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.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Section 300-201 Powers and duties [of the Zoning Board of Appeals]

Below is an outline of the 3 criteria that the Town Code requires the Zoning Board must find to grant approval of a variance. Let's discuss.

"(1) That there are special circumstances or conditions, fully described in the findings of the Board of Appeals, applying to the building or land for which the adjustment is sought, which circumstances or conditions are peculiar to such land or building and do not apply generally to land or buildings in the neighborhood."

Click on image to view the code.

I think we call all agree that all of the lots and the buildings that sit upon them are all a bit peculiar; since that holds true for the entire neighborhood of Mohegan Lake, then peculiar is the norm and this criteria of variance approval is not met.

"(2) That, for reasons fully set forth in the findings of the Board, the aforesaid circumstances or conditions are such that the particular application of the regulations of this chapter would deprive the applicant of the reasonable use of such land or building and the granting of the adjustment is necessary for the reasonable use of the land or building, and that the adjustment as granted by the Board is the minimum adjustment that will accomplish the purpose. "

Click on image to view the code.
The "adjustments" the variance, as currently worded, would have a severe impact to the neighborhood; classifying these adjustments as minimum would be a farce. Encroaching 14.5' into a a required 30' rear yard (please note that this yard is the side of the property that become very steep and requires the most disturbance of the environment)? Building a 12' high retaining wall that will literally require the removal of tons of rock and earth (mostly rock) in a zone that allows retaining walls of only 4.5'? Remember, that one of the town's goals is to preserve "steep slopes?" I wonder if that's the same retaining wall that requires a variance to be set back only 2' where 12' is required. Why even have zoning laws if a variance that nearly eliminates a required setback altogether is found to be a minimal adjustment of the said laws?

The developer is allowed to build as of right, meaning requiring none of the major variances. Why should these severe, high-impact variances be granted? They shouldn't.

"(3) That the granting of the adjustment will be in harmony with the general purposes and intent of this chapter and of the Town Development Plan, if such exists, and will not be injurious to the neighborhood or otherwise detrimental to the public welfare."

Click on image to view the code.

"The Town Development Plan" does exist in the form of the "Comprehensive Plan," and this proposal flies in the face of the spirit of the goals outlined in the Plan to preserve Mohegan Lake. This is whole other post (stay tuned), but suffice it to say that approving these reckless deviations from the law will not only be detrimental to the neighborhood and public welfare, but also the environment.

Don't forget: Zoning Board hearing regarding the developer's proposal is open to the public on June 23rd at 7:30PM.

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