West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 02/15/2006
Chairman Joseph Ciancio called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. followed by the Pledge to the Flag.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Robert Niederpruem Jr.
Edwin P. Hunter
Paul Notaro, Deputy Town Attorney
William P. Czuprynski, Code Enforcement Officer
Absent - None
Chairman Ciancio read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or other emergency.
APPROVAL OF PROOFS OF PUBLICATION
Motion by Rathmann, seconded by Niederpruem, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Nigro, to approve Minutes #2006-01 of January 18, 2006.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to open the public hearing.
Mr. Greenan referred to the square footage calculation and stated that it included property on the north side of Seneca Street, the full width of Seneca Street, and land on the other side of Seneca Street to the high bank of the creek. Although the land on the other side of Seneca Street could possibly be included in the bulk area with the plan that it be used for parking, Seneca Street could not be included. He questioned the actual square footage of the property without including Seneca Street.
Mr. Niederpruem stated that the property was roughly 66’ x 285’, not including the sliver of land on the other side of the street. This reduced the bulk area to 65000 or 66000 square feet, which might allow for six units.
Mr. Greenan commented that the architect or engineer that drew the plans should have realized that Seneca Street should not be included in the calculations.
Gary Martin, 16 Willow Drive, noted that the Ebenezer Brook was also located in this area and he did not believe that it should be included in the bulk area calculations.
Mr. Greenan responded that a flood plain could be included in the bulk area calculations. The apartments could not be built on it, but it could be used for a parking lot, tennis court, etc.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to table this item pending submission of a correct survey showing the net ownership area north of Seneca Street and improvements plotted on that area that meet the density requirements of the ordinance.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to open the public hearing.
Chairman Ciancio stated that along with the application the Planning Board had received a short environmental assessment form, a survey, a deed description, and a contract proposal.
Attorney John Garas represented 1655 Union Road LLC and the principal owner, Robert Hill. The property was currently owned by Johnson Steel, an entity that was in bankruptcy, and Mr. Hill’s company entered into a contract with the bankruptcy trustee to purchase 1655 Union Road. They anticipated the sale to be complete in a few weeks. Mr. Garas stated that Mr. Hill recently applied for and was granted a special permit for an asphalt processing facility at 150 Gemcor Drive. Johnson Steel also owned the Gemcor Drive property and Mr. Hill had a contract to purchase the property from the bankruptcy trustee. He also purchased the mortgage on the property and the equipment that sat on the property. After the Town Board granted the special permit, a company controlled by Buffalo Crushed Stone intervened in the bankruptcy proceedings and objected to the proposed sale from the bankruptcy trustee to Mr. Hill’s company. As a result, the bankruptcy court annulled the contract between the trustee and Mr. Hill and ordered an auction of the property. The property was auctioned in late December 2005 and an entity owned or controlled by Buffalo Crushed Stone was the successful bidder. Therefore, Mr. Hill’s company no longer had the right to purchase 150 Gemcor Drive. Mr. Hill still held a mortgage on the property and still owned the equipment, and they hoped to see a foreclosure sale of 150 Gemcor Drive in the near future. Mr. Garas stated that Mr. Hill did not want to operate two plants, but the purpose of the current application was to ensure that Mr. Hill would be able to operate an asphalt processing plant if he was not successful in acquiring 150 Gemcor Drive.
Chairman Ciancio stated that the Planning Board had received a letter from Buffalo Crushed Stone stating that they wanted to occupy the facility at 150 Gemcor Drive and operate an asphalt processing facility.
Mr. Garas stated that the special use permit that was granted for 150 Gemcor Drive had a number of conditions and restrictions. One of the conditions was that the plant be operated by an entity owned or controlled by Robert Hill by December 2006.
Mr. Greenan questioned if the special permit for 1655 Union Road were approved and Mr. Hill was unsuccessful in gaining control of 150 Gemcor Drive, if Mr. Hill would move the asphalt processing facility across Union Road.
Mr. Mendola questioned if Mr. Hill had investigated getting access to the industrial park road.
Mr. Garas stated that Mr. Hill was not asking for a special permit for all of 1655 Union Road and he indicated on the plan the portion of the property that the special permit would apply to. There was access to the property from Union Road; however, there was only 100 feet between the east edge of the property and Ransier Drive. Mr. Garas contacted Waste Management, the owner of the property to the east, and he was confident that they would be accommodating with an easement for access to Ransier Drive. Another option for access to the property involved a service road for the railroad, but Mr. Garas was not sure if they would be able to use that road. If neither of these options were available for access, they could still use Town Road to access the property. Mr. Garas noted that approval of this special permit would also solve another problem with the condition of the property, and it would be cleaned up considerably.
Mr. Niederpruem questioned if the footprint on Gemcor Drive was larger than 7.4 acres.
Mr. Hill stated that Gemcor Drive was approximately eight acres, but about 1/3 of it was not used.
Mr. Greenan questioned the storage of raw materials.
Mr. Hill stated that asphalt and oil could be brought in by railcars and pumped into storage tanks, but the stone and sand would be brought in from a local source.
Mr. Nigro questioned if this was a seven-day operation during construction season and if Mr. Hill would be retailing the asphalt as well as using it for his own business.
Mr. Hill responded that during peak times the plant would probably run six days per week and some evenings. His own business would be first priority, but he also hoped to retail the asphalt.
Mr. Greenan commented on the piles of recycled materials on site and questioned if Mr. Hill would be staying in that business.
Mr. Rathmann questioned how much raw material would be stockpiled, where it would be located, how large of an area it would encompass and what the area without the special permit would be used for.
Mr. Hill indicated on the site plan the area where the aggregate would be stockpiled. The area without the special permit would be used as a buffer and he did not have any other plans for it at this time. >
Mr. Hunter referred to the special permit request for 150 Gemcor Drive and recalled that there would be no processing of aggregate on site. He questioned if this would be the same situation.
Mr. Hill stated that this would be the same operation as was proposed for 150 Gemcor Drive and there would be no washing or processing of aggregate on site. It was a clean operation.
Mr. Mendola expressed concern over the possibility of two asphalt processing plants operating on Union Road.
Mr. Hunter suggested that if this special permit were approved there be a condition included that the operation would be abandoned if Mr. Hill were successful in acquiring 150 Gemcor Drive. He questioned what Mr. Hill would then use 1655 Union Road for.
Mr. Hill commented that he might propose an indoor volleyball facility for that property.
Mr. Mendola questioned when Mr. Hill would know for sure that the property at 150 Gemcor Drive was his.
Mr. Greenan stated that if the foreclosure were to proceed nothing would keep Buffalo Crushed Stone from paying a premium just as they did with the bankruptcy court. If Mr. Hill had an alternate location for the physical plant, Buffalo Crushed Stone may not want to pay the premium because they would not successfully block Mr. Hill from operating a plant.
Joe Laraiso, Executive Vice President with Buffalo Crushed Stone stated that they filed a deed for 150 Gemcor Drive on February 10th and were the current owners of that property. They understood that zoning went with the property, so they intended to move a blacktop plant to that location on the same terms and conditions that the special permit was granted. If they were not successful in the foreclosure auction for the plant, they would bring one of their own plants in. It would be the same basic footprint, same size and configuration, and already certified and approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for emissions standards being met. Mr. Laraiso stated that he was in receipt of a letter from Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski confirming that the special use permit goes with the property. He understood that in granting the special permit there was a stipulation based on whoever owned the property.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro did not believe this was an accurate statement of what was in the Town Board minutes and would have to review it. He thought the stipulations placed by the Town Board were very specific to an entity owned or operated by Mr. Hill.
Mr. Laraiso disagreed and stated that Buffalo Crushed Stone planned to move a plant to 150 Gemcor Drive. They had acquired a lease from the railroad for access through the Norfolk Southern right-of-way, so this was not an option for Mr. Hill.
Mr. Notaro advised that the Town Board’s motion approved the special permit for 150 Gemcor Drive for an asphalt processing facility “conditioned upon acquisition of fee title to the subject premises by Robert Hill or by an entity controlled by him on or before December 1, 2006 and with the following stipulations: 1) access to the property from the public road to the plant shall be paved with a blacktop pavement H-20 loading; 2) no aggregate washing on site; 3) capacity of plant is limited to 4-ton per batch.”
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Hunter, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 1655 Union Road, being part of Lot Nos. 188, 189, 197 & 202, changing its classification from M-2 to M-2(S), for locating the asphalt processing plant currently situated at 150 Gemcor Drive to the east side of Union Road in the southeast corner as shown on the maps submitted with the application and incorporating the conditions made by the Town Board for the asphalt processing facility at 150 Gemcor Drive as follows: 1) acquisition of fee title to the subject premises by Robert Hill or by an entity controlled by him on or before December 1, 2006; 2) access to the property from the public road to the plant shall be paved with a blacktop pavement H-20 loading; 3) no aggregate washing on site; 4) capacity of plant is limited to 4-ton per batch; and further, Mr. Hill will only operate one batch plant in the Town of West Seneca without further approval from the Planning Board and Town Board.
Motion by Niederpruem, seconded by Rathmann, to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC