The harm Mark Epley did to Southampton Village lingers on. Furthermore, clueless village regulatory boards, such as the Board of Architectural Review and Historic Preservation and the Zoning Board of Appeals, continue to make their pro-developer and anti-villager decisions based on illegal and biased rules, which are to blame for loss of historic sites, the suburbanization of local neighborhoods, the loss of two-thirds of the village’s year-round population, and the overbuild.
Right after the election, in 2005, the Epley bunch had put down the groundwork for enforcing the illegal zoning code, making applications to village regulatory boards a sure thing for spec builders. He emasculated the regulatory boards, filling members’ heads with pap about each board’s supposed duty to enforce the zoning code.
Instead, those boards were and are responsible to the village, the dwindling number of year-round residents. The zoning code does not grant applications. Only regulatory boards have that power, until Elbert W. Robinson took that power away from them.
Here’s how he manipulated the regulatory boards:
The ARB, for instance. He turned that board into a sewing circle, calling it “an aesthetic board,” although there isn’t a single architect on that board. Yet the members go on about “fenestration” while ignoring and abandoning their mission: “To preserve what is valuable or desirable in our village and in our neighborhoods.”
The dramatic failure of the ARB, the result of its disastrous decisions over the 15 years past, and still going on, can be seen on Burnett Street, on Woolley Street, on Halsey Street, and most clearly in the 67-lot Rosko Place subdivision. Created by Leo Rosko for the village middle class, this quiet, family neighborhood had open lawns, well-kept three- and four-bedroom houses, spacious backyards, in-ground pools. Now it reeks of the greed of wannabes.
The deeds forbid pool houses, pergolas and other accessory structures obliterating backyards. Yet the ARB routinely and illegally facilitates developers’ violations of the subdivision owners’ rights, of their deeds, of their common plan and scheme.
Knowledge is power, and knowledge is what’s missing on the ARB.
Attorney at law
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