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Village of Penn Yan pauses senior housing

Village officials have adopted a local law that puts a six month pause on the construction of and processing of applications for senior citizen housing within the village limits so they can re-write a section of the village code.

At question is the definition of the types of housing that is permitted in the R1 Zoning District (Single Family Residential), which includes the site at 200 South Ave. where developer David Genecco plans to build eight townhouse-style units for senior housing.

The moratorium does not affect existing senior citizen housing, such as St. Mark’s Terrace on Liberty Street.

The moratorium comes after Yates County Judge Jason Cook ruled in the developer’s favor in a lawsuit challenging last fall’s decision by the village zoning board of appeals that the planned project is not a permitted use for the R1 district.

At the time, the ZBA had upheld a decision by Penn Yan Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Lyon that the proposed housing was not permitted in the R1 district, which abuts the town of Milo site where Genecco is building an 74-unit townhouse project on the former home of Keuka Estates Mobile Home Park.

Mayor Leigh MacKerchar says Cook’s decision creates the possibility that senior citizen housing of any configuration — from manufactured home parks to high rise buildings — could be built anywhere in the village.

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