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Massena Zoning Board denies Homestead Dairy apartments

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MASSENA — The village Zoning Board of Appeals has denied an application to construct four apartments in the Homestead Dairy building at 106 W. Hatfield St.

Shawn Thrana of American Asphalt LLC sought a use variance to allow his company to create four three-bedroom apartments in the vacant one-story structure.

Board members voted 4-0 to deny the variance request, with chairman Noel Van Dusen absent from Tuesday’s meeting. Board member Frank Lallier said the board thought there was not enough space in the 3,500-square-foot structure for four three-bedroom apartments, and was concerned about fire safety with only one entrance and exit.

“There could be six to 10 people in that building with only one way to get out. That’s a problem,” Mr. Lallier said.

Mayor James F. Hidy, who attended the board meeting, voiced his concerns about staying in line with the zoning for that area, which limits property owners to two apartments per structure.

Mr. Hidy added American Asphalt has a track record of success at rehabilitating vacant properties and turning them into high-quality apartments, but agreed with the board’s decision to deny the variance request.

“My thing is that we stay within the code,” Mr. Hidy said. “If it calls for two apartments, there should only be two apartments. We can’t congest these neighborhoods so someone can turn a buck.”

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