In the Sept. 25 report on two surprising Zoning Board of Appeals decisions in August, the Gazette allows to stand unchallenged a statement by an Inspectional Services Department spokesperson that “the neighborhood groups do not meet during the summer months.” (“ZBA approves projects without community review,” pg. 1) As chair of the Jamaica Pond Association, one of two of the groups referred to, I would like to express my appreciation of the coverage given this important issue, and to set the record straight with regard to our meeting schedule.
The JPA met in May, June, July, August and September. The July and September meetings were scheduled one week later in the month than normal because of the Independence Day and Labor Day holiday weekends. Reminder notices and change notices were sent by e-mail to a number of officials and to the Gazette. Property owners with matters to bring before the JPA board were notified of the schedule changes by the JPA Zoning Committee chair.
We have no indication that owners of 40 Lochstead Ave. or 46 Eliot St. felt inconvenienced. The owner of the former property affirmed plans to present at our Sept. 14 meeting and to ask the ZBA for a deferral in order to allow for the full community review process. The owner of 46 Eliot St. had been on the JPA agenda for the Aug. 3rd meeting, but opted for a later appearance before the JPA in order to correct what seemed to be an error in the drawings for the project.
We hope that the Gazette will continue to follow the relationship between local community groups and the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Jamaica Pond Association chair