The Putnam Examiner

Vote Over Crane in Southeast Deadlocked, Postponed

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By Anna Young

The Town of Southeast will be waiting another month for the Zoning Board of Appeals to determine whether a nearly 100-foot crane is a permanent structure.

During Monday night’s work session, the board without one trustee, voted 3-3 over the application for Morrow Equipment. Due to member Roderick Cassidy’s absence the vote was ultimately voided and postponed.

Morrow Equipment, which is looking to have a business in the Dykemans commercial district, is requesting the zoning board determine if a 98- foot crane is a structure or not. Since structures, not pieces of equipment, have a height limit, if the zoning board rules in favor of Morrow, it’ll make it easier for the planning board to approve their site plan.

If denied, the company could need to seek a variance from either the planning board or town board, which would result in additional hurdles.

Prior to the vote, members shared their feelings toward the application remaining divided on what they feel the definition of a structure should be.

“This crane, in my opinion, is attached to the ground and it runs on a track that is absolutely attached to the ground. I think using the language of the code that this crane is connected to the ground,” Vice Chairman Paul Vink said. “This crane is not designed to be moved off-site. It’s designed to be on the site permanently.”

While Chairman Timothy Froessel and Debra Keiser agreed the code qualifies the crane as a structure, John McNeill argued that the crane is a piece of equipment Morrow uses to operate their business.

“I think the code as written isn’t very good, in all honesty, from what I read in the code to what I know what a crane is meant to do,” McNeill said. “This is absolutely a piece of equipment, this is not a structure.”

Greg Wunner and Mary Alice Shallo also agreed that it’s a piece of equipment, with Shallo stating that the building location is the perfect place for the proposed crane.

The board will vote again on the application during the July 17 meeting.

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