GRANBY — The Granby Town Board’s resolution to fund the planning board’s appeal regarding a controversial motocross course on the southern part of town failed recently.
The councilors were split over the resolution. Town Supervisor John Snow Jr. and councilor Sandy Farrands voted in favor of the measure, while Linda Parkhurst and Cheryl Holmes were against it.
Three votes were needed to approve the resolution. The board is seeking a fifth councilor after the resignation of Brett Counterman earlier this month.
Holmes had no comment after the meeting, and Parkhurst did not return an email seeking comment.
“The applicants appealed the decision at the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court found in favor of the applicant,” Snow said of the decision in favor of Compound MX from September.
Snow said the planning board was asking the council for between $12,000 and $15,000 to fund the appeal. He said the estimate was based on between $7,000 and $8,000 for reproduction and filing costs.
The planning board would also have to choose an attorney or use the town’s council.
Snow told The Palladium-Times he believed the decision should be tested.
“Obviously, there’s no guarantee an appeal would be successful, but I would like the decision to be tested because of the implications it might have going forward,” Snow said during the meeting.
The council not passing the resolution to fund the appeal drew the ire of multiple people during the public comment portion of the meeting Wednesday.
“You people from day one, as far as I’m concerned, have not considered us …. We live within the laws — generally speaking — we pay our taxes and we’re now paying the consequences for your actions or for your inactions,” resident Kathleen Barrie said.
“What I’m asking is what is your plan to make a change to correct this situation?” Barrie continued. “If you don’t want to cough up money to pay for an appeal, what are you going to do?”
The motocross track at 371 S. Granby Road has been a contentious issue for years.
The planning board approved a special use permit for a private ATV track in 2015, but the property was sold in August 2018 and the new owner began discussions to operate a motocross facility.
A public hearing was held last June, with residents raising questions about noise, dust and traffic, as well as environmental and other concerns. The planning board then voted 5-0 to deny the application.
In a Sept. 20 decision, the Oswego County Supreme Court decided the town of Granby Planning Board “acted in a manner that was arbitrary and capricious, illegal, irrational and an abuse of discretion” regarding the denial of a special use permit and site plan.
Judge Norman Seiter ordered the petitioner’s request for special use permit and site plan be granted subject to the imposition of reasonable and “appropriate conditions and safeguards and/or time limitations to protect the health, safety, moral welfare of the public and for the preservation of the general character of the neighborhood.”
Now it seems any appeal to that decision is unlikely to occur.
“The appeal will not take place because the planning board did not receive the funding requested to go further,” Snow said.