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B'ville: Ruling made in YMCA case

Despite their desire for different overall outcomes, both the YMCA and Families for REAL are pleased with the ruling of State Supreme Court Justice Anthony Paris, which was made last Wednesday.

The lawsuit challenged a letter the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) sent to the town of Lysander Planning board stating the YMCA was an appropriate use of the land purchased by the organization in 2006 in order to build the Northwest Family YMCA. The March 10 ruling annulled that approval (made Jan. 8, 2008), remanding the YMCA back to the ESDC for review and reissue of the land use determination originally requested by the town of Lysander Planning Board. The YMCA has contacted the ESDC to determine the next steps.

Despite the ruling, YMCA officials are optimistic, saying "the court found in favor of the YMCA and ESDC on several points including denying efforts for an injunction or any relief designed to halt the process."

"This ruling is good news for the YMCA as we can continue to move forward toward building the Northwest Family YMCA," said Hal Welsh, executive director, YMCA of Greater Syracuse. "We are pleased to have resolution in this case and to have a road map to getting the Northwest Family YMCA built."

Douglas H. Zamelis, attorney for Families for REAL, had another viewpoint.

"The judge's ruling is a substantial setback for the project and the Northwest YMCA now has one foot in the grave," he said.

According to Jeff Dack, a member of Families for REAL, the ESDC failed to hold a public hearing when approving the land usage and, since the process is starting over, will now have to do so. Court documents concur. "A public hearing is required to rationally determine the propriety of the proposed facility at this particular location and its affects on the entire Radisson community."

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