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LeRay advances storage facility plan

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EVANS MILLS — The town of LeRay Planning Board allowed plans for a self-storage facility along Route 11 to move forward Thursday after the Zoning Board of Appeals dismissed objections about the project from a competing self-storage developer.

The Planning Board has scheduled a public hearing on the site plan review for Gaetano Javarone's proposed self-storage, truck rental and auto repair business, for 7 p.m. Feb. 4.

The hearing was originally set for the Planning Board's December meeting. It was canceled after Walter H. Van Tassel asked the ZBA to overturn an earlier Planning Board decision on a lot line adjustment that had allowed Mr. Javarone's project, known as White Pines II, to move ahead.

But the ZBA declined to consider the appeal, saying state Supreme Court action was needed to overturn any Planning Board decision.

On Thursday, Mr. Van Tassel said he agreed with the ZBA dismissal. He said he had misunderstood the process required to appeal a Planning Board decision. He won't pursue court action because the deadline to appeal the Planning Board action has now passed.

Mr. Van Tassel is developing a nearby business similar to Mr. Javarone's, including self-storage and truck rental, at the corner of Route 11 and Holbrook Road. He fought a two-year legal battle against the Planning Board over the setbacks for the development.

The dispute ended in a compromise solution in October. Mr. Van Tassel has argued that the delays on his project caused by Planning Board decisions versus the relatively smoother road for Mr. Javarone's show the board has been biased.

At the meeting Thursday, board chairman Jerry D. Hobbs acknowledged receipt of a letter from Mr. Van Tassel detailing numerous other objections to Mr. Javarone's project and said the letter would be read during the site plan review hearing in February.

It was Mr. Hobbs's first meeting as chairman. The Town Council appointed him to the post following longtime chairman Frederick C. Tontarski's resignation in December. Mr. Hobbs has served as a member of the Planning Board for 17 years.

In other business, Community Development Coordinator Jessica L. Jenack told the Planning Board that town officials had been discussing the cost of building a planned town road with developer Dinesh T. Patel. Mr. Patel, who owns the Royal Inn Motel, 25791 Route 37, submitted a sketch plan review for a three-story, 60-room Days Inn hotel just south of White Pines Plaza on Route 11 at the board's December meeting.

Mr. Patel has said he's not sure if he will move ahead with the project. It would require a town road to be built parallel to Route 11 that also would pass by Mr. Van Tassel's and Mr. Javarone's businesses. The Town Council and the developer must negotiate how to share the costs of that project, Mr. Hobbs said.

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