UTICA — A vote to pull a resolution re-endorsing the grant application for a Kelberman Center project at half the proposed size was defeated by the Utica Common Council on Wednesday.

The Common Council endorsed the grant application in November 2018, before nearby residents told the council about concerns with the project. As currently proposed, the Sunset School project would include 60 apartments and office space, including residences for 12 people on the autism spectrum and 48 low-to-moderate-income units.

The City of Utica Board of Planning approved the Kelberman Center’s site plan for the four-story, 60-unit building at the site of the former Sunset School in May 2018.

South Utica resident Christine Cougan Schram said no one came to knock on the doors of her three properties or businesses to notify her about the Kelberman Center project.

“Once again, it's too big," she said. "Once again, this council failed me, my husband and my neighborhood."

Councilwoman Samantha Colosimo-Testa called for a vote to bring the re-endorsement resolution out of committee at half its current size and scope, which was seconded by Councilman Joe Marino. The motion was defeated by a 3-6 vote.

After the motion failed, Sunset Avenue neighbors walked out of the meeting, loudly expressing their disappointment. “Thanks for nothing, Bob,” said one, referring to South Utica Councilman Robert DeSanctis, who is up for re-election in a three-way race.

“You’re gone, Bob,” said another.

Colosimo-Testa said an executive session from earlier in the evening determined there could be a legal issue with the proposed re-endorsement. She said she supported voting on the legislation and allowing the city administration to determine if it was legal or not.

Marino said he believed the city would face legal action no matter what the council did Wednesday night, either from the Sunset Avenue neighbors or the Kelberman Center.

“I choose the city residents every single time,” Marino said.

In a related matter, the Common Council on Wednesday night unanimously approved a resolution that would recommend the city planning commission notify property owners within a 200-foot radius of a property going through the preliminary site plan review and approval process. The zoning commission uses a similar notification process for zoning modifications.

Marino said he supported the proposal but didn’t think it went far enough. He had proposed another ordinance that went further to make sure neighbors knew about future development, but it has not been cleared by the corporation counsel.

“I had 17 lawyers tell me today it’s illegal,” he said.