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Sullivan ZBA: Back to square one

Jim Kirsch opened the Nov. 13 meeting of the Sullivan Zoning Board of Appeals meeting by telling the crowd it wasn't a public hearing.

"So we won't be hearing from anyone tonight," said Kirsch, who chairs the ZBA.

Dozens of Quarry Road residents attended the meeting in anticipation of the ZBA possibly making a decision as to whether Subdivisions Inc. and J. B. Quarry Inc. would be granted a special use permit to mine a parcel of property on Quarry Road. During the process of applying for a special use permit, the property was determined last year to be located in an agricultural zone by former Codes Enforcement Officer Larry Kinne.

Kinne also determined at that time that mining is not a permitted activity in an agricultural zone.

During the determination process, the Sullivan Town Council enacted a new local law that stopped the project dead in its tracks and ended the ZBA's process of affirming or denying Kinne's decision that mining is not a permitted activity in an agricultural zone. Based on that law, the ZBA decided the question was moot.

The SUP applicants filed an Article 78 proceeding, naming all three town of Sullivan boards, citing a faulty state environmental quality review and hastily enacted law as measures to deliberately thwart their ability to begin operations on Quarry Road. The matter was heard the first week of December, with a February decision anticipated.

In July, Chenango County Supreme Court Judge Kevin Dowd handed down an order striking down Local Law No. 1 of 2007 and ordering the planning board to "make a timely decision" on the special use permit application. Members of the planning board, feeling they did not have the information they needed to make a decision on the permit, voted at their October meeting to send the matter back to the ZBA for a decision on the second part of Kinne's determination.

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