ZBA Pledging Action On ‘Hotel’ In 62 Days


ZBA Pledging Action

On ‘Hotel’ In 62 Days

Jeannette Pavlus was the only new citizen to testify at this evening’s ZBA hearing in Richfield Springs on a plan for homeless lodging at 155 Lake St. Addicts, in particular, she said, would face additional dangers being so far from a hospital.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Attorney Zamelis argues plans for homeless lodging on Lake Street should be reject because it fails to meet parking requirements.

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – After only three people testified this evening, the chairman of the village Zoning Board of Appeals declared the hearing closed on a homeless lodging proposed for the former Mielnicki’s Restaurant on Lake Street.

Bob Hazleton promised a decision on the 14-room proposal within 62 days, the statutory requirement.

But one of the three testifying was attorney Doug Zamelis of Springfield Center, representing neighbor Barbara Wahl-Shypski, and he simplified the issues into four words:  hotel, and parking, parking, parking.

The village attorney, David Merzig of Oneonta, is surrounded after the hearing by, from left, Zoning Enforcement Officer Robert Joseph, ZBA members Robert Moshier and Bill Juteau, and ZBA chair Bob Hazleton. The lawyer hadn’t been at the first hearing.

While the others who testified – Jeannette Pavlus and, for a second time, Nick Pauluski – painted the challenges in broad threats to the community, the lawyer – in short remarks following four written arguments sent to the ZBA in recent weeks –simplified the ZBA’s decision.

One, he said, the application James Bent of Mayfield, Fulton County, filed in December 2015 was for a “hotel.”  The project has been transformed into a homeless shelter, which is not a hotel and not defined in village zoning law.

Then parking:  The space-per-square-footage requirement calls for 29 spaces, and the plan is not drawn to scale.  That parking plan has not been certified by an engineer, as required, the lawyer said.  And, as drawn, it would require tree removal, excavation of the bank behind the building, and drainage not included in the plan.

The ZBA, which took testimony from more than a dozen citizens two weeks ago before 250 audience members, had kept the hearing open, and this evening’s session was an extension of that same hearing, now closed.

One thought on “ZBA Pledging Action On ‘Hotel’ In 62 Days

  1. Judy Pepenella

    I am all for the idea of helpibg the homeless and recovering drug addicts; I think it is our obligation to help our fellow humans in need. My point is the laws must be followed by ALL.
    Who gave these local elected and appointed people (zoning board members are appointed ) the right make decisions to break existing zoning laws? When a tax paying resident cannot put uo a pool or fence without permits, why is it ok to break the rules for others? Anyone got that answer?

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