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.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Parking Problem, Explained

The applicant is only providing 63 standard parking spaces.  Per code (4 people per space x 63 = 252 people).  The town allows some "stacking" [read: double/triple/quadruple parking within the proposed three parking lots] and the applicant claims they will provide 86 total spaces.  The applicant proposes 344 people to occupy the second floor; the also put forth the absurd proposition that the entire first floor will never be occupied if the 2nd floor is occupied.  Not only is that completely un-enforcable (the town won't enforce the code on the two homes the church illegally converted to suit their needs), but there is no code citation they can make to justify such a crazy deviation from established zoning law.

By all accounts, Site Design Consultants of Yorktown is a reputable engineering firm.  Their professional engineers represent many of the high profile developers in Yorktown.  Last year they did a six (6) week parking study of Faith Bible Church (images above and below) which was submitted to the zoning board attached to a sworn affidavit from pastor Zotolli.  What they found is that the special use the applicant is proposing can not provide the minimum code requirement (a ratio of 4 people to 1 parking space).  The best ratio the applicant provided during the study was 2.7 people per parking space; it fluctuated between 2.3 to 2.7 people per parking space.  At 2.7 people per parking space (what they can actually provide on their best day) only supports an occupant load of 170 people (63 spaces x 2.7 people per space).  Conveniently, that's the occupant load they have already illegally increased to.  That would seem to be the biggest church that could be supported by the parking limitations, if you are a fan of the truth.

Please note that the town only approved 100 occupants to be at this church "3 days a year, for 3 hours."  Considering how the church actually occupis the site, they are not only a danger to themselves (the town has no idea if 242 people can safely egress from the sanctuary), but to the small residential home owners associations that surround the church.  I pray nothing happens as the result of lax enforcement on the part of Yorktown!
I'm completely setting aside the fact--the cold hard fact--that the church has terms and conditions on the wetland parking lot that allows Shrub Oak Lake Estates (a neighboring home owners association) member the right to park "at all times" and "at no cost."  In fact the church is in violation of the terms and conditions of their deed by not posting that it is private parking for SOLE and FBC members.  All these inconvenient facts.

No one is saying the church can't be expanded, just that it has to be in keeping with the character of the neighborhood and have sufficient parking.  Yorktown is turning a blind eye to the fact that the church already expanded without any permits or approvals.  Now the church is claiming hardship.  The houses they illegally converted don't accommodate the growing congregation; ha!

If you ever decide to illegally convert your house to a use requiring a "special permit," you should shouldn't hesitate.  Do whatever you want without permits or approvals because Yorktown is either unwilling or unable to stop you,  as evidenced by the blind eye they turn to the applicants illegal conversions.  It should be noted that the applicant only recently (circa 2005, when they acquired title) illegally converted the red house on Sagamore  Trail.  Up until that act, it had been occupied (legally) as a single family home. 

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