Mohegan Lake Legal Defense Fund

History of this site

This site was originally set up to fight 3 of 5 zoning variances proposed by the FBC development at Sagamore Trail and Mohegan Ave that eliminates two single family homes while nearly quadrupling the parking and occupancy loads of the old Lakeland Jewish Center. That effort failed and the application is currently before the Planning Board.

While Save Mohegan Lake will continue to update you on that issue, we are moving on to all issues affecting the lake, such as Mohegan Lake Improvement District (MLID) meetings, agenda and budget. This site is not an official mouthpiece for MLID, but some updates will be provided on this site; the official site is located here.

We do it all here, so long as it's Mohegan Lake related. Feel free to submit comments, content, garage sale notices, police blotters, PSA's, essays on the virtues of our 105 acre ice rink, rants, raves, etc... We love it all.


Monday, April 4, 2011

About Our Cause

This website was built to document the adverse impact major zoning variances will have on our small, residential neighborhood.

At the end of the day, a variance is just that: a variance. A variance from the zoning laws of Yorktown.

We don't oppose all of the variances. Only 3 of the five, because they are major deviations from what the law allows: a 14.5 foot encroachment into a required 30 foot rear yard; a 12 foot retaining wall where only 4.5 feet are allowed; providing only a 2 foot side yard where 12 feet are required.

We are not saying the developer cannot use the land in a reasonable manner. However, we insist that those three zoning adversely affect our small, residential community and should not be granted. Approve the other two. We do not oppose the height of the building. We do not oppose the encroachment of the building 1 foot into the front yard. We have no objection to the board granting those variances.

Fact: the developer, as per there own traffic study submitted with an affidavit, already park upwards of 90 cars (more have been documented in photographs). They propose 86 cars for the new development. They also propose quadrupling (4 times more) the occupancy of the building. Fuzzy math.

The Zoning Board of Appeals must consider the FACT that the developer already expanded the premises. The park 40 to 50 cars where, as per Yorktown records, only 6 cars were allowed to be parked. Some of those 40-50 cars are parked on an adjacent lot that has no approvals for such. On top of all that, the applicant paved the wetland after purchasing the property. That assertion is supported by the survey John Marano, land surveyor, signed and sealed and is a part of the applicant's zoning variance application. It was gravel and smaller than it was when the survey was performed in 2004. We request that the board ask the applicant for a current survey and update the seven (7) year old survey. We ask that a current survey be a part of the developer's application.

This is a "grand plan," as several neighbors have attested to on the public record during several of the ZBA hearings. As evidenced by the Zoning Board's previous revocation of their previous approval of all five (5) of the zoning variances, the developer's team is willing to play fast and loose with the rules. The developer has hidden the most important details about this project from the start and only acknowledge them in passing. Originally, the application was "to legalize existing structures." After the Board was forced to revoke their approval, the application language was changed to reflect it's actually a new development.

We are facing an uphill battle. The developer began raising 1.3 million dollars to develop this site (see video below). We just wish they would have shared this grand vision more transparently. We oppose it and are recommending that it be scaled down to conform with the character of the neighborhood.

One would be wise to speak to a neighbor or two before embarking on a 1.3 million dollar new development in a small, residential, environmentally sensitive area. And if the community tell you it's too big, it is wise to take their input seriously instead of paying big bucks to the preeminent real estate attorney in Westchester, Albert Capellini, to make dubious legal arguments to build a mega-church type facility.

There is a school and nursery proposed--wholly apart from the church use--for 172 people with an auditorium for 325people! This is a use and occupancy that has never been legally established on the site. The school they propose requires a special use permit. The school use has NEVER BEEN ESTABLISHED ON THE SITE. That's a fact, if Yorktown records are taken at face value.

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