Developer David Genecco has prevailed in his lawsuit against the village of Penn Yan and the village’s zoning board of appeals. Acting Supreme Court Justice Jason Cook handed down a decision April 12 that overturns the determination by Penn Yan Village Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Lyon, and upheld by the village’s ZBA, that housing units planned by Genecco would not be permitted on a South Avenue lot in the village.

The lot adjoins the location of a larger development Genecco is planning for the former Keuka Estates Trailer Park property in the town of Milo.

Cook’s ruling clears the way for Genecco to build an eight-unit condominium project designated as senior citizen housing inside the village limits, unless the village appeals and wins an appeal on the decision.

Penn Yan Village officials have not indicated if they will take that step, says Mayor Leigh MacKerchar. It’s also likely the Village Planning Board will recommend the village board adopt a moratorium on permitting senior housing projects in the village while it re-evaluates the village’s zoning law.

The 2.3 acre property in question is located at 200 South Avenue inside the village of Penn Yan. In October 2018, Lyon determined that the proposed eight-unit senior citizen housing complex did not meet the village’s zoning for the district. His decision was upheld by the ZBA.

The property is located in the village’s single family residential zoning district, which does permit senior citizen housing restricting occupancy to people at least 55 years of age.

In his decision, Cook wrote, “Therefore, the plain and unambiguous language of (the zoning law) allows for senior citizen housing to a building or a group of buildings. It does not require senior citizen housing to be a single-family unit, nor does it state that senior citizen housing cannot be in the form of multi-unit condominiums. The Village Zoning Use Law Regulation Table unambiguously allows for “senior citizen housing to be present in an R-1 zoning district.”