Clinton Current Events

Honorable Judge Matthew Frechette

Finds For The Plaintiffs

Against Clinton's

Planning and Zoning Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Court Rules Contractors Storage Yard Regulations Invalid

Clinton - May 14, 2016

The Clinton Taxpayers Association (CTA) announced it has won a court battle to appeal a Clinton Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) 2016 decision which had relaxed regulations governing contractor storage yards.  

   “The CTA sees this recent court ruling as a major victory to protect residential property owners from prohibitive encroachment by contractor’s storage yards”, said CTA President, Pamela Fritz.  “With excellent representation by our legal counsel, Attorney John R Lambert, a significant fight to reverse the PZC amendment has been won here”, she added.  

    The court’s decision centered upon the Contractor’s Storage Yard Regulation changes which the PZC put into effect after their Clinton public hearing held on August 29, 2016.  At issue was the participation by P&Z Commission member Carl Neri who was not seated for the hearing, but nonetheless participated, interrupting and badgering audience members who testified and spoke out against the regulation changes. 

     Following the passage of the amendment by the Commission, an appeal was filed by a coalition organized by the CTA representing these aggrieved parties: MMJ Self Storage of Clinton, LLC; Frank and Beverly Natle; Lisa Mauzy; Marion Buice-Hubert; Philip and Ellen Stankiewicz and Pamela B. Fritz, President of the CTA. 

     After the August 2016 Public Hearing was concluded, several participants filed complaints with Clinton’s Ethics Commission regarding the improper participation and bullying conduct of Mr. Neri.  The Ethics Commission refused to take any action.  Fritz commented, “Considering this decisive legal decision rendered by the court, the Clinton Taxpayers Association believes it would be a dereliction of duty for the Ethics Commission not to re-visit these ethics complaints”.  

     “Judge Matthew Frechette’s decision could possibly end up being an expose of how monetary and personal gains may be used to manipulate zoning amendments”, Fritz said.  She concluded, “There are many citizens who volunteer to selflessly serve the Town of Clinton as elected and appointed officials.  Their service should not be sullied by anyone who thinks and acts like public service is self-service.”

Highlights of the Judge’s decision in favor of the CTA’s appeal include:  

  • Our Appellate Court has ruled the appearance of impropriety create by a public official’s participation in a matter in which he has a pecuniary or personal interest is sufficient to require disqualification.
  • Regarding the drafting of the proposed regulation, the court noted that, “(acting chairman) Michael Knudson admitted that he assisted proponent and business associate of the Neri Corp, Kimberly Simoncini, in drafting the amendments. 
  • Neri’s personal interests surrounding his potential financial gain and bias in favor of his daughter (Kimberly Simoncini) do conflict with his duties as an alternate member of the commission, rendering him disqualified to even sit at the table during the commission’s hearing and deliberations concerning (regulation) AR 16-112.
  • While Neri was not seated…he did participate by pointing at the acting chairman (Michael Knudson) just before and as he was casting the decisive vote in favor of the proposal (regulation change).  
  • The action of the defendant (P&Z) commission was invalidbecause of Neri’s participation in the public hearing and deliberations although he was disqualified based on his personal and financial interest in the passage of resolution AR 16-112.

The Sign Heist Part of the Story as Displayed on Facebook 

and the Arrest That Followed Below 








Beware of the Trojan Horse

Industrial I-2 Zone Amendment Proposal

PZC Public Hearing • Town Hall Mon. Feb 4th 7 PM

I-2 Zone Could Re-Open Dump Door 
There is nothing preventing Old Post Road Realty, LLC, (OPRR), from filing another lawsuit against the PZC over their changing the regulations to prohibit a recycling dump on their Rt. 145 property. If this change to their !-2 zone is adopted, OPRR will be in a substantially stronger legal position to be seek court permission to proceed with their original Rt.145 industrial dump.

Who Is Old Post Road Realty, LLC?

Remember the horrific Industrial dump proposed for Rt 145? Remember the countless hours spent by Old Post Road Realty (under the name of Shoreline Rail and Recycling) trying to get this approved by the Inland Wetlands Commission? This is the same land with the same owners. Supposedly they want to build a sports complex. There is no history of these people ever building a successful sports facility. There is plenty on record of their applications and detailed plans to build a dump in Clinton.

Does This Applicant Ring a Bell?

The applicant is asking PZC to approve a zone change, just for their own special needs. This will have wide-spread implication for all I-2 Zones with no guarantees from the applicant or enforceable promises that they will ever build what they say they will.





Appropriate Location?

Although no application for a sports facility on 30 Old Post Road exists, it is important to note that during earlier hearings regarding this property, it came to light that this site is low lying and in a flood plain. Building a sports facility in a wetland setting presents the same serious problem as a recycling structure. Extensive traffic studies would need to be done to see if this location is even feasible for the high traffic a sports facility would generate. But this is all a moot point since there is no such site plan.

Re-zoning I-2 Zones Opens a Fast Track

If approved, this Industrial I-2 zone amendment would apply broadly across all I-2 properties spread throughout Clinton. By approving this amendment, many other industrial property owners might utilize this “fast track” that will have been established. Residential property owners will have to live in fear of what “Special Exception” might end up in their backyard.

Old Post Realty Complaint Against Clinton PZC ultimately withdrawn before seeking other zoning change.
Clinton Planning and Zoning 

Contractors Storage Yard Amendment 

Due in Court October 15, 2018



=====================================
   
Thanks to the Clinton Planning and Zoning Commission for responding to the Clinton's overwhelming objection to an Inland Wetlands application to locate a large industrial waste and construction/demolition disposal site in Clinton. PZC's new regulation will prohibit any new recycling facilities like this in Clinton except as a special exception in the industrial park (IP) zone. See portion of zoning map below or full zoning map here. See all of the supporting documentation here.
.
.
..

UPDATE


After three Inland Wetland Commission (IWC) Public Hearings, the Commission met on on May 1 and reached a consensus to reject the application, but continued the decision until their June meeting to give them time to craft a resolution that would stand up to appeal in court. In the meantime Shoreline Rail and Recycling (SR&R) withdrew the application. Sadly, SR&R has since submitted a new application, which the IWC will probably officially receive at their August 7 meeting and schedule more public hearings.

Stay tuned.

..
.

Planning & Zoning Commission

Proposed Ban

Meets Resistance

Two PZC Commissioners, Gary Bousquet and Adam Moore, voted to block this PZC initiative. This is no time for complacency.




Full minutes of that June 11 meeting are available here.

Video available below.

AR 18-024 Video

2018 Referendum Record


Why You Should Care

About the $1 Million

Budget Surplus

That Means Taxes Are

2% Higher Than Needed



51% is Still a Majority
On May 23 51% of Voters
Voted NO


Don't get shortchanged with another fraction of 1%
Token Budget Cut



On May 9 Voters Rejected the Proposed Tax 4% Increase
On Top of  This Year's 10% Tax Increase


But the Boards of Finance and Selectmen Shave Less than 1%








 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Website Builder