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Home Government Looking to Update the 1985 Rye Master Plan, Tuesday 7pm

Looking to Update the 1985 Rye Master Plan, Tuesday 7pm

Everybody's gotta have a plan, and it's always better to have a master plan than lots of unconnected, minor little plans…

A Public Master Plan Meeting is being held at Rye City Hall on Tuesday March 29, 2016 at 7pm. 

The Master Plan Committee was appointed by Mayor Sack last summer and is looking to update the last master plan, made in 1985.

The committee includes Mayor Sack, former Councilwoman and current Planning Commission member Laura Brett, Councilwoman Killian, Chairman of the Planning Commission Nick Everett and Planning Commission member Andy Ball. The meeting will be taped by Rye TV and will be put up on the City’s website for viewing. 

We heard from Rye resident John Mayo-Smith, who publishes his own zoning web site and is imploring Rye citizens to get involved:

"A housing boom remade our city in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Today that housing stock is being replaced and we need a great Master Plan to make sure services and quality of life are not negatively impacted.

The Master Plan is what sets community priorities. There is a huge amount at stake. Many of the pressing issues we face today are the direct result of oversights and poor decisions made in 1985 when our Master Plan was last updated.

Here are some examples:

  • Lack of planning contributed to the current housing stock imbalance, increase in home turnover, insufficient school tax revenue, and school overcrowding.
  • Planning priorities set for Midland Avenue lead to re-zoning that allowed out-of-town landlords to reap millions of rental property income without paying anything close to their fair share of school taxes.
  • Miscalculation of recreational demand contributed to a chronic shortage of playing fields.
  • Lack of a framework for Rye Town Park made it vulnerable to takeover by outside interests.
  • Lack of steep slope protection (something neighboring municipalities enjoy) lead to the 135 Highland Road rock hammering debacle.
  • The disastrous basement FAR loophole drove episodic convulsions of teardowns, rock hammering and blasting.
  • Lack of a coherent planning framework lead to the ad-hoc rezoning of 120 Boston Post Road and set a dangerous precedent for all commercial properties in the city.
  • Lack of foresight lead to the dismembering of classic neighborhoods like Kirby Lane North and Orchard Drive.
  • Lack of attention paid to our overburdened infrastructure lead to raw sewage flowing down Milton Road.

These examples illustrate why the public needs to weigh in on important planning decisions taking place on Tuesday. This is a great chance to repair the mistakes of the past and position the city for the future!"

  1. Much appreciation to Jay Sears and MyRye here for making a strong case for Rye taxpayer participation and involvement in this important City Hall event. I’ll just note that many honest residents here did the same unprompted with the previous ‘Bob Schubert – Wetlands Destruction for Profit’ disaster AND with the ‘Rye Golf Club Swindle’ that City Hall suppressed the truth of and supported for those 7 long wholly criminal years. So my very best wishes go out to Mr. John Mayo-Smith and everyone like him who turns out tonight and tries to get a fair and equitable Master Plan revision framed and approved.

    Unfortunately that is almost certainly NOT what will ultimately be voted on after all the back and forth. Why? Because character over time is revealed and some of the very same people who still remain silent about knowing the truth about our wetland destruction out on Milton Point and some who personally and foolishly suppressed the names of the former top 3 city officials from the final summary report about the multi-million dollar – multi-year Rye Golf Club fraud are tonight personally sitting on this so-called ‘Committee.’

    Joe Sack and Andy Ball apparently saw the same unredacted letter directed to their Steve Otis led Rye City Council from former Rye City Naturalist Chantal Detlefs that I now have. It clearly provides the names at City Hall as to who approved the subversion of city wetland and environmental laws on Magnolia Place and why. Detlefs then backed up those revelations and more in her testimony under oath that I now also have. Since that letter will someday be public, Joe and Andy and Steve Otis can start working on their denials of ever seeing it or, in the alternative, of it being somehow inaccurate or misleading right now. It’s neither inaccurate nor misleading based on boxes of other related suppressed evidence for any who might be worried.

    Then there is the official Rye Golf Club ‘Investigation” process into how the largest fraud ever in city history came about that Laura Brett claimed, acting both as a Councilwoman and attorney, to be personally managing for the then city council. After the report summary was published I wrote to her (and Mr. Sack and the rest of the then council) beginning on July 28, 2014 asking why there were 32 people individually named in the investigation summary but not specifically named were the City’s then three top officials – Mayor Steve Otis, City Manager O. Paul Shew and Corporation Counsel Kevin Plunkett – who collectively allowed and approved an unwritten, non-bid, essentially secret ‘contract’ to control both the city hall finance department and club operations. I repeated this request to Ms. Brett and the full council as to why these 3 top former fiduciary names are omitted from the report (a link to which is still on the City’s load page) while 32 others were named several times throughout 2014. To this day I have never received any answer – likely because this omission was a fully calculated tactical legal maneuver to protect and shield municipal fiduciaries that can do political and economic favors from blame and accountability. Good try Mrs. Brett. You and your fellow legal eagles fooled no one.

    So again, good luck and very best wishes to Mr. Mayo-Smith and all his honorable supporters. We know you are skilled, energized and are almost certainly on the right track. Please just don’t expect much that’s really important to you and to the future of the Rye we want to protect and preserve to survive the final backroom skills of at least 3 of this committee crew of 6 that’s very likely to come.

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