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: