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Letter: Lewisboro Resident Questions Land Use Regulations

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The Lewisboro Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Email your letters to lewisboro@dailyvoice.com .

To the Editor:

Spring is arriving and a neighbor has already placed a “for sale” on his property.  As others begin sprouting up like wild flowers across our town, they remind us that even in an improving market, Lewisboro with its draconian 150-foot wetland buffer and heavy taxation regime remains uncompetitive and unappealing compared to surrounding towns like Ridgefield with its 50-foot wetland buffer and lower property taxes.

This long, Great Recession, like a receding tide, has exposed the actual cost of onerous local landuse regulations. Yet town officials have not learned ther lesson.  Despite incontrovertible evidence of declining home values and a shrinking school population, they continue to make the wildly optimistic assumption that buyers will pay any price for land in Lewisboro. An elderly neighbor confided that she has had a hard time paying her property taxes and has not been able, in spite of listing her home over several years, to sell it  and cannot wait to leave town.

Not satisfied with the actual taking of private property that resulted from the enactment of the wetlands law, our current town supervisor is now looking to enact new laws making it more difficult to remove unsafe trees, requiring signs be placed, like “scarlet letters,” on properties where landuse applications are pending, and, at the request of his party’s leader, restricting the time that political placards can be displayed on private property, (a boon to incumbents).

Affording preferential treatment to nonpolitical signs raises First Amendment issues, and will turn the town into the perfect nanny state by impinging upon property owners’ constitutional rights to free speech.  Our landuse laws have already given us a bad reputation, locally.  These latest bad ideas may yet make Lewisboro the object of national derision.

Sarah Si

Waccabuc, N.Y.

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