Straight Talk

HONEST talk about local issues!

Truth, Part XI–Manipulating Planning and Zoning

doasIsayThe effort to bring the Planning and Zoning Commission into lock step begins with this email to Chairman Klemens:

On Sep 8, 2011, at 2:50PM, Curtis Rand <crand@salisburyct.us> wrote:

Hi Michael I am forwarding this email from Town Attorney Tom
Marrion. The Town will be considerin 2 alternative uses of the former
firehouse in Lakeville.
First, a proposalef to purchase it from Frank Gallogly, to use as a private
garage for his car collection. In addition, he would restore the white
building for some sort of commercial use and deed a portion of the lawn
“green” area as a public park.
Second, Mr. Mike Flint is proposing to renovate the building into 3
affordable apartments; his proposal contemplates razing of the white
building.
The BoS is holding a public hearing on these proposals tonight, to be
followed sometime in the next 3-5 weeks by a Town Meeting to vote on
them. We don’t know yet how to write a Resolution for Town Meeting
vote but we hope to bring these to the Town in October.
As you can see, a P &Z hearing on any proposal will be required. I am not
sure how long this would take, or what it would involve, but in the contract
with Frank Gallogly, we are using a closing date of December 16th, sale
conditional on Town meeting approval as well as P&Z.
Is this adequate for the P &Z approval?
Thanks
CR

There are multiple distortions of the facts in this email, most notably the continued insistence that there must be a P&Z hearing.  Connecticut General Statutes did NOT require P&Z to hold a hearing concerning the sale to Mr. Gallogly.  In fact, as pointed out in our previous post, P&Z was required to ‘report’ on the proposal after a review.  Further, any disapproval by P&Z could be ignored by the Town Meeting.  It was only the contract for sale which required some ‘undefined’ approval by the P&Z.  Let us not forget that the Statute Attorney Marrion sited in this case only applied to the sale of municipal property and in no way applied to the proposal to convert the building into workforce apartments.  This was yet another effort by First Selectman Rand to confuse the issue and eventually get his way.

Mr. Klemens responds to Mr. Rand:

On 9/8/2011 4:45PM, Michael wrote:
Do you intend to bring both options to the P and Z before the Town Meeting … or do
you bring the one selected by the Town meeting … obviously as planners we would like to cOmpare both options … this also reflects the timing of our meeting

Mr. Rand, in response to Mr. Klemens, after the public hearing:

On Sep 9, 2011, at 8:23AM, Curtis Rand <crand@salisburyct.us> wrote:

Hi Michael We met last night and there were multiple opinions about these offers.
The BoS will meet soon to decide what are the next steps – in any case we are
committed to the Gallogly offer, so I will forward you everything later today. P&Z
could begin your deliberations soon.
Thanks CR

“… in any case we are committed to the Gallogly offer …”

Could Mr. Rand not be more obvious about his intentions or did I somehow misunderstand this email?

Mr. Klemens to Mr. Rand, the rest of the BOS comrades, the ZEO, and the attorneys (except Schuchat, who was not considered to be in ‘the family’):

Subject:Re: Frank Gallogly offer
Date:Fri, 9 Sep 2011 09:22:46 -0400
From:Michael <fenbois@aol.com>
To:Curtis Rand <crand@salisburyct.us>
CC:CHRISTOPHER DAKIN <dakelawllll@att.net>, Tom Marrion
<tmarrion@haslaw.com>, Jim Dresser <jdresser@snet.net>, Robert Riva
<rriva@salisburyct.us>, Nancy Brusie <nbrusie@salisburyct.us>
Hi Curtis:
I am confused by you last email … having watched with great interest the recent meetings of the AHC I took it at face value that the proposal to convert the fire house to affordable housing units was one of two credible proposals that would be brought to a Town Meeting for the citizens of this Town to decide upon based upon their respective merits.

From your email to me it appears … and I hope that I am wrong … that there is prejudgment on this issue. I personally consider the concept of converting the frrehouse to affordable apartments worthy of serious consideration by the P and Z. I
believe that the current proposal may be too conservative and that one could get six or seven units on the firehouse property by razing the accessory structure and building on the vacant land.

There are many other issues to consider .. the proposed uses of the building and their consistency with the POCD. What you have proposed does not appear to meet those objectives .. and I feel that in order to procede down the course that you have outlined I need to receive input and concurrence from the rest of the Commission. I am only one of five elected commissioners and do not feel I can make
such an important decision without their concurrence.

I have asked Nancy to circulate this email chain to the other Commissioners and Alternates so I can get a better sense of how they wish to procede with your request.
Michael

It seems that even Chairman Klemens sensed that there was a ‘prejudgment’ surrounding these proposals.  I guess I was not alone on that one!

Commissioner Dwyer now joins the chain …

On 9/9/2011 11:17 AM, JOHNNYCAKE BOOKS wrote:
Curtis, I, too, am confused by the email. Specifically, what precisely is P&Z being asked to approve and/or amend regulations for? Indeed, I, too, think that use of the firehouse for affordable housing is an alternative that should be given consideration, not only at P&Z but also in a Town meeting or other public venue at which all alternatives are given practical review. DAN

Excellent points!  What is it that P&Z is suppose to do and why?  How about a practical review?

It certainly seems that Mr. Rand has succeeded in creating confusion around this matter.  More apparent are the objections to the process and the appearance of bias concerning one of the proposals.  Remember that public dollars were expended to assist in the drafting of the purchase agreement, while not one public dime or resource was directed at the conversion proposal.  It would not be a stretch to say that orders may have been issued to block any assistance by those associated with town government concerning the conversion proposal.

Mr. Rand would persist in his effort to convince people that regardless of what they may perceive, the moon is actually made from green cheese.

(Please note the email quotes in this post are as they were written.  We have made no alterations, including correcting spelling or other errors.  They are absolutely authentic.)

To be continued …

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