Thwarted by planning board, longtime resident weighs options
By Willie Kiernan
It's been four years of back and forth and the Hastie's have had enough.
"This is it; this is the end of the road," said Dr. Alexander Hastie.
The Hastie family has been battling with the Cazenovia Town Planning Board regarding a Syosset Drive subdivision application for four years without results.
"I never complained, but it's just not logical to me," Hastie said.
Hastie purchased more than 15 acres on Syosset Drive about 40 years ago. He built a house on a 60,000 square foot lot and raised a family. Because the area just outside the village was zoned R-30, he believed he had a double-wide lot that he could eventually build on. The rest of the property, a horse barn and grassy field, was put into his wife's name. He wanted to create a horse-riding facility but the town regulations changed and Syosset was zoned for non-commercial use. So he took some of the land in the middle of the Syosset horseshoe and subdivided it into three 30,000 square foot lots. Three houses are currently on those three lots.
"I came back up here in 2001 when my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer," said James Hastie, the doctor's son.
Four years ago, the Hasties submitted an application for subdivision of the remaining property. Since the zoning regulations of the town changed again, from R-30 to R-40, they concluded they had enough space for four lots instead of five.
"I told Jim, you get it divided, be our representatives and I'll give you a lot," Dr. Hastie said. "I didn't want to do it because I was getting old, and you know how Cazenovia is so chummy."
The four lots were exactly what the doctor needed. He had four kids who needed taking care of, the others were set from previous acts of generosity. He didn't care that the zoning changes altered his initial investment, causing him to lose potential real estate opportunities. He didn't care about the money. He just wanted to take care of his son Jim and three daughters.