Residents Disappointed In Zoning Committee

LAKEWOOD – A few Lakewood residents are disappointed in the committee formed to re-examine the village’s zoning code.

On Monday during a regular meeting of the Lakewood Village Board, three residents spoke about the committee formed during the board’s previous meeting.

Earlier this month, David Wordelmann, village mayor, announced his recommendations for those he wanted on the new committee. His recommendations included Susan Drago, village trustee and deputy mayor; William Chandler, village Zoning Board of Appeals chairman; Jon Pearson, village Planning Board chairman; Charles Smith, village code enforcement officer and building inspector; Edward Wright, village attorney; Joseph Johnson, village clerk; one member from both the Zoning and Planning boards selected by the chairman of each; and himself as chairman of the new committee.

In addition, Wordelmann recommended a subcommittee that includes David DiSalvo and John Jablonski III, village trustees. During a Village Board meeting in May, the committee to re-examine village codes was discussed, with DiSalvo and Jablonski saying one of them, if not both, should be on the new committee. DiSalvo said with two members of the Village Board with master’s degrees in urban planning, with particular expertise in zoning and planning, Jablonski and himself could be great assets in the process.

Wordelmann said because of the state’s Open Meetings Law, a quorum of any of the village boards cannot be part of the committee without having to publicize each meeting and opening it to the public. Wordelmann said he recommended the subcommittee so DiSalvo and Jablonski can meet and pass on ideas to committee members.

DiSalvo said with two paid professionals on the Village Board – Jablonski and himself – he would recommend one of them be selected for the committee instead of Drago. Wordelmann said he picked the deputy mayor because she has been on the board longer than any other members of the Village Board other than himself.

On Monday, after hearing the residents voice their displeasure that the professional planners, DiSalvo and Jablonski, were not part of the main committee, Wordelmann said, being mayor, it was his prerogative who is part of the main committee.

Wordelmann said the group’s first meeting was held earlier this month, with members given a copy of the village’s zoning code. Committee members were asked to go through the codes to see if there are any issues village officials should address. The committee is already planning to work on four moratorium zoning issues.

In May, the Village Board passed a moratorium on issuing zoning permits for adult novelty store establishments. In January, the board passed a similar moratorium on issuing special permits for vehicle sales, building permits for constructing storage sheds and zoning permits for electronic advertising signs. Lakewood officials said they wanted to update village zoning codes before approving anymore permits for these types of businesses or items.

In other village business, the board approved the site plan for David Bargar of Lakewood. Bargar is planning to renovate the former Yaw Oil Building, 2 E. Second St., Lakewood, into apartment and office/warehouse space. The board said the site plan is approved once phase II of the environmental inspecting process has considered the property acceptable for future use.

Last month, Bargar told the Village Board the building dates back to the 1920s as an oil distribution company. Bargar said there is no visible contamination on the site, but he is still investigating the underground areas of the property. Bargar said the building, which has no running water or heat, still needs a lot of work.