RICHFIELD SPRINGS – The tide is going out on anti-wind power here.
In last night’s Republican primary, former town supervisor Nick Palevsky, a critic of Monticello Hills wind farm opponents who took over much of town government, won the Republican primary for town supervisor, 158-148.
It is heartbreaking that our town has been plagued for over a year by Nick Palevsky’s horrendous and derogatory articles in the Pennysaver and other papers about a draft zoning law, the zoning volunteers and board members.
Whenever there is chaos, negativity, and turmoil in Richfield, it is Palevsky at the helm. And his statements are RARELY based on fact. So then the bullying and placing of doubt and fear into residents’ minds begins. The current scene is all too familiar.
Palevsky doesn’t understand that you cannot get a different outcome if you continue to do the same old thing. Some change is necessary, and some of the current board members understand that there are steps you need to take to reach your town’s goals.
Bullies and backdoor politics, which Palevsky has used in Richfield for 20 plus years, will set us back even further. In all his articles, what has he offered? Nothing but misinformation and rumors. Is this the person that you want to put in as supervisor, yet again?
Read between the lines, fellow residents. Palevsky has damaged reputations and the integrity of our town, over and over again. But it is not too late. Republicans can vote in the very important Republican Primary on June 25.
A vote for David Simonds for supervisor will bring unity. Kane Seamon has become a strong councilman and deserves our vote. NO vote for Fred Eckler who lives in Florida four months of the year, is always negative. In November’s General Election another young businessman will be on the ballot for councilman – Jeremy Fisher. He runs the much improved bowling alley, and is excited about Richfield. He gets my second vote!
For 150 years after Independence, government attempts to limit how landowners use their property were seen as unconstitutional because:
1. Zoning laws take property rights without compensation, and
2. Zoning laws constitute unequal treatment under the law.
Then came the ‘progressive’ era, in the early 1900s, which brought us the income tax, direct election of Senators, the Federal Reserve and Prohibition – all the so-called progressive reforms.
In 1916, New York City passed one of the first zoning laws in the nation – in response to construction of the Equitable Building (which still stands at 120 Broadway). The building towered over neighboring residences, blocking windows and hiding the sun.
All the original zoning laws in this country were written to address the problems brought on by congestion.
The first zoning enabling act was entitled:“An act to provide for the establishment IN CITIES AND INCORPORATED VILLAGES of districts within which the use of land and structures may be regulated by ordinance….” (emphasis added)
Crowded cities gave us the first zoning laws but the problems of crowded cities are not the problems of rural Richfield. That is why our 20-page land-use ordinance has served us so well for 27 years – it is appropriate to the area.
The proposed 100-page zoning amendment is NOT appropriate, and not warranted. It addresses problems we don’t have and arbitrarily interferes with growth and economic development.
The original NYC zoning law provided for protest petitions to enable dissenting landowners to force a super-majority vote by the legislature.
Edward Bassett, the legal architect of the ordinance noted that the protest petition was “a device for the protection of the property owner” and that its purpose was “to prevent easy or careless changes in the zoning regulations.”
In other words, the authority of government to zone and the recourse for landowners to petition were born in the same moment. The one has gone along with the other since there ever were zoning laws.
Property owners here in Richfield, who have signed objections to the zoning amendment, are using protest petitions exactly as they were intended – “to prevent easy, careless changes“ to our property rights.
Our protest petitions will require a super-majority of the Town Board to pass the zoning amendment. Without a fourth vote, the amendment will fail. The three-member majority may still use our tax dollars to pay an attorney to challenge the petitions – on technicalities.
Should they do that? Will they do that? Or will they accept the wishes of their constituents—and stand down? Stay tuned.
Town of Richfield
Nick Palevsky and David Simonds are running for the Republican nomination for Richfield town supervisor in the June 25 primary.