By NICOLE GUGINO
OBSERVER Assistant News Editor
HANOVER - At a recent Hanover Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, a decision was finally made on the controversial Silver Creek Department of Public Works building.
The village moved its highway department to the former Bentges Distribution building on Routes 5 and 20 in the town of Hanover after the flooding of 2009.
After some time the village applied for a special use permit for the building because it was not previously zoned for municipal use.
ZBA Chairman Kevin Waterman explained after the initial public hearing the board filed a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) on the property.
At the June meeting of the ZBA the time frame for agencies to respond to the SEQR had not yet expired, so the matter was tabled for the July meeting.
"We did a SEQR and five agencies were notified but only one - county planning - responded. When an agency does not respond within 30 days after filing, they don't have a problem with it.
"We made a negative declaration and under our zoning law there is an article allowing special uses,"
He explained the board made its decision based on case law the attorney brought to the board's attention where in two cases either a state court or the state comptroller's office upheld a municipality's right to a special use.
In addition the board did not want to do nothing on the matter.
"We could do nothing - which we didn't want to do, We could vote no and get an Article 78 (court appeal) from the village of Silver Creek or we could vote yes...," Waterman explained.
He said the board unanimously made this decision in 57 days, under the 62 allowed for the board's decision.
He also explained the village still must connect into the drainage and sewer lines as was required when the building was purchased.
He said it was his understanding this decision will aid the village in receiving the FEMA funding for the building which also included the funds needed to connect into the sewer lines.
Waterman wanted to make it clear the board only made a decision on the special use of the building, not any of the process by which it was purchased.
"The zoning board was only concerned with how the building sits in the town of Hanover," he said.
The next zoning board of appeals meeting is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21 pending further information for a special use permit for the hotel/water park development.
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