ZBA: Not permitted

The Sullivan Zoning Board of Appeals voted three to two Thursday night to accept the recommendations of the Wladis Law Firm. The move establishes that mining and quarrying are not allowed in an agricultural zone and ends the special use permit application process for applicants JB Quarry Inc. and Subdivisions Inc, owned by developer Tom Oot, Bob Benevento and other partners.

The board bore two new faces last week. After the resignations of Chairman James Kirsch and Donald Henry, who was expected to replace Kirsch upon his retirement, the Sullivan Town Council appointed existing ZBA member Steve Durfee as the chairman of the board, moved to appoint alternate ZBA member Cecelia Berean up to fill one of the permanent seats and high school history teacher Michael Keville to the other.

The two alternate positions remain empty.

The ZBA discussed a memo from the Wladis Law Firm for a half-hour before entering executive session to discuss litigation strategy and to get the advice of counsel on pleadings served on the town earlier that day. When they reconvened, newcomers Berean and Keville joined fellow ZBA member Ken Katzenstein in voting to accept the advice of counsel. Durfee was joined by ZBA member Cliff Reals in voting against it; both cited having a problem with one paragraph in the document " (2) that the ZBA must base its interpretation on the law that existed at the time the [zoning enforcement officer] made his determination (i.e., the 1979 legislation) ".

No one from Quarry Road was in attendance. The only ones in attendance were two participation in government students, Supervisor John M. Becker, Oot, Benevento and their attorney Michael Longstreet. The students left when the board went into executive session, and Becker left after Benevento began firing angry comments at him about being responsible for "getting rid of Don Henry" and the town's motives for denying the application.

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