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Breaking News!

Jan 11 2023



And there is hope… so please don’t stop supporting us now or this Town Board wins!  Unfortunately, we have heard from several people in the last few months that “if I thought there was any hope I would contribute.”  But the problem is that our legal bills have never stopped and we still need to cover them as well as future bills.  And there is HOPE! (But not without legal representation).  Responsible Vestal Zoning has been very successful in our fight; we have delayed this developer for 4 years!  Let’s recap our successes:

  • Prior to the new Supervisor election in 2019, our group put plenty of heat on the Town Board.  The developer pulled their project… and then conveniently brought it back AFTER the election.  (We are pretty sure now we know what that was all about!)

  • We filed our first Article 78 in CORTLAND County Supreme Court based on suggestions from our members.  In this, we argued that the Town Board and developer did not follow proper procedures, such as from the DEC.

  • They argued for a change of venue back to Broome - we beat them on this!

  • They argued our group did not have standing - we beat them on this!

  • We WON our first Article 78 and the judge overturned “Local Law A of 2021” allowing the PDD (Planned Development District), which changed the zoning to allow this out-of-character development.

  • The Town Board tried to fix their errors and passed a new law in 2022 to allow the PDD for the project.

  • We filed our SECOND Article 78 arguing that the Town had not followed their own code in allowing the PDD once again.  


Much of their strategy has been likely to try and bankrupt us.  But with the support of many small donors, and a few large ones, we have been able to keep our fight funded.  Sadly, hundreds of supporters have never donated to our cause.  If you have never donated, would you consider a donation of at least $100 per person?  If you have donated before we greatly THANK YOU and would you consider giving again?  Of course, we could use LARGE donations.  Our attorneys’ average cost is over $250 per hour!


Unfortunately, on November 9th, the judge dismissed our second Article 78.  However, we feel that the judge overlooked and misinterpreted much of our case, especially in light of the Town Board’s recent hearings on extending the sewer district for this project (which by Town Code should have been done BEFORE they even considered the PDD).  Also, new environmental concerns have been shown with the sewer extension request, which were NOT considered as part of the Town’s original environmental review.  


As of December 12th, we have filed a motion to “Renew / Reargue” with Judge Maslar of the NYS Supreme Court in Cortland.  We are sorry that we did not ask for input via a planned survey, however, we felt we couldn’t effectively survey our members without leaking our potential legal strategies.  This legal strategy stands on the following pillars (you can see the filing for yourself at :

  • The judge misunderstood our last Article 78 filings in regard to the role of the Planning Board.

    • The Planning Board has ALWAYS had full purview over site plan review, including Planned Development Districts (PDDs).  There are two other PDDs in the Town of Vestal, both of which were enacted under Supervisor Schaffer and the Town Attorney David Berger.  In both of those cases, the Planning Board had full site-plan review and was acknowledged as such via quotes by both Schaffer and Berger recorded in the Town Board minutes for these projects.  The Town Board is trying to remove the Planning Board from this process because the Planning Board has rejected the site plans multiple times at this point.  It is a POWER GRAB of the Town Board looking to clear the way for this project.  We argued that the Town basically changed the code, without hearings, in order to push this project.


  • In reviewing the sewer district and its ramifications AFTER already saying there would be no environmental impact, the Town has illegally SEGMENTED the review.  This is generally a big “no-no” in NYS SEQRA law (State Environmental Quality Review Act).  And there appear to be enough issues with the Binghamton-Johnson City Wastewater Treatment plant that the Town Board should have considered potential problems they were made aware of during this process.


Based on these facts, we are once again asking the judge to overturn the law passed by the Town Board that allowed this PDD.  As you can imagine, the legal costs of this fight have only grown.  We could REALLY use an influx of donations to start 2023.


Regardless of your politics, we see many examples each day of questionable governmental management and leadership that is insensitive to the desires of their constituents.  Time and again, the Town Board has displayed their arrogance and egos as they push forth THEIR agenda and refuse to hear the voice of their residents.  The Town Board repeatedly states that Binghamton University will own all of Bunn Hill taking it off the tax rolls.  BU has repeatedly stated that there are NO plans to build on Bunn Hill Road.  


The Town Board states that this is “for the betterment of the town,” yet they have provided NO information on alleged tax revenue and the sewer/water district extension will serve less than sixteen residences.  They have repeatedly withheld and distorted information from residents.  Not one person spoke in support of the sewer and water district extension!  Seven hundred residents wrote letters in opposition to this development as less than twenty-five supported it!  Over 100 people spoke against this development in manipulated public hearings as less than 15 spoke for it.  


As hard as we have fought to maintain the green rural residences of our Town, this has now also become a battle for proper government. PLEASE help us stand up to this Town Board as we seek to continue our fight.  Recently we have witnessed many examples of people graciously donating to causes of people not connected to them.  Help the rural residents of Vestal, your neighbors, and your friends continue this fight that is most definitely worth fighting.  Every donation helps!

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Documents filed for a motion to "Renew/Reargue" on Dec 12, 2022 with Judge Maslar of the NYS Supreme Court in Cortland on. An hearing will be held on Jan 13.

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.

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Books of 2008 and 2022 Letters to the Vestal Town Board

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