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, January 27, 2013

There Oughta Be a Law...

Oh, wait, there actually already is a law. 

I've written extensively about the egregious violations of the Yorktown Code that occur immediately adjacent to my family's home.  I wrote dozens of correspondence to the Yorktown Building Department and Code Enforcement office over a 2 year period.  I supplied all of the town records of the Assessor and Building Department showing that the two houses next to my house are--in fact--still legally houses and were illegally converted to enlarge a very small church to a much bigger one.   I never once received a courtesy of a reply and the owner that violated the law and continues to do so gets off Scott free.  In fact, they are using the illegal conversion which drastically altered the character of this small residential community to make an argument that the they should be allowed to triple it without increasing parking.

This weekend, there were three things that brought it all into focus for me:


1)  I was reading The Yorktown News (that paper you get in the mail and doesn't publish online) about the new garbage hauler, Competition Carting.  It was a mostly complimentary article (I've been satisfied with them so far), but near the end, it stated that the Competition  was parking their trucks on a parcel that does not have the requisite special use permit to park trucks.  It went on to state that the Yorktown Code enforcement office Jason Zeif sent a notice of violation to the property owner.  I point out nearly an identical case of an owner needing a special use permit and operating without it for years and the Town is silent.  These trucks are parked like this for 2 weeks and the town issues a violation.  It appears that the only place the town enforces its laws are in Yorktown Heights! 

2)  I was speaking with the president of one of the 7 Home owners association yesterday (I'm vice president of the Mohegan Highlands Property Owners Association).  I was ice skating on the lake, he ice fishing.  After a long discussion about local politics, development, the Holland club (don't you dare try to do anything but passive recreation there, Yorktown!) , he said "they [Yorktown government officials] treat us like second-class citizens."  I've only lived here a few years, but I have to agree with the spirit of his sentiment.  
Fresh tracks on Mohegan Lake 1/26/2013

3)  A commenter on another subject on the Patch pointed out that Mohegan Lake has not really had a representative on the Town Board since 2000.  It feels like most of the TB members familiarity barely extends beyond Route 6 which is probably the most blighted of the entire area; an area that is predominantly residential. 

That said, I'm running for the Yorktown Town Board this year.  I'm doing it for two specific reasons:

1)  I want to bring a voice to the board for residents of Mohegan Lake and Shrub Oak.  This area is more dense population-wise because the area is zoned much smaller than Yorktown Heights, yet 100% of the Town Board lives on the "south side."  I think that needs to change and we can do it.

2) I have an architecture degree from the Cooper Union and have worked for the last 12 years in New York City as a building code and zoning consultant.  This period was the biggest overhaul of their system bringing about more accountability, transparency while streamlining the approval and building process. This experience uniquely qualifies me as a person who can take the initiative to revamp Yorktown's antiquated and outmoded building department.

Originally being from Colorado, with it's strong libertarian bent, I'm choosing to run independent.  I don't want the baggage that comes with the entrenched Democratic and Republican parties.  


Lynn Somerstein said...

Wish I could vote in Yorktown- I'd surely vote for you!

Evan Bray said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I figure it's worth a go and can be done on the cheap (it better be, cause I'm broke).

At this level of government, I'm hoping an exclusively social media based strategy can be an effective campaign. I can't afford lawn signs; I secretly loathe them anyway.

Evan Bray said...

Just to be clear, I don't want to see FBC go away. I accept that there was an approval for the Lakeland Jewish Center to have 100 people max, 3 days a year, for 3 hours. That's codified in Yorktown building department records. I also accept Faith Bible Church and their beautiful congregation (I actually count a couple members as friends). Everyone needs to understand that the enlargement of this facility was done illegally and without the approval or any permits from Yorktown.

I'm all for legalizing the enlargement, but based solely on parking, I will adamantly oppose the increased as proposed. It's for 344 people on the 2nd floor alone. Not to mention 6 classrooms convertible to another 300 person auditorium for the school.