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, March 28, 2016

Man Charged With Abandoning A Disabled Animal

Sounds heavy.

Maybe he hit a deer and only wounded it and drove away.  Unlikely.  Sounds more devious.  Considering our community's commitment to animal welfare and safety, it's appropriate to highlight this newsworthy item from the North Country (not North County) because it's Yorktown related since the kid that is accused is from Yorktown.

Got no real good reason to leave you with this, other than a unicorn chaser, so--two snaps up anyway!  Ain't that the truth, Ruth!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Yorktown Really Does Treat Mohegan Lake As the "Red headed step-child."

You should be aware that Yorktown wants to rezone about 5 acres to allow 220 units of housing on Route 6 across from the "Winery."  It's such a large site it has frontage on Strawberry Road.  The biggest problem seems to be that grandma won't be able to make a left on Route 6 to make it to the JV Mall for morning coffee.  She'll just have to take a right and turn around at the Winery, or Mobil, or CVS.  Great Town Planning.  What's important to note here is that the owner could build about 10 single family homes as-of-right, meaning no rezoning required.  That's not enough ROI though.  Need a big return to "Move Yorktown Forward," I guess.

Effed in the A.  Have you ever driven around here during a holiday weekend?  Even a normal weekend with normal traffic  = shit.  Wait until we have "220 units" meaning like 400 people--really old people that don't know how to drive--AND that can't make a left on to route 6 to get to the JV Mall for coffee at Subway. 
Yorktown really does seem do just want to "eff" Mohegan Lake, in a bad way.  Re-zone an acre (1) to allow 36 bedrooms over 2 buildings of of over 16,000sf.  That's totally normal, apparently.  Re-zone 5 acres for 220 units?  Totally normal.  You live in the northwesterly part of Yorktown?  Be afraid; be very afraid. 

The Yorktown Town Board appoints volunteer appointees to the the Planning and Zoning boards, and all the advisory boards.  They serve at the the pleasure of the Town Board.  The Town Board sets the the tone and the boards follow suit.

Let's be a little more careful in the future about who we elect to head up the Town Board which sets the tone of our town planning policies.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How Does The Re-Zoning of Lexington Ave. Affect You?

The Town of Yorktown Town Board is considering  re-zoning a one acre parcel to allow 36 bedrooms in 12 three bedroom units at 1,344 square feet per.  That equals SIXTEEN THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHT square feet (excuse me, my caps lock got stuck there).  That's 36 bedrooms.  ON ONE ACRE.
What's really upsetting is that this proposal requires major zoning variances.  Eliminating 50% of the required side yard to build a multi-family building of this scale is notable.  I'd say objectionable.  The fact that the building separation is not correct,* yeah, that shakes may faith in the competency of the planning director. 

Does the rezoning consider anything other than this random one acre lot?


Does Yorktown have a master plan of the areas they propose to re-zone to R-2 and R-3 multi-family zoning districts?


Should the Town consider re-zoning all of the parcels adjacent to this one acre hemmed in by Lexington Avenue, West Road,  Ellis Street, and the Access Road at the Nursing Home?


At least let that block cash out and move to a town of more reasonable planning goals.  Heck, we could probably fit at least 344 units on that block.  It's right next to the elementary school too.  Perhaps we could make it a dormitory for the school which would be an as-of-right use in an R-3 Zone.  I would so love it if GWES was a boarding school.  I have four daughters.  We'd be so close. It wouldn't be that bad, right?

Oh, hey, and did I mention that the applicant and Yorktown incorrectly calculated the front yard required.  Yes, another variance is required (the Town doesn't really like to look closely at planning and zoning applications, in my opinion).**

*The Planning Director incorrectly notes the building separation between the buildings as 90 feet, where the code is clear that the separation between two main buildings is 100 feet, if it's based on table 300a.  Would also note that the buildings--as designed--would exist completely within land requiring variances for them to be there.  That's not normal.

**What's funny is that I literally got the applicant/town to agree to recalculate the front yard of FBC .  Short memory.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We Live In God's Country

From Saturday's sunset. 
MHPOA Sunset.

So, Who's The Wiseguy?

Roundabout 6 months ago someone, someone left us a little present on the Shrub Oak Lake Estates (SOLE) beach.  And by present, I mean a giant spool of useless cable.  Originally I thought: "Yay, a good old fashioned hobo fire to reclaim the copper wire.  All we need is a little gasoline."  But when I inspected further, it's fiber optic cable.  Boo.  No hobo fire. 

That said, if anyone wants to pick up their giant spool of cable, or help identify who owns it (there is a bar code; anyone know anything about such things?).  If anything, I have plans to re-purpose it into a giant see-saw with a telephone pole.  Trust me on this one.  You just notch the pole out a bit in the center of a telephone pole.  The hard part is finding the telephone pole. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Yorktown: Do You Want Random One Acre Parcels Rezoned To Multi-Family?

Maybe you do.  There is a need for such housing and some Zoning Districts allow for it.  Not the single family zones (the R-1 districts), but the multi family zones (R2, and R3).  Also, the Commercial Zoning Districts.

The Yorktown Planning Board Director and the Town Board seem poised to rezone a one acre parcel in the center of a single family zoning district, right next to George Washington Elementary School.  It would set a dangerous, dangerous precedent and you should be concerned about the value of your home.  Live on a busy road in a residential zone?  Near a school, or church, or daycare, or doctor's office, etc...?  Those seem to be the two criteria they are using to justify this rezoning.

It's very close to Cortlandt (across the street, literally).  You might think that is R-2 or R-3, but you'd be wrong.  It's all single family zoning there.

There will be a public hearing on this re-zoning application very soon.  It's important to pay attention to the Town's business.  Here's what we know so far (video excerpt of the last public hearing below):

  • The Planning Director is terribly confused.  He said that the "parcels immediately adjacent [the subject 1 acre parcel] underwent significant "up-zoning'" and he references GWES and the Islamic Center "and all the way east to route 6."  Nope, no up-zoning there.  See the marked up zoning map below.  He also said there was up-zoning on the Hunterbrook.  Pfffft. 
  • We, to date, have not seen an "as of right" plan, meaning a plan that does not require any variances. The developer presented something that fit within the setbacks, but didn't comply with building code so it was not a feasible design--as noted by the Planning Director in the video; somehow he arrives at the conclusion that the plan requiring elimination of over 50% of the side yards to build the building was "the best plan."  Whoa there.  What we should be presented with is a scheme that complies with code and zoning as of right because--as Councilman Bernard reminds us--the board is not considering the site plan or parking plan or building code--they are only considering the rezoning.  Soooooooo, if that's true, show us what would be allowed without requiring any variances whatsoever.  Isn't that a reasonable request?
That's enough for today, but--please--do pay attention to this application.  Maybe re-zoning random one acre parcels is the way to "move Yorktown forward."

If you live in the light yellow zone, be afraid. Be very afraid.  Or, in the alternative, petition the Yorktown Town Board for a re-zone of your single family house to R-3, cash out, and buy a house in a normal town. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Today Is The Day

I'm done with legal papers; adversaries will be served and my Reply Brief filed with the court, and if all goes well, I end up in oral arguments this summer after they rule on the motion to enlarge the scope of the record because the town conveniently curated a lot of the meat and potatoes out of the certified record.  A decision on a motion normally takes at least 3 months.  Not sure how quickly they calendar arguments, should the court see merit in my arguments.  They don't have to hear it and could decide on papers alone.

This was so hard and I'm so scared.  There's a lot on the line.  I've hung in there though.  Scrappy to say the least.  Glad to have the full support and backing of The Ohio State Marching Band in this matter.  Still not sure how they got involved the Save Mohegan Lake cause, but we take all comers here.

Take it away:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Update On Zoning Board/Faith Bible Lawsuit

So, as it were, I'm in the highest court in the land (of New York State).  Thankfully it's located in Brooklyn Heights, about 15 minutes from my office.  It's official title is:

Appellate Division - Second Judicial Department

The courthouse is such a stately building on a movie-set block of brownstones.  So I'm hanging out in the attorney's lounge, pictured below.  That's really about it.  I don't have much more to this story.

How cool are all those pictures of judges?  The clock being off center bothers me.  Or does it? Actually, I'm pretty cool with all the asymmetry in this photo.
Why am I telling you this?  Because it's after midnight and I just got through another day of busting my ass to prove to the Court that what's right is right, and that I'm right.  Will share my reply brief with you after it's complete.  Here's my brief, in the meantime. 

Oh, and for all you pro se petitioner's out there.  If you ever make it this far, and your adversaries reply to your brief by mail at the last minute--the normal 10 day period for you to serve a reply brief is extended to 15 days.  Thank the lord, because I really needed the additional time.  Since it lands on a Saturday I actually get 2 extra days and can serve and file on the 21st.  And that, Mohegan Lake, is today's lesson.

Senator Murphy Throws Mother and Brother Under A Bus; Both Presumed Dead.

Just kidding, but he did throw both of them under the bus. Man, that's character.  Surely you've heard the news. 

Murphy immediately changes his facebook page to show you that he doesn't "own or operate" "Murphy's" restaurant and make it say he's merely an "investor." He scrubs it from his senate page, omitting any relation to Murphy's.  He denies any knowledge and absolves all of his family, including himself, except his brother and mother?   Read this quote from a local Yorktown paper in the picture below.  If you read it carefully, you'll see the moment he throws--nay, rather--pushes his mom and bro under the bus. So Machiavellian.

Brother Pat and Mom, I have your back here at  We support small business and want to help you climb out of you serious, and mounting, tax debt. We hope you disavow Terrence with his duplicitous ways and support my candidacy for Senator of the 40th! 

That's not cool.  It's not cool to be associated with a 117K in back-taxes (about to go up by about 50K).  Let's report him to the NYS Assembly's Ethic's Board!  Oh right, he sits on it.  Hmmmm...

The word on the street is that to relieve the stress of so much bad press, Senator Murphy has been making late night trips to Assemblyman Steve Katz's house to "chill." His press secretary, Matt Slater, clarified that "they've only been watching Netflix, not chilling."

This just in: I,, am announcing my candidacy for the 40th NYS Senate District!  I'm 110 acres of spring-fed watery goodness, especially with the copper sulfate treatments I've been receiving, not much algae.  I get along with Republicans and Democrats and can forge a common path forward while paying my taxes--the whole time. Make Yorktown Fun Again

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Yorktown Town Board Approves Water Rate Increase Of 25%

Wow. That's substantial.  As a resident of Yorktown, make sure you pay attention to the budget.  It's really boring and hard to follow, but you very well may spend around a thousand dollars a month in property taxes, if not more.  You want to know where that is going. I've been paying attention for about 5 years, was duly elected to serve in a department of Yorktown as Vice President of a Park District, and I still have questions.

That said, your water bill just went up 25%.  There was a long Town Board meeting last night and there were a lot of good comments.  I dare you to watch the whole 2 hour and 52 minute meeting held on 3/1/2016 ; I know you won't, but at least the 15 minutes below:

Take it away, Ed Ciffone and Susan Siegel; both long time residents and studious citizens monitoring the complicated ~55 million dollar budget, and continually growing (about 5 million in the last 4 years?)  budget. Please note that Ed's questions will not be answered at the end as promised by the supervisor in this clip--if you whatch the whole thing--which we've established you won't. The gist of the rate increase is that the supervisor lowered the water department budget and drew off its fund balance so he could campaign as having delivered a tax decrease.  Those chickens are now coming home to roost and we're likely to see a lot more of this.  Yorktown expenditures exceed revenue and the budget keeps growing under Grace. 

Oh, and before I sign off, WE STILL DON'T HAVE FLUORIDE IN OUR WATER.  I grew up in a small Colorado town with no fluoride 'cause--whatever--and my teeth are shit.  Please, I have four daughters.  If you watch the whole meeting, you can see Supervisor Grace declare the fluoride system to be in the "engineering phase."   My God, it's been about two years without.  Fire the engineer and get this done.  Question: has the fluoride system been deducted out of the general water district fund? It's about a 1 million dollar line item, right?