The condominium developer has roots in Crooked Lake | Herald Republicans

ANGOLA – When Mark Pontecorvo first started coming to Steuben County’s lakes, it was Crooked Lake where his family spent their summers in the 1980s.

It was at Hollywood Landing, on the northeast side of the first basin. The apartment accommodation was rather spartan. But it was a place to escape from their home in Sturgis, Michigan, and enjoy the waters of one of Steuben County’s famous sports lakes.

“We had vacation every weekend,” said Pontecorvo.

Today, Pontecorvo and partners Randy Strebig and Chuck Walker intend to build a modern version called Pontecorvo, where his family first learned about the Steuben County’s lakes before moving here more than two decades ago. In 1996 the family bought their first cottage on Crooked Lake.

On Monday evening, the district complaints committee of the Steuben district approved one of the three proposed 10-unit condominiums that will be named Casey’s Landing in the first basin of the lake. It will be on land where Casey’s Cove Marina used to be.

“It’s a version of Holiday Landing from the 21st century,” said Pontecorvo on Tuesday afternoon about the development.

On Monday, a sizeable crowd watched as the Steuben District Court Council approved the 10-unit condominium project for Crooked Lake with a 4-1 vote. Doug Smith, Bill Schmidt, Dan Reinhold and Kevin Stockwell voted yes. Larry Bandelier voted no.

Monday’s meeting was an on-going session on the proposal from local developers Crown Point LLC, Pontecorvo, Strebig and Walker. The October meeting of the BZA had to be continued because the board no longer had time to use the Steuben community center.

The meeting was moved to the Dale Hughes Jr. Memorial Auditorium instead of the multipurpose room as a large crowd was expected, not much, if any, since the first meeting in October.

The BZA only had to ask the developer of Casey’s Landings about the project. Casey’s Landings has taken the name Casey’s Cove Marina, where development will take place. Casey’s Cove has moved to Orland Road, about a mile north of Crooked Lake.

“We are grateful to the planning commission that they fulfilled their duty of care and carefully examined the petition,” said Strebig after the meeting. “We will continue our project.”

On Tuesday, in the face of opposition to the project, Pontecorvo said Crown Point had done a lot of work preparing a high quality development for Crooked Lake.

“The only thing I want to tell the general public is that we didn’t do anything wrong. (The project) was on his merit. We followed the ordinance. We spent six months researching this. We did the wetland study, ”said Pontecorvo. “We wouldn’t have gone that far if we hadn’t had a rental.”

There was no public participation at Monday’s meeting; which took place during the October 12th session. Numerous people spoke, and twice, at the end of the public attendance at the October meeting, the chairman of the board asked Smith if anyone else wanted to speak, and none did.

Many viewers held up red posters on Monday that read: “Please vote NO for apartment buildings for Crooked Lake!”

There were few questions about the project from BZA members. The most important thing seemed to the members to be whether the units could be used for renting or for short-term rentals, which are becoming increasingly popular worldwide.

Strebig said weekly rentals are not allowed, but off-season or long-term rentals by the owners of the units could be.

At the October meeting, many people spoke out against the development and many complaints were raised in the hallway of the community center after the decision.

Margy Rockwood, a seasonal resident who leads the prosecution against the project, said her group, the Lake Heritage Preservation Committee, is considering legal action. If so, it would be against the BZA and not against the developers. There is a 15 day window to file a lawsuit.

Crown Point was able to meet all of the requirements for a specific exception for such a development under the county’s zoning ordinance. No deviations were required for the project.

Rockwood and others said the developers are exploiting a loophole in the law by applying the much broader zoning standards for businesses compared to lakeside residential areas – the project consists of both – although a specific condominium exemption is allowed under both.

Planning Commissioner Schmidt said there were no loopholes in the regulation.

Many of the project’s critics also said they felt it was not in keeping with the spirit of the county’s comprehensive plan. Many of the complaints have centered on the preservation of the lake’s character, the development of single family homes versus apartment buildings, parking lots and environmental concerns.

Schmidt said the comprehensive plan is a wish list as opposed to regulation, which is the law.

The building will be 275 feet wide above the property that previously housed the marina.

The condos will vary in size from 1,800 to 2,200 square feet with two- and three-bedroom units. Two of the units will have individual garages. Two of the units will have two-car garages. The remaining six units will have garages for two cars parked in a row. At the lake is created.

One of the on-site marina buildings is being converted into a warehouse for the condominium owners.

About Yadira Wilkes

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