December 2, 2021

Suit filed over Dollar General site plan rejection

Kevin Conlon/city editor

Customers line up Monday, September 23 in the afternoon at Super Scoops on Route 281 in Homer. The village has received a proposal for a company to build a Dollar General store on the site.

A developer has filed suit against the village of Homer Planning Board for rejecting an application to build a Dollar General store on Route 281 in the village.

The suit, filed May 17 by Homer DG, LLC in state Supreme Court in Cortland County, asks the court to set aside the ruling.

The board rejected the plan for the 9,100-square-foot store at 15 S. West Road because the driveway’s placement could have caused conflict with neighboring residents, the planning board concluded. But Homer DG, LLC argued the location is crucial to access for delivery trucks.

“The board’s lack of evidence-based findings with respect to how the access driveway, as designed, will adversely affect the surrounding areas is especially egregious here because the proposed project involves the construction of a retail store in the Villages B-2, ‘General Business District,’ where retail stores are classified as an allowed use as of right,” the documents read.

The lawsuit claims the planning board violated its code of conduct and unlawfully rejected the site proposal, documents show. When rejecting a site proposal, the board is required to provide written disapproval with specific reasons as to why the proposal was rejected — beyond the driveway’s conflicting location.

Between September 2020 and April, the planning board met six times to review the site application but voted, 3-1, to deny the site plan, documents show. It was sent back for review several times and both Homer DG, LLC and its engineer reviewed the plans and made changes.

But Homer DG, LLC claims the village planning board did not submit a written letter, despite evidence showing a letter had been sent after the rejection of the proposal at the April 12 meeting.

“For the foregoing reasons, the verified petition should be granted, and the village planning board’s decision should be annulled, vacated and set aside, as it was made in violation of lawful procedure,” the documents read.

Dollar General representatives could not be reached for comment.

“We will mount a vigorous defense in court and see it all the way to the final decision,” said Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe. “We stand behind our planning board.”