Village Of Geneseo
Geneseo Planning Board complies with judge’s order
The Village of Geneseo Planning Board compiled with an order from Livingston County Judge Robert Wiggins on Wednesday, June 27, and unanimously voted to issue a special use permit allowing for conversion of the single family residence at 18 Wadsworth Street into a two-unit apartment.
The change doubles the number of unrelated tenants (likely college students) who will be able to inhabit the house from four to eight.
For the owners of the property, Paul and Jennifer Dotterweich, the vote marked the culmination of an arduous application process which began in 2010 when landlord William Curry offered to purchase the house conditional to the permit being issued.
The Dotterweiches, who had lived at the address since 2006, had been unable to find any buyer who wanted to occupy the home in a single family situation, ostensibly because the neighborhood’s density of college student renters and frequency of college student misbehavior had reached a critical threshold.
At the public hearing for Curry’s special use permit application, single family residents of Wadsworth Street (including some who rent rooms to student tenants) were strongly opposed to the conversion on the grounds that there are already more than enough homes converted to student housing on the street.
After Curry’s application was rejected by the planning board, the Dotterweiches themselves attached their name to the application, likewise were rejected and then, represented by attorney Eric Dolan, challenged the decision in court.
In October of last year Judge Wiggins returned the application to the planning board for its reconsideration. Shortly thereafter the Village of Geneseo enacted an amendment to its zoning ordinance re-establishing a ban on single family conversions in residential neighborhoods (which had been lifted in 2009 in a mistaken attempt to make provisions for ‘in-law apartments.’)
Citing the new ban, the planning board took no second vote, determining that further consideration of two-unit conversions was henceforth outside its realm of authority.
Returning the Dotterweich petition to Judge Wiggins, attorney Dolan secured the desired ruling last month.
Meanwhile, the planning board had received two additional applications for two-unit conversions from Wadsworth Street property owners. Neither, however, were determined valid by the board, since the date of receipt was after the enactment of the re-established ban on conversions.