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City, developer settle building dispute

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OGDENSBURG — The city and Plattsburgh developer Gilbert J. Jones settled their week-old dispute over a building he put up without permission.

Mr. Jones has agreed to seek site plan approval for a newly erected 480-square-foot building he intends to use as a concession to go with the hotel and marina at the former Ramada Inn at 119 W. River St. He didn’t do so a week ago before the city Planning and Development Board and was shut down.

In protest, Mr. Jones said he would stop work on the $1.2 million project and “let it all rot.” Now, the work is on again and, pending approval of his plans, the concession could join the already open 74-slip marina on the Oswegatchie River and be ready for business by the end of the month.

Still, Mr. Jones was hardly celebrating. “The summer’s already half over,” he said Tuesday. “We could have been open a week ago.”

The building’s predecessor was a plain harbormaster’s kiosk of similar size and required no site plan approval if kept under 500 square feet, according to Gregg E. Mallette, the city’s code enforcement officer.

“The trigger mechanism” that led to requiring city approval, he said, was the change in use to a concession.

“I think he got the message that we’re serious,” acting City Manager Philip A. Cosmo said. “It was the change in use that got him in trouble.”

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