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, December 30, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holland Sporting Club Clean Up

Remember the still open DEC violation for the Holland Sporting Club/Rock Hill? It looks like the town is finally footing the bill to complete the clean up.  Welcome news.  It sure took much longer--and at a greater cost to taxpayers--than originally advertised, but hopefully it gets done right now.  It's such a beautiful property.

  [photo courtesy of Vishnu Patel, December 2014]

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

World Series Champ Visits GW

George Washington Elementary had a surprise guest today, Joe Panik of the San Francisco Giants.  He attended school there for a few years and played in the Shrub Oak Athletic Club while in the area. 

It's exciting to see that Mohegan Lake produces such amazing athletes. Remember Melissa Gonzales? I think it's the water.

More photos on the LCSD fb page.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Important Mohegan Highlands Information

  1.  We are going Christmas Caroling this Saturday, December 6.  5-6 is cocktails and recital, caroling from 6-8.  BYOB (or flask) and an appetizer; if you have children, ration appropriately.  Open to all Mohegan Highland Property Owners Association members and their guests, but please do rsvp to
  2. Are you a MHPOA home owner (not sure, email me--see above) and Friends with MHPOA on Facebook?  No?  Oh, you should be, it's just getting fired up and you get to see cool pictures of things like our neighborhood fox (see below).  She lives with her cub (?) just below the MHPOA beach.  How cool is that?  Foxes, I've heard, are one of the greatest judges of neighborhoods. 
 [photo: red fox/green algae courtesy of Shelley]
 You see that algae, right? You're attending the MLID meeting this Thursday, right?  Good. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

MLID Meeting This Thursday

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From the MLID president:

We will be meeting this Thursday December 4 at 7:30 P.M. at the Calvary Chapel at 99 Baron de Hirsch Road in Crompond.   We need to make decisions about how we will be chemically treating the lake next summer to keep it swimmable.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Kohl's Burned Down In Cortlandt

Did you notice?

[hat tip to the Daily Voice]

Mohegan Lake Fire Department

The Mohegan Lake Fire Department maintains an informative and engaging facebook page.  You should like them, as they selflessly serve our community.  I got this news alert this morning about a large fire they were called in to assist in Mahopac.

That is all. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Yorktown's Planning Woes Continue

The Yorktown News served us up a preview of a new proposal that will affect all of us here in Mohegan Lake.  While the owner and their attorney--who else but the ubiquitous Al Capellini--have not made any formal presentation, we can glean a few details and see a familiar story arc start to take shape.  We citizens will have no meaningful input into the Town Board's inevitable rezone of the application to whatever zone the developer wishes, but it's fun to follow along at home and see how the game is played which--ultimately--ends up in poor planning decisions that devalue the very essence of Yorktown's character which--according to the Town's website--"is a beautiful community in Northern Westchester County, New York, 35 miles from New York City, with forty square miles of rolling hills, farmland, residential areas and light industry."

It's unclear how 120 the short-term rental one and two bedroom market rate and subsidized low income rental apartments packed into a few acres along one of the busiest stretches of road in town fits in with the character of Yorktown (note: this number will likely increase after the rezone is approved; their attorney will scream and shout that his poor client can't make enough money with only 120 units and that another 30 would make it financially feasible and if anyone objects to the added density they are tree-hugging socialists who hate America).  The existing use of the land in a single family residential zone--a single farm house on about 10 acres--is more in keeping with farming and pastoral landscape of Yorktown.  It would seem an absurd proposition to argue that 120 rental apartments (probably more) would justify a rezone.  It's not that they can't make money developing nice, new single-family homes. It's that they can't make enough money and that--my friends--is not justification for a rezone.  If you loathe traffic on route 6 now, wait until 120 new units come online and generate hundreds of additional trips a day on a road that operates beyond its capacity most of the time.

Yet, here we have both the supervisor and Yorktown Chamber of Commerce president extolling the virtues of a plan they've not seen any details of--because they don't exist.  It's this type of knee-jerk response that has painted the town in such an unflattering light relative to preserving residents' qualities of life against the developers' unquenchable thirst to milk every last cent out of our land; especially up here in the northwest part of town.

Yorktown Code table 300a showing minimum lot areas and maximum Floor Area Ratios.  Looks like the site must be about 10 acres if they plan on packing 120 units into that site. 

Have Mr. Grace and Mr. Visconti looked at the current zone and schedule of regulations?  I went ahead and did a little research (code section above).  It's interesting to note that the up-zone to allow more density skips from R-1 to R-3; why no discussion of 2 family zoning that would increase density (and profitability) of the parcel?  Probably because the developer the family wants to flip it to would not be able to make boatloads of money--perhaps only a few wheelbarrows full--to make it worth his time.  The site really doesn't lend itself to a residential development being hemmed in by route 6/Jefferson Valley Mall, high-tension power lines, and Club Fit; the 4th side is a tiny residential road with single family homes across the street.  Why no discussion of a rezone to commercial?  I thought the plan was to develop as much commercial properties as possible so that our taxes would perpetually get lower and lower, no?

Perhaps the senior living facilities caddy-corner to the site welcome the unrestricted units.  While I'm not fully convinced on Mr. Bianco's objection solely based on the additional children the units will inevitably produce--it warrants a serious discussion.  It looks like they will all end up at Thomas Jefferson elementary; is there classroom space there to accommodate the influx?  

Detail of Yorktown's zoning map highlighting the proposed rezoning area.  120, unrestricted (e.g. not age restricted) short term market and low-income apartments would be the first of its kind in the area.  It's overwhelmingly single-family residential with a bit of commercial along 6.  Why no discussion of a commercial rezone? 

In summary, this is something we should all pay attention to and comment on when it's opened for public hearing--even though though said comments will be swept under the town board's rug. 

Lakeland High School Field Hockey Wins 6th Straight State Title

[photo from LCSD fb page]

Amazing.  One of the more impressive things about this run is that over 6 years, they've had a complete turnover of talent, yet still keep playing at such a high level (I hope they move up in national rankings from #2 to #1 with this win).

So in summary, perhaps it's the water up here in Lakeland, perhaps it's the indefatigable coach Sarsen, perhaps it's karma; likely a combination of some or all of these factors. 

Congratulations to this year's Lakeland Field hockey team.  We here on Mohegan Lake are very proud of you.  Hold your heads extra high today.  Well deserved.

Here's some additional photos from LoHud.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

And...We're Back

It's been a while Mohegan Lake.  We took an extended vacation this summer, rolling into the fall, but promise to keep bringing you all the Mohegan Lake news you can handle.

To get you up to speed, please be advised of the following:

  • Lakeland athletics continues to be a powerhouse.  Both girls and boys soccer had respectable finishes.  You should make sure you cast your vote for our boys in this LoHud poll.  The girls field hockey team remains amazeballs.  Ranked number 2 in the nation.  Playing for their 6th straight state title, having won 50+ games in a row going back many years.  Stay up to date on the athletics schedule here. 
  • The Mohegan Highlands Property Owners Association (MHPOA) is having their first annual Christmas Caroling Classic on Saturday, December 6th, 2014.  We'll have pre-Caroling refreshments at 5pm, with walking around the neighborhood and singing starting at 6pm.  If you're on our mailing list, you'll receive an email with details.  If not, email me at, and I'll hook you up.
  • Word on the street is Evan's lawsuit against the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) will be successful.  The court has been reviewing it an inordinate amount of time, likely meaning their having a hard time wording it so as not to hurt the ZBA's feelings.  Also, Silverberg Zalantis got run over by an ambulance they went chasing--but that's a long story for another day.
  • The Planning Board approved Faith Bible Church's new building.  If Evan's ZBA petition is successful, it will be challenged in court.  So litigious, so exciting.
  • The Mohegan Lake Improvement District (MLID) continues to be a force in actively bettering the health of the lake.  Most of the algae is washed away and the lake looks great, as of Tuesday at MHOPA.  This month's last Thursday meeting will likely be postponed to early December.  Stay tuned.
Marinate on those five issues, and we'll talk soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

MLID Meeting 6/12/2014 @7:30

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From Ken:

At the Calvary Chapel of Westchester, 99 Baron de Hirsch Road, Crompond at 7:30 PM on Thurs June 12.  Hope to see you there as we address the challenges that nature brings, the priorities for lake staff (those lake weeds are growing everywhere), planning for lake day, and whether we can do anything this season to impact the algae.    

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's on: Chee-chaw, chee-chaw!

Yorktown is looking to pass a law allowing owners of almost 1 acre (40,000sf; an acre is 43,560sf) to have chickens--no rooster--on their property.  It seems like a reasonable proposal and I would like to have a small chicken coop on my property with a couple (literally) egg laying hens.  I have four daughters and they would love it.  It would be a lot of work, keeping it clean and the pets healthy--and safe from the coyote in our backyard.

There will be a public hearing at the Town Board meeting at the Teatown Reservation on July 1st.  If you have an opinion, you should write the Town Board or attend the hearing to express your view.  I'm all for it, but feel it's prejudicial for those of us that don't have houses on acre+ lots.

The standard should be reasonable and prudent, not a square footage and # of animals.  Reasonable and prudent.  Also, please leave it out out of the Zoning Board of Appeals; they only meet 11 times a year and hem and haw until the cows come home.  The Town Board is more responsible and accountable.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

NYS Assembly Member Katz (R-Mohegan Lake) Has Seen The Light

Man, he's got a good reputation scrubber if this is how the paper of record describes our very own assemblyman getting ticketed for speeding while driving to the assembly and having a bag of weed which was either (i) really potent and stinky and out in the open or (ii) had recently been smoked--because the trooper found the scent conspicuous.  Anyhoo, he gets quoted in the closing paragraph of the Times today.

Assemblyman Stephen M. Katz, a Mohegan Lake Republican who was arrested last year with a small bag of marijuana (the charges were dropped), said a medical marijuana law could encourage the sale of various things, from soil to edible marijuana products. “Each of these different industries have the ability to create hundreds if not thousands of jobs here in our state,” he said.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MLID Meeting Thursday, 5/22/2014

I'm having surgery to strip out a Burmese python-sized varicose vein out of my leg and it's daughter # 2's birthday Thursday, so I won't be in attendance, but please do show up to discuss plan B (we're not getting an alum permit this year) and Lake Day planning.  It's very important.  Don't forget, the Brays own the title of fastest canoe on the lake, per last years regatta results, and we don't plan to relinquish the belt!

The Brays, owning it. 
Ultimately the blue-green algae is only a mild skin irritant, at best. If it's your primary drinking source, your pets or kids drink it--you may have some brain issues with the neuro-toxins the algae produces.  I swim late into the season and I'm normal...nevermind.

Official meeting notice:

The endless winter finally passed, and it's definitely spring.  We're faced with some tough questions this year in the Mohegan Lake Improvement District.  In the last two seasons, the County Health Department has closed beaches due to blue green algae.  So far, our record is 0 and 2 in combating excessive blue green algae growth in the lake.  Can we save the 2014 beach season, or will our losing record increase to 0 and 3?  Please join us this Thursday May 22nd at 7:30 P.M. for our MLID meeting to discuss the summer 2014 season.  The harvester is in the water, our lake manager, Wayne Poland, is hard at work, and our summer kids will be starting over the next two weeks.  We will update everyone on the status of our permit application to NYS DEC to apply alum to the lake, discuss a "plan B" if we don't get the permit, review plans for Lake Day (Sunday July 13th), and share ideas for work this season to improve the lake.  We will be meeting at the Calvary Chapel at Mohegan Colony (former Mohegan Colony schoolhouse), 99 Baron de Hirsch Road, Crompond.  Hope to see you there!    Ken

Monday, May 19, 2014

Coyotes On The Prowl

Hi Mohegan Lake Neighbor,

I saw a coyote run through my backyard yesterday evening.  This was after it ate several kittens the cat that lives by us recently had off in the town property south of me.  Mama cat ran to our house and tried to jump on the deck with "Lucky," as we've called the 6 [?] week old baby kitten, in her jaws. 

At about 3 am the wife heard a goose dying a long--full minute at least--death, presumably by coyote too.  She was compelled to yell out the back door because it sounded like a human screaming. I'm actually cool with the goose control, but those poor goslings are so cute.  Remember that time I made that video of them walking to the yakkety-sax?   Or that one of geese and goslings swimming to "Walk Like an Egyptian"? Me too.

I'm just fine thinning the herd with a coyote. It's nature.  It's been pretty goose free up here at the top of the lake today.  Quite.  [queue the eery music and menacing coyote photo].

Question:  If I had a licensed gun and hunter safety card, could I shoot it on my property?  I thought I couldn't discharge a firearm in Westchester, but a little googling makes me think I might be able to if I'm not within 500 feet of a structure. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Marie Sullivan O'Brien, 5/31/1926-4/26/2014

Mohegan Lake, especially the Highlands, is mourning the loss of Marie, Moe's mom.  Details of rememberances below:
Funeral Services will be held Thursday, May 1 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Balsamo-Cordovano Funeral Home, 15 Church St. Carmel, NY (845) 225-244. A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, May 2 at St. James the Apostle R.C. Church. Burial to follow at the Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury.
In lieu of flowers, donations in O’Brien's honor may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
For more information, please visit:
(hat-tip: The Daily Voice)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Cow: Mohegan Lake Is Awesome

This just in:

From our neighbors Da Kepplah's, we get this photograph of "Ollie" the Mohegan Lake Osprey.  Greg caught this big guy eating a fish he effing scooped out of Mohegan Lake this afternoon at the top of the lake.  Mohegan Lake is so awesome. Look how big that fish is and how it's still alive, while Ollie eats it. Man, the circle of life is complete--at least up here on the hill.  Mohegan Lake represent!

Holy shit, the big bird is big; and eating a big fish.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mohegan Lake Has a Dog Run

Though the people from Yorktown Heights think its in their 'hood. Yay, this is a great amenity. I need a new puppy. My 12 year old dog with two glass eyes (glaucoma surgeries) won't enjoy it too much; I'll still bring her though. Read all about it here.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Planning Board Meeting For Faith Bible Monday, 4/7/2014

Please be aware of the hearing this Monday.  Do watch it on the teevee.  Don't bother attending, it will likely be adjourned because [redacted]; I'll take another one for the team. I'm starting to feel bad for the applicant.  I hope their team is volunteering their services pro bono to the church for screwing up so bad.  It's shaping up to be a 7 to 8 year approval, if it continues at this rate.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sad News From Mohegan Lake

Ms. Barbara Wolert, who had strong ties to the Mohegan Lake Fire Department and community passed away,  via the Daily Voice:

BRANT LAKE, N.Y. - Barbara Wolert of Brant Lake, formerly of Mohegan Lake, died March 30. She was 56.
Wolert was born Jan. 31, 1958, in Peekskill, to James and Barbara Ann Murphy. She was a life member of Lake Mohegan Fire Department.
Wolert is survived by her husband, Brian; daughter, Katherine Mary; son, Dave; parents, James and Barbara Murphy; three grandchildren; and brothers, Bob, Ken, Jim, and Tim Murphy.
Calling hours are Wednesday, April 2 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Yorktown Funeral Home. A religious service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 3 at St. Mary's Episcopal Church. Interment to follow at Amawalk Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lustgarten Foundation.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I Always Feel Like, Somebody's Watchin' Me

Just kidding, I know people are watching me.  Not to many, but there are some surprises.  For example, Westport, CT wins the month with an average visit duration over 17 mins.  Do you know which one of the dots below is Westport? First person to answer correctly in the comment section below wins breakfast for two at JV Hot Bagel II on East Main. Of all the metrics you see, I'd ask that you pay particular attention to the "Avg. Visit Duration" column.

On to New York observers, of me.

So, in summary, things are happening in Mohegan Lake.  Pay attention.

[Cut to the King of Pop]

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Amended Lawsuit Against My Zoning Board of Appeals

In its entirety:


In the Matter of the Application of          :
EVAN DANIEL BRAY,                            :
Petitioner,                                               :
                                           :                   AMENDED VERIFIED PETITION
- against -                                               :
                                              :                            Index No. 1049/14
TOWN OF YORKTOWN                        :
-and-                                                      :
TOWN OF YORKTOWN                        :
PLANNING BOARD,                              :
-and-                            :
TOWN OF YORKTOWN                        :
TOWN BOARD,                            :
-and-                              :
FAITH BIBLE CHURCH,                        :
-and-                             :
FEDERAL CREDIT UNION                   :                                     :
Respondents,                                         :
For a Judgment Pursuant to Article 78  :
of the Civil Practice Law and Rules       :

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sad News From MLID

From Ken Belfer:

In case you didn't hear, Ken Hesse passed away at age 31.  He was a former summer employee of the Mohegan Lake Improvement District.  Viewing is Sunday 3/16 at the Joseph J Smith Funeral Home in Mahopac.  Funeral Mass is Monday 3/17 at St. Peter's Church in Danbury.  In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Wounded Warrier Project.  More information attached in the hyperlink below.  Ken

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Faith Bible Church Planning Hearing Tomorrow, 3/10/14

We here at would like you to know that the subject Yorktown Planning Board application that we've been following will have a public hearing held around 7ish at town hall TOMORROW.  Please don't bother to attend the hearing on 3/10/14.  If you can't watch it on TV when it airs live on the municipal channel, then DVR it.  It's gonna be a short discussion because the application has a glaring defect all of the highfalutin lawyers representing the church and the town missed (oR willfully overlooked). [editor's note: If I were the church, I would sue my design and legal team for sucking at their jobs incompetence.]

Anyhoo, it should be worthy of the space on your DVR and will likely be adjourned to a later date.  Your written and oral support of the opposition to the proposed out-sized development is on the record and to repeat it would be repetitive and redundant and repetitive.   

I'm serving my reply to the Church's attorney's merit-based response to my article 78 petition.  Can you believe that Yorktown failed to serve a timely reply and was refused by the pro se petitioner [bat-shit crazy man off the street who has no law degree but can meet a deadline?].  It was received 4 days late and about $3.50 short.  Your tax dollars at work, people.

In summary, watch the Planning Board meeting tomorrow on TV, from the comfort of your couch.  I'll take this one for the team.

Friday, February 21, 2014

UMass Men's Lacrosse Freshman Nick Mariano Named Rookie of The Week

Mohegan Lake native  Nick Mariano was named rookie of the week for his outstanding performance for Division I UMass Lacrosse.  Great work, Nick.  You make Mohegan Lake proud.  You can read all about it, here on MassLive.

(photo credit of Nick: LoHud)

Monday, January 27, 2014

MLID Meeting Thursday 1/30/13

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A Message from Mohegan Lake Improvement District president, hope to see you there:

Happy New Year everyone!  Hope you are surviving the cold.  Despite the cold white environs, there is a summer season approaching.  Let's get back to work to make sure we are doing whatever we can as a community to help improve the lake.  We will be meeting this Thursday January 30 at 7:30 P.M. at the Mohegan Colony schoolhouse kitchen at 99 Baron de Hirsch Road in Crompond.  Among other things, we will be discussing our application to apply Alum to the lake to bind the excessive phosphorous which has been causing our algae blooms, our plan for this season's work, Lake Day 2014, and scheduling a date in February to have the Town Comptroller attend a meeting to answer questions for the Mohegan Lake park districts about Town procurement policies and procedures.  Hope to see you there!    Ken

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's On! (Again)

Today I served an article 78 petition challenging the Zoning Board's final determination.  I named The Town of Yorktown Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Town Board, Faith Bible Church, and the Hudson Valley Teachers Federal Credit Union.  FBC is on the working session agenda for Monday, January 13th, 2014.  We should get a good indication of when the public hearing will be when they put up the requisite Planning Board Application signage on the all five properties (they only have two up now--so keep an eye out).

It's weird they are still pretending it's an addition, as opposed to a new development.  But this is Yorktown and they retained a great attorney, so it seems like it's anything goes.  By the way, if you live in Yorktown and own a home, it's also a church.  The Zoning Board, for the first time ever, ruled that a "place of religious worship is a residential use."  If you want a church at your house, you can have it.  It's as of right and you don't have to make application to add that use to your house.  Set up a 501(c)(3) and you don't even have to pay taxes anymore on you house/church.  It's a windfall--for us religious types.

So in summary, stayed tuned for many more juicy details, including the petition filed today and all the exhibits.  The Sheriff should be serving the papers to all parties by Monday or Tuesday next week.