MASSENA A stop-work order issued Monday afternoon has halted the renovation and expansion of Frenchies Chevrolet.
Code enforcement officer Gregory C. Fregoe said the order was issued in response to a complaint from one of the businesss neighbors.
We had a meeting with the mayor, zoning board and myself in response to some concerns from neighbors, Mr. Fregoe said.
Those neighbors include Mary C. Moran and Lois Guay, who both reside at 9 Burney Ave. in a home owned by Mrs. Guays son, Terry.
Other than this home, Frenchie (Real C. Frenchie Coupal) owns all these homes, she said, referring to four other houses on her side of the street that are along the border of the commercial and residential zones.
Given the location of the proposed addition, which falls within 30 feet of both the neighboring property lines and a residential district, a variance, which has not yet been granted, is needed. A second variance also is needed to allow commercial use in the residential area, specific to a driveway that would run along the rear of the four other properties owned by Mr. Coupal.
Following the complaint from Ms. Moran, Mr. Fregoe said, We investigated and found out that Frenchie had not applied for or received variances for his proposed construction.
Theres no question about it, thats my mistake, he said. The permit was issued in error.
Mr. Fregoe said that Mr. Coupal submitted plans for the project to him and was granted a building permit.
I thought he was right, and I was right until we got the concerns from the neighbors, he said, adding Mr. Coupal has since applied for the two variances he needs to continue construction.
Those applications will be discussed when the villages Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 5 p.m. Aug. 7.
Mr. Guay said he, other members of his family and residents from the neighborhood plan to attend that meeting.
Well be there with the neighbors from across the street, he said. He will not get those variances.
Mr. Guay said he wants to see the neighborhood restored to the way it was before Frenchies latest expansion.
I want this fill all out of here and the backyards put back the way they belong, he said. That addition, I would like to see that torn down. As far as Im concerned, the law has been broken; he has no permits. It all has to come down.
Ms. Moran said the expansion project has her feeling like shes not living in a small town anymore.
It feels like we live in Manhattan and a business came in and is building all the way around us, she said, adding she doesnt blame Mr. Coupal for the problems.
In reality, its not Frenchies fault. He presented a plan, and the code enforcement officer didnt review it and assigned a permit, she said. I dont know if he knew he was doing it illegally, but you cant tell me that Greg Fregoe forgot how to do his job.
Mr. Guay said he supports local business and the hiring of local employees but feels like businesses can grow without moving into residential areas.