OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Common Council approved a proposed change of zone for certain property located in the Seventh Ward from an R-4 Residential District to an R-2 Residential District, as per a request by residents of Pond Path.
The vote was unanimous and was preceded by a lengthy public hearing on the issue. Nearly 20 residents voiced their opinions on the proposed change; the overwhelming majority was in favor of rezoning the area; to maintain “its integrity as a quite neighborhood.”
The speakers either lived on Pond Path or else in close proximity.
Second Ward Councilor Mike Myers pointed out that the Planning and Zoning boards both gave the proposal a favorable recommendation.
“I’m going to support this based on their recommendations,” he explained.
First Ward Councilor Connie Cosemento pointed out that the two boards’ opinions are “advisory.”
She said she had been part of two instances where the boards’ decisions were challenged and reversed.
“So, not all decisions are accurate,” she cautioned. “Zoning changes are long-term and they are serious. Yes, they are intended to maintain and take care of our neighborhoods, and this city is full of different kinds of neighborhoods. Every neighborhood deserves to have a place for their children to play safely, property values maintained and the character of their neighborhood protected.”
“I read the Greenes’ packet (referring to their desire to operate an in-home mental health counseling service). It is well researched and it’s accurate. I understand the desire of the neighbors for a zone change. There’s no guarantee that changing R-4 to R-2 is going to reduce the traffic or the noise or stabilize property values. It is what it is,” she continued.
The change in zoning doesn’t allow for the type of in-home business the Greenes want to run
However, if the zone change is contested at a higher level, it may or may not stand, Cosemento noted.
“They’ve had lengthy meetings,” Fifth Ward Councilor Dan Donovan said of the Zoning and Planning boards. “It’s well researched and I will support this resolution.”
Will Greene urged the council to look at all the facts and dismiss the change.
Council President Ron Kaplewicz (Seventh Ward) presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Randy Bateman. Pond Path is located in his ward.
“When you do have disagreements, and they do happen, you want them to be respectful. And certainly, I honor and respect that there are two very different opinions here, and two different courses of action,” Kaplewicz said. “Over the course of several months, there have been some compelling arguments made on both sides. I certainly am sympathetic to the fact that several neighbors want to protect the integrity. If you live in a neighborhood, I think anyone would want to protect their neighborhood. I understand and fully respect that.”