West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 04/19/2006
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.
Paul Notaro, Deputy Town Attorney
William P. Czuprynski, Code Enforcement Officer
Absent - Edwin P. Hunter
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 Mendola, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Nigro, seconded by Niederpruem, to approve Minutes #2006-03 of March 15, 2006.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
A request from Erminio Liberatore & Maria Hanley for a special permit for property located at 3242 Seneca Street, being part of Lot Nos. 123, 124 & 133, changing its classification from C-2 to C-2(S), for two 8-unit apartment buildings.
Motion by Nigro, seconded by Niederpruem, to remove this item from the table.
On the question, Mr. Greenan stated that this item was originally tabled pending submission of a calculation of the acreage and submission of plans that conformed to the ordinance for the buildings to be constructed. The Planning Board received the calculation of the acreage and that showed that the proposed two 8-unit buildings did not comply with the ordinance; and therefore, it did not comply with the condition for taking it from the table. An 8-unit or 12-unit building would comply with the ordinance, but two 8-unit buildings did not comply with the ordinance.
Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, represented the petitioners and submitted a revised survey and aerial photos of the property. He commented on the other uses that came under the C-2 zoning that were not as desirable but would require no approvals from the Planning Board or Town Board and noted that multiple dwellings were allowed in the R-50 zoning district, which was a higher zoning classification than C-2. Mr. Lorigo referred to the aerial photos and a parcel of land that had 24-units. The tax map indicated that the parcel with 24-units was 1.6 acres, the same amount of land as the site proposed for the 16-units. Mr. Lorigo stated that Royal York Apartments was family owned and operated at this location for 40 years. There were 250 units in Royal York and the property was well maintained. The type of building being proposed was essentially the same as the buildings next door. Mr. Lorigo stated that there was 1.48 acres of land on the east side of Seneca Street and .20 acres on the west side of Seneca Street. Although the project did not meet the density requirement, Mr. Lorigo thought that the ratio of buildings to green space was acceptable, and this would not even be a question if it were a commercial project. The units will be a luxury type of apartment that will rent for approximately $800 per month. Mr. Lorigo noted a correction to the parking on the site plan and stated that there were only 30 parking spaces rather than 38, but this still exceeded the requirement of 28 parking spaces.
Mr. Mendola questioned what plans the petitioners had with regard to Ebenezer Brook and cleaning up the area, which had been a drainage problem for the town for many years.
Mr. Lorigo responded that Mr. Liberatore has owned one side of Ebenezer Brook for many years and has worked to maintain the ditch running between the two parcels. He now owns land on the other side of the ditch and will continue his efforts to maintain it, especially since he anticipates renting the units for $800 per month.
Chairman Ciancio commented that the front of the existing buildings was nice, but the backside had a lot of trash lying around.
Mr. Lorigo responded that Mr. Liberatore would do as much as possible to clean up the ditch area.
Mr. Nigro questioned the vacancy rate of the existing apartments.
Mr. Lorigo responded that there was a very low vacancy rate and a number of the residents have lived there for many years.
Mr. Rathmann stated that they had not received a tree survey, and based on the aerial photograph and a visit to the site, there were many trees involved. A tree survey was required to show what would be removed and that they would be replaced.
Mr. Lorigo stated that a tree survey would be provided to the Town Board at the public hearing.
Mr. Rathmann noted that only 24 parking spaces were required, and he questioned why 30 spaces were provided.
Mr. Lorigo responded that with the units renting for $800 per month, it was possible that there would be additional drivers so extra parking was provided.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski advised that the parking requirement for the proposed project was actually 29 spaces. The Town Code called for 1½ spaces per unit plus five additional for overflow parking.
Mr. Rathmann referred to the new Department of Environmental Conservation requirements for stormwater management facilities and stated that runoff water from the parking lot and building had to be collected in a detention pond and treated if more than an acre of land was being disturbed. This should be located on the low side of the site, but there was no land available on the low side and he did not see anything on the plan that addressed stormwater quality treatment.
Mr. Lorigo responded that this would be addressed with Town Engineer George Montz prior to a building permit being issued. The current plan called for all the water to drain from the property and not affect any of the neighbors.
Mr. Rathmann further referred to the C-district zoning for housing and stated that a 30-foot rear yard was required if the project abutted a residential district. The far corner of the easterly most building abutted a residential district, but the setback was only 26 feet.
Mr. Lorigo stated that the architect drew the plans based on the requirements of the Town Code. The proposed use was actually an R-50 use so if the setback was a problem they could modify the request to upgrade the zoning from C-2 to R-50, move the building, or apply for a variance.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Nigro, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Nigro, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 3242 Seneca Street, being part of Lot Nos. 123, 124 & 133, changing its classification from C-2 to C-2(S), for two 8-unit apartment buildings, noting that a variance may be required if the proper setbacks cannot be met.
On the question, Mr. Greenan stated that the problem with the setback, side yards, and density were all caused by too much building on too small of a lot. Although it was the right area for apartments, the lot was not large enough for more than 12 units.
Mr. Mendola stated that although there were some problems with the proposal, one big advantage was that Mr. Liberatore would maintain the ditch that influenced drainage to the north and had been a problem for a long time.
Chairman Ciancio noted that the apartments would need a name that they could be referred to by the fire company, and he questioned if Royal York II would be appropriate.
Mr. Mendola thought that Royal York II would be a quick and easy designation so fire company personnel would know what building they were responding to.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
A request from Buffalo Crushed Stone, Inc. for a special permit for property located at 150 Gemcor Drive, being part of Lot Nos. 79, 80, 83, 84 & 87, changing its classification from M-2 to M-2(S), for an asphalt processing facility.
Chairman Ciancio stated that a letter was received from Buffalo Crushed Stone asking to withdraw their application.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to accept the request from Buffalo Crushed Stone to withdraw their special permit application for 150 Gemcor Drive.
A request from Andrea M. Loretto for a rezoning for property located at 3804 Seneca Street, being part of Lot Nos. 143 & 146, changing its classification from R-65 to C-1, for a nail salon.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Niederpruem, to open the public hearing.
Chairman Ciancio stated that along with the application they had received a short environmental assessment form, an application for a tree removal permit, a survey, a deed description, site plan, and tax map.
Andrea Loretto stated that she was currently residing at 3804 Seneca Street and would like to open a nail salon at 3806 Seneca Street. No exterior changes would be made to the building, only interior changes, and a new driveway would be installed. Ms. Loretto also wanted to remove three trees from the front and replace them at the rear of the property.
Chairman Ciancio noted that there was a fence along the commercial property to the west of Ms. Loretto’s property, but he questioned the zoning of the property to the east.
Mr. Greenan thought that the property was zoned R-60, which by itself would permit an insurance office in a building that could be used either for an office or residence.
Mr. Mendola questioned if Ms. Loretto wanted the entire parcel rezoned.
Ms. Loretto responded that she was requesting that the entire parcel be rezoned to C-1.
Mr. Niederpruem questioned what kind of improvements would be made to the building, the hours of operation, and how many clients Ms. Loretto anticipated.
Ms. Loretto stated that she and her mother had owned a nail salon since 1994. There were six employees, but only three working at any given time. The hours of operation were Monday through Thursday from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M., Friday from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M., and Saturday from 8 A.M. to 2 P.M. No exterior changes would be made other than a new roof and a parking lot. There will be six chairs available in the salon for clients.
Mr. Rathmann noted that parking would be based on the number of chairs, so 18 parking spaces were required but only 6 were provided. He further noted that if the property next door is zoned residential, the parking would have to be setback 10 feet from the property line and the plan only showed a two-foot setback. The handicapped access aisle also needed to be 8 feet wide.
Mr. Mendola suggested removing three chairs so the plan would conform to the ordinance.
Mr. Greenan understood that the rezoning request was for 3804 and 3806 Seneca Street and there would be sufficient room for 18 parking spaces if the area were paved.
Ms. Loretto responded that she would agree to extend the parking if that was a problem.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro noted that Ms. Loretto could apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance to the parking if she wanted to stick with the plan presented.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski also noted that the application could be approved for three chairs with the stipulation that if more chairs are added more parking will be added.
Mr. Niederpruem questioned if the trees being removed on the side yard were being replaced elsewhere.
Ms. Loretto responded that the trees would be replaced in the back of the property.
Mr. Niederpruem further commented that the rezoning request was for the entire depth of the parcel, which was 435 feet. He questioned the need to rezone the entire parcel and suggested that they only rezone the first 250 feet.
Ms. Loretto was not opposed to only rezoning the front portion of the property.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to recommend approval of a rezoning and special permit for property located at 3804 & 3806 Seneca Street, being part of Lot Nos. 143 & 146, changing its classification from R-65 to C-1(S), for a beauty/nail salon, noting that the rezoning will only apply to the first 300 feet from the north side of the Seneca Street right-of-way and is conditioned upon there being no more chairs utilized and a permit not granted for more seats than is permitted by the ordinance.
On the question, Mr. Czuprynski stated that according to the Town Code a beauty/nail salon did not require a special permit and he did not believe they could attach one to this zoning.
Mr. Greenan disagreed and stated that they could limit the property to a special use.
A request from Jack Schifano for a rezoning & special permit for property located at 2303 Union Road, being part of Lot No. 294, changing its classification from C-1 to C-2(S), for a night club serving alcoholic beverages.
Chairman Ciancio stated that a letter was received from Attorney Ralph Lorigo requesting that this item be tabled.
Mr. Lorigo stated that there was a sale of property and they were in the process of working out some of the aspects with the new owner. They also wanted additional time to be able to present some interior diagrams to the Planning Board.
Chairman Ciancio noted that the Planning Board would require some type of affidavit from the current owner stating that they were for or against the proposed project.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to table the above request pending submission of a complete set of interior plans by the applicant or a representative.
A request from Daryl Martin, Architect, for a rezoning and special permit for property located at 3714 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 150, changing its classification from R-65 to C-2(S), for a restaurant serving alcoholic beverages.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Nigro, to open the public hearing.
Chairman Ciancio stated that along with the application the Planning Board had received a short environmental assessment form, a deed description, a survey, and a site plan. He further stated that he had requested the architect to change the original building to C-2 also so that it would be in conformity. The Planning Board needed a legal description for that parcel and a seating diagram.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski noted that the original parcel is zoned C-1 and it would not have to be rezoned to C-2, but he thought it would be a good idea to have it conform.
Eugene Wachala stated that he and Ronald Woltz were co-owners of Pasquale’s Pizza located at 2990 Seneca Street. They had a written contract with the owner of Leghorn Restaurant and a contingent offer for 3714 Seneca Street, which they wanted to use for additional parking for the restaurant. The restaurant will have 130 to 150 seats depending on whether the rezoning is approved for the parking. They wanted to have as many parking spaces as possible because they could have up to 20 employees at a time working and they wanted to be able to accommodate the snow in the winter. There were other Pasquale’s restaurants at 242 Main Street in East Aurora and 6824 Erie Road in Derby and those were both sit down restaurants. The other West Seneca location was strictly take-out.
Chairman Ciancio stated that he had received a call from a Hilldale Avenue property owner that was concerned about the dumpster and commented that the previous dumpster was wide open with no screening. He also questioned if Mr. Wachala planned to keep the metal shed.
Mr. Wachala stated that at both other sit down locations there was a dumpster pad and it was fenced in. They kept the dumpster area well maintained and he did not believe it would be an issue at this location. They did intend to keep the metal shed.
Chairman Ciancio questioned if Mr. Wachala had spoken to the neighbor on Seneca Street.
Mr. Wachala responded that he had told the neighbor there would be trees and/or fences along the lot line to screen the property, whatever the Planning Board recommended.
Mr. Mendola questioned if Mr. Wachala was requesting the entire lot to be rezoned.
Mr. Wachala responded that they at least wanted the property up to the back of the metal building to be rezoned.
Mr. Rathmann stated that there were a number of trees on the property, but no tree survey was submitted with the application. He further commented that no handicapped parking was shown on the plans. Based on 76 parking spaces there would have to be 4 handicapped spaces.
Mr. Wachala stated that it would not be a problem to add handicapped parking spaces to the plan.
Mr. Rathmann referred to the front parking lot that ran along Seneca Street and stated that if a car parked too far forward it would overhang onto Seneca Street. He suggested a guardrail to prevent this from happening and also a 20-foot radius turn into the driveway from Seneca Street for safety reasons. For better screening, Mr. Rathmann suggested an evergreen arborvitae hedge, four feet tall and spaced every four to five feet, instead of the pine trees.
Ron Hostler, 40 Hilldale Avenue, questioned the petitioner’s plans for the northeast corner of the Seneca Street property that abutted his property and if it would be landscaped.
Chairman Ciancio responded that the rezoning would only apply to the first 300 feet from Seneca Street with the remainder of the property remaining residential. The petitioners would have to maintain the entire parcel.
Mr. Wachala stated that they did not intend to do anything with the property behind the garage.
Mr. Hostler stated that there were a number of trees removed in the rear, the property was torn up, and there was no grass.
Mr. Mendola thought it would behoove Mr. Wachala to be a good neighbor and clean up the property.
Mr. Wachala stated that they would take care of the property behind the garage when they did the landscaping.
George Hillock, 27 Hilldale Avenue, commented on the number of kids playing in the neighborhood and expressed a concern over the increase in traffic due to a larger restaurant locating at this corner.
Mr. Niederpruem referred to the plot plan and thought that most people would use the main entrance on Seneca Street due to the location and alignment of the parking spaces.
Mr. Hillock was also concerned about the garbage, not only from the dumpster but also from patrons of the restaurant that might discard trash in the parking lot.
Chairman Ciancio commented on the cleanliness of the other West Seneca location and East Aurora location and thought the petitioners would maintain this location nicely.
John Munch spoke in favor of the applicants and their proposed restaurant and stated that parking was a key part of the restaurant business. He further commented on the immaculate condition of their other locations.
Mr. Czuprynski suggested that the Planning Board recommend rezoning the property where the restaurant is located to C-2(S) and the 56’ x 300’ parking area to the west to C-2 without the special permit. The property west of the proposed parking area was zoned residential and the Zoning Ordinance did not allow the sale of alcoholic beverages abutting residential property.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Niederpruem, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to recommend approval of a rezoning and special permit for property located at 3720 Seneca Street, changing its classification from C-1 to C-2(S) for a restaurant serving alcoholic beverages, noting that this will bring a nonconforming use into compliance with the Zoning Ordinance; and further, recommend approval of a rezoning for property located at 3714 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 150, changing its classification from R-65 to C-2 with the C-2 zoning only applying to a depth of 300 feet from the north side of Seneca Street, noting that both of the rezonings are conditioned upon the following: 1) final parking plan conforming with the number of seats in the restaurant; 2) a tree survey to be submitted to the Town Board prior to the public hearing and any healthy trees removed shall be replaced with a like amount of 2½ inch caliper shade trees on site.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Nigro, to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC