Letter to the Editor


A Complaint against the Raymond Zoning Board of Adjustment
  October 26, 2018

A formal complaint against the Raymond Zoning Board of Adjustment and notification of said complaint to Raymond Town Manager, Raymond Planning Board, and the residents of Raymond. 

A public hearing was held on October 24th, 2018 to discuss application #2018-005.  A copy of the request is located at the end of the letter.

This complaint is against the Zoning Board and specifically board member Paul McCoy. At the opening of the hearing Mr. McCoy let it be known that he had worked intimately with the applicant in a business relationship. Mr. McCoy had previously represented the parcel of land Tax map 23/ lot 52 as a realtor. Mr. McCoy did not recuse himself from the proceedings. He stated he could remain impartial. Throughout the hearing his interjections, and comments made it clear that he would not remain impartial and directly tried to steer the proceedings in favor of the applicant.  Being a realtor with the potential to re-represent the applicant in the future is a direct conflict of interest.

The tract of commercially zoned land is a small property of 1.6 + acres. The notice the abutters received with five variances was a fraudulent representation compared to the actual drawing proposed. The shocking scope of the project detailed in the drawing left inadequate time to form a rebuttal.  The applicant requests 10 homes and a commercial building on 1.6 acres. The 20 bedrooms and commercial building will be producing 3000- 4000 gallons of effluent (sewage) per day on a lot that is across from wetlands.

The lawyer that was brought in to represent the applicant cited a hardship for the applicant. The applicant bought the property speculating as an investment and at the current asking price has been unable to unburden himself of the property. The request to elevate the hardship and place it on the abutters and Raymond residents is not just. If, we invest in the stock market and fail to be compensated when the market drops, it is not the public required to make us whole. The proposed variances would give the applicant significant gain, millions. The applicant could ask for a variance in the zoning to residential and would fit the criteria for three homes/townhouses. The applicant would then fairly and justly reduce his hardship burdening the Town of Raymond.

By setting the standard, granting the hardship variance to the applicant, I feel that having an agricultural property near a completely new overly populated neighborhood would be a hardship for this agricultural scenic property. Tax map 23/lot 52 variances will allow ten homes with twenty bedrooms and an office building on 1.6+ acres. Using this mathematical correlation, as an abutter my property would be approved for a range of 500-900 homes.

The word town is also of importance. We are the town of Raymond not the city of Raymond. The proposed variances are more densely populated than my growing up neighborhood in the City of Lynn. My former neighborhood had a yard, porches, and ample parking.  The 10 unit proposal will be more congested than a large city.

A point that Mr. McCoy harped upon was the lack of objection from the abutters with the proposed office park project. He is correct, the abutters knowingly bought property or resided in their property with the knowledge it is a tiny commercial lot. We did not object to the applicant using the property as was intended by the zoning and we did not object to professionals coming for a work day and leaving.  One of many objections these variances allowance is Raymond residents to suffer under a population density burden and all the potential hazards that 10 residential units on a minute parcel will create.

Throughout the entire hearing, Paul McCoy advocated for the property, thus not remaining neutral. He conveyed inaccurate data to the board members, potentially influencing their vote. The overarching comment emphasized by Paul McCoyand then repeated by the board that the granting of these variances would not be a detriment to property value, a detriment to the existing neighborhood, Raymond Master Plan, or contrary to public interest is a blatant disregard for the basic zoning ordinances the Town of Raymond public voted for.

Does the Town of Raymond want to allow the zoning board to set precedent disregarding setbacks, lot sizes, lot usage, septic consideration, wetland considerations, and even the terminology of commercial and residential on the same lot? The Pandora’s Box that will be opened is to the impairment of the Raymond public. The zoning board is over reaching and egregious in allowing these variances.

By purchasing the commercial property, the applicant assumed the risk for both potential profit and or loss. The Raymond public assumes no responsibility for the applicant’s financial investment outcome. The applicant has other avenues to pursue that are not against the greater good.


Sincerely,
Patricia Bridgeo and John Taylor
7 Old Fremont Rd.
Raymond, NH 03077

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Develop an attitude of Gratitude !!
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~ Melody Beattie ~