State Appeals Court Hands Down Decision on Oneonta ‘Lofts on Dietz’ Lawsuit
Last June, a project that has been met with some resistance from localized business owners and some Oneonta residents concerned about parking issues, The Lofts on Dietz got the green light following a victory in a lawsuit decision handed down by by Supreme Court Judge Michael Coccoma. The lawsuit brought against the City of Oneonta and Parkview Development was by Johna M. Peachin and others, claiming errors on the part of the City of Oneonta Planning Board in its approval of the Dietz Lofts project now under construction on Dietz Street.
In that decision, Judge Coccoma commented, “the conclusion is inescapable that the Planning Commission identified the relative areas of concern (including parking); it took a hard look at them; and it provided a reasonable elaboration of the basis for its determination”.
Not satisfied with Coccoma's decision, Peachin brought the lawsuit to The State of New York Appellate Division. Peachin's lawsuit made the following claims against the City of Oneonta:
- The City of Oneonta Planning Board made errors in approving the Lofts on Dietz project.
- The Lofts on Dietz would block the view of the hills surrounding Oneonta.
- The Lofts on Dietz would reduce nearby parking for her business.
- Peachin claimed the Lofts on Dietz would require her to walk further to the Oneonta YMCA, a facility she uses.
A decision on the case was handed down by Appeals Court on on May 6, upholding Supreme Court Judge Michael Coccoma's 2020 decision in the original suit with the following statement: The City of Oneonta "undertook the requisite hard look at the parking impacts associated with the project, and the City's conveyance of the parking lot did not violate the Public Trust Doctrine.” All of the other points raised in Peachin's lawsuit lacked merit, according to the court.
Following the Appeals Court decision, Oneonta's Mayor Gary Herzig made the comment in a press release, "The Appeals Court has now confirmed the Supreme Court's decision that our Oneonta Planning Commission carried out its responsibilities in both a professional and diligent manner".
Currently under construction, the Lofts of Dietz Project is part of a Downtown Revitalization Initiative and expected to be completed in 2022.
For more information on the Lofts on Dietz Street project visit www.oneonta.ny.us/lofts-dietz-project.