Code violator makes permit request

The town of Rotterdam and Schenectady County have called Michael Marotta's property off Route 5S an illegal junkyard for years.

Marotta has stood steadfast in his claim that he uses his property in Pattersonville to store functioning construction vehicles for his business, despite legal action from both the town and county that could cost Marotta both money and time in jail.

Now Marotta is applying to the town for a special-use permit that would allow for a contractor shop and equipment storage yard on his 4.8-acre parcel.

Supervisor Steven Tommasone said the town would treat the application like it would any other. However, Tommasone said that all previous planning board and town board actions are taken into consideration when reviewing a permit application.

We're working aggressively to improve the quality of life in the town of Rotterdam, said Tommasone. "Most of the people in our town and our business people follow our codes, and are doing exactly the right thing, but the town has to put time and money into a few scofflaws."

Planning Board Chairman Larry DiLallo was puzzled by Marotta's petition for a special-use permit.

"I would like to know if he's trying to insult the board's intelligence with this application," said DiLallo.

DiLallo was careful not to prejudge the application, but said it was "at best " without merit."

DiLallo said the application will likely be on the agenda for the planning commission's next meeting on Tuesday, May 20.

Marotta was not immediately available for comment.

Marotta pleaded guilty in April to violating Rotterdam's ordinance governing the outside storage of junk and vehicles. He is expected to be sentenced in July. The violation carries a maximum fine of $250 and up to 15 days in jail.

County Attorney Chris Gardner said the county is currently in litigation with Marotta, in an attempt to recoup nearly $17,000 in cleanup costs and fines stemming from violations of public health regulations.

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