Form and Function

Larchmont's permits, forms and applications.

You may not know this, but you have to fill out an application in Larchmont for anything from a garage sale to a block party. Of course, this is a bit of a hassle in terms of time. But it can also delay your neighbors from playing that new Nicki Minaj song for up to three months, so it's not all bad.

Here are some of the more important forms to fill out in our Village. No, you don't need one to read this column. Although, there is a movement afoot to make that dream a reality.

Block Party: You will need to submit an application for a party, at least one week in advance, to the Police Department. No, it doesn't matter that the desk sergeant says, "It's not a party till I get there." It still has to be official. However, that guy does bring the Slip 'N' Slide and the Cool Ranch Doritos. So he may have something there.

Making A Film: A permit (and a $2,500 deposit) also has to be filed with Larchmont, if you're going to make a movie here. Which, after this weekend, I realize, excludes Cowboys and Aliens. And until we can figure out what that thing was? No one is going anywhere!

Freedom of Information Application: If there are any Larchmont records you want to look at, you need to submit a formal request to check them out, too. A lot people keep requesting to hear our version of the "White Album." But they don't mean those kind of records.

Still, this whole enterprise might be a bit disappointing. Despite what you might have heard, the Mayor does not have an "Enemies List." And, with all due respect to your political activism and the trouble you've caused? Get over yourself!

Garage Sale: They do make it a bit easier on you here, combining a permit for a garage and a yard sale. As long as you remember you're buying the stuff in the garage, not the garage itself. A lot of people think this is a cheap way of obtaining a house, by purchasing things a bit at a time. And then kicking the residents out. But go back and read the pamphlet and you're bound to feel awfully foolish.

Sidewalk Cafe Permit: If you want to put tables and chairs outside, you'll need to fill out an application, too. If they are very heavy, wearing a truss is optional. But, this is a bureaucracy. So filling out a Truss Form is required.

Now, I think you also actually have to have a cafe to get a permit for tables and chairs to go outside it. Otherwise, the whole thing is a bit too absurdist. But go for it, anyway. Just  hire yourself a mime  in a waiter's uniform and let him do what he wants out there.

Tax Grievance: If you have a complaint about your property taxes, you also need to fill out a form. Please make it formal, when you do. That last person simply typed in "This bites!" And the form took a lot longer to process.

The more important part of the form is the Information Needed To Assess Your Property's Value. This can be an Unequal Assessment, an Excessive Assessment or an Unlawful Assessment. How can you tell you've been assessed unfairly? When they refer to your house as a "mansion" and yet you can start the thing up and drive it over to Mamaroneck at a moment's notice.

That's when it's time to fill out a grievance form. Boy, is it ever!


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