This Could Happen to You
Schaffer and the Town Board are trying to rezone two Vestal residential neighborhoods, Twin Orchards and Bunn Hill.
In both cases, Schaffer and the Town Board voted to rezone the area without:
Consideration of what the residents of the area want.
Required development plans.
Required SEQR studies. (Studies of the environmental, social, and economic impact of any proposed development.)
Their actions are helping large non-Vestal businesses,
at the expense of the residents of the area.
(Old Vestal Road, just west of African Road)
The Town Board voted to change the zoning of two parcels of land (9 acres) in Twin Orchards from Residential and Commercial, to Industrial. It is bordered by residential houses on one side and the Rail Trail on another side. The land is designated as a flood zone and was under 3 feet of water during the flood of 2011 (see picture below). Broome County has strongly advised the Town Board against rezoning the area. (The County Report is included below.)
Broome County cites many reasons why the rezoning should be denied, including:
The area is a flood zone. The storage and use of chemicals is inappropriate, and potentially hazardous.
Once it is designated as Industrial, the land may be used inappropriately.
The area of land in question is more vulnerable to flooding than the nearby businesses (due to the natural make-up of the land).
If the property is sold (or parts of it are leased, as is presently planned), the use/storage and/or distribution of chemicals is possible.
The specifics of how the land would be developed and used were NOT included in the submission for rezoning.
A Binghamton hardware store is requesting the rezoning. The owners have stated that the property will be used for the assembly of latches. They have admitted that acetone will be used on the site and that they intend to lease part of the property to another company (no specifics given).
The problem is, quite simply, even if the proposed owners keep their word and use the location only for the assembly of latches, the area may become problematic. If the property changes hands or part of it is leased (which is already planned) the Industrial zone designation allows for the storage, use and/or distribution of chemicals. In a location that has already been massively flooded, and continues to be extremely vulnerable to floods, the possibility of ground and water contamination is extremely concerning. Hence, Broome County strongly advised against rezoning the area. (Report below.)
After reviewing Broome County’s report, knowing the potential for problems, Schaffer and the Town Board voted to rezone the area from Residential and Commercial to Industrial, against the County’s strong recommendation.
The Bunn Hill Development
(On Bunn Hill Road, between Vestal Parkway and Fuller Hollow Road)
Schaffer and the Town Board voted to change the zoning of the rural residential area on Bunn Hill to allow a large developer to build a large development of apartments. The proposed development would change the nature of the area and landscape drastically, lacks the water and sewer lines required, and includes a partially elevated foundation (which includes fifty foot retaining walls).
The residents of the area strongly oppose the proposed development. Beginning in 2020, they organized, collected money, hired lawyers and have fought the rezoning in court. Over 700 people wrote letters and emails to the Town Board strongly opposing the rezoning (the copies of the letters are bound and maintained, picture below), yet the Town Board continues to fight on behalf of the developer.
Development can be good, and in many cases should be encouraged, but only in appropriate areas. It should never be allowed in residential areas when the local residents oppose it.
Schaffer and the Town Board have actively hurt the residents of the areas being rezoned. They wouldn’t think twice about doing the same thing to any of us.
Glenn, Robert, and I want to change that.
Stop Schaffer and the Town Board from hurting
Vote them out.
~ Maria ~
Twin Orchards Rezoning (Pictures and Broome County Report):
2204 Old Vestal Road: 2011 Flood and Today
The site location - (right behind the houses on Elm St).:
The houses on Elm, right next to the site.
Broome County Report
The County strongly recommends against the rezoning of the properties in Twin Orchard to Industrial.