News Flash: Batcave Embroiled in Zoning Dispute

Millionaire Bruce Wayne filed an appeal with the Gotham City Board of Zoning Adjustment yesterday morning following the rejection by the City Planning Commission of an application for a Special Use Permit covering a facility known as “The Batcave.”  Mr. Wayne is representing local personality Batman, the ostensible owner of the cave, who according to Mr. Wayne is temporarily unavailable.

The case arose after neighbors noticed an unusual amount of noise coming from the vicinity of property near Wayne Manor, Mr. Wayne’s residence.  Neighbors reported sightings of low-flying aircraft and jet-propelled cars in what is otherwise a quiet residential neighborhood.  Subsequent investigation by the city led to the discovery of the Batcave facility, which was found to be in violation of the zoning rules for that district.

“I am astonished,” said Louis W. Quaggmyre, the Planning Commissioner for the district in which the Batcave is located.  “The request to give this obviously non-conforming use a legal basis is absurd.  Here we have a facility being used as a garage, an airport hanger, a data-processing center, a laboratory–we assume a power generation facility as well…even if we don’t know where it is exactly, how is any of this consistent with the uses defined in the Residential-Agricultural district that covers the general area?”

During the initial zoning review, Mr. Wayne argued that the uses described should fall under the definition of “legal nonconforming” on the grounds that the Batcave already existed when the current zoning rules were adopted.  He declined to provide evidence to back that claim.

The application for the Special Use Permit was offered as a way to break the impasse, Mr. Wayne asserted.  A Planned Unit Development designation had been considered but rejected by Batman.  Applying for PUD zoning would have required a definitive land survey to show the location of the district boundaries, which presented certain security problems.

James Gordon, the Gotham City Police Commissioner, appeared in support of the permit, pointing out the important work Batman had performed in the course of public safety and crime-fighting.

“If Batman is that keen on law and order,” responded Lionel R. Albatross, the District 27 Planning Commissioner, “he ought to appreciate the importance of abiding by municipal zoning regulations.”

The Planning Commission went on to deny the application.  The case will be heard before the Board of Zoning Adjustment in six weeks’ time.  Meanwhile, the city has ordered the Batcave to cease operations until the case is resolved.

In other news, city leaders are at a loss to explain an overnight spike in crime rates in the Gotham City area.

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