Posted by: Dawn Powell | December 17, 2009

Zoning Board and Bullying

A Little Backtracking May 28 – Zoning Board of Appeals

Another ill-informed Tendy performance

 I didn’t watch the whole meeting. The first public hearing was too painful.

The Supervisor came to the meeting to fend off this major application which  he accuses would harm his lake.

 He usually doesn’t come to the zoning or planning board meetings.  The cemetery expansion – a non-conforming use, an overly large building 68 feet instead of the code proscribed 50, and a scattering garden in the wetlands – apparently no problem for him.  Likewise, the gas station expansion – a prohibited use in our code – no problem there either.  And for the Fieldstone scoping session, a project with large houses in the New York City watershed, a huge building on Bryant Pond, a large parking lot on the pond and two ballfields, he did attend the meeting. Despite the many well-spoken and well-prepared residents attending the meeting to oppose the project’s scale and environmental damage, he got up and told us how wonderful the project was, and even threw in a large dose of mockery of those who spoke.

 So what was the horrifying, community destroying project that the Supervisor was so moved to oppose?

 A 260 square foot extension!

 It is a 9 ½ foot extension of an accessory structure that used to be a garage.  Apparently, from Tendy’s view, this small addition is going to destroy the world.

 This is Mr. Tendy’s lake and it does seem like the most important issue in Town the way he tells it.  He missed the all important point that the 260 square feet would be exchanged for two to three times the amount of permeable surface, that is impervious surface would be removed elsewhere, meaning an actual improvement for the lake.  Impervious surfaces are materials that water cannot penetrate. They create an increase in stormwater, one of the greatest problems for the lake. They include materials like asphalt,and structures, where rainwater cannot percolate down to our drinking water supply.

 He is fond of demeaning other people’s comments as “just silly.” It would be an apt remark about his foolishness.

 It seemed as if no one in the room, other than the applicant, understood the reference to the driveway pavers with grass growing through them.  I am sure that the architectural review board would be familiar with them.   Please visit Dia Beacon, where you can see the pavers.  I would think that these pavers would be preferable to gravel.  Perhaps our process should encourage their use.

 And the photoprocessing exchange – Photoprocessing is prohibited in the code written in 1995.  “I wouldn’t understand if you told me.”  Then perhaps you shouldn’t be advising.  These days, cameras are digital.  Printers are the same as the ones all of us have.  There won’t be any photoprocessing.  It’s not so difficult.

 And the bullying – the supervisor brought the applicant’s wife and daughter into his diatribe.  When the applicant tried to object, and comment on those remarks, he was told, by the Chair, that he should not make personal attacks.

 Very poor form was displayed in this meeting.

 The project was subsequently approved by the ZBA because the lake will be better off because of the project.  This sort of verbal assault on an applicant who is proposing an improvement should not be permitted.

 DP

 


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