The Village of Manorhaven has lowered the number Board of Zoning Appeals members to five from seven — removing Caroline DuBois and not replacing Stephen Thomson whose term expired.
In a letter sent to DuBois on Thursday, Mayor Jim Avena said, in 2013, the previous administration “illegally expanded the Board of Zoning Appeals from five to seven members.”
Avena said the expansion was done despite a state law that says zoning boards must have either three of five members.
“I have determined that the seat to which former Mayor Giunta appointed you was created by that illegal expansion,” Avena said in the letter.
The board was expanded to seven members in January 2013 and on March 21, 2013, Richard Carey was appointed to BZA.
DuBois replaced Carey on March 18, 2016.
“In order to bring the village into compliance with the New York state law, only five original seats on the BZA will continue to be recognized by the village as valid,” Avena said in the letter. The two putative ‘expansion’ seats, including yours, will no longer be recognized.”
DuBois, the acting secretary for the Manorhaven Action Committee, was an outspoken member on the BZA who asked many questions about cases in front of the board.
“I enjoyed my brief opportunity to serve on the BZA and will continue my efforts to protect the village from over development, to oppose converting marinas to condos and to ensure that there will be a public access sunset viewing promenade at the Thypin beach,” DuBois said.
“I think an expanded seven-member zoning board enables a wider range of opinions when making decisions which will shape the character of the village for future generations,” she said.
At June’s Board of Trustee meeting, Avena said a five-person board is “easier to operate.”
Avena said the BZA will have two alternatives — a decision residents agreed with.
In October, Avena appointed Patrick Gibson as chairman of the BZA to replace Thomsen, whose term expired last July.
Gibson, an accountant for Nassau County, serves on the village’s Waterfront Advisory Committee and a trustee from 2010 to 2012.
The Board of Trustees also lengthened the term of mayor to four years from two at June’s meeting.
The change will take place after the 2018 mayoral election.