On November 9, Justice Mark G. Masler dismissed our Article 78 petition. That petition is detailed in the list of documents contained on this page. The text of his judgement is listed below:
Judge Masler dismissed our petition for reasons listed in the above Judgement. The Responsible Vestal Zoning leadership team is meeting with our lawyers to evaluate this judgement and to plan our future course of action.
Documents reviewed by the Cortland County Supreme Court on our petition. We are awaiting a decision by the Judge.
Once again, the Vestal Town Board has ignored the wishes and votes of its citizens in favor of ramming through unwanted high density student housing in a Rural Residentially Zoned area. A controversial student housing project in Vestal, on Bunn Hill Road, is currently in NYS Supreme Court awaiting a verdict. Not to be deterred, the Town Board forges on to allow one local landowner and an out-of-state developer the opportunity to make themselves grossly richer while forever changing the nature of Vestal’s Rural Residential Zoning.
Because Broome County (who owns Bunn Hill Rd.) does not approve of the development, the Vestal Town Board needs 4 out of 5 Vestal Board members to vote yes. After one board member resigned in disgust last June, it left only 3 members in favor of the proposed zoning change. Under these conditions, the project could not come to fruition. So, how does John Schaffer, Town Supervisor, fix this? He appoints a candidate who came in last, yes LAST, in the 2021 town board election to fill the empty seat because that member will back him up with the yes vote he needs.
Is it fair to the citizens of Vestal to assign this empty seat to a candidate who got the fewest of their votes in the town board election? Apparently, it is legal, but is it ethical? Is it moral? This does not support the interests of the majority of the citizens of Vestal. Why should a last place candidate, voted out by the people, be put on the Vestal Board? This candidate was clearly beaten by the people in an election held just 11 months ago! The supervisor’s actions are self-serving and not in the best interests of the community and the environment of Vestal. The supervisor is stacking the Town Board to favor his support for this disastrous project. For once the Town Board should listen to its constituents and do the right thing. Responsible local government will benefit, the town and community will benefit, and the rich rural environment that we all cherish will benefit. The Town Board should do the right thing and reject this unwelcome project.
Please send in an opposition letter to the Vestal Town Board!
We ask that everyone in Vestal sign our petition opposing the proposed Bunn Hill zoning change. This will only take 1 minute of your time and a response will be sent to every Vestal Town Board member.