More On John Witt’s Letter To Neighbors

I received this from Saratoga Neighbors For Zoning Enforcement (The Jumel Place folks)

As of March 15 John Witt, though stating that an answer was forthcoming, has not responded to the issue of discrepancy in a letter of alert to neighbors of his proposed project.

On February 11, 2016, builder John Witt (ANW Holdings), sent a letter to the surrounding neighbors of his proposed “Downton Walk” project on Jumel Place, stating that he would be appearing before the Saratoga Springs Zoning Board of Appeals, re-applying for “the same variance as previously approved”, and went on to list only three of the five variances he was requesting. As neighbors who rely on such notices, we believed that the letter seemed deceptive, not fully stating his plans; making them seem more minimal than they really were, omitting two significant variances, and not alerting neighbors to the true nature of his requests.

On March 13, John Kaufmann posted to this effect in his blog, stated the he had emailed Mr. Witt, giving him the opportunity to respond to our belief that the letter seemed deceptive. As far as we know, he has not addressed this issue.

Mr. Witt listed the following variances in his letter:

1) Increased lot coverage by 16% (30% coverage allowed. Asking for 46%. Yes, a 16% increase over the entire lot, but in reality an increase of 52.5% from allowable coverage)

2) Decrease minimum front yard setback by 9 feet (10 ft required. Asking for reduction to 1ft)

3) Raise the height of the residential fence by 2 feet (6 ft allowed. Asking for 8 ft)

Mr. Witt omitted the following variances in his letter:

4) Maximum principal buildings on one lot to be increased from 1 building allowed to 7 buildings (a 600% increase).

5) Decrease minimum rear yard setback by 19 ft (25 ft required. Asking for 6 ft)

We believe the two omitted variances are significant, possibly the most substantial of all five.

We are not against Mr. Witt or development of this lot. But we are very much opposed to the scope and massiveness of the project as currently designed and the substantial requested variances that are required to allow the current design to proceed.  If the extensive variances are granted, the zoning ordinance and the comprehensive plan for this zoning district would be undermined, and our neighborhood would be severely impacted. We ask that a more reasonable plan be put forward.

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