Those optimists in our village who believe that our mayor’s replacement of Epley cronies on the Architectural Review Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board with Jesse Warren cronies are living in a fool’s paradise. These three government bodies are still burdened with and enforcing the local laws and unfair procedures embedded in their modus operandi to ensure that the gifts to developers and second-home owners continue unabated at the expense, and to the detriment, of the owner-voters in our village.
Sure, Jesse and other members of his administration read my letters to the editor and then introduce one or two improvements to the way the boards arrive at their decisions. But isolated changes cannot make up for the intrinsic unfairness of the laws and procedures they are enforcing. Heaven knows, the three lawyers in whom the ARB, ZBA and Planning Board have placed their trust have replaced the corrupt motivations of their predecessors with equally damaging unshakable ignorance.
Take just one recent example, the February 15 meeting of the zoning board, which I stumbled upon last night. Three times, the chair asked for a vote to “approve the decision as written,” without so much as one word of public deliberation — thereby, for instance, approving a bathtub-sized so-called “swimming pool” over protests from the belatedly informed owners on the street, violating setbacks on properties that ensured the continued charm of the local street.
But who had actually read that “decision,” which was not written by the ZBA members chosen or kept on board by our mayor. The lawyer who wrote the decision has never checked whether there were additional legal constrictions forbidding changes on the property, or unvoiced objections by other owners on the street beyond the immediate neighbors.
For more than a decade, I have requested that the Building Department make available to the general public any written decision at least 10 days prior to an actual ZBA vote. These lawyers’ so-called decisions have been replete with flaws and actual misrepresentations, which the public should be able to challenge before a vote, instead of being forced into a costly court proceeding.
Don’t you think that our village may benefit from having just one trustee on the board who can alert the village to the violations committed by the three potentially powerful regulatory boards, thus at last ending the disastrous overdevelopment?
Attorney at law
One fine body…