Cortland resident: Rescind variance for Leach's expansion

Editor's Note: The following is a letter to the editor written by Pam Jenkins. For background on the issue, click here.

To submit guest columns, email Editor Peter Blanchard at [email protected].

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Dear Mr. Folmer and ZBA Board members,

We are asking you to rescind your 10/27 decision to grant a USE VARIANCE to Mr Leach to expand his transfer station by 9 acres to an area where most of his business activities are prohibited by numerous zoning codes.

The applicant did not qualify to receive the Use Variance because there is no balancing test for granting use variances…the applicant must be denied because:

  1. He did not claim or prove hardship…in fact the applicant claimed to be quite successful and to be receiving a reasonable return on his investment. He recently purchased other property in the immediate area and made offers to other nearby land owners, he told of his new truck, new fuel tank.
  2. The hardship is self-created. The applicant did not and cannot claim hardship on the land he wants to buy and expand to, land which prohibits his uses. No one is forcing him to buy that land. If he wants to buy that land, knowing that his uses are prohibited, that hardship is the very definition of self-created.
  3. The 2015 Guide to Planning and Zoning is very clear on all of these points
  4. The SEQR short form was not yet filled out by the Town at the time the waiver was granted--a violation of SEQR process. It must be completed before the ZBA can grant anything.
  5. The Cortland County Planning Department recommendation #2 is missing…the list of the type and number of pieces of equipment that would be placed at the 9 acre expansion.

The granting of this waiver has violated many requirements of the zoning waiver process and therefore must be rescinded/nullified.

Pam Jenkins
Cortland, NY

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