State Supreme Court justice rules parcel owned by Horans is zoned for business use

ARKPORT — The Arkport Village Board plans to appeal a state Supreme Court ruling that declared that a parcel of land on state Route 36 should be classified as acceptable for commercial use.

The Aug. 6 decision by Supreme Court Justice Robert B. Wiggins found that land belonging to plaintiffs Margaret and Edward Horan “is zoned B-3 commercial property in accordance with the zoning ordinance of the Village of Arkport, and the village is directed to designate it as such on its zoning map.”

The village had argued that the land was agriculture and not acceptable for a retail store, including a dollar store. Justice Wiggins found that the previous owner of the 42 Main St. property asked the village to change the designation to business use back in the 1990s, and was successful in that effort, with the local zoning board approving the change.

The court pointed to a Village of Arkport Zoning Board of Appeals decision on July 15, 1994. The decision, “Resolved that the Board of Appeals, having heard the request submitted by Joyce Enderle..owner of property at 42 Main Street, Arkport, does hereby approve a zoning change for the parcel where the old barn was located from Agriculture to B-3, Business Use.”

The ruling found that by an “affirmative action of the village board” previously, “an approval was obtained and implemented by the issuance of a B-3 building permit, and substantial investment was made by (the previous owner), with the full knowledge of the village board, as reflected in its later minutes.”

The owner prior to the Horans built a self-storage/warehouse building, which is on the site today.

Allan E. Silver, attorney for the Horans, called Wiggins’ ruling “thoughtful, fair and correct based on the evidence submitted to the judge.”

The village board voted 3-0 Tuesday night to begin the appeal process. Arkport is represented in the case by village attorney John Vogel.

An appeal would be heard by the New York Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

A previous attorney for the Horans said his clients are seeking approval for commercial use to allow the property to be sold for development.

In May 2018, Dan Thompson, chairman of the Arkport Planning Board, told The Spectator that the property was being eyed for a 6,000-7,000 square-foot Dollar General store.