Restore wildlife rehabilitation in Bolton, NY!

  • by: Lena Mazurek
  • recipient: TOWN OF BOLTON OFFICIALS: Supervisor Conover Pamela Kenyon, Zoning Administrator Zoning Board of Appeals members: Jason Saris, Chairman, Jeffrey Anthony,Anthony DePace, John Famosi, Donald King, Matthew Slaughter, Alternate

We, the undersigned residents of Bolton and other interested persons, request wildlife rehabilitation on the property of Bernard and Patricia Marki, at 2 Braley Point Road be restored immediately. 

We feel very strongly that:

  1. The rehabilitation of injured and displaced wildlife is a necessary, humane activity that any community, especially in the North Country and its Adirondack wild areas, should welcome, encourage and support;
  2. Bernard and Patricia Marki must be allowed to continue their approximately 10 years of home-based wildlife rehabilitation, at their residence with 9 acres on Bradley Point, under licenses from both the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services;
  3. Wildlife rehabilitation requires 24-hour care for many species mandating that this skilled work be home-based; 
  4. The services provided by wildlife rehabilitators working out of their residential property is a right and entitlement which is part of the privilege of land ownership and is not something to be prohibited by local laws;
  5. The legal language citied by the Town, approximately: ‘any activity that is not specifically permitted in the zoning laws is prohibited’, is in contradiction to the legislative intent of local laws in that such laws are not intended to, “be just another governmental intrusion, another bit of red tape to be untangled before the property owner can go ahead with his plans.” Source: Zoning Board of Appeals, James A. Coon Local Government Technical Series, NYS DOS, Published November 2005, Reprinted, 2011; and,
  6. To the best of our knowledge, there has not been any changes to the essential characteristics of the neighborhood in the approximately 10 year history that the Marki’s have been rehabilitating wildlife at the above property, there is no evidence of neighboring property values having decreased during the same time period, and such activities have not led to any incidents resulting in harm to humans or domestic animals.

Patricia and Bernard Marki have saved thousands of wild animals in Bolton over the past nine years, without incident. Patricia has educated thousands of children in the community. As a volunteer paramedic in Bolton for over 20 years, Bernard has saved human lives in our community as well. Patricia is a valuable resource to local police, State Department of Environmental Conservation and United State Fish and Wildlife field staff and her local community. The loss of the volunteer services the Marki’s provide will have far reaching consequences.


A handful of the Marki’s neighbors, led by Anothony DePace (Town Zoning Board Member), are suddenly contending that the hidden caging on the Marki’s 9-acre property is an eyesore and will reduce the value of his property. According to zestimate.com, there is no indication that the property values in the Marki’s neighborhood have decreased in the nearly 10 years they have been rehabilitating wildlife. DePace further claims the cages, which were erected several years ago, are not permitted under the town’s zoning laws yet Mr. DePace failed to complain about the caging when they were first built. Mr. DePace claimed on a deposition that a wild owl came from the Marki’s property and ‘swooped him’. The animals in the care of the Marki’s are kept caged at all times and most are too injured to fly. These allegations are untimely and a stretch from reality.


As a member of the Town’s Zoning Board, Mr. DePace’s influence over the Marki’s activities is an unethical conflict of interest. Though he has recused himself from this case, DePace’s influence will undoubtedly affect the outcome.


The Marki’s have done much for the community of Bolton. It is time for the community to speak up and show up to support the Marki’s. Otherwise, the wildlife they rescue will suffer at the hands of a select few.


Please sign the online petition and mark your calendar to attend the Zoning Board meeting on July 15th at 6:30pm – the support, en mass, of the community is necessary to have the most impact on the decision of the Board.


Additional Information


 


Local news:


 


"Neighbors: Stop helping hurt birds":


http://poststar.com/news/local/neighbors-stop-helping-hurt-birds/article_fcd80dda-f805-11e3-94a8-0019bb2963f4.html


 


What is wildlife rehabilitation?:


 


http://www.nwrawildlife.org/content/what-wildlife-rehabilitation


http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/83977.html


 


Roles and Benefits of local wildlife rehabilitators:   


 


http://www.intothewildinc.org/home-based-wildlife-rehabilitation.html


http://www.ewildagain.org/pdf/RehabBenefits.pdf.pdf


http://www.ewildagain.org/pdf/PublicHealth.pdf.pdf


 


 


NYS Municipal Zoning Guidance:


 


http://www.dos.ny.gov/lg/publications/Zoning_Board_of_Appeals.pdf


Town of Bolton Zoning Ordinance:


http://www.boltonnewyork.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/200.-Zoning.pdf


 

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