By Phoebe Muthart
SYRACUSE — The Syracuse Board of Zoning Appeals tabled a petition from Oakwood due to a legality matter.A standing-room only crowd of nearly 200 people attended the meeting Thursday, June 17, to voice their objections to the proposal. The case, however, was tabled due to the fact that the Syracuse BZA does not have the authority to approve Oakwood’s petition, due to a state statute.
Oakwood Retreat LLC is petitioning for an exception to allow a change to a previously granted planned unit development, two exceptions, by allowing alterations to the proposed project.
The property is located at 849 E. Lakeview Road.
Matt Sandy, assistant planner, said 32 remonstrators wrote letters with concerns and two letters in support of the petition.
However, Steve Snyder, the attorney for Oakwood Home Owners Association, said the board does not have the legal authority to approve the case.
J.R. Parent, owner of Oakwood, spoke to the board about his plans. He recently met with Matt Sandy, assistant planner, and the Oakwood Home Owners Association.
In his opening remarks, Sandy said, “We don’t see this often,” in referring to the “unique case.”
Parent showed the board members a conceptual plan for the project, with some modifications based on Sandy’s recommendations.
The plans include duplexes, garages and living lots, among other amenities.
“We are trying to come up with the best solution,” said Parent. “We also plan to improve Lakeview Road.”
Parent said he wants to add a sidewalk to make the road more “pedestrian friendly.”
Parent said the new plans will be “less dense” than the original plan.
“It will have a residential feel,” he said. “We designed it to be compatible with the surrounding area and look like the surrounding area.”
Parent said parking is an issue but that would be addressed possibly through building garages or lots. He said that eliminating some lots and adding more parking would help address the parking issue.
After Parent addressed the board, Snyder spoke to the board and handed them a state statute stating the board does not have the legal authority to approve such a case.
“The county has to comply with the state statute,” Snyder said, adding the BZA board has no say in the matter.
“The Syracuse Town Council can but not the BZA,” Snyder said, adding county commissioners may also hear the case.
The case was tabled until July’s meeting so that the board can consult with the county’s attorney, Adam Turner.
In other matters, Tom Morton’s petition for an exception was approved. His petition is for the construction of an oversized accessory building (35 feet by 65 feet and 2,275 square feet) where ordinance allows a maximum of 24 feet by 24 feet and 576 square feet.The property is located at 411 E. Medusa St.
Morton’s petition for a variance was also approved. The variance is for the construction of an accessory building 4 feet from both side property lines and 9 feet, 6 inches from the rear property line.
Daniel Slone’s petition for an exception was approved. The exception is for the change and alteration of a granted exception, multiple residences and antique resale shop, by constructing a 28 foot by 36 foot garage. The property is located at 107 E. Pearl St.
Christopher Graff’s petition for a variance was also approved. The variance is to allow the change and alteration to a previously granted variance, by allowing a change in the plan by adding an additional lot and moving the northeast entrance, and reconfiguring the interior drives. The property is located in the Syracuse Industrial Park.
The next meeting is at 6 p.m. July 15.