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Confusion reigns at Sullivan ZBA

The parties were notified of the decision in July of this year.

While Dowd's decision was largely favorable to the town, the judge felt the town's state Environmental Quality Review process was lacking and ordered Local Law No. 7 of 2007 repealed. He also ordered the planning board to make a timely decision on the special use permit application.

The planning board sent the matter back to the ZBA "to complete the work it had begun when Local Law No. 1 was enacted."

The town council began work on a new law under the direction of special counsel Scott Chatfield. That law, which cleaned up definitions of "mining" and "quarrying" and omitted language Dowd found troublesome in his decision earlier this year, was adopted and filed with the Secretary of State earlier this month.

The applicants, through attorney Michael Longstreet, filed another motion in the Article 78 proceeding, protesting the delays, asking Dowd to find the town in contempt of court for defying a court order and seeking to have Chatfield removed as counsel for the ZBA.

Last week

Attorney Robert Ventre, representing Quarry Road residents, advised the ZBA that they should be interpreting the 1979 law. Special counsel for the ZBA Kevin Walsh did not agree or contradict Ventre.

In fact, Walsh sat in silence as the board grappled with its function at the hearing and later as they struggled with procedure and continued to discuss a matter after it had been tabled.

According to Roberts Rules of Order, a motion to table followed by a second ends discussion of that issue. No vote is required, and it is to be the first order of business at the next meeting of that board.

Henry said the object of the hearing was to gather information in the hopes it would help guide the decision of the ZBA. Town Clerk and ZBA Secretary Charlotte Ferstler corrected Henry several times on his terminology, telling him the ZBA was there to make an interpretation, not a decision, adding to the confusion board members seemed to be suffering.

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