(81st in a series of posts on 2 W. Market St.)
Important meeting tomorrow night. Replete with issues essential to the Gadfly project.
- Citizen participation
- Control of your neighborhood
Do you remember the “2 W. Market” case? Gadfly did 80 posts on it!
See “2 W. Market St.” on the sidebar.
Gadfly will refresh you in a post or two later tonight and/or tomorrow, but the purpose of this post is to get you notice as quickly as possible so that you can clear time to attend.
A skeletal summary: The owners of 2 W. Market in the residential Northside historical district want to use the house as an office. A group of neighbors object. There is a long history of adjudications. But in the most recent our City Council approved and our Zoning Hearing Board approved. A group of citizens has appealed. Tomorrow night these citizens are challenging the Zoning ordinance on which the approval was based, a necessary step before the case goes to Northampton County Court.
The Zoning Hearing Board needs to feel the pressure from City-wide citizens supporting local control of neighborhoods.
But here’s what rubs Gadfly’s nerves raw.
The City is opposing the inclusion of citizen commentary in the record that will go before the Court.
Here’s (the legal reason) why.
There was voluminous citizen commentary (pro and con) in the various meetings on this case. Gadfly even made comments. Gadfly tried to cover it all in the 80-post thread, as you can see. But none of the commentary was under oath. You simply speak your piece and sit down. On the other hand, Zoning Hearing Board hearings are “judicial.” Citizens giving testimony are sworn in and subject to cross-examination.
The City will move to disallow all that “oathless” prior testimony/commentary.
Citizen voices may disappear.
Supporters of the challenge may have to repeat their testimony under oath tomorrow night and perhaps face cross-examination in order to have it included in the record presented to the Court.
Here’s a group of citizens who refuse to give up the fight for the control of their neighborhood. Their issue pertains to us all. They deserve our support.
They deserve butts in the seats!
Gadfly writing in haste . . .