SENNETT | The Town of Sennett Zoning Board of Appeals, the town's zoning officer and the new Bucket BBQ restaurant will be heading to state Supreme Court May 17 after a resident who lives nearby has filed an Article 78 petition attempting to void the restaurant's expansion into the Route 20 building's second floor.

Paul Bush, who lives on Butera Drive, about 750 feet from the new barbecue restaurant, is seeking to have the determination of the town's zoning officer, Howard Tanner, annulled. Tanner, in 2012, determined that the restaurant could expand to the building's second floor.

Bush also wants annulled the decision of the zoning board of appeals that deemed he had no standing to appeal Tanner's determination.

Although Bush said Monday that the impact on him and his neighbors is only secondary to his Article 78 argument that proper procedures were not followed, large sections of the court paper argue that since he will be impacted by the expansion into the second floor, he does, in fact, have standing to appeal.

Bush said the primary focus of his Article 78, which he said is supported by several other neighbors, is a local law, Sennett Code, Article IX, Section 906, which states that buildings that existed prior to the advent of building codes can continue to be used for their original purposes, but their zoning cannot be changed.

"It can only be what it was 50 years ago," Bush said. "You can't build on. You can't expand upstairs."

Bush said since the second floor of the Bucket BBQ was residentially zoned for many years, it cannot now be zoned for restaurant operations.

"It is a violation of the Sennett code — clear cut," Bush said. "This does not conform to the residential zoning in the area."

But Mark Miller, chairman of the zoning board of appeals, said a state code prevents the upstairs from being used as a residential area because there is not a separate entrance to the upstairs; one has to walk through the restaurant to get to the stairs that go up.

In addition, Scott Chatfield, Tanner's lawyer, believes only a portion of the upstairs would be affected if Bush wins the argument in court because only a portion was used as a residence, although Bush claims the entire floor was used for that purpose.

Chatfield also believes the Article 78 is essentially a waste of time.

"(Bush) must have a lot of money sitting around burning a hole in his pocket," Chatfield said. "He's not challenging the right of the Bucket to be there. He's simply arguing that they don't have the right to use a small portion of the structure for restaurant operations. ... How does the use or non-use of that small portion substantially impact Mr. Bush?"

"If he were to be successful, the Bucket BBQ will still be there," Chatfield said.

Restaurant owners could not be reached for comment.

Miller, who is familiar with the Bucket BBQ, said he believes the second floor is critical to the business.

"They're going to need the upstairs to survive," he said. "They need that space."

Staff writer Kelly Voll can be reached at 282-2239 or kelly.voll@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenVoll.

(22) comments

Taxpayer_666
Taxpayer_666

OMG. Enough already! What a waste of time and money!

Mr bwash
Mr bwash

This always seems like a drag. And it is. But we do love in a land of laws. Why has this issues not been resolved yet? Seems like its been much of the same routine for about 5 years now. Round & round it goes.

FeliciaJ1978
FeliciaJ1978

Ridiculous....now that this article is viral...Paul might not like the traffic he has generated himself by this absurd argument. The Bucket BBQ has great food and I will be sharing this with all my friends :)

Whobawhat
Whobawhat

WOW, how ridiculous! Trying to block them from using their own 2nd floor. Get a hobby!

joyce Emmette
joyce Emmette

sure is ridiculous !!!!!

Mahkbert
Mahkbert

Who is going to pay Mr. Chatfield? The town or Tanner inspection Services?

joyce Emmette
joyce Emmette

I can't believe this ! We should be welcoming businesses with open arms. Instead we have a reputation for giving people a hard time who want to start businesses in this area.

only-in-auburn
only-in-auburn

are you kidding ? if the neighbor wins the bucket sues the town for reimbursment of costs for 2nd floor. taxpayers lose again. how about bucket stays neighbor guy goes.

Fernando
Fernando

Why didn't Bush may a big case when the old Pioneer sat there like a dump for a long time. Someone makes it nice now you want to make a big issue. Sounds like you need to get a life. You must have 2 friends. Why don't you do something constructive and move out of the state.

guitardude62
guitardude62

not sure why my previous post didn't show-but anyways- Taxpayer-666-Ditto!!! Perhaps Mr Bush would prefer if the last codes officer was still in office, and they could work in unison to work against the town, and have a repeat of the last restaurant debacle the ensued, its all too familiar sounding. The question of who pays Mr Chatfield should be-when the smoke clears, Mr Bush will have accomplished nothing other than wasting time and $$, so when the verdict is in and Mr Bush and his small group of townfolk with their pitchforks and torches are sent packing, he should be responsible for paying the piper. If this really needs legal action, I say it goes up for a town vote, I'm sure there's a process for ammendment, and I'd be happy to initiate it at tonights town meeting. The fact that he's mentioning a building-aka The Pioneer Rest, as his basis for comparison, is pretty lame, it's long gone! The Pioneer occupied more area than this building does, I don't get it.

Mahkbert
Mahkbert

Guitar dude,
Lets me honest here, tanner inspection is paid $25.00 hour and $.56 mile and you want to wait to see what the bill is? Do you go to restaurants without prices on the menu?ÿÿ
YES OR NO?h

guitardude62
guitardude62

I did not say "wait to see what the bill is", please reread my statement. Of course I was being sarcastic for the most part when I said "wait until the smoke clears", but too bad we can't charge back Mr Tanner's fees and/or Mr Chatfield's fees back to Mr Bushs' town taxes. And NO, I don't make a habit of going to restaurants without prices on them, I'm not sure Auburn has any of those, but we(people) go to places all the time seeking services that we have no idea what they are going to cost until the service is complete-have you ever had work done on your car, house, gone to the Dr., etc?

Mahkbert
Mahkbert

I did not see you at last night's town meeting where ONLY Paul Bush stood up during the public forum to eloquently chastise some members of the town council about their unprofessional behaviors in the prior town meeting when Mr. Bush had spoken. The facts are: Esq. Chatfield is Mr. Tanner's personal attorney and we taxpayers should not bear the burden of Mr. Tanner's decisions. In response to your comments about your sarcasm, written posts make it difficult to determine one's "tone" or "sarcasm."

guitardude62
guitardude62

Sorry, had to work late, couldnt make it, I'm sure Mr Bush put on a emmy winning performance, after all, it's all about him in the end.

Mahkbert
Mahkbert

Mr. Bush is standing up for his rights and beliefs as a citizen and not folding like a card table as many residents do. Say what you want about about this man, but at least give him the credit for not taking No for an answer. You, Sir, are way off base with your logic.

logic
logic

The critics of the neighbors are completely missing the point. The major concern is that if the town continues to ignore the codes and laws that are on the books, what will happen when someone else wants to enter the residential zones with business or expansion, will the supervisor ignore the laws again? These people are only trying to protect the residential nature of their neighborhoods after making a big investment in their homes and properties.

Everyone in the residential zones are effected by the decisions made with disregard to existing laws and court decisions.

Sennett's Supervisor was quoted in this paper last October that anything goes with the makeover of Bonca's to the Bucket! He is the one to that should be blamed for the problems that this has created.

ONIONRINGSNY
ONIONRINGSNY

AH, YES!! New York is open for business, it most certainly is!! Just wait 'till Gov Andy finds out. There'll be Hell to pay!! Why hasn't this issue been resolved? Simple:
*Gives the politicians an agenda and the feeling they're doing something meaningful for their constituents (however false).
*Gives the people the feeling their politicians are doing something meaningful (however false).
*Feeds the people's insatiable appetite for dumbed down, reality TV-like political drama.
*Let's outsiders - AND UPSTART RESIDENTS - know that survival in this town depends who's rear end is kissed, how hard and how often.
*Keeps the rumor mill grinding away.
What other reasons could there be?

sleeplessinsennett
sleeplessinsennett

Wow this is Wow it seems ridiculous to be having such a similar argument again. I absolutely agree, as a resident of the Town of Sennett, we should be excited that this restaurant has opened up. The space was an empty lot after the pizzeria left, offering nothing to the community. The Bucket BBQ not only looks nice as you pass by, but it offers a helping boost to the local economy and gives people a tasty place which they can enjoy with their family! I don’t understand how the upstairs causes Paul Bush so much angst. This is just a frivolous lawsuit meant to undermine a local business and to create economic hardship due to lawyer fees in its first year of business. I for one will be first in line if The Bucket BBQ where to hold a “Beside the Bucket” event some night where patrons could enjoy great food, great music, and an entry fee which would go towards lawyer fees just to show that other community members support both floors of The Bucket BBQ.

ONIONRINGSNY
ONIONRINGSNY

EUREKA!!! I KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS!!! The name "THE BUCKET" gives the impression of RED NECK-NESS. A hangout for backwoods hayseeds and good ole' boys. It's not sophisticated sounding. Doesn't give the impression of being uppity, or 5 Star. In other words, not Skaneatles-ee enough, and with Skaneateles right next door, "THE BUCKET" is an embarrassment.

Mahkbert
Mahkbert

Auburn Citizen 1/9/ 2013 article " Sennett Residents Voice Anger Over Restaunant Permits" written by Sistina Gardino
"as far as breaking any laws, I don't know of any that I broke EXCEPT site plan approval. I didn't get the site plan approval, I made a mistake."
Howard Tanner

Broke the law, broke the law, broke the law


LipstickOnAPig
LipstickOnAPig

The friends and associates of the Bucket can generate all the free publicity they want to, but it still doesn't change the fact of the matter that I still have no interest in eating there.

brew1234
brew1234

I have never heard of zoning a property by floor. Is this a local thing?

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