Gilreath Manor (3 buildings) Hobart Lane, Amherst
Based on new information -- the truth -- Grandonico Properties, LLC lawyer Lawrence Farber requested a last minute continuation at Thursday night's Zoning Board of Appeals hearing to appeal punitive fines issued by Building Commissioner Rob Morra for violation of the town's zoning by-law limiting unrelated housemates to four per single family dwelling.
For those of you who think fines do not make a difference in changing behavior, take note: Commissioner Morra issue the first fine on Monday and they will accumulate at $100 per day, unless the ZBA (at that rescheduled meeting in mid January) overturns the decision of the Building Commissioner, a highly unlikely scenario.
According to Commissioner Morra: "Mr. Farber is requesting a continuance which must be granted tonight by the ZBA after they open the hearing. If granted, the fines will continue and, in my opinion, must be appealed to district court within 21 days. It is also my opinion that the ZBA is ruling on the application of ZBL Section 11.45 in this case and not the fine itself which must be heard by the court – although I am aware that all may not agree with me."
The statement submitted by UMass Legal Services attorney Carol Booth clearly demonstrates a pattern of dishonest behavior by the owners of Gilreath Manor, carefully designed to circumvent Amherst's zoning bylaw.
Kind of appropriate I guess, for a story that started with an illegal bedroom basement fire, ends with "A Smoking Gun."