Block Island Times

Lengthy zoning process is not a deterrent for some

“As a long-time islander and with respect for our hardworking officials and island environmental activists, I protest the application for a variance. I join all those dedicated to protect our land from inappropriate development by adhering to the law.”
So began the long and impassioned plea of Jane Emsbo at the Board of Zoning Review on August 25. Emsbo was protesting the application by BI Harborview Partners II, LLC, for Plat 4 Lot 29, the property abutting hers. The application is for a variance to demolish the existing kitchen and constructa 28-foot by 40-foot addition. The kitchen in question is located in a 567-square-foot home built in 1868 on Corn Neck Road. The addition is 1,358 square feet.While some members of the Zoning Board were glad the historic home was being added on to, rather than being torn down as is so often the case, Emsbo was not deterred from her opposition.
“In the past many, like this developer, have knowingly bought property to build a house or development clearly prohibited by our zoning laws. Buyers of these lands usually depend on eventually getting a variance. This is usually a very long and expensive process, but too often,

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