Gavin Polmanteer, owner of Polmanteer Auto Service Center in the Horizon Park in Penn Yan, appeared before the April 25 meeting of the Yates County Planning Board for approval of a Use Variance and an Area Variance  to allow the expansion of his family’s current pre-existing business. 

Polmanteer wants to make a considerable investment to expand his business with a 60’ by 40’ addition to the current building to accommodate a body repair and paint shop to offer full collision service. However, since auto repair was never written in as an approved use at the business park, as a non-conforming use in the Planned Business zone, he must apply for a variance for the expansion. County Planner Dan Long notes that the Village  of Penn Yan will likely look into re-zoning Horizon Park since most businesses have a variance to be there. 

Polmanteer also requests an Area Variance to allow signage for his business on a neighboring property that fronts Rte. 14A that is owned by Brian Cunningham of Penn Yan Plumbing & Heating. Cunningham has agreed that the sign would be placed north of his own. According to Polmanteer, Steve Griffin, CEO of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (which owns the business park) has said the park will not install a shared sign for all the businesses in the park. Polmanteer added that his retail service business needs the exposure on the main highway in order to be successful. “Many people thought when we sold to Walgreen’s (at the corner of Liberty and Elm Streets) that we just went away,” he told the board.

The board approved both applications, with Vice-Chairman David Granzin the only nay vote on the sign variance. The board also added their recommendation that Penn Yan update their zoning of the business park. The final decision on both applications still rests with Penn Yan.  

One of the odder applications ever to come before the board was that of Lawrence E. Tillack, of 274 Main St., Phelps for a property at 40 South Main St. in Rushville. Seeking a Use Variance, Tillack requests a change in zoning from R-1 (residential) to C-1 (commercial) to accommodate a Family Dollar Store. It was noted that under the the N.Y. State Constitution, county planning boards have no authority to alter town or village codes, which are granted them under Home Rule. It was also noted by one board member that Tillack’s proposed plan actually crossed over onto a neighboring property. A fellow board member, Rushville’s Mayor John Sawers, added that Tillack doesn’t even own the property in question. The application was rejected as inappropriate and incomplete.

In other business:

• Town of Middlesex applicant, Edward H. Carman IV, of 638 Fisher Rd., Rushville, requests an Area Variance for property owner Don Tesch for a site adjacent and to the south of 624 E. Lake Rd., Middlesex, to locate new storage barn 37’ from centerline of county road. This is a 23’ variance from the town code’s 60’ setback. Topography and unsuitability for building a home on the site were given as reasons for the request. Already approved by the town, the application was approved unanimously.

• Town of Benton applicant, Kathy Ferron, of 4679 E. Bluff Dr., Penn Yan, requests a Special Use Permit for the rail line from Havens Corners Road to Flat Street to start a peddle rail car attraction on the leased 2.5 miles of railroad no longer used by trains. The application was approved unanimously.