Enchanted Forest Raises Bigger Questions

Mayor's office questioning how permitting process really works.

The scariest thing for council lurking in the Enchanted Forest may not be the annual Halloween attraction.
The scariest thing for council lurking in the Enchanted Forest may not be the annual Halloween attraction. (Photo by Richard Whittaker)

Following on from today's coverage of the Enchanted Forest, the mayor's chief of staff Rich Bailey is asking people to try to calm down while the potential closure gets figured out.

"This doesn't need to be adversarial," said Bailey. He asked that people stop demanding council over-rule the Public Assembly Code Enforcement (PACE) group because, not only can council not get involved in enforcement, but for them to ignore the code violations, "Council needs to turn a blind eye, and we're not going to do that."

But Bailey's bigger question is how all these violations could have built up without city staff and PACE noticing, and with regular re-granting of the site's temporary use permit (which made owner Albert DeLoach think he was operating completely legally.) It's not like the forest was working covertly or under the radar. So, according to Bailey, this is starting to raise some questions about how permits are given, how the re-application process works, and whether the city needs to take a more pro-active, advisory role, rather than waiting for there to be a complaint or (even more direly) a serious accident?

"I have to ask staff, well, what exactly does a temporary permit allow?" said Bailey. "Perhaps the city has to work out a way to make sure temporary means temporary."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

City Council, Enchanted Forest, Public Assembly Code Enforcement, Rich Bailey

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