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February 26, 2020
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Hearing was Infuriating

Published Feb. 12, 2020

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Last week’s Clinton Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC) hearing was infuriating. First, Larry Oullette of the Historic District Commission made a plea to create a village district on High Street and John Street, unreasonably diminishing property owners’ control of their own property. Not a single member of the public spoke in favor. A petition was presented by affected property owners in opposition. Several owners spoke in opposition. One stated the obvious, that they do a good job of taking care of their properties and don’t need the town telling them what they can and can’t do. If the change was approved by PZC, property owners couldn’t make any visible changes to the exterior of their property without review by the town’s Design Review Board. Ridiculous. The hearing was continued. I encourage your readers to show up and support their neighbors.

Next up was the Unilever property, which is being sliced and diced and presented piecemeal, which is inappropriate given the size of the property and its history of pollution and contamination. The application lacks the necessary septic and wastewater, architectural, engineering, lighting, landscaping, and traffic and site plans. A well-respected attorney, Keith Ainsworth, who represents a neighboring property owner, said in all his experience he has never seen such an incomplete application considered by any PZC.

This proposal warrants close scrutiny. PZC’s history of terrible blunders and/or corruption has cost the town dearly. They can’t screw this up. As I said in an earlier letter, the fact that Unilever sold the property, appraised at $4 million, to the applicant for a mere $100,000 should be a red flag. An Assessor’s Office employee told the Harbor News in August 2019 that there might be some unknown factor in the sale that affected the numbers. It’s important to know what that is.

Vincent Cimino
Clinton