Zoning Commission Hosts Public Hearing on Zoning Regulation Revisions

Woodbury residents may share their thoughts at a public hearing tonight: Tuesday, August 14.


A Woodbury Zoning Commission public hearing on revisions to zoning regulations and aquifer protection will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 14, in the .

The full agenda is attached to this article as a PDF.

Also on the agenda is the tabled matter of Tom Arras' possible sign violation relating to the size of a sign on Arras' 76 Main St. South lawn.

The board has not make a decision on the possible sign violation, citing how the zoning regulations were undergoing revisions, according to an April 11 article in the Litchfield County Times.

At a Tuesday, July 31, special meeting and public workshop on the amendments to all proposed, non-aquifer-related regulations, commissioners spent time discussing signage in town.

Ultimately, the consensus of the Zoning Commission is to repeal the proposed section on political signs, in its entirety. A vote to that effect has not occurred.


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The following excerpt is from Section 7.5.10. I of the draft zoning regulations, attached as a PDF to this article. The draft regulations can also be found on the town of Woodbury's land use department page.

"I. Political Signs: One or more signs, the total aggregate amount of signage per property not to exceed the greater of (i) 12 square feet, or (ii) the maximum aggregate amount of signage which would be allowed on the property under the regulations applicable to the district in which the property is located."

Here is a breakdown of commissioners' thoughts on the proposed political sign regulations, according to the July 31 special meeting minutes, attached as a PDF to this article.

John Chamberlain said he preferred to see the political sign regulation eliminated.

Bob Clarke supported leaving the language in the proposed regulations.

Chuck Cosgriff Jr. originally did not want to remove the political sign regulation language completely, as he said he did not want the town to be vulnerable to neon signs. He changed his opinion and supported removing the language.

Ron Judson supported taking the political sign language out of the proposed regulations completely.

Sean Murphy felt the language restricting political signs should be removed and said the neon sign issue is addressed elsewhere in the regulations.

Chairman Martin Overton said that in his opinion, some form of the section needs to remain in the regulations.

First Selectman Gerald Stomski, sitting at the table as an ex-officio member, supported eliminating the language.

Ted Tietz supported removing the political sign regulation language.

joe_m August 27, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I've posted this before: SEC. 4. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty. SEC. 5. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press. This is from our Constitution and a sign is "write and publish". Sec 5, "No Law" should need no explanation. So, why should there be a limit on political signs? Why is anyone sworn to uphold the Constitution of the State of Connecticut even contemplating a "law"?
Sean M August 27, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I suggest asking Martin Overton and Bob Clarke. They voted against removing the regulation in question. I would ask Overton more questions on why his rewrite of the regulations last year continued to include limitations on political signs and why these limits were larger than commercial signs, a direct violation of the November 2010 legal opinion from the town Attorney.
Richard C. Snider August 29, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Tom, Marina Daniels complained about the condition of your property. I only complained about the size of the political signs, which exceed the current zoning regulation. I don't care about what else you do on your property or to your property - just comply with the current political signs zoning regulations. I wasn't living here full time in 1996 when the zoning regulations were amended. Therefore, I cannot help you on that. Maybe we should both do some investigating to try to discover what really happened. Martha Dean's legal experience is as a litigator focusing on corporate law and then specializing in environmental law – and she is successful environmental law attorney. Martindale lists her area of legal expertise as environmental law. No cheap shot by me, just the facts. Doesn't mean she can't express her point of view on another area of the law. It just doesn't make her a "constitutional law expert". I graduated from law school in June, 1972; I took the bar exam in July, 1972; I passed the bar exam in 1972; started working for a New York law firm in September, 1972. In my comment above, I said that "my comments, regarding political signs, are based upon the numerous cases and articles which I have read over the past 40 years as an attorney." I never mentioned anything about "admitted to the bar". There you go again, Tom, doing what you do best – making false statements.
Sean M August 29, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Richard Always obey every regulation huh? Good thing you were not in the South in the 1960s and better yet Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus. Martha Dean has run for Atty General twice, which her qualifications are more than noted. This still does not change that the town attorney stated get rid of the sign restrictions, along with the ACLU. The Council of Governments put all kinds of complaints with the regulations. Not one source has said keep the size restrictions. I have read everything. Public officials cannot use their position to implement their agenda. That is fascism. Make the case as to why zoning should keep the regulations, with documentation. It is not a sufficient argument to say the town can regulate size. The opposition has made its case. You have not. As I have stated over and over again, send it and I will read it. I put an article documenting the sign stuff and have yet to see any response by you, George Hale, Bill Monti, or anyone else.
Voice of Reason August 29, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Richard Snider said: "I only complained about the size of the political signs, which exceed the current zoning regulation. I don't care about what else you do on your property or to your property - just comply with the current political signs zoning regulations." This is quite the bold statement by Mr. Snider. Is it just me or do others see this as an indication of a pathological want to control the Political Speech of Mr. Arras (and possibly others with opposing views)?


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