of rounds being fired would probably lead her cats to commit suicide.
Speaking for Flork, Eureka attorney Bill Blurt of Rip, Rend, Babble and Blurt, said the audio component was part of an “edgy multimedia marketing approach,” which would also include gunpowder-scented incense puffing out of the rifle’s one foot-diameter barrel.
Blurt described The Ammo Nook as “a holistic, artisinal ammunition dump reflecting Arcata’s exciting past and well-armed future.”
Blurt praised Flork as a husband, father, birther and advocate for a faith-based Bureau of Weights and Measures.
“He’s a fine gentleman,” Blurt told the Planco. “Or as you in Arcata might say, a totally righteous dude.”
One of Flork’s employees, Dirk Lackey, praised his boss as “way cool, whatever, can I go home now?”
Elderly Arcata Bottom resident Elba Dupree recalled babysitting Flork when he was a tot, a child and a teenager.
“He used to cut my grass,” Dupree said. “He was a very nice boy.”
The character testimonials made Planning Commission Chair Nate Bagley sit up straight.
Thumbing through the staff report, Bagley said that “nowhere in these 42 pages do I see anything about Mr. Flork’s righteousness, not to mention that it is ‘total.’”
“Further,” intoned Bagley as he glared at Community Development Director Barry Flotzer, how are we to make an informed decision without a finding that the applicant is, in fact, “cool?” This could be key to the project’s success. Look, we simply need to know these things before we can make findings.”
In crisp tones, Bagley admonished Flotzer to add an “awesome” check box under name and title on all project applications so that commissioners would know the caliber of applicant they were dealing with.
“If I may, I have a question,” said the chastened Flotzer. “What if the applicant is ‘bitchin,’ or possibly ‘gnarly-ass?’”
The solution turned out to be a ready-made “Awesomeness Glossary” now available from the U.S. Dept. of Shizzle, which will be appended to the City’s Land Use Code.