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Marotta plan faces uphill battle

The Rotterdam Planning Commission showed unanimous disapproval for a proposed project by Michael Marotta, whose property off Route 5S has been called an illegal junkyard for years.

The project, which calls for a special use permit to allow for a contractor shop and equipment yard on Marotta's 4.8-acre parcel, will likely not get off the ground, given the planning commission comments on Tuesday, May 20.

Marotta did not attend the meeting, but was represented by Mark Blackstone, of Blackstone Land Surveyors.

Blackstone said Marotta's petition for a special use permit stems from a court order earlier this year.

(Mr. Marotta) is complying with directives, said Blackstone, who was hired by Marotta on Monday, May 5, and said he did not have enough time to prepare a site plan for the commission. He said he was unaware how long the development of a site plan would take.

According to Blackstone, Marotta is attempting to "exhaust all approval processes to legitimize any use of his property on Route 5S" by pursuing a possible special use permit.

The court order stems from a town code violation cited in April. Marotta pled guilty to the violation and was ordered to clear the property by Monday, July 14, unless he could gain a special use permit from the planning commission.

Marotta currently uses the site to store various pieces of construction equipment and vehicles, including dump trucks and bulldozers.

Blackstone said that if the new site were approved, Marotta might not be the occupant of the site.

Blackstone said he was well aware of the uphill battle the project faced because of its location on a sensitive aquifer overlay area.

Planning Commission Chairman Larry DiLallo led the charge against the project, citing the potential public health ramifications of storing equipment above the Great Lakes Aquifer. DiLallo also labeled Marotta a "scofflaw" and said he would not be supportive of a potential site plan.

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