Breaking News!

No Feb 24th Meeting!

 

FRIENDS FOR RESPONSIBLE VESTAL ZONING

News for February 19, 2021

There will be NO public hearing to discuss the Bunn Hill Road development on February 24, 2021.

This information has been provided by a Town official.  The development project was not discussed at the February 10th Town Board meeting, and it will not be on the February 24th Town Board meeting agenda.  There is no information at this time as to when it will be scheduled.

Additionally:

  • In keeping with our initiative to express our opinion regarding opposition to this development, a Town resident had recent commentary on local radio:         https://wnbf.com/listen-live

Go to “Binghamton Now” tab

Go toFeb 17, 2021

Go to time 1:23:07.

                                            

  • Residents have continued to write outstanding letters to the Town Board since the January 13th public hearing, and the Town Supervisor’s radio interview on January 27th. 

 

The value of our opinions, “the voice of the people,” cannot be overstated.Recent letters have continued to raise objections, as well as expressing the need for Town residents to be listened to and not ignored by elected officials. Vestal resident objection letters significantly outnumber resident support letters.

 

What Do We Need to Do?

  • Continue to write letters to Town Board members.  Many of us have written several letters.  The addition of letter writers strengthens our cause. 

  • Our participation and efforts, combined with the expertise of our attorney are the tools that we have to convince the town to halt this type of development.

  • Please contact your like-minded friends and ask for their support.  In past years, we gathered support by knocking on doors and speaking to residents in public venues such as the Farmer’s Market

  • As you might well imagine, the cost for an outstanding attorney is significant.  It has been thought from a very early point, that the wealthy landowners, who have formed and LLC, would spare no expense to cause us to lose interest and not be willing to underwrite the cost of a protracted legal fight.  There is an opinion that this has been the plan all along.  We cannot allow this to happen.

Donations can be mailed to:

 

Davidson, Fox & Company, LLP

Attn:  Catherine A. Maliwacki, Zoning Fund

53 Chenango Street

Binghamton, NY 13901

Your Check should be made out to “Davidson, Fox & Company LLP”.

 

 Sincerely, Friends for Responsible Vestal Zoning

 

 Visit our Website at “ResponsibleVestalZoning.com”

 

Feb 24 - Upcoming Meeting

FRIENDS FOR RESPONSIBLE VESTAL ZONING

News for February 5, 2021

 

SAVE THE DATE!

FEBRUARY 24  -   6:00 PM

Supervisor Schaffer announced in a radio interview on WNBF’s Bob Joseph show on January 27th, that there may be another remote public hearing on February 24. 

 

Supervisor Schaffer made a number of significant claims in his interview:

 

·         He stated that only 27 people spoke out against the proposed development while 4 spoke for it, in the last public hearing.  The implication was that few residents are opposed to the proposal. 

·         He made a statement that the residents are in a “panic” regarding this development and that “nothing has been decided yet.”  He further stated “he has not talked to any board members about this” (the development,) and that “he has not talked to the developers in 2 years.” 

·         In addition, he went on to say “water run-off and traffic are non-issues, and that traffic at its peak will be one car every 30 seconds.” 

·         Only people who did not speak in the January 13th public hearing will be allowed to speak at the upcoming one.  He also stated that board members don't discuss the proposal and won't until the next meeting. 

·         There were additional comments, referring to Binghamton University, its President Harvey Stenger, members of this resident group as well as town procedures.

·         The interview can be found at: https://wnbf.com/listen-live

                                             Go to “Binghamton Now” tab

                                             Go to January 27, 2021

                                             John Schaffer speaks from 27:30-45:27

 

Note: Supervisor Schaffer specifically reminded residents in the public hearing to not make repetitive statements and to speak only in response to the presentation. After the hearing, he implied that lack of statements was the resident’s responsibility, stating that Zoom participation being capped at 100 participants was a technical situation (note: research has shown that the town could sponsor meetings of up to 300 participants for an additional fee of $50.00 that would be good for an entire year.) 

 

Numerous residents have continued to write outstanding letters to the Town Board since the January 13th public hearing, expressing their opposition to the development, as well as disappointment and dissatisfaction with the structure of that public hearing. As has been the consistent response, there have been very few replies to these letters.

 

What Do We Need To Do Next?

·         It will be critical for a maximum number of residents to participate in the next hearing, and to speak.  The supervisor clearly implied and stated that only 27 people spoke out against the proposed development! Even if you have little to say, you must speak up, even if only to say, “I am a resident and am opposed to this development.” It is suggested that Supervisor Schaffer feels that only certain residents repeatedly speak, and that these individuals have been heard enough and are obstructionists in attitude and problem residents.

·         By all means, continue to write letters to Town Board members.  Many of us have written several letters.  The addition of letter writers strengthens our cause.

·         Our participation and efforts, combined with the expertise of our attorney are the tools that we have to convince the town to halt this type of development.

·         We have had many, many, passionate and gifted individuals contact us in support of our position.  In the pre-pandemic era, we were able to contact individuals face to face and solicit help as we relied on many people to share in the effort to stop this type of development.  Any suggestions or effort to support our cause would be greatly appreciated.

·         As you might well imagine, the cost for an outstanding attorney is significant.  It has been thought that the wealthy landowners, who have formed and LLC, would spare no expense to cause us to lose interest and not be willing to underwrite the cost of a protracted legal fight.  There is an opinion that this has been the plan all along.  We cannot allow this to happen.

We have had donations and contributions of varied amounts ranging from twenty dollars to several thousand dollars.  We will need more.  Contributions can be made in the following way:   

          

Donations should be mailed to:

Davidson, Fox & Company, LLP

Attn:  Catherine A. Maliwacki, Zoning Fund

53 Chenango Street

Binghamton, NY 13901

Your Check should be made out to:  Davidson, Fox & Company LLP.

 

Jan 28 - Vestal Town Board

  • Bunn Hill was not discussed at the 1/27 Town Board meeting.  Someone heard John Schaffer on the Bob Robert's 1290 show say "the next meeting will be on 2/24".  We will confirm this.

  • Confirmed!  Please listen to John Schaffer on 1290. 

 

Go to Website:  https://wnbf.com/listen-live/

Go to "Listen Now"

Go to "Binghamton Now" tab

Go to January 27th.

Schaffer comes on at the 27:30 mark

Bunn Hill stuff goes from 32:30 to about 45:27

Complete end at 52:15

 

Jan 24 - Letter to the Editor by Kay Holley - See tab at top - "Letter to Editor".

 

Jan 13 - Vestal Town Board Meeting on Bunn Hill

- To see our Lawyer's comments to this Town Board Mtg. go to above tab - Lawyer M. Tooher 1/13 Comments

Jan 13  - Vestal Town Hall Meeting on Bunn Hill Rezoning 

This public hearing was very successful in several ways:

  • Meave M. Tooher our lawyer made an outstanding presentation that on it’s merit should stop the development immediately (It’s now up to the Board). 

    • She very clearly stated that there are procedures in place that require significant additional studies to be created, and these studies have to be shared as public knowledge.  These additional procedures would also require additional public hearings.

    • She very skillfully questioned the statements provided by the developers, and exposed them as incomplete, inaccurate, and sometimes opinion on their part, as opposed to fact.

    • She skillfully argued the concept of PDD compared to spot zoning and exposed weaknesses in the developer’s and town’s proposal.

    • Here is a copy of Meave Tooher Comments to the Vestal Town Board:  

  • We had great attendance & participation.  We maxed out the number of people for Vestal’s Zoom capability of 100.  We had lots of folks waiting to get in to talk.  We had great audience participation.  We came out in force and that’s how it came across! 

  • Now it is up to the Vestal Town Board as to what they will do.  We don’t expect them to vote down this project without more pressure from the community.  We now need to further convince the board members to stop this project. 

 

THANK YOU to all the supporters that wrote letters, signed in to the virtual public hearing (and those that attempted to,) spoke at the hearing, and spread the word to like-minded Vestal residents. 

 

What do we need to do Next?

  • By all means, continue to write letters to Town Board members.  Many of us have written several letters.  The addition of new letter writers strengthens our cause.

  • Our participation and efforts, combined with the expertise of our attorney are the tools that we have to convince the town to halt this type of development.

  • Fox News 40 aired a segment stating that there would be another public hearing on January 27th.  At this time, we have received no knowledge of this and it is unconfirmed.  It is being looked into.

  • We have had many, many, passionate and gifted individuals contact us in support of our position.  In the pre-pandemic era, we were able to contact individuals face to face and solicit help as we relied on many people to share in the effort to stop this type of development.  Any suggestions or effort to support our cause would be greatly appreciated.

Our Key to Victory!

Many people have positively commented about the presentation by the attorney representing our group.  Meave Tooher, Albany, NY, is an extremely experienced and successful attorney who specializes in this field.  She is the expert!  She very skillfully, within the limitations of a virtual meeting with no video, pointed out the numerous serious issues with the proposal presented to the Town by Landmark Development. See her comments above.

As you might well imagine, the cost for an outstanding attorney is significant.  We have had donations and contributions of varied amounts ranging from twenty dollars to several thousand dollars.  We are significantly behind in funding and need your help to persevere.

  • Contributions can be mailed to:

    • Davidson, Fox & Company, LLP

Attn:  Catherine A. Maliwacki, Zoning Fund

53 Chenango Street

Binghamton, NY 13901

 

Video of the Week

  • Here is a very interesting video sent to us from Carolyn Cooper.  I’m not sure how valid the data is but I recommend everyone watch this and see if Vestal might be setting themselves up for failure.  It discusses how towns/villages overextend themselves and then are not able to afford their infrastructure: 

https://digg.com/video/how-american-suburbs-are-doomed-to-go-bankrupt-from-the-start 

 

DEC 23 - Results of 12/22/ Zoom Meeting!

The Friends of the Responsible Vestal Zoning leadership team would like to sincerely thank everyone for participating in last night’s successful Zoom meeting.  Vic Lamoureux made an excellent presentation on the “Responsible Vestal Zoning Opposition Paper” that was previously sent to the Vestal Planning Committee.  This paper is on our website:  responsiblevestalzoning.com. Many at the meeting presented cogent reasons to stop this negative development project and many sent questions and suggestions to the chat site.  We would like to thank everyone for their enthusiasm and dedication.  We will formulate a plan for the upcoming Public Town Hall meeting on Jan 13 based upon everyone’s input.

Here is the link for the dramatic Bunn Hill Video that was presented at the meeting:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsQ5aD94-3s.  please share this video with your friends and neighbors.  It well represents the threat we are facing and it’s disturbing to watch. 

What can you do between today and the major Jan 13 public meeting on this project?  An Action Item list is attached below this brief summary:

  • Everyone - please send a protesting email to Town Board members.  Email addresses are attached below.  The supervisor stated that he is throwing out form letters, so it is important we go directly to the other Board Members.

  • We need more letters of support.  Make sure the entire family  (18 and above) sends in an automated or personal letter.  Families that have sent in only 1 letter can add the other spouse and children 18 and above.

  • Everyone should contact 5 friends/neighbors to grow our list of names.  The number protesting is especially important to show Town Board Members. 

  • Everyone should call into the Bob Joseph, WNBF Radio 1290 program and object to an out-of-town developer and 1 landowner trying to change the zoning to the detriment of many other residents. 

 

Action Item List:

This is a List of Action Items for all supporters to do between today and the January 13 Public Meeting on Bunn Hill Rezoning. 

 

  • Email to each of the Town Board members an informal, emotional statement asking them not to approve this project. Town Board Email List. We need to overwhelm them with letters of opposition.  ALSO please copy our email address so we can document each message/letter sent to the town:  responsiblevestalzoning@gmail.com.

 

  • The Town Board will be holding a virtual Public Hearing on the rezoning request on January 13th.  We need EVERYONE to "attend" that meeting to show strong opposition to this zoning change.  We will keep you informed of the details when the Town comes up with them.

 

  • Everyone that has sent in a letter of Support to the Town Board we thank you very much.  The number of letters is especially important to all members of the board and especially anyone running for office.  We ask that you make sure to maximize the number of letters from each household.  Both spouses and children 18 and older should send in a separate letter.  An automatic letter can be generated by going to the following location:  https://www.responsiblevestalzoning.com/send-a-support-letter. We get a copy of the automatic letter for our records.  If you send in a personal letter to the Board please copy us so we can put them into our formal book of letters:  responsiblevestalzoning@gmail.com.

 

  • Please try to contact 5 people (or more) to write a letter or short message of support as stated above.  If each person on our email list would enlist 5 additional people, then we would be in great shape to stop this encroachment to our zoning.

 

  • Everyone should call in to the Bob Joseph WNBF Radio 1290 program and object to this development.  The show is on from 9am to 12 pm, Mon-Fri.  This is a good way to energize other residents.

 

Dec 22 - Responsible Vestal Opposition Paper to the retreat at Bunn Hill as given to the Vestal Planning Board. 

Here is our presentation that was given to the Planning Board in opposition to the Re-Zoning of Bunn Hill:  presentation.

Dec 16 - Breaking News on Bunn Hill Project:

 

FRIENDS FOR RESPONSIBLE VESTAL ZONING

Breaking News for December 16, 2020

 

  • The Vestal Town Board is proceeding with the process for changing the zoning of the land for the proposed Landmark Development on Bunn Hill Road.  At their December Board meeting, they scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, January 13, 2021.  Due to COVID-19, guidelines this will be a virtual meeting.  The Board has not released specifics or details on how this meeting will be conducted.  A virtual meeting does not present our interests very well. People may be unfamiliar or not comfortable with digital platforms.  The virtual link that the Town provided for the August 2020 Planning Board meeting was problematic.     Please take the opportunity to express your opinion to Town Board members about not being able to be properly participate in the public hearing.

 

  • The need for letters to the town Board expressing our opposition to this project and the public hearing format cannot be overstated.  If you have not done so, please take the opportunity to send a letter or e-mail to Town Board members.  Please ask your neighbors and friends to send a letter.  This project may very well impact all Vestal residents that live in rural residential zoned locations.  These letters are of critical importance.  If you prefer, there is a form letter that you are free to use by utilizing this link:  Support Letter.    Links to Town Board members are located here: Vestal Town Board .

 

  • In order to share information to our supporters, a virtual meeting on “Zoom” is being considered for Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm.  It is planned to update residents with current information, and try to answer questions. This Zoom meeting is for our supporters and is not the Town Zoom meeting expected on Jan 13.  A video that concisely displays the impacts of this proposal will be shown as well as a PowerPoint presentation. If you are interested in taking part in this Zoom meeting on December 22nd, please let us know so that we can go ahead and schedule this.  All you need to do is reply to this e-mail. 

 

Sept 8 - The Vestal Town Planning Board sent their recommendation on the high density Bunn Hill project to the Town Board last week.

 

  • We were disappointed that these deliberations did not take place in an open forum as intended by Open Meeting Law.

 

  • Their recommendation basically says: Based on the information provided, the in-person presentation of the applicant team, the letters of comment form the County, BC Transit, BMTS, NYSDOT and the many comments and letters from Vestal residents, The Planning Board finds too many uncertainties to recommend this project as it stands to the Town Board. Our recommendation to the Town Board is "Approve with Stated Conditions”. We advise the Town Board to move forward with caution, and before granting the requested zoning change, require resolution of a number of concerns.

 

  • One of the biggest concerns is what we have been talking about all along - the fact that this is a Spot Zone and is bad zoning practice. See Full Memo to Town Board . 

 

  • What now? We need to take our concerns to the Vestal Town Board, We plan to have a “zoom” session or “in-person” meeting in the near future to ask for ideas, build teams, look for volunteers and continue the fight to the Town Board. We need everyone that knows anyone on the Town Board to convince the Board Members to oppose this violation of our zoning laws. A notice will be sent out this week on this.

 

  • How you can help right now: 

    • Let us know if you have a connection to any Town Board Member (John Schaffer, Sue Messina, John Fletcher, Jason Ellis or Patti Fitzgerald). We need to start individually meeting with these members to voice our concerns. Make sure they know someone that thinks this is a bad idea! 

       

    • Make sure every member of your household 18+ has sent a letter into the Town Board. Make sure both spouses send separate letters. Try to get a few neighbors around you to also sign the letter. It really is easy. Go to responsiblevestalzoning.com and at the tabs at the top hit "Send a Support Letter". 

    • Covid-19 has certainly made many folks' financial situation uncertain. But if you can give something that would be great. We have already incurred significant expenses in this fight and these are going to increase if and when we need to take legal action. Again... Go to responsiblevestalzoning.com and the tab at the top that says "Please Donate".

 

  • Please take a ride up Bunn Hill Road in this short video to your right. I think you’ll enjoy it -  A Street View of Bunn Hill

 

  • THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!

  • Aug 4:  THANKS to all for "attending" the Planning Board meeting last night.  We had 60+ people standing and sitting out with their signs on the lawn.  The local press positively acknowledged everyone especially after the heavy all day rain and the Covid-19 restrictions.  We also had at least 112 people on the Town "GoToMeeting" audio, which performed very poorly and left a lot of folks in the dark and not full participants in this public meeting. 

 

  • We were allowed to send in 5 representatives, one of which was our attorney, Mr. William Demarest, of Tooher and Barone. 

  • The Landmark attorney brought up almost the exact same points as at the last planning board meeting:

    • Bringing sewer up the hill would be good for the Town

    • "Significant tax revenue" for Vestal

    • BU lands are all up there... BU will just build without the Town's permission and pay no taxes... so you should take this opportunity.

    • Almost NO REAL details about the actual project.

    • They want the project approved first and then they will work with the town on the details

 

  • Points brought up by the planning board included:  (Their Attorney Response)

    • Will this receive a PILOT - Payment In Lieu of Taxes (not at this time.... they have not investigated it)

    • If buses cannot turn around in the front (County 239 report) how will big fire engines be able to get in and out (this can be figured out later)

    • Will the water from Jensen Road tank supply enough water to fight a fire?  (This will be figured out later)

    • Is this student housing or professional housing?  (it will be a mix, you can't really designate something as student housing only for legal reasons)

    • Will they be able to put a 7-11 up there?  (No... retail is not part of the plan... we would need to come back and get that added)

 

  • Points brought up by our representatives:

    • You know they have asked for a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes).  We have heard this.  So they are not being straight with us here

    • BU has been a good neighbor and appears to have no interest in developing on the hill.  There is lots of evidence that shows interest in revitalizing downtown Binghamton and J.C...

    • It is supposed to be a PLANNED Development District.  But they are asking for a zoning change without any of the PLAN and the DETAILS.  This should not come AFTER the zoning is changed.  It is a very important part of a PDD.  Our attorney backed this saying the review should not be segmented (asking for the zoning change and filling in the details... it should be all ONE process).

    • The sewer is not very useful or a smart use of infrastructure... there are only 12 homes that would ever be able to hook into it.  Water is being brought in from a different direction

    • Taxes might be as low as 0.3% of entire Town budget.... no more than 1%.  But you will have ruined the hilltops and set a dangerous precedent in allowing this zoning

    • Many folks invested in their homes.  They wanted to live in RR zoning.  NOW... this project will increase the density of people in this neighborhood 15x!  They did not want this.

    • Erosion in the creek has been getting worse with development and causing problems for the 15 houses on Lauderdale Drive, Avondale, and Annetta Street.

    • There is only 1 family that wants this zoning changed while there are 1200 documented Vestal residents that are opposed to this zoning change

    • The traffic from 600+ cars will not only make the congestion at Bunn Hill Road & the Vestal Parkway severe but there will also be much increased traffic along Jensen Road, Knapp Road, and Rano Blvd as these folks take the less congested routes to the Town Square Mall, Lowes, Weis, Post Office, Liquor store, etc.

    • Bunn Hill is a dangerous road for student pedestrians & bikers – it is extremely steep with no sidewalks or even no shoulders in certain places. Many students will walk up/down Bunn Hill, night and day, to get to classes, food outlets on the Parkway, etc.

    • Vestal taxes will only go up!  They will not go down unless high density housing like this is developed in the valley where all the infrastructure (sewers, water, bus routes, etc. are).  Going up a ravine 1.5 miles from the parkway will provide a tax burden to the Town that will result in higher taxes. 

 

  • At this time the Planning Board has not made a decision on what they will recommend to the Town Board.

 

  • We need to continue get people to support us on this issue.  We need folks to contact their representatives on the Planning Board and the Town Board and let them know that they disapprove of this project.   Fill out the “send a support letter” above to add to our growing number of support letters that we will take to the Town Board Members to convince them to stop this ill-conceived project.

 

  • July 29 - Alert!  August 4th Meeting

    • The Vestal Town Planning Board has scheduled the “Bunn Hill High Density Project” on August 4th.

    • If we are going to stop this project from happening then this is the time to do so!

    • Our plan in this Covid-19 environment is to have a limited number of representatives inside attending the meeting.  They will be able to argue against this project. 

    • It is very key to have a large number of our supporters outside of the Vestal Town Hall surrounding the entrance. The number of people demonstrating against this project is directly proportional to our success in stopping this project!

    • We will absolutely follow all Covid-19 rules.  We need to insure everyone wears a mask and maintains a 6 foot or larger distance. 

    • Please be prepared to bring a sign and even a folding chair to sit upon as you show support for Vestal residents.  You can even bring a dinner to enjoy!

    • There is plenty of grass and a large parking lot to achieve both a large crowd and to also to maintain recommended Covid-19 distances

    • You can even stay in your car to support the gathered crowd.   

    • We are asking everyone to show up at 5:30 pm for the 6:00 meeting.  We have requested the Vestal Board to have an external speaker and also Zoom capability. 

    • It’s important that we have a large crowd there to demonstrate to the press and Vestal Boards that this project is detrimental to the town as a whole and that the citizens are against it.

    • Thank You – Responsible Vestal Zoning Committee

  • July 20 - Planning Board Meeting Alert for Aug 4th!

    • The Vestal Planning Board will be having a scheduled meeting on July 21st.  However we do not see the high density Bunn Hill project on the agenda at this time. 

    • We do however believe that this project will be reviewed at the August 4th Planning Board Meeting.  We will confirm this as we find out more information and let everyone know.  Please put a “save the date” on your calendar for August 4th at 6 pm.  We need to demonstrate to the Planning Board and the Vestal Town Board that the town residents are 100% against this project. 

    • How do we demonstrate our opposition in a Covid-19 environment?

      • We will have a limited number representatives go inside to attend the August 4th planning  meeting and absolutely follow all the Covid-19 recommendations (masks, 6 foot distance, et.).

      • We will have the majority of our supporters locate outside the Vestal Town Hall surrounding the entrance. We will absolutely follow all Covid-19 rules.  We need to insure everyone wears a mask and maintains a 6 foot or larger distance. 

      • Please be prepared to bring a sign and even a folding chair to sit on and support the community.

    • If the meeting occurs on this date then we’ll ask everyone to show up at 5:30 pm for the 6:00 meeting.  We expect the majority of folks outside could leave about 6:30 while our inside representatives stay for the entire meeting.

    • It’s important that we have a large crowd there to demonstrate to the press and Vestal Boards that this project is detrimental to the town as a whole and that the citizens are against it.

    • Please visit our website (ResponsibleVestalZoning.com) to send an automatic  letter to the Town Supervisor opposing this project.

    • Thank You – Responsible Vestal Zoning Committee

  • June 02:

    • As of today there are no Planning Board meetings scheduled on the Town Website.  We know of no planned meetings for the housing project.  If anyone knows anything please send us a note at ResponsibleVestalZoning@gmail.com.  ​

    • As of yesterday we got some new signs.  If anyone wants to put a "Stop Vestal Zoning" sign on their lawn please go to the "Lawn Sign" tab above.

  • May 12:

    • Alert!!  ​WNBF this week received a statement from Landmark Properties that they are still working on getting approval for the project.  Landmark is looking forward in hearing the feedback from the Vestal Planning board.  WNBF Article.  

    • We must continue to convince the Vestal Planning Board and the Vestal Town Board that this encroachment to our zoning laws is detrimental to the character of Vestal.  No residential or rural residential area in Vestal is safe if the Town violates the trust we have in our zoning laws.  If you have not sent in a automated support letter to the town board please go to the "send a support letter" tab above.  Thank You.  

  • May 11:

    • We called the Vestal Planning Board today.  Everything is on hold!  No meetings are scheduled for the Zoning or Planning Board.  They are waiting for Governor Cuomo to open the state.  There is no indication  as to the plans for Landmark/Kradjian at this time.

    • Please keep your signs up.  We need to be ready to win this fight when things start up again.

    • The police called us today.  A Vestal resident complained to them about 8 of our signs appearing on his lawn last night.  We removed them.  Our guess is that it's a student prank (students must be so bored with this lock-down).  The resident is a student educator.  If your sign is missing send a note and we will replace it.  

  • April 28:

    • We know of no activity at this time on the high density housing project.  The 4/7 Planning Board meeting was canceled due to the Virus.  There is no future Planning Board meeting scheduled per the Town Website.

    • The Town Board held a regular meeting on 4/22 via phone.  We listened to this meeting and there was no discussion about the housing project.  Minutes are available on the Town Website.

    • We will continue to monitor the Town for any activity.

  • April 12:

    • According to Municipal Law Section 239, the County must review the proposed high density housing on upper Bunn Hill because Bunn Hill Road is a County road.  On March 13 the County concluded that the housing project would have negative county-wide and inter-community impacts.  Therefore they recommended that Vestal should deny the project as submitted.  If you would like to see the full County response and the reasons for the denial go to the tab above labeled "239".

 

  • March 30:

    • Beware!  If you send a letter to the Town Supervisor and get a response that the "reply date expired on 3/27" please ignore this.  The supervisor is confusing us sending letters to the Town Board versus a 4/7 Planning Board meeting.   The Planning Board had a 3/27 date to turn in all material for a 4/7 Planning Board Meeting.  ​We are independently sending in letters to the Town Board because they ultimately hold the vote on whether to approve this project or not.  There is no present deadline on when we can send in our opinion and comments!

  • March 30:  On March 27 we submitted 2 documents to the Town of Vestal Planning Board:

    • The first document is a response from our lawyer Meave M. Tooher, Albany, NY that the Board should recommend denial of the PDD to the Town Board.  In this report she highlights that the current application has several serious flaws under SEQRA and Town Zoning.  She states that the County properly recommended denial of the Project and the Town Planning Board will be well advised to follow that recommendation.  She highlights the legal reasons why the Planning and Town Board need reject this project.

    • The second response is a 32 page report by Victor Lamoureux from our leadership team titled the "Opposition to Re-Zoning RR to PDD for the 'Retreat at Bun Hill' A Community Perspective".  This report is a very detailed report that concludes there is no compelling well-reasoned argument for this project going forward.

    • Both of these documents, one legal and one technical have convincing detail that is very compelling for the Town to reject this project.  We will make these documents available on this website when it makes sense to do so.

 

  •  March 27:  Vestal Re-Zoning is Still Very Much in Jeopardy!  The recent headlines on WBNG & in the Binghamton Press state that the Broome County Department of Planning and Economic Development has denied the out-of-state developer/Kradjian  to put  high density housing on Upper Bunn Hill Road, a RR (Rural Residential) zoned area.  It is a partial victory for us. However the project can still be approved by the Vestal Town Board.  It’s disappointing that no Vestal Town Board member so far has spoken against this development even with the almost unanimous opposition by Vestal Residents.

       

The County’s rejection of the plan means that the Vestal Town Board must approve this housing with a supermajority – a majority plus one of the full board (i.e. 4 of 5).  However even a super-majority will be a challenge for us.  Why? – because no member of the Town Board has yet to speak out against this project.  We must continue our plan of putting up signs, getting more support letters to the Vestal Town Board (very important), and preparing for the future Planning Board and Vestal Town Board Meetings. Note – this is the 3rd time that professional planners at the County level have denied similar projects at this site. 

  • March 24:  We are not going door-to-door soliciting support letters from Vestal Residents due to the Corona Virus.  However folks can use our website tabs above to:

    • send in an automatic support letter

    • request a lawn sign (we will deliver to your door)

    • or make a donation.

 

  • March 18:  The April 7th planning meeting has been canceled per the town's website. 

 

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