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Hewlett Harbor Mayor: BZA Needs Punitive Power

Residents currently going against recommendations of village.

officials want to add teeth to the village’s board of zoning appeals because some residents intentionally ignore their recommendations.

“We feel pressure not to be onerous, but at the same time, we’re creating a sense that this behavior is acceptable,” said Mayor Mark Weiss at the trustees’ May meeting. “The BZA strains to be accommodating. Everyone will benefit if you do the right thing.”

There have been a few instances where residents will go to the BZA for a variance and then simply do something else. And there are also cases where residents do work on their house and then seek approval afterward.

The mayor wants the village attorney and Trustee Kenneth Kornblau to work on two new laws that will punish residents who do the wrong thing.

“When someone goes against the building inspector, they should pick up the burden,” said Steven Gold, a member of Hewlett Harbor BZA. “The way we’re going now is silly. When they go for a variance and disregard it, there should be a penalty involved.”

Other items discussed at the meeting:

  • The village will receive a $20,000 reimbursement from FEMA for damages caused by Hurricane Irene.
  • The board wants to see if there’s a way to take smaller zoning cases, such as air conditioning units, fences and generators, off the books of the BZA and make them administrative matters.
  • New street signs are on track to be installed in May, but the trustees have to decide whether they want them installed in concrete and how high they should be.

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