Friday, November 6, 2015

Too Clever By Half

Attorney Tom Reidy leans in to his Hail Mary presentation to ZBA last night

While probably good for increasing his billable hours the formal appeal of the Building Commissioner -- hand delivered to the Town Clerk at the last minute -- came back to bite his client, Clifford Laraway, in the butt at the Zoning Board of Appeals Special Permit hearing last night.

Chair Mark Parent immediately told attorney Tom Reidy, "You put us in an awkward position here because of the appeal you filed.  We need to act on it by December 3rd but now we can't address those circumstances here tonight."

To which attorney Reidy responded, "What happened in the past is the past.  The appeal may be withdrawn on December 3rd.  We wish to move forward."

Of course what attorney Reidy was angling for is having the ZBA issue the Special Permit declaring the structure a two family unit (8 maximum tenants) which would then be used as evidence at the December 3rd hearing to overturn the Building Commissioner's declaration that the house has too many tenants.

Another major mistake made by the petitioners was not appeasing Amherst Fire Department, who also found the building to be more than a simple two family house, deeming it a "rooming house" and as a result requires sprinklers.

But ZBA member Tom Ehrgood said he was "impressed at the changes" he saw on their site visit the previous day and did not see why the regular Special Permit hearing "could not continue".

Planning Department senior planner Jeff Bagg responded "Deciding on a Special Permit tonight would be premature.  So many elements relate to the appeal."

Building Commissioner Rob Morra agreed, "At the last hearing the board gave the petitioner clear directives to figure out the occupancy issue.  You need to address the appeal first."  And Mr Morra reminded the board of the Fire Department's clearly stated requirement for a sprinkler system.

Neighbor Joan Burgess told the board during public comment that she "Appreciated the changes, however the management plan required should be updated to show specifically what they are doing for better management.  It has to be quantifiable."

The board gave the petitioners a directive to bring back a parking and management plan that convinces them no more than eight tenants will occupy the building and to work out an agreement with Amherst Fire Department.
 382 North Pleasant Street
 Facebook post UMass Alpha Epsilon PiPhi chapter fraternity
Note similarity with mailbox on right

The Special Permit hearing was continued to December 3rd at 7:00 PM while the appeal of the Building Commissioner's ruling will be heard at 6:30 PM.


Anonymous said...

Possession used to be 9/10ths of the law, now the law owns 9/10ths of your possessions and you are begging to give them more?

The short version of this post is "Town of Amherst forces residents out of their homes at neighbors' requests to achieve desired atmosphere" not something anyone should be remotely proud of, but the town and some in it are exceeding proud of this excessive use of force to take what you want, even as the program looses money and costs the residents their property rights.

Jokes on everyone, especially those that are on the street, where they will get even less respect.

It would be nice to see someone who supports this absolute crap experience what it is like to have the government come and force you out of your home, especially if some of those that support this have kids, forcing them to stand out in the cold while mommy and daddy try and decide where to sleep now that the government banned them from their home. My sense is that the way things are trending, it will only be a few years until there is a law in place we can use to kick Larry out of his home. Really anyone for that matter. This is what this is really about right, repeating the social design experiments of 75-100 years ago in Europe with a PC spin.

Larry do you blog from home, is your property properly zoned for this newspaper business? Perhaps bloggers and reporters should wear a colored arm band, that would be way less of a big deal than legislating people out of their homes....way less.

Larry Kelley said...

I blog from EVERYWHERE.

And I'm not in the "newspaper" business. In fact newspapers will soon enough no longer be in the newspaper business.

Anonymous said...

Fyi its love your lawyer day today!

Larry Kelley said...

I always love lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps there should be a love your journalist day.

Anon 9:55, Town Meeting rejected a zoning article last year that would have required home businesses to register. So Larry is safe for now.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea--follow the law. If you buy a house under certain zoning follow the law and don't expect a special exception just for you. This is pure greed.

Dr Ed said...

Larry, if you don't have a second business location and receive penny fro, the blog, your house is your place of business...

Anonymous said...

Rent a pobox at The Ups store buy a 6 year DBA certicate and list 6 University Drive on it from the Town of Amherst Clerk's office for $60.00 your legal