Rappaports file suit against Town of Jerome
Will appeal Board of Adjustment in Superior Court
JEROME - "I am appealing the decision of the Board of Adjustment," said Jerome Town councilwoman Elizabeth Rappaport Tuesday about a lawsuit filed against the Town of Jerome by her and her husband, Jack Rappaport. "It's a special action in Superior Court."
The decision she is referring to was made unanimously by a three-member quorum of the five-member Board of Adjustment during a hearing Jan. 13 to turn down Rappaport's appeal to a decision made by the town's zoning administrator. The three members, Gary Shapiro, Joan Kennedy and Ron Richie, all voted to uphold the zoning administrator Bill Jensen's decision.
Jensen was called upon earlier to make an interpretation under the town's zoning ordinance whether a property owned by the Rappaports could be used as a duplex. His decision was that it couldn't be classified as a legal non-conforming use under the current code.
The Rappaports and their attorney Jon Paladini had argued that the property at 208 Fifth St. in Jerome had been designed for dual occupancy prior to the 1977 ordinance in question. Paladini argued that the records and the building itself show intent to be used as a duplex from the beginning.
The Rappaports had filed a notice of claim in the matter against the town last fall for $100,000. That amount is not mentioned in the current suit, but the suit is asking for the board's decision to be reversed, and for reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred in the action, and for other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
Although no court proceedings have been scheduled in this matter, Elizabeth said on Tuesday, "It will be three to five months before we will even get into court."