Miriam Pickett, Executive Director of made a request to the Zoning Board of Adjustment that the architect of the be recalled to answer additional questions and provide clarification.
Pickett said that she was making the request on behalf of a member of SOD who is an architect who would like to professionally question Christian Lessard of Lessard Architectural Group, the developer's architect. Pickett explained to the board that at the time of , SOD had not yet been formed. Now that they have organized and have had time to process the size and the scope of the proposed development, they have specific questions regarding the design of the structures and land.
While Zoning Board attorney Scott Sproviero acknowledged that he understood Pickett's request and the circumstances behind it, he said that neither the board, nor the protocol of the board, permits the recall of a witness whose testimony is over.
"I see no justification factual or otherwise," Sproviero said.
Pickett challenged, "We've been criticized for asking Dipple (Hekemian's civil engineer) questions that he can't answer and we're told it's a question for the architect."
Sproviero countered that all the legal means were presented to them and told Pickett that the applicant has followed legal procedure in presenting his expert. Sproviero stressed that they cannot request that the architect return after he had already appeared, testified and had answered the public's questions. According to Sproviero, to reopen his testimony just because SOD had not yet been organized after his portion of the testimony was officially closed, does not follow procedure.
"It's incumbent on you to be prepared. That time has come and gone; the witness has been discharged," he said.
Sproviero recommended to the board that Pickett's request not be entertained.
Board member Eileen DeBari asked Sproviero, "If the applicant's architect can't answer the public's questions, isn't he obliged to come back?"
Sproviero said he is not obliged to return, saying that the record will reflect his answers, or lack thereof.
Board member Joe Loonam asked if the board could make a request that Lessard return, but after being asked by Sproviero, the attorney for the applicant said, "We are not predisposed to bring the architect back."
Sproviero said that it is the burden of applicant to convince the board that they have satisfied all of the board's questions regarding the application in order to make a decision on whether or not to grant the variances.
"If you feel they haven't satisfied the board, then that plays into your decision," Sproviero said.
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