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Location: Albany, New York, United States

CONSERVATIVE ROW C FOR MAYOR CITY OF ALBANY NY November 5, 2013 Election U S Navy Veteran BS Geography, U Wisconsin (Korean GI Bill) MA Geography, U Minnesota (National Fellowship) 30 years as founder and president, Buckingham Pond/ Crestwood Neighborhood Assoc. maintaining/improving neighborhood residential integrity and quality of life. Leadership resulted in creation of Buckingham Pond Park in 1993-94, as well as many other open spaces. See for list of leadership results. Neighborhood website: see also:

Sunday, February 14, 2016


UPDATED 2 15 2016.

Hon. Justice Gerald W Connolly

Decision annulling BZA approval
of Bethany-Family Promise  "homeless
social services hub" at 738 New Scotland

See Decision and Order  Index No. 2436-15
dated/entered February 11, 2016 in the
Matter of:

Joseph P Sullivan Pro se 
Albany Board of Zoning
Appeals, et al.

Index No. 2436-15


JOSEPH P SULLIVAN                                                                        VERIFIED REPLY 

of  Petitioner Pro Se 
 ANSWER of 10/30/15

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS                                   

Petitioner says, in reply to the October 30, 2015 ANSWER of Attorneys for Bethany Reformed
Church and Family Promise and affidavits of Barber, Funderburke and Giordano:

1. Said Answer meter postmarked October 30, 2015, was received by petitioner in the US mail

delivery on 3 pm Monday, November 2, 2015.

2. Petitioners Verified Amended Petition parargraphs 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9, 10 q,b.c.d,e,f,g,h,i, and j

paragraphs 11,12,13,14,15, 16, and WHEREFORE relief requested from the Court are hereby  verified, again.

3. The Court will decide whether to grant the Petitioner the relief he seeks.

4. Respondent Answer paragraphs 9,10,11,12 and 13 are moot, having been addressed in
 The Court Decisions and Orders of 16 July 2015 and 30 September 2015.

5. Petitioner requests that the Court Deny costs and disbursements of this action to all

parties thereto.

6. The Petitioners motivation in this action is to preserve the residential integrity and quality of life in this R 1B single family residential zoned neighborhood, to preserve

the home values, not to increase property taxes of neighborhood residents, and protect the City property tax base which supports city schools and city government services.
    ( Deny  Barber Affidavit #4)

7. Petitioner says that the first obligation of Bethany and other churches and synagogues who have signed on to the Family Promise homeless, social service program, is to
 be a good neighbor to, and protect the interests of, residents of the neighborhoods wherein Bethany, and the others, are located.

 Serve God, but do no harm  to the neighborhood, home values, property taxes, the city tax base and support for city
 schools and  city government services ( Dispute Barber Aff, #4, 5,6,7)

8. Petitioner concurs Barber Affidavit # 8 is accurate, and admits that the proposed Family Promise rental and use of a single family dwelling, 738 New Scotland Ave the Bethany Church parsonage, as a "hub" for its' regional homeless social services program,  is not a permitted use in this R 1B single family residential zone pursuant to the Albany City Zoning Code. 

This is why the Bethany application to convert, or change
the use of said residential dwelling was correctly interpreted and denied by the City Code
  Commissioner. (Letter, December 8, 2014)


9. The aforementioned Letter correctly interpreted the City Code stating Bethany's proposal would require a use variance

A special use permit is not an option because the proposed
 homeless, social services "hub" is not a listed permitted use in an R 1B zoned district.

10. The Bethany Application of December 15, 2014  did not request a use variance because in order for the BZA to grant one, Bethany and Family Promise would be required to
 prove that the proposed :hub: would not alter the essential character of the neighborhood.

 Bethany and Family Promise could not so prove.

Instead, Bethany and Family Promise wrongly asked the Zoning Board of Appeals to interpret Bethany's change of use for 738 New Scotland Avenue from a single family residence to use as a rented homeless, social services  hub operated by Family Promise as a legitimate use  of a House of Worship
  ( Barber Aff  # 9) 

 738 New Scotland Avenue is a single family dwelling on its own lot with a taxable value of 244,000 dollars. (Albany City Tax Roll 2014) that has never been
 and is not, now, a House of Worship. Furthermore, the City Zoning Code defines a House of Worship as a structure, or part of, used for worship and religious ceremonies.

11, The Zoning Board of Appeals complied with the Bethany/Family Promise end run around the City Zoning Code and, in so doing, the BZA abused its authority and discretion
 issuing a determination that is contrary to law, in violation of of the Albany City Zoning Code.

The BZA failed its duty of uphold the City Zoning Code and  correctly interpret the strict language, definitions of the City Zoning Code as it is restricted to doing in an
 "Interpretation Appeal". ( Coons. J  Zoning Board of Appeals p 10)

12. The Code Commissioner correctly interpreted the Code. The BZA did not. 

The BZA exceeded its authority, abused its discretion and issued a determination contrary to, and in violation of
 the law (Albany City Zoning Code). 

The question before the Court in this action is who made
 the correct "interpretation of the City Zoning Code" in this matter? The Code Commissioner or the BZA?

13. The Court should rule that the Code Commissioners Determination, in this matter was
 lawfully correct  and be upheld and the BZA's determination was contrary to the law
 (Code), an abuse of procedure, authority and discretion and therefore be annulled.

14, As the Petitioner argues and the Court concurred its Decision and Order of 30 September 2015,  the RLUIPA questions are moot, and not before the Court because the BZA did not address them in its determination.

        Joseph P Sullivan, Petitioner Pro Se
                                                                              (518) 438 5230

Sworn to before me this

__7__ day of November 2015

Notary Public

Thank you Justice Connolly.

UPDATE 2 15 2016   Jordan Carleo- Evangelist 
Times Union report

                                                        Joe Sullivan



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