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, June 10, 2013

Faith Bible Church Is Back At The Zoning Board 6/27/2013

I'm experiencing, first hand, Yorktown's building and zoning machine in action.  My neighbor is trying to parlay a very small house of worship and two legal single family homes (per building department and tax assessor records the houses were illegally converted) into a huge church.  I love the church and would love to see them upgrade their facilities, but we need to be realistic about the occupant and parking loads the site can support.
The church's attorney has opened their 4th Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) application which will be heard publicly on Thursday June 27th, 2013 at Town Hall at 6:30pm.  The Planning Board--who has been hearing the application for more than 4 years[!!!]--sent the applicant back to the ZBA at my prodding. The chronology of the 4 zoning variances breaks down as follows:
  1. Application #1: Instead of notifying all of the "interested parties" to the planning board application, the applicant only notifies 2 homeowners of the  required zoning variances (6 households were notified of the planning app).  I showed up to the first ZBA hearing, raised numerous, valid and serious questions.  ZBA closed the hearing and approved the variances.  I advised the town attorney (representative of the board) that the ZBA should rescind the variance approvals for various reasons.  The ZBA rescinded their approval.
  2. Application #2:  In spite of overwhelming public opposition (oral and written), and in light of the gross and factual parking deficiencies, the ZBA approved the zoning variances. They told me specifically that my concerns about parking would be addressed at the planning board.  As luck would have it, we're back at the zoning board to address--among other serious issues--PARKING!  Literally.  [note: I sued--pro se--and lost, not on merits, but because I didn't notice the church, even though I was challenging the ZBA's determination].
  3. Application #3:  I notify the Planning Board that the applicant has overlooked two major variances regarding parking prohibitions in front yards in residential districts (makes sense), and a miscalculated the required front yard (honest oversights by the town's most prominent attorney and engineer--I'm sure). The Planning Board correctly directs the applicant to notify 2 adjacent home owners associations, a park district and the Mohegan Lake Improvement District who were not party to the original planning application in 2009.   The applicant hastily makes application to get on the ZBA agenda for April 2013 (they only meet once a month).  Applicant withdraws the application, voluntarily because there are still glaring deficiencies.
  4. Application #4:   I won't start picking apart the wild, siding interpretations the applicant's attorney is trying to sell the ZBA in this space; I'll save that for the public hearing, 6/27/13.
I made an unsucessful bid to garner the endorsement of the Democratic party for 1 of the 2 open town board seats in the upcoming election based on my love of Yorktown, education and career. 
My day job is consulting on zoning and building code matters for the City's most prominent building owners, engineers and architects.  If I'm having a hard time understanding and navigating Yorktown's planning, zoning and building departments, then I feel for the average homeowner.  It shouldn't be this hard.  Please keep me in mind if you want substantive change in these areas of government. 
Free zoning and building code consultations at

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