FULTON, NY – The Fulton Common Council will revisit a zone change request for a second time after a public hearing held in August that failed to approve the proposed change resulted in a petition to the Oswego County Supreme Court.
For the properties listed at 837 and 839 Oneida St., the property owner had requested to change the zoning of the properties from C-1 Commercial to R-1 Residential with the intent to sell them to an interested buyer for residential purposes as a single family home.
However, neighbors of the properties spoke out at the initial public hearing questioning the proposed buyer’s intent to use the workshop on the property as a garage for their personal motorcycle repair and maintenance, noting their fear that such a purchase would jeopardize the quiet, safe nature of the neighborhood they have maintained.
Ultimately, the five present councilors cast three votes in favor of the change with two abstaining.
The decision required four votes in favor to pass, even with one absent councilman.
The outcome resulted in the property owner filing an Article 78 petition with the Oswego County Supreme Court, which according to NYCourts.gov is described as, “a Supreme Court case that can change an order made by an administrative agency.”
The petition has since been removed according to Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. after deciding to hold a second public hearing on the matter. The previous intended buyers have backed out of their intent to purchase as well.
“My opinion on it is, you’re going to be spot zoning there if you do that,” Mayor Woodward said.
The NYS Department of State’s Zoning and Comprehensive Plan defines spot zoning as, “the rezoning of a parcel of land to a use category different from the surrounding area, usually to benefit a single owner or a single development interest.”
“The other ones that are in the commercial don’t want to change so you’d be doing it for one house, that’s not how the law works,” Mayor Woodward said.
The council will reconsider the request at a public hearing to be held during a regular council meeting on March 21 following the public comment section beginning at 7 p.m. in the Fulton Municipal Building located at 141 S. First St.