SENECA FALLS — If the town Zoning Board of Appeals grants a use variance, a Dollar General variety store could be built on the former SMS Field on Ovid St.

The property is owned by the Bridgeport Fire Department, which bought it from the SMS Italian-American organization as the site of a new firehouse.

Those plans did not materialize, however, and the fire department put the property up for sale. Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., submitted a purchase offer for the 8.9-acre parcel, contingent upon the area variance being granted.

The land is zoned for single-family residential use and a variance would be needed to allow construction of a retail variety store in an R-1 district. The site is directly across from the town Municipal Building at 130 Ovid St.

The Seneca County Planning Board voted 9-1 in July to adopt a motion recommending conditional approval for the use variance request submitted by GBT Realty Corporation of Brentwood, Tenn. to allow the store to be built. The conditions attached to the approval are that the Seneca Falls ZBA consider:

• Whether the applicant cannot realize a reasonable return, provided that the lack of return is substantial as demonstrated by competent financial evidence.

• Whether the alleged hardship relating to the property is unique and does not apply to a substantial portion of the applicable zoning district or neighborhood.

• Whether the use variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood.

• Whether the alleged difficulty is self-created.

The motion passed, 9-1, with Marvin Wagner voting no and Thomas Scoles abstaining.

The ZBA may consider the variance request at its September meeting.

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