Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Use Variance...3900 Oneida Street

Last evening, Town of New Hartford Zoning Board of Appeals members had to struggle with balancing their desire to provide "relief" to an applicant against their duty to interpret zoning regulations in accordance with NYS Zoning Law.

Clearly, it was difficult for board members to deny relief to a town resident who obviously has personal hardship reasons for requesting the variance; however, the use variance for 3900 Oneida [formerly Massouds] was rightfully denied as the applicant failed to prove her case.

NYS Zoning Law is clear; if the applicant fails to prove one or more of the four (4) required standards, the request must be denied.  The members of the Zoning Board of Appeals have no other choice.  The power of the board of appeals must be exercised very carefully lest there be serious conflict with the overall zoning scheme for the community.

As we have already written in previous blogs, the standards to be proven by an applicant desiring a use variance are intended to be difficult in order to protect property values.   The protections afforded residents and property owners within the community from undesirable development come from the restrictiveness of zoning.

Here is the videotape excerpt from last evening's request for a use variance for 3900 Oneida Street:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The irony here is that under the GEIS for this area of the town adopted by the Planning Board in 2009 and ignored by the Town Board called for re-zoning this area to permit the type of housing sought by the applicant. The idea was to concentrate housing in the immediate area of hamlets of Waashington Mills and Chadwicks where infrastructure exist and limit growth outside a growth boundary to protect farm lands and open space from residential development which would require costly expansion of public services such as roads, water, sewer, fire and police protection. Unfortunately, for the applicant the "smart growth" approach didn't resonate with the brain trust we call the town board.

The ZBA can only apply the law as it is written not as it should applied in this circumstance.