East Greenbush, NY (October 30, 2014). Save East Greenbush filed suit Thursday in Rensselaer County Court over the controversial Zoning Board of Appeals vote to approve a casino and its commercial amenities in a residential buffer zone. The group currently has an outstanding legal petition against the Town Board’s tainted vote to allow the casino application to go forward.
Spokesperson Cara Benson: “This is now our second suit. We will continue to challenge the actions taken by our Town as they torture and twist the law to further the casino developer’s agenda. Then we will vote every last one of them out.”
Attorney Jeff Meyer: “The ZBA may not legislate. It is only empowered to apply the existing zoning laws to the property in question. Their decision essentially rewrote the zoning law. This was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and an error of law that will be resolved in the courts.”
The East Greenbush Zoning law is clear that primarily residential districts are designed to serve residential uses. Specifically, the Residential Buffer Zone does not permit the casino and the amenities proposed by Capital View. What’s more troubling is the extent to which the ZBA attempted to rationalize their decision by arguing that the definition of resident is not clear or that the Gaming Act somehow amended the Town’s zoning.
The Gaming Commission Q&A session regarding the Gaming Act clearly states: “N.Y. Racing Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law § 1366 does not preempt local zoning and land use regulation as to non-gaming activitiesand permitted uses of a proposed Gaming Facility.”