Jackson Zoning Board Tackles Contentious Zoning Dispute

In a recent Jackson Zoning Board meeting, a debate unfolded over a zoning issue concerning the classification of a warehouse property. The discussion centered on whether the property in question should be classified as a contractor’s warehouse, a use permitted within the town’s ordinance, or as a general warehouse. The applicant’s representative argued that a 2020 determination had classified the property as a contractor’s warehouse, but the later approval did not specify this, leading to an appeal. Council member Mordechai Burnstein raised concerns about the potential for circumventing legal proceedings, while Scott Sargent questioned the timing of the appeal, suggesting the board may have missed the deadline for filing. The debate was further complicated by public commentary, with residents expressing concerns about the development’s potential impact on the community. The meeting concluded with the decision to carry the application to the February 21st zoning board meeting for further discussion.

The zoning dispute drew attention as the council debated the nuances of the town’s zoning ordinance, particularly the lack of a clear definition for “Contractor’s Warehouse.” The dialogue highlighted the board’s struggle to interpret and apply the ordinance’s provisions, with some members pointing out the potential consequences of making a decision without sufficient evidence or clear understanding of the proposed use.

As the board members delved into the matter, they expressed differing opinions on the best course of action. Concerns were raised about the planning board’s jurisdiction, the rights of objectors, and the need for a clearer explanation of the request before making a decision. The debate touched on the historical context of similar cases and the engineering reasoning behind the classifications, emphasizing the unprecedented nature of the issue at hand.

A board member was vocal about the potential legal implications of the decision, expressing his reluctance to support the request for deconsolidation of the lots and reminding the board about the variances that run with the land, not with the person. His apprehension about potential litigation was shared by another board member, who expressed reservations, stating, “I’m not judging a land use issue here.”

The board’s discussion was further fueled by public testimony from residents like Brandon Zinc, who raised concerns about the noise and operational impact of an ATV Motocross park on nearby residential areas.

The meeting also saw the reappointment of professionals to the Zoning Board, with Ryan Murphy from Gerner Murphy being reappointed as the board’s attorney. However, applications for the positions of board engineer were rejected, prompting a request for new proposals. Ernie Peters from Remington and Vernick Engineers was confirmed as the board planner, but bids for the conflict engineer and traffic engineer positions were debated, leading to a decision to rebid these roles.

In a separate zoning matter, the board’s addressed Facility 2 LLC’s request for a modification of a previously approved site plan. Salvator Alfery, representing the applicant, proposed a solution to connect Nick Janusa’s property to the project permanently, prompting a debate over the enforceability of such a condition. Ian Bordon, a professional planner, presented changes to allow the business to operate independently, but concerns were raised by the public about the impact on Janusa’s residence.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Colleen Lambert
Zoning Board Officials:
Lynne Bradley, Joseph Riccardi, Jeanine Kaunitz Fritch, Carl Book Jr, James Hurley, Robert Hudak, Greg Stafford-Smith, Shira Parnes, Raymond Lovacco, Jeffrey Purpuro, Dawn D’Agostino (Zoning Board Clerk), Francesca DiBella (Recording Secretary and Reporter), Ryan Murphy (Attorney), Evan Hill (Engineer), Ernie Peters (Traffic Engineer)

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