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Today's local headlines

Sep 03, 2009 4:23 am

(JoAnne Lettieri, seated, with her husband, before the Cairo Planning Board. Photo by Tom Roe.)

Cairo Main Street mayhem
Click here to listen or download mp3 of Cairo Planning Board meeting 090209
Click here to listen or download mp3 of Cairo Planning Board meeting talking about amending the site plan law

On August 18, police arrested JoAnne Lettieri in her store, McBride's Resale Shop, at 465 Main St. in Cairo for violation of the town's site plan law. The store, which used to be a restaurant a long time ago, apparently never went before the town's planning board. The owners then left a note on the door of the store, next to the notice of violation that said in part, "Apparently it is easier to sell drugs in this town then a table and chair." Last night Lettieri appeared before the Cairo Planning Board (listen to the link above, at 36:30), and claimed the town's code enforcement officer said she was shutting down the store on orders of the Planning Board. Most Cairo Planning Board members said Wednesday that they had nothing to do with the enforcement issue. Lettieri, clearly upset, left the meeting crying, and her husband said that countless other buildings on Main St. in Cairo had similarly changed businesses without appearing before the Planning Board each time. Lettieri, in fact, said the store had been operating at the location since 2000, selling used items and hosting a few functions for the local Democratic Party. Later in the meeting, two Planning Board members, Eddie Forrester and Tony Puorro, noted that the Cairo Chamber of Commerce on Main St., "is in violation now." Letttieri's husband said he might have to make complaints to the enforcement office about all the other businesses in Cairo that have not properly appeared before the Planning Board. "Main Street just got shut down," Forrester said, as they left. The Cairo town web site already is, and has been dark for over a week. After the meeting's official business, Chairman Dan Benoit brought up his plans to amend the town's site plan law, which was enacted last October. He cited four main issues that needed changing: 1) Noise. Benoit said that the Greene County Planning Board told him that Cairo cannot average out its noise estimates over a 24-hour period, and Benoit said this made mowing lawns illegal; 2) Signs. Benoit wanted new small signs to not come before the board; 3) Waivers of Less Extensive Plans; 4) Waiving Public Hearings for Less Extensive Plans. Puorro seemed to agree with Benoit's proposal, while Frank Pambianchi kept warning, "I think you are leaving yourself open," with the changes. The board decided to continue the conversation at the Oct. 7 meeting. They will hold a special meeting Sept. 14 for the Deschaine project.
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