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Local News

January 28, 2014

Panel sets hearing for plan at ex-Neptune site

WEST ONEONTA — The Oneonta Town Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday set a public hearing for a requested variance in a project at the site of the former Neptune Diner on Southside.

NSN & PK Realty Inc., which owns the property, proposes constructing an 18,900-square-foot building and needs a setback variance, town officials said. The ZBA set the hearing for 7:15 p.m. Feb. 24.

Paul and Tasi Karabinis closed the Neptune Diner at 5001 State Route 23 across from Southside Mall at the end of December after almost 30 years.

The proposal for the parcel, which is about 2 acres, includes an expansion of parking so that the lot has 106 spaces. The Susquehanna River runs behind the Neptune property.

The Oneonta Town Code Enforcement Office denied the applicant’s request for a building permit because the proposed construction doesn’t comply with the required rear-yard setback of 20 feet, according to the ZBA agenda. At one corner of the parcel, the proposed building is 16 feet 4 inches from the property line, according to the proposed site plan.

Tasi Karabinis, representing NSN & PK Realty, told the ZBA that plans aren’t clear about whether the existing diner would be demolished or moved. Karabinis said he checked with an engineer who reported that the site isn’t in a flood plain.

Douglas B. Cannistra, ZBA chairman, said the plans will need to be reviewed by the board’s attorney and the Otsego County Planning Board. The project also is subject to the State Environmental Quality Review Act, he said during the meeting in Oneonta Town Hall. 

Cannistra told Karabinis that he’s fielded telephone calls with rumors about what will be done at the site.

“Whatever you do is going to be great,” Cannistra said.

After the meeting, Karabinis wouldn’t comment on the use of the proposed building because the town hasn’t yet given him permission to building anything.

The parcel is in a Highway Development District, in which allows restaurants and retail stores, among other uses.

The proposal also is subject to review by the Oneonta Town Planning Board.

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