For those who haven’t heard, the Town Board has sent the latest version, labeled FINAL DRAFT, to the County Planning Board for review. What does that mean? That means they took the next step to PASS THESE RESTRICTIVE ZONING LAWS… without telling us.
On September 30th, documents were filed with the County and signed by Maria Lull. Her signature was dated October 2nd. That’s a whole other bizarre act. Why post-date a document?
Not to mention, September 30th is also the date posted on the new proposed zoning law that they were supposed to get our feedback on BEFORE submitting to the county.
We think someone’s pants are on fire.
Not only did they post-date it, they buried it on the site. It was NOT posted in the “PROPOSED NEW ZONING” section. To find it, you had to go to the left sidebar, click “Government,” then “Comprehensive Plan” (again, NOT under “Proposed New Zoning” in that dropdown either), and then scroll ALL THE WAY DOWN to the bottom to find it. (Zoning CCPB 239 Referral Form 9.26.19 signed… yet, again, the date Maria put on her signature was 10/2.)
Yep. They never told us. Not one word. The last 2 times they sent the zoning to the county, they DID tell us. They discussed it in the board meetings, as they are required to. do. It is a violation of Open Meeting law for them to do otherwise. Yet, they DID violate the law and didn’t think anything of it. In fact, Michael Richardson (who is on the board yet never got a single vote from any of us bc he was appointed by Maria Lull), said this about our fury at their deception, “I just don’t get it.”
I’m sorry, but why would we want someone representing us who doesn’t get us?
Yet the incumbents keep touting success with the budget process, blaming the past administration for some sort of financial ruin. Um, is it just us or do they not realize Town Supervisor Maria Lull and Deputy Supervisor Bob Balcom WERE part of that last administration they spend so much time blaming!
But back to what the County review of our zoning laws really means.
What Does the County Actually Do in the Review?
The Board has led us to believe that this is a “necessary step” to ensure our laws are good laws. Well, not so fast. The county already APPROVED these horrible laws… TWICE. Yet because of the Q&As with the public, the Board identified 90 issues that needed to be fixed. 90! And again, let us remind you, the County already APPROVED these horrible laws… TWICE.
So, yeah, forgive us, but we really don’t buy this “approval” process. The County approving them does not mean these laws are great!
In fact, the County does NOT care if the law demands we bring our garbage cans in within 48 hours. The County does NOT care if the law requires us to put a front porch on any new building in a hamlet. The County does NOT care what time or day we mow our lawns. Those are only 3 examples of many.
ALL the county cares about is that our zoning does not negatively impact any other towns in the County.
The County does NOT care if one town’s laws are over-restrictive and another’s are not. ALL they care about is if one town’s laws negatively impact another’s.
Oh, and Bob Balcom even commented at the last Board meeting, on October 10th, that they don’t even have to take ANY of the County’s recommendations. Not one.
We can tell you, without reservation, the County WILL rubber-stamp approve this. The Board WILL push this to Public Hearing in late November – Richardson all but admitted that tonight at the Q&A. And the Board WILL pass this pile of overly-restrictive zoning to the next step.
And guess what? They can pass it into law even if they lose the election because the election winners don’t take office until January 1st.
The ONLY way to stop these laws from being voted on by this Board, is to keep telling them what you think is wrong with them! Email your questions to them. Demand more Q&As.
It’s a beast, but please try to check the sections of this law that will negatively impact your life and ask questions! Demand answers! Believe us, there are MANY flaws within these 233 pages! Oh, yes, it is now up to 233 pages of restrictive fun!
Here it is: NEW PROPOSED ZONING LAW
Yes, we heard you groan when you clicked that link. Sorry, but they keep making this thing BIGGER! To our horror.
If only the citizens could charge the Board for the hours they have put into fighting this law. But believe us, the Board HAS paid Nan the Planner and John Lyons, the land-use attorney for THEIR time. Tens of thousands of dollars!
The Sham Q&A is a MUST WATCH!
Want to see the video of the Q&A from October 14th? Oh, yes, they had a zoning Q&A on Columbus Day. They don’t care that it’s a holiday and people might be out of town.
This video says it all. It truly is a must-watch event. Richardson acts like he is the King of Chatham, dismissing his subjects and laughing at them.
We know it looks grim, but we can overcome this!
Please do NOT give up! Keep fighting this horrible zoning law! The ultimate voice you have is your right to vote. Of all the elections Chatham has ever had, this one is the most important.
Chatham needs you. VOTE for Donal, Vance and Abi, and send a clear message that this Town Supervisor Maria Lull and Michael Richardson need to be removed from office!
Donal, Vance and Abi are knocking on doors and trying to get to everyone’s house, yet at the same time, they are working hard to read the 233 pages of proposed laws and going to every Town Board meeting to stop this law from passing! So, please know they are already trying to save Chatham from zoning fitting of Westchester County.