Zoning change divides board

Change granted for apartment complex project in R'dam

After lying dormant since the summer, a resolution to approve a zoning change for a proposed apartment complex was granted at the Wednesday, Feb. 23, Town Board meeting.

Thomas DeLorenzo renewed his request, according to Rotterdam Supervisor Frank Del Gallo, to rezone 2.7 acres at 1066 Curry Road from a variety of zoning designations to multi-family residential. Councilman Wayne Calder joined Del Gallo and Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski in approving the resolution to grant the change. Residents from nearby Walnut Avenue previously expressed concerns and dismay for the project during a public hearing held months ago, before Calder joined the board.

We now have a new board member, Mr. Wayne Calder, who was not present for the public hearing and was not there to hear the pleas of the residents in our neighborhood in opposition to this project's advancement, said Walnut Avenue resident Mary Gabriele. "I am also concerned as why it has taken so long for this to be placed back on the agenda? We were told this was over and aren't really sure why it took this long to surface."

She said residents were previously confused with information presented about the zoning change, and if the developer would be able to start construction without the zoning change. After residents urged the board to look into the matter, board members passed a resolution resulting in an engineer's report that determined the construction project wasn't possible.

"I believe our neighborhood is just as entitled to our property rights as Mr. DeLorenzo," said Gabriele. "The residents should be protected by their elected officials. I hope you can put politics aside and do the right thing for the residents."

Godlewski said he reviewed the data from the project before voting on the resolution, and he requested that, if the rezone were to be approved, the Town Designated Engineer's report on the project is sent to the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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