TYRE — Five opponents of the proposed Lago Resort & Casino have filed a complaint with town Code Enforcement Officer David Page, claiming that “unlawful construction activities” are occurring at the site.
Dagmar Nearpass, James and Desiree Dawley, and Lynn and Robert Barbuto — all are active members of Casino Free Tyre — have asked Page to “take appropriate action” to prevent any work there.
A Lago spokesman responded by saying workers are following requirements according to environmental permits.
In a letter to Page dated July 17, the Lago opponents cite the state Supreme Court Appellate Division ruling issued July 10 vacating the Town Board’s June 2014 approval of Lago’s site plan, along with its rezoning for a Planned Unit Development, zoning code amendments and host community benefits agreement.
“As a result of the Appellate Division’s decision, the property reverted back to agricultural use … under town zoning law,” the opponents wrote Page.
On July 13, Thomas Wilmot — his Rochester-based company, Wilmorite, wants to build Lago — said in a press release he was suspending continued construction at the site, based on the court decision.
“Mr. Wilmot’s promises have not materialized,” the opponents wrote. “Photographs taken in the past few days show work actively continuing on the site.”
Page was informed that photographs taken July 15 and 16 show trucks delivering additional materials to the property; road construction on the property; and crews digging and moving land. Copies of the photographs were included.
“Comparing an aerial photograph of the property taken the day before Mr. Wilmot’s statement and five days later show that, despite Mr. Wilmot’s claims, Lago continued construction during that period,” they wrote.
The five opponents maintain Lago is violating zoning law because land designated as an agricultural zone requires permits and special permits for certain uses. A special-use permit is required to use agricultural land for business purposes, they told Page.
“Lago’s development of the land to create a casino complex with a hotel, restaurant and retail shops clearly requires a special permit,” they said.
The town Planning Board has not granted such a permit, the opponents noted, and they said Lago has not obtained a certificate of zoning compliance for this development, as required by zoning law.
“As the code enforcement officer charged by law with enforcing the provisions of the zoning law, you are empowered to enforce the provisions of the zoning law,” they wrote. “The code enforcement officer is empowered to halt at once any use conducted without a zoning permit or certificate of zoning compliance.”
The group told Page that zoning law also empowers the town to “restrain by injunction” any violation of the zoning law or any failure to comply with any of the provisions of the law.
“We hereby request that you halt at once development by Lago on the property and take all necessary actions to restrain and punish any violations of the zoning law,” they concluded.
Lago spokesman Steven Greenberg disagreed with the opponents’ stance.
“While Lago announced last week that it was halting construction to give the town of Tyre time to address the issues from the decision, work required by environmental permits is being done on the site so that there is no exposed soil during the shutdown period,” Greenberg said. “We are placing stone and straw over the site to ensure that we continue to stay in compliance with our state Department of Environmental Conservation State Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.
“This is another example of misinformation being spread by the small group of Lago opponents largely funded by anti-competitive gaming interests.”
Page did not respond to a request for comment.