POUND RIDGE Dealing with your local government can be an intimidating prospect. Whether you want to open a new business, build an addition onto your house, or just get a license for dog, you may wonder how to even begin.
For Pound Ridge residents, it all begins with the towns website, www.townofpoundridge.com . Log onto the site and you will find it has most of the information youll need to get started. If it doesnt answer your questions, it will provide you with the phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses of those who can.
Like most small-town governments, Pound Ridge has a number of boards and commission charged with specific duties. The most prominent of these are the town board, the planning and the zoning board of appeals (ZBA). Heres a breakdown of those boards, what they do, and when they meet:
The town board is the main governing body of the town. As the legislative branch of the government, it passes laws, regulations and resolutions and makes appointments. The board is also responsible for approving budgets and levying taxes. It consists of four councilmen and a supervisor. Councilmen hold a four-year term, while the supervisor holds a two-year term. Regular town board meetings are conducted the first and second Thursdays each month at 8 p.m. in the Town House on Westchester Avenue.
Any Pound Ridge resident may attend. You can visit the town website to check out the boards monthly calendar to view meeting agenda. Agendas posted the Friday before the meeting. The current board members are Supervisor David Warshauer, and Councilmen Jon Powers, (also deputy supervisor), Peter J. Falco, Richard B. Lyman, Daniel S. Paschkes and Paul McConville. The executive assistant to the supervisor is Marianne Vitelli.
Minutes to the town board meetings and other boards as well, can also be found on the town website.
Once the minutes of a meeting are approved at the following meeting the next month, they go up on the website pretty quickly, said Town Clerk JoAnne Pace.
Pace that if people are interested in finding out how the board voted on certain issues, they can reach out to her.
They can call me on anything and I can look it up for them [regarding the town board issues], she said. They can call the secretaries of the other boards and do the same. The phone numbers of those secretaries are found on the town website.
Residents can also have a draft of the town board minutes e-mailed to them, Pace said. Call her at (914) 764-5549 to make arrangements.
Pace said that if people have a problem or a question, they can usually bring up at the town boards regular meeting at the end of the agenda.
[Supervisor] Gary [Warshauer] allows the public to speak at the end of the agenda, Pace said. He usually asks if anyone has further business to come before the board.
However, Pace said the best time to raise issues with the supervisor is at the monthly supervisor forums held the first Saturday of every month.
He does encourage questions at the forums, she said.
Recently passed laws and legislation, such as the towns new leash law, are usually available and detailed on the towns website as well, according to Marianne Vitelli, administrative assistant to the supervisor
The Planning Board oversees construction and development throughout the community. As a steward of the many environmental resources of the community, the Pound Ridge Planning Board works closely with all applicants for both subdivision approval and site plan review to assure that the residential character of the community is maintained. The planning board meets the last Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Town House. Submission deadlines to be included in that months meeting are due two weeks before the meeting.
The planning board currently consists of Clayton Fowler (chair), Judy Kennedy, Andrew Brodnick, Steve Kushner, Peter Efremenko, John Bria and Sam Mlynar. The planning board administrator is Karen Taft. She can be reached at (914) 764-3982 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)
The Zoning Board of Appeals is charged with making sure all development and property usage follows the towns comprehensive (or master) plan and zoning ordinances. It is empowered to act in two ways: 1) Variances - The ZBA may grant a variance from the provisions of the zoning ordinance when specific relief is requested and the applicant can demonstrate that he/she meets the criteria for the granting of a variance as prescribed by law. 2) Reversal The ZBA can reverse a decision or interpretation made by the zoning code enforcement officer where a reversal is requested and the evidence presented demonstrates that the decision or interpretation was incorrect.
Meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Town House. You can call the Zoning Office at (914) 764-3982 for specific dates. Deadline for submissions is on the Monday that is two weeks prior to the meeting. The ZBA walks the property the Saturday prior to the meeting between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. Proposed structures must be staked prior to the walk. It is important for applicants to understand that legal criteria exist and the burden of proof must be met for a favorable decision.
The current ZBA consists of Les Maron (chair), Larry Brotmann, David Grubb, Tom Smith and Murray Levy.
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