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.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

If you're not up to speed on Mohegan Lake's residential community's struggle to reign in the massive new development proposed for Faith Bible Church, you can get some background information here. 

We're not against the church and don't oppose the use, it's a practical opposition to the site's deficiencies relative to the proposed enlarged occupant load.  Specifically that they have already enlarged the church, illegally, and seem to have done so to the limits of the area they can adequately provide legal parking spaces for.

At the last public hearing in May for variances the church is seeking, I correctly noted that the building inspector had unequivocally noted that the two residences they church owns were converted to church use without approval or permit.  

After nearly 5 years the Faith Bible application has been before both the planning and zoning boards, the church and their attorney--Al Capellini--have never contested the documents in the planning and zoning files that clearly demonstrate that they have already enlarged the legal occupancy and parking exponentially.  The building inspector's memo in both board files correctly notes that the church has already enlarged "without approval or permit," which is a nice way of saying illegally.

But wait! Acting chairman of the zoning board Gregg Bucci (because the actual chairman of the board has to recuse himself because he has a "counsel relationship" with--wait for it...--Al Capellini) has an argument to make for the applicant.  Just because there is no "record" of an application, approval or permit for the change to church use and increase the parking load since 2005, when the applicant took title of the premises, that doesn't mean the records weren't lost or stolen or misplaced. 

Dear reader, the video below is not theater of the absurd.  This is our Zoning Board of Appeals in action.  According to Mr. Bucci's reasoning, your neighbor can legitimately--it would seem--claim that they didn't illegal convert or build the structure next to your house.  The problem is that the approval and permit was lost, or stolen, or misplaced.  The onus of proof of existing occupancy, use and parking conditions is not placed on the applicant; Yorktown places the onus on neighbors of the applicant to prove that Yorktown records are complete?  The landowner making application and the planning department, planning and zoning boards can just invent their own narrative--arbitrarily?!

Last note: at the end of the video, please note that I literally LOL at Mr. Bucci's assertion that perhaps they didn't do it illegally.  Perhaps I stole the records and perhaps there's no collective memory of any such conversion in the neighborhood and perhaps Yorktown governmental records.  Perhaps.

I encourage you to watch the whole hearing (a couple hours) on TV.  This link is the schedule and the ZBA hearing will be replayed until 8/8/13

Be afraid.

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