Zoning Appeals

Posted by Anonymous

Zoning variance issues come up here from time to time so I thought I would quickly (?) explain how judgments are made following to NYS law. There are two types with different criteria for each.

1) Area Variance - the board must balance the benefit to the applicant with the detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the community. They shall consider

- whether the benefit can be achieved by other means feasible to the applicant
- undesirable change in neighborhood character or to nearby properties
- whether the request is substantial
- whether the request will have adverse physical or environmental effects
- whether alleged difficulty is self-created

2) Use Variance - To allow a use not otherwise allowed in zoning an applicant must demonstrate hardship. Such demonstration includes all of the following for each permitted use:

- cannot realize a reasonable return - substantial as shown by competent financial evidence
- alleged hardship is unique and does not apply to substantial portion of the neighborhood
- requested variance will not alter essential character of the neighborhood
- alleged hardship has not been self-created.

For both cases the board shall grant the minimum variance necessary and may impose reasonable conditions.


Anonymous said...

Neighborhood person calls buildings n zoning.. asks "how do you oppose a 5 yr old closed store from opening back up under new owners?" Buildings says "you come to the meeting to oppose it, it only takes one person to oppose it." So you who own more than one property in the neighborhood gather with people who own at least 15-20 houses in the neighborhood to oppose it BECAUSE YOU ONLY NEEDED 1 TO OPPOSE IT THEY SAY...and what do they do.. not what they said.. it can open with some improvements! Liars!..scene.

**store to open back up as opposed residents say NO!! Lockport's Variance Board say otherwise, place been closed for over 5yrs now, needs many updates and cosmetics on exterior ,Residents voiced their opinion on it as to why it shouldn't be open and they -(Board) decided otherwise, they don't live in the area or know why the residents who live next door or two doors or three doors do...wn or across the street, as
think the Garbage is a big problem or the foot traffic it makes or the people it brings around that given the opportunity to steal... would!! we say Keep the store's on Transit and not in our Neighborhoods..we have enough to deal with as it is..When the store was open there it set the tempo for the area.. as the place became run down so did the homes ..Now that the Homes are Being taken care of with owner's doing Updates as well as fixing the exterior of their homes and have the place looking Nice again, they bring back the store that once Ruined the Area!! Anyone want to BUY a House? call Variance Board and ask Why?

if everyone in the Neighborhood does not want it there anymore, why would the City of Lockport Variance Board Not take their Voice's of disdain and not let them open it,? i'm for business but not in this area.. when the same thing came up for the old Store on the corner of High and Saxton st. it was discouraged ..

why ask Neighbor's to appear who are oppose to it, when they the Board have their own agenda anyways?

So there is no way to oppose, they the buildings and zone, LIED, only takes one to oppose come on down.. So sick of LOCKPORTS idea of pay us and we will override anything the public doesnt want, just give us some money and we will over look what the people in the neighborhood want! So much for fair, so much for 1 to oppose! So much for WHAT THE PEOPLE OF LOCKPORT WANT IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD AND SO MUCH FOR RESPECT IN THIS CITYS CAPACITY TO BE FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE. BULL!!!!

MJ said...

They probably should have said only one is welcome to oppose. When I was on the board one or two commenters did sway some votes due to their comments. But it is not a given. If one person could oppose and automatically stop something then nothing would get ever get done. There will always be someone with a differing view point on a project.

Small neighborhood retail can be a big positive for values when done right. But it can also be a big negative when done wrong.

The biggest missing link to better developments is a modern design code (or a design code at all). All Lockport has is an outdated zoning code which only ensures the hollowing out of any unique opportunities and does nothing to ensure quality investment.

I'd love a high quality store on the corner of my street. I'd also fight a low quality one as you did.

Anonymous said...

Thank you MJ. We just wanted to be sure to let people know when they say it only takes one to oppose and stop it, they lied. They do not care about the neighborhoood or what the people of the neighborhood want on their corners. Its sad they got us to come, be bold and oppose then say well its ok if you do this and that anyway. They knew, why waste our time? Lostport does it again and again. Thanks for giving us this blog to as least say so. Enjoy your day. <3

Anonymous said...

How would your fighting against a "low quality" store in your neighborhood be any different then the neighbors around the mall fighting to keep WalMart out of their neighborhood. And for everyone who thinks WalMart is not a low quality store, take a look at who was recently ranked the second worst grocery store in America.


For full discloser, Tops was the 7th worst. Thanks Town of Lockport attracting another crappy store to Lockport.

Anonymous said...

What a joke, all you need to do is Pay the city of Lockport enough and you get what you want and rewarded. No matter what...the Zoning Board of Appeals has granted variances for two new businesses to open in the City of Lockport.

John Cooper got the go-ahead to reopen the former Stranges’ Grocery, a convenience store at 78 Grand St., which has been closed for several years.

Also receiving a variance was Jessica Dittly, who will open an ice cream parlor on the ground floor of a dwelling at East Avenue and McCollum Street.

Anonymous said...

Breaking News as Lockport's Lock Street Crack house rejoices in the news that.. the Lock street crack house has their dealing corner restored to them. Don't we look inconspicuous when you pull in the store on our corner and we walk our crack to your car window, pull up, pay and go, Get your LOCKPORT ROCKS HERE!!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

April 26, 2012
Ambulance call leads to charges for three women
Staff Reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

LOCKPORT — Three women face drug-related chages and a man was taken to the hospital for a medical emergency after an arrest Wednesday morning on Lock Street.

April A. Mosier, 29, 341 Park Lane Circle, Apt. 3; Judy D. Hundshamer, 53, 129 Lock St. lower and Kyla A. Mericle, 22, 129 Lock St. lower were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic needle.

At 9:15 a.m., the Lockport Police and Fire Departments responded to Lock Street for the report of an unresponsive male. The man was lying on the floor, and breathing, but not responding to questions. The man was taken to Eastern Niagara Hospital-Lockport for treatment.

According to the report, the women changed their stories during the interview. It was determined that the women and man were in the back bedroom shooting up a Fentanyl patch with hypodermic needles.

One of the women was sleeping when she heard the man yelling and screaming. She found the man weezing.

The police found hypodermic needles in the apartment, one in the kitchen garbage can, one in dresser, one in the front bedroom and one in the back bedroom.

The evidence was sent to the Niagara County Forensic Laboratory for testing.

Raymond J. Johnson said...

It doesn't matter what goes on in Lockport as long as the concerts are here every summer.

MJ said...

what's wrong with an ice cream shop?

Anonymous said...

i would like to know how Candle Light Cabintry is in a B-3 zone? It is prohibited to be there.The zoning board don't want to answer my question,or they just don't know the answer why not look on the map i had in front of you? He didn't want to know anything. I paid for a variance they told me i needed for the bank it is useless i still cannot refinance my house.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Good site but too much baloney with nothing behind it- get your facts straight before you put both feet in your mouth

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