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.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

9/22/2011: Yorktown Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) Hearing For Faith Bible Church (FBC)

"You know what, you can't refuse it; they'll article 78."
-Howard Orneck informing Bob Fahey he can't consider the facts and vote against 3 of the 5 FBC zoning variances.
That begs the question: why have a zoning board of appeals at all if you can only vote yes?

Why do we even have town zoning ordinances? If the board can't register a legitimate objection to 3 MAJOR zoning variances, why does it exist at all?

Below you will see 4 minutes from the last ZBA hearing for FBC's proposed new development. There are a few things I'd like to bring to your attention to, after the video.

Of note is when the acting chair, I believe his name is Anthony Tripodi, suggests the overall proposed floor area will actually be less than what exists. The applicant's attorney, Mr. Capellini, corrects him and states that it will be larger; larger by 4,000 square feet, Larry Dalfino--the project architect--chimes in (that's big, no? approximately 7,500 square feet of occupiable area is proposed).

There's also a long moment where the board is whispering, but it's still picked up on the microphones [turn up your speakers]. Mr. Orneck tells Mr. Bob Fahey that he "can't refuse" the zoning variance because the church will "article 78." [starts at 3 minutes, 33 seconds into the video]. Shortly after, special counsel advises the board it should stop whispering into the microphones.

This is troubling on several levels. First, it's not his place to be strong-arming another board member against arriving at his own conclusion--after weighing the facts of an application; that's the job of the board, at the end of the day.

Additionally, he's obviously not familiar with what an article 78 petition is. Article 78 requires the petitioner to prove that the town acted against its own rules. Ironically, Mr. Orneck's words might be grounds for an article 78 petition against his actions as a ZBA member; it's unethical, in my mind, at a minimum.

At any rate, come out on 9/22/2011 to Yorktown Town Hall to watch the ZBA pull out the rubber stamp and approve these major zoning variances that will result in a grossly inappropriately scaled mega-church, school and auditorium for over 500 people. Trust me, it's an offer you can't refuse.

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