Main Street’s Big Rectangle Still Not Squared Away

The seemingly unending saga of the unfinished development on Main Street hit another pothole on the road to completion, with parking issues impeding a building permit approval. 

This 51 Main St. property was nicknamed “the big rectangle” by residents and is generally regarded as an eyesore due to its incompletion. Before construction can restart, developer Dimitri Viglis must receive written permission from the village to allow required parking to be made in the Village-owned lot out back. Until this consent is solidified, Viglis will be unable to complete the project. 

Village Fire Inspector Cory Wirthmann explained that the project first received a building permit in 2014. The building was supposed to be home to a Greek restaurant and residential units above it. After 18 months the permit expired, and despite allowed extensions, Viglis was forced to re-apply. When Viglis re-applied, both his plans and the Village building code changed and presented problems with installing oil or natural gas heating units. Viglis resolved this complication by opting for electrical heating instead.

The issue at hand lies within the ownership of the lot. Wirthmann explained that the Village Planning Board required Viglis to create two parking spaces for the planned apartments. However, since the lot is currently owned by the Village, Viglis technically has no ownership of the property. If the lot were to be sold to a private owner, which some Village officials have suggested, those spots would not have legal access to North Chestnut Street. 

“This is really forward thinking on the Village’s part,” Wirthmann said. “[Viglis] needs an easement [with the Village] in order to access the property.”

According to Cornell Law School, an easement is legal permission to use another person’s property for a limited reason. Viglis’ attorney would have to meet with an attorney from the Village to solidify this agreement. Wirthmann explained that essentially Viglis’ required spots would be written into the property’s deed, allowing his tenants to access the lot regardless of who owns it.

Members of the Village Planning Board were unable to be reached in time for print. Viglis declined to comment on the matter. 

In a previous interview with Village Trustee Don Kerr, he spoke on the frustrations of the Moonlight Cafe owners whose business has been impeded by the construction gate blocking the view of their cafe. Local officials are eager to push the process as quickly as possible due to the long standstill Vigilis and residents alike have endured.

Max Freebern
About Max Freebern 91 Articles
Max Freebern is a fourth-year journalism major who’s going into his fifth semester working for Oracle. He worked his way from a contributor, to copy editor and has served as the News editor for the past few semester. While he normally focuses on local government his true passion is writing immersive work and human profiles.