Volunteers needed for zoning, wetlands

Have a love for the specifics of the rules and regulations of the town’s zoning laws? Enjoy detailed presentations about development and analyzing the most minute aspects of them? Then the town is looking for you to join the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The word is out that the town is seeking a new alternate for the commission, which is regarded as one of the most important in town given its critical say on all development in Greenwich.

The opening was created by the resignation of longtime commission member Paul Marchese, who stepped down earlier this month due to a family health matter after eight years. To fill that vacancy, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved Peter Levy to fill the rest of the term expiring March 31, 2014. Mr. Levy, an architect, had been an alternate on the commission, meaning a new member will have to be found for that spot.

Selectman David Theis said Mr. Levy had “… the combination of skills, both personally and professionally, that people appearing before the board want to see. He’s very clear and understanding and has a very pleasant way about him.”

First Selectman Peter Tesei also praised Mr. Levy’s experience as an architect and his common sense.

The selectmen will be working with the Selectmen’s Nominations Advisory Committee (SNAC) to find potential candidates for the opening, and any town residents interested in volunteering for it are urged to step forward.

“Please let us know if you are interested,” Mr. Tesei said. “We’re often seeking volunteers and this is a big one to fill.”

The selectmen are also looking for a new alternate for the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency (IWWA) after the board finally acted to move Scott Salisbury from alternate to full-time member. This ends months of uncertainty around the IWWA after the selectmen did not nominate Chairman Lawrence Perry for a new term. The controversial decision was made after the selectmen questioned Mr. Perry’s willingness to continue serving and Mr. Theis claimed that Mr. Perry had commented on a potential decision before it was brought to the agency, something Mr. Perry has denied.

The selectmen had been poised to act on Mr. Salisbury’s nomination in May, but IWWA member Elliot Benton said that, as an alternate, Mr. Salisbury had failed to complete required training. In unanimously approving him at the July 11 meeting, the selectmen said they had discussed this with him and he had agreed to make sure he took care of this.

“He understands he needs to get some training,” Mr. Theis said. “He will be going to New Milford even though he works in New York every day to get that training. I think he comprises the necessary skill set, demeanor and aptitude we need.”

This ends Mr. Perry’s term on the board. He had stayed on past the expiration of his term so this could be resolved. The IWWA will likely name a new chairman at its next meeting.

This means the selectmen will also be working with SNAC to fill the alternate spot on the board and volunteers are again urged to come forward.

The selectmen did unanimously act on one other nomination at their July 11 meeting. Board of Education Chairman Leslie Moriarty will be formally added to the building committee for the music instructional space and auditorium (MISA) project at Greenwich High School, but that will not happen for several months. Ms. Moriarty’s term on the board ends on Dec. 1 and she is not running for a new one. Once she leaves that board she can officially join the building committee.

Ms. Moriarty has been an ex-officio member of the committee without voting power and, prior to serving as the Board of Education chairman, had been the board’s liason to the committee. Mr. Tesei said he didn’t want to lose her expertise about the project once she exits the Board of Education. He added that this was being done at her request.

“Given the tremendous role she’s played and the value she brings to the committee, I thought we would be insane to not take her up on her offer to continue,” Mr. Tesei said. “We’re fortunate that she has the desire and willingness to continue to serve on a project that is so time consuming.”

Mr. Theis seconded her nomination saying it was smart for them to “snap her up while we could” for this committee before she volunteered on another.

“She’s that good at what she does,” Mr. Theis said.


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