Michael Zarlenga is my "hero of the week". After cooperating with the local zoning board for several months and spending a ton of money on plans and architectural reviews, the zoning board had a change of heart and sent him back to the drawing table. However, he didn't have the additional cash needed to go back to the drawing table, so instead of upgrading his shop, he was forced to shut it down and leased it out to a sex shop - right in the middle of the historic district.
Now the town is upset that instead of dry goods/hunting/fishing store, they have a sex shop in the historic district. Bet they wish that they had been flexible now!
Even worse, now a public attorney, Randolph Sengel, has decided he is going to take on the adult store and try to have the space darkened through some legal means. Not to belittle the power of the zoning board, but the moral high ground here would be to approach them about being a little more flexible. Randolph Sengel wins the dumb lawyer of the week award.
If it is not obvious, I too have had my run-ins with the empire building public servants on the zoning, and similar, boards. I've yet to win an argument, and unfortunately found it easier to work around them, rather than with them.