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Rotterdam residents' rezone petition denied

Town officials say not enough signatures for supermajority vote

Rotterdam residents thought they gathered enough signatures to impede a zoning change, but town officials said they came up short.

Residents off Floral Avenue in Rotterdam presented the board with a petition on a zoning changed approved by a 3-2 vote in February for Tom DeLorenzo's project involving 2.735 acres located at 1066 Curry Road and 1113 Floral Ave. for apartments. If the petition was proved to be valid the Town Board would need a supermajority to grant the change, which would negate the previous vote and presumably leave the resolution voted down without the needed support.

One resident involved with the petition questioned the three resolutions on the agenda regarding the project, because she claimed the project has now been split into two separate projects.

If it had been initially handled as two projects then the homeowners in the town would have followed through with the twenty percent, said Maryann Lawler. "I believe this is extremely misleading and it sets a precedent for the Town Board and for the homeowners to be on alert. What was initiated in fact is changed."

Town Attorney David Devaprasad contested the project was never separated into two separate parcels. Since the parcels have a common border they must be looked at as one parcel.

"It is because we treated it as one parcel, subject to the zone change, that the petitioners don't satisfy requirements," he said "If we were able to treat it as separate parcels then you would have satisfied the requirements under Town Law."

After evaluating the submitted petition the town's attorneys decided the names collected didn't represent the required 20 percent of the surrounding parcels, only 17 percent. Under state case law, said Devaprasad, they were bound to look at it as one parcel, one project.

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