New Castle City Council votes to override zone-change veto
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- City council voted to override Mayor Timothy Fulkerson's veto of a change in zoning.
Fulkerson vetoed city council's decision to extend the business district along South Mill Street to include a bar called Bomb Shelter. The bar is in an area zoned for manufacturing, which does not permit bars.
The previous owner did not apply for any permits through the city or alert officials that a bar was operating in the building.
"The first owner failed to comply with the law and the zoning officer failed to enforce the law. Now the owner decides to sell and along comes a buyer. We are trying to take all these wrongs and make them right. When are we going to come up to the plate and enforce the laws that we have?" Fulkerson said.
The vote breakdown: Council members Rick DeBlasio, Stephen Vitale, Robert Bullano and Mark Elisco voted to override the mayor's veto. Councilwoman Patricia May voted against overriding the veto.
May said she agreed with the mayor that the laws need to be enforced.
Vitale called for council to fire the city zoning officer for failing to do his job. "If he were in the private sector he would be fired, but here we protect him," he said. However, Vitale then voted to override the veto, saying he did not want to shut down a business.
Elisco blamed council for the zoning problem, but said he would go along with the change because the bar was not in a residential area.
Bullano and DeBlasio refused to comment.