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March 27, 2018 - 3:12pm

Appeals court rules a variance required for duplexes in Le Roy's Presidential Acres

posted by Howard B. Owens in Presidential Acres, Le Roy, news.

Pete McQuillen has plans for more development at his property in Presidential Acres in the Village of Le Roy.

But that apparently won't include duplexes, which just became a lot harder for him to build on those lots with an appellate court ruling last week that found he would need to seek a variance from current zoning to build duplexes.

Asked about the court decision this morning in an email, McQuillen did not have a lot to say, other than that his plans for new construction will "mirror" the findings of a recent Genesee County housing needs assessment report.

"However, I am not just ready to relay my plans for the balance of the subdivision," McQuillen said. "I will say we have an OPEN HOUSE on April 14 and April 21 showing our brand new patio home. Again, mentioned as a need in the study."

The legal battle between McQuillen and residents of Presidential Acres has been ongoing for nearly a decade and in February, McQuillen received a court ruling that would allow him to build duplexes on his lots.

The plaintiffs -- Randolph Bartz, Jane Bickett, Candace Bower, David Boyce, Robert Boyce, Elizabeth Boyce, Joseph Condidorio, John Green, Joseph Mckay, Stephen Moulton, and Ronald Paganin -- were able to get that decision overturned last week, however.

The case stemmed from an appeal in 2015 by David Boyce of the Zoning Board of Appeals' decision to grant a building permit for a duplex on Lot 18. The ZBA relied on the fact that two lots already had duplexes, built by McQuillen and his partners, on them and therefore a variance wasn't necessary.

When the ZBA denied the Boyce appeal, Boyce and the other residents sought relief from the courts. Judge Emilio L. Colaiacovo sided with the ZBA and the village, but the Fourth Division of the state Appeals Court ruled last week that the right to build duplexes in what is clearly an R-1 zone had not vested.

Amy Kendall, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the ruling gave her clients exactly what they sought all along -- no duplexes without a variance approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Village of Le Roy.

Such a variance, she said, would be a hard bar to pass.

"I can tell you without hesitation that my clients are pleased with the outcome," Kendall said.

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