Irondequoit zoning board OK’s variance sought by UPrep on East Ridge Road

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IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. — The University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men’s planned move into Irondequoit continues to draw lots of opposition.

UPrep leaders want to maintain the building at 3000 East Ridge Road with an area that’s set back just under 30 feet from residential homes on an adjoining lot line. The Irondequoit Town Zoning Board of Appeals approved the area variance Monday in a 4- vote.

It was a packed house Monday night inside Irondequoit Town Hall for the ZBA meeting, as UPrep continues to push its plans to move into the vacant building at 3000 East Ridge.

“If the area variance is granted, consequential disturbances and dangers will be 30 feet from property lines versus the required 50-feet, and can be detrimental to the health and well being closest to the building,” said resident Jessica Schaffer.

UPrep leaders say they have outgrown their current school. They say the area variance they sought Monday works well with their plans.

“We need the space. Our current building is 41-42-thousand square feet. this new facility would double that. it will double the parking, and it will also give us some green space. we have none. so when they’re talking about it’s too small for us, it’s doubling where we’re currently at.” said Walter Larkin, the chief executive officer for the school.

Asked if the process is taking longer than usual, Larkin said, “We had anticipated that we would probably be in a new facility starting this upcoming school year, but as it stands right now we will have to stay in our current facility for another year.”

Dr. Cameron Lewis, UPrep’s chief operations officer, says this upcoming school year classes will be split up, sending some students to satellite locations. Monday, they were focused on getting a decision on the variance.

“We’ll meet with our lawyers. We’ll meet with our project managers and our board, and you know we’ll keep pushing one way or another. We’ll get to where we want to be, whether it’s here or somewhere else,” Lewis said.