The ZBA, the Car Lot and Me
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
I have been fighting with my town and the used car lot next to me for the last five summers. I have had the house for 12 years this week. When we bought the house, it was on a hidden dead end off of a main highway service road. There were some little office type stores, one being a mortgage broker and a miniscule car thing, totally unremarkable. Next to us was a house that three brothers had grown up in. One of them was named Steed, guess someone’s parents liked the Avengers. There was a birch tree, weeping willow and a magnificent oak.
The car lot on the highway expanded. They bought out the brothers and razed the house. Hell commenced. We have been subjected to illegal parking, destruction of the oak tree.
Misery ensued. We are off a high speed highway service road, one way with a curb. So they continually for years parked cars diagonally across the sidewalk so seeing cars coming around the curve at 60 plus miles was extremely difficult.
My favorite has always been the massage parlor in the used car lot. It was advertised on Backpage. My SS’s GF works in a transportation yard and the guys razzing on her would talk about it, not even realizing we lived right there. We were told we could not fight the Town and the Mob.
He abandoned cars in the woods behind our house and then cleared the lands.
There are zoning hearings every year. He promises to do the work; does very little, comes back and gets approved again. Last year he was approved in April so the hearing was in August, right on time. Another summer I was unable to use my yard.
Prior to the hearing, we sent the ZBA chair a thumbdrive (or as my FIL called them thumbnails or thumbtacks) with over 175 photos and correspondence dating back to 2014. I had also contacted the local paper and sent them the same. This time I mentioned the prostitution. Still, I approached the hearing with no expectations of any decision in our favor. It's usually slightly unprofessional and clique-y. We usually get a false offer for our property the week before. Not this time. Truth be told, he has finally done most of the required work but not our buffer zones and he illegally cleared the woods behind our home. We have been speaking for years at these hearings. I made quite a splash a few years back. They always formally start with the Pledge of Allegiance. The seating is those folding theater seats. I forgot and totally missed sitting down so much excitation as I was lifted off the floor. Nothing like that Thursday evening. Robby arrived with his attorney, the blowsy, very Dickensian Mr. U. They were extremely confident as they went before the board. Originally, Robby used to show up in a suit but with sockettes (LOL). Thursday, ripped jeans. However, the board had seen my pictures . So, when Robby started to talk about landscaping, they brought up a photo with a weedy sidewalk and grounds, Robby said "oh no, that's Town land." My point, exactly. He was digging a hole. The Board asked him if he had read my letter. No. So Mr. U starts skimming and the next thing, he asks if it is possible to ask for an adjournment. This is highly irregular at this point in the proceedings. They tell them to sit down as they consider. Robby and Mr. U ask for Oct. 4. The board asks me if that is alright. It is not as I have an infusion in NYC that day. They accommodated me! Robby followed me home in his pickup truck. I was angry but unafraid.
The newspaper reporter said I was very smart. When the adjournment was granted, a board member followed me and told me the info from the thumb drive needs to either be emailed or mailed to be put into the official record. So, here's a story. Years ago, I dated one of the King of Morocco's bodyguards(namedropping ). He was one of several Muslims I was seeing at the time. Daddy used to say, "Do they know I am Jewish?" Anyhow, Younis disappeared for awhile. He rang during Sunday dinner. My parents were stunned when I said, "Oh, you've reached S in your phone book, S is not for stupid." Thereafter, it was a family joke. Robby thought I was and he's finally getting it - S is for smart :)