AMESBURY — When Marguerite "Penny" Zagranis was elected to the Planning Board in 2005, she was the plaintiff in a two-year-old case against the board over the subdivision of her land. She owns approximately 4 acres of land on Dewey Street, which she filed to divide into eight lots.
Four of the plots would go to each of her four daughters and two would be left as open space. According to Town Planner Nipun Jain, the plan received a default "constructive approval" from the Planning Board after it did not take a vote within the time frame required by law. The board later voted to reject the plan; Zagranis is suing to appeal that decision.
She ran for the board with the intent of being the voice of the people. While filing for her subdivision, Zagranis said receiving information from the board was difficult, and she wanted to eliminate that.
Lack of communication with the board was partially to blame for her decision to step down, according to her December resignation letter. Zagranis' now 5-year-old case was to be heard on Dec. 15, but because three of the seven members were not present, it was delayed.
In her letter of resignation she wrote, "It cost me thousands of dollars to prepare for that evening and have our lawyers and engineers there at 6:30 p.m. All I would have needed was the courtesy of having the option to reschedule my meeting. I feel, since I cannot, even by being a board member, be able to have the Planning Board extend the same courtesy and respect to me as they would a developer, how could I possibly ensure the residents of Amesbury receive the same?"
Zagranis declined to comment on the specifics because of the case is still open.