Can we all agree that if a do-over is due, then a do-over should be done without embarrassment, hesitation or extra cost?
The Sea Cliff Zoning Board heard and turned down an application months ago that may not have been altogether fair to the applicants.
Jerry and Raquel Camarano want to raise the roof on their multi-level home at the top of Laurel Avenue in Sea Cliff so that their young son, Cagney, will have a bigger bedroom/playroom which will be on the same level as his parents’ bedroom. He also needs enough space to safely set up his beloved train set which now runs around the coffee table in the living room where it is constantly beset by derailments.
The zoning board voted 3-0 against the project. But there are extenuating circumstances which may well deserve a new hearing. The zoning board has a new chairman and a new member since the village election in March. Additionally, two current members of the board abstained from voting for or against the original application without explanation.
If taken again today, the vote could feasibly go 3-2 in favor of the applicants who would like to appeal the earlier decision.
The problem and rightful objection with that is the village will seek another $50 applicant’s fee and a second $150 zoning board fee to listen to the Camarano’s again. Not to mention another set of expensive blueprints for all involved and the possible need to rehire an architect or attorney to represent them.
Besides striking those requirements from a village code book which dates back to 1979, couldn’t the village simply grant the Camarano’s a second hearing at no cost to them? The truth is, the applicants did not get full service from our “full-service” village. The two abstentions, for whatever reason, actually shortchanged the applicants in having a five-vote zoning board count which could have gone their way.