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Town talks rezone: Sync Realty-owned apartments to be rezoned

A public hearing for the rezoning of family style apartments in the Town of Rotterdam has created a range of different opinions, with town board and local school officials weighing in on the issue at 7 p.m. on March 23.

The meeting of the Town of Rotterdam will include a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to property on 325 Duanesburg Road, owned by Sync Realty Group, Inc. The owners are requesting a change of zoning from light industrial to multiple family residential. The property, a former army base, was bought by Sync Realty in 2008 at a Federal Government auction for $1.8 million, according to information provided by Rotterdam Town Supervisor Frank Del Gallo. According to the information, Sync Realty was told by town building department officials that the apartments were a permitted use for the property. After town building inspectors looked at the property, and violations regarding fire alarms were fixed by the owner, the owner began to rent out the properties. In August of 2008, Sync Realty was sent a letter from the Rotterdam Building Inspector Mickey Maher stating that the use of property as apartments was illegal. After appealing the decsison to the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Rotterdam, with the board siding with the town, Sync appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, who upheld the decision.

Former Town Attorney and current Town of Rotterdam Board member, Republican Gerard Parisi, said in a release the former administration worked to enforce the laws of the town among all residents and not only those who "carry political clout." According to Parisi, the planning board for the town issued a recommendation against Sync's change of zone request, citing structural and safety concerns and believes that the move by the town board to hold the public hearing in regards to the property is a return to political favors for campaign contributions.

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