Monday, September 14, 2009

Meetings this week

There are some important meetings going on this week, some of them at the same time, but oh well.

There's City Council tonight and both a parking garage report and update on the sewer plant tomorrow night.

Tonight's City Council meeting should be interesting, if only for the fact that they will probably be discussing the appointment of John Morris to the Redevelopment Authority.

I was going to do a story for last week's Current about this, but signals were crossed and it never got done.

Suffice it to say that the property Morris owns on Water St. could not be split up due to zoning regulations -and the Zoning Board of Appeals back then (1997) would not grant a variance - so he bought the whole parcel from the Trust that administers Joseph Hale's will, under a quitclaim deed.

The deed granted the Hale people a perpetual right and easement to maintain the part of Hale Park that is next to the parcel where Morris and his family live and also granted the Trust the option to buy back that part of the property for $500 at any time until Feb. 25, 2017.

The current Zoning Board of Appeals in May approved a non-conforming use variance that created a lot that does not conform to the zoning there, which is agricultural/conservation according to the Planning Office.

That zoning requires a minimum lot size of 130,000 sq. feet there. Even left alone, it's nothing like that size.

That is their function but boy, the ZBA sure seems to love giving up stuff on the river. At least it's for a park.

Oh - and the Trust had to grant Morris a 10-foot strip of land along the revised property line so the 2-story garage would be in compliance for setback from the new lot.

From all the records I could find, Morris has been paying taxes on the full parcel all this time.

Doesn't seem like such a good deal to me, except that the value of the property has gone up substantially - but then I assume so have his taxes.

And that's the scoop. Not much of a scoop.

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