Hampstead homeowner Jeremy Levi responded to Mayor William Steinberg’s recent letter to residents, in which the latter explained his veto against his council’s unanimous vote to allow resident Levi to redo his home with the flat portion of his roof being 35 percent of the total measurement of the premises.
Steinberg wrote that, for many local homeowners, “our homes are our largest asset.
“As your Mayor, I have a duty to do everything I can to protect that value,” he added. “There are many reasons why Hampstead homes are some of the most expensive on the island. One of the most important is that the homes have a character that we strive to protect and preserve.”
Steinberg wrote that the town’s by-laws and its Planning and Architectural Committee (PAC) “are the foundation upon which we rely to protect our beautiful town and the value of our homes.... If we ignore our by-laws and the advice of the PAC, the look of the town will deteriorate and with it the value of our homes.”
Councillor Jack Edery said the council’s unanimous vote to approve was a one-time exception and purely based on sympathy, as the members felt Levi was “dicked around” with false hope for months. Edery emphasized council would not approve a similar request from another resident.
Council could potentially overturn Steinberg’s veto with a majority vote at the April 1 council meeting.
Levi responded with his own letter to residents.
“As a resident of Hampstead, it is very important for you to validate [the Mayor’s] claims,” the resident wrote. “I encourage each and every one one of you to email the Mayor to verify the facts. All of the councillors must be copied on the email to attest to the facts. Now is the time to be questioning the Mayor’s statements.”
Some of Levi’s questions:
• “How will the value of our homes decline if the minor exemption is granted?”
• “What is the purpose of having a by-law that limits the flat roof portion to 20 percent?”
• “The Mayor’s letter states that ‘…this would set a precedent that would allow residents to ignore any by-law…’ Is this true?”