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Dear Greenville Busibody Planner Types

Dear Greenville Busibody Planner Types:  It's our city, and it lives and grows as we shape it through our own daily activities.  And if you won't defend our rights to do so freely, big corporations are going to fight back for us.  Sorry if that collision of ideas dazzles your nu-liberal brains.

"The resurgence of Greenville's North Main Street sector has brought with it new challenges — and legal action — for how the budding residential area can co-exist with businesses interested in capitalizing on the area's revival.

Over the past few months, an unlikely symbol of the debate has emerged in the form of black-and-yellow block text that reads “Waffle House.”

"The iconic diner wants its slice of the success along North Main. Residents who have worked to make the neighborhood desirable are worried about what a place open 24 hours might mean.

In the middle is the city and new rules it pushed through to limit Waffle House's plans for a 24-hour restaurant at North Main and Stone Avenue.

Now the battle has moved to the courts.

In a lawsuit, Waffle House alleges that the city unconstitutionally denied the restaurant its right to use its property when the city passed a law requiring it and other businesses like it to seek special permission to operate after midnight and in the wee hours of the morning.

The city said in an answer that it has every right to plan for how its future is developed

The only legitimate position of a just government is as ultimate arbiter between the people.  This is not ever a pre-emptive activity.  Appropriate regulation may arise out of history and precedent, greatly simplifying the job of helping people get along, and this regulation will necessarily often be arbitrary - but is must never be capricious.

There is a very high standard for curtailing the activities of free people.  The nervous wailings of the fearful ignorants do not meet that standard.  Without a clear and consistent history of how 24-hour diners have routinely wrecked homes a mile away, the North Main Mafia has no business interfering with this development. 

Plus, I get the munchies at 3 am sometimes.


Shawn Mahaney
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