CONESUS – A Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)’s public hearing ended anticlimactically late Monday night with the board not voting on a Conditional Use Permit for a Lake-Oriented Business but voting to keep the public hearing open for another month.
Over 100 members of the public sat through over two and a half hours of heated public comment for and against the Myers Inn as the ZBA opened the public comment section, closed the public comment section, reopened the public comment section with special time limits, closed the public comment section a second time, and voted to keep the public hearing open. The ZBA chose to hold their meeting at the Livonia High School auditorium, anticipating extreme turnout and had a court reporter present to make an official record of all comments.
“I think this [meeting] is the perfect example of why this is going to go on for months and months,” said Conesus resident Jim Szczesniak.
The ZBA heard comment from nearly two dozen members of the public, who had their speaking time capped at three minutes, starting at 7 p.m. The ZBA then asked questions of John Hooker, representing Carl Myers Enterprises, and he spent about 15 minutes responding.
ZBA member Marjorie DeLena made a motion to reopen the public comment section so that the public could respond to Hooker’s comments. Specifically, Tom Bruckel, neighbor to the project who had already spoken for three minutes, was standing with his hand raised as if to ask for a chance to respond.
After voting and then carefully voting again in a roll-call vote, the board determined that DeLena, Charlotte Siepka, and Mari deWit had voted in favor of reopening the public comment section and Chairwoman Patricia Rodman and Tim Lasch had voted against reopening the public comment section. The motion passed at 9:16 p.m. and the board passed a follow-up motion to limit speakers to one minute.
A few members of the public who had spoken in the first public comment section again spoke their minds.
Lasch made the motion to keep the public hearing open for another month. DeLena opposed. All other ZBA members voted in favor of keeping the public hearing open.
The ZBA is scheduled to meet again to vote on the Myers Inn’s application for a Conditional Use Permit for a Lake-Oriented Business on Oct 30.
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