Radisson neighbors win lawsuit

— Nineteen property owners who would have been neighbors to the Northwest Family YMCA in the residential section of Radisson have won their lawsuit in state Supreme Court to prevent the construction of the proposed 98,000 square foot facility in the residential section of Radisson.

Judge Anthony J. Paris of the Supreme Court, Onondaga County, held that restrictive covenants in the Radisson Declaration prohibit the construction of the $17 million multi-use facility in Radisson’s residential section. Judge Paris also held that the filing of a corrective deed by the Empire State Development Corporation and Eldan Homes to remove the residential restrictions the day before the land was sold to the YMCA was “an outright manipulation to remove the binding restrictions.”

The court granted the neighbors’ motion for summary judgment and denied the YMCA’s motion for summary judgment, eliminating the need for a trial.

“It has never been about the Y, but rather about the where. This is a great result for my family and my neighbors,” said Jeff Dack, the lead plaintiff who owns a house across the street from the YMCA’s property. “We had to sue the YMCA twice to stop the project and Judge Paris came down for us both times.”

“This is an important decision for all the people of Radisson because Judge Paris has upheld and strengthened the integrity of the Radisson Declaration, which purposefully keeps industrial, commercial and residential land uses separate and apart,” said the attorney for the neighbors, Douglas H. Zamelis. “This should be the last nail in the coffin for the YMCA’s abandoned plans to build at Drake’s Landing.”

The YMCA had previously announced that it would seek approvals to construct the Northwest Family YMCA at the Timber Banks development on River Road.

“It’s nice that this issue is finally resolved, but for the Y and for the future of the Northwest Family YMCA, the lawsuit is not relevant,” said Chris Iven, director of communications YMCA of Greater Syracuse. “It was first filed in December of 2011. That’s nearly six months after YMCA volunteers announced their plans to find a better site for the Northwest Family YMCA.”

“Now that this lawsuit on the old site is resolved, that land should be easier to sell or trade. That means the value of the old site will help the Y build on the new one,” Iven continued. “The new site, on River Road, will be donated to the Y. It has enough room to build the facility needed to meet the needs of the community. We know that the community needs the Northwest Family YMCA. We’re doing all we can now to ensure that we can build it as quickly as possible.”

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