West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 03/22/2007
Chairman Joseph Ciancio called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. followed by the Pledge to the Flag.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Paul Notaro, Deputy Town Attorney
William P. Czuprynski, Code Enforcement Officer
Absent - Robert Niederpruem Jr.
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 Mendola, seconded by Nigro, to approve Minutes #2007-01 of February 8, 2007.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Nigro, to reopen the public hearing.
Wendy Salvati of Wendel Duchscherer stated that the commercial zoning of the restaurant at 5626 Seneca Street was being extended further to the west and would abut a residential zoning district. This required that the parking area be set back ten feet from the property line. The proposed layout of the parking lot was fairly close to the line and it might have to be changed and taken back on more of an angle, but that might impact the existing garage. Mrs. Salvati noted that there was a stockade fence along the west property line, but screening was also required along the rear lot line and along the road due to the residential use across the street. Screening along the road could be accomplished with a hedge or other planting that grows to five feet high within three years.
The petitioner, Donald Denz, 1005 E. Main Street, East Aurora, presented a landscape plan that addressed this situation.
Mrs. Salvati further commented that at the previous meeting they had discussed having full circulation between the two parking lots with an opening towards the back of the property so that vehicles would not have to back out if there were no parking spaces. She suggested that Mr. Denz attempt to accomplish that and also noted that he would need to bring some fill in so the two lots would be better matched.
Mr. Denz responded that he did not intend to exactly match the two parking lots and one would be lower. That was why they did not have an opening to the proposed parking lot in the rear because he thought it might be dangerous for people walking or vehicles parked if it was icy.
Mrs. Salvati questioned the difference in grade between the two parking lots.
Louise Ziccardi, 11 Pleasantview Drive, East Aurora, stated that the engineers, Nussbaumer & Clarke, were aware of the significant grade difference but did not know how many feet it would be. The plan submitted was the best they could come up with.
Mr. Greenan questioned the size of the parking spaces.
Chairman Ciancio questioned if there had been any preliminary discussions with Town Engineer George Montz.
Ms. Ziccardi stated that she had spoken with the Engineering Department, and they reviewed the code requirements, gave information on the topographical survey, and recommended Nussbaumer & Clarke.
Mr. Denz stated that if it was practical and cost effective within reason, he would like to make the parking lot the same grade.
Mrs. Salvati suggested that the grade of the parking lot be raised to eliminate the hazards that were causing concern. She questioned the seating capacity of the restaurant and the reason for the parking variance that was granted.
Ms. Ziccardi responded that the seating capacity of the restaurant was 130 and the parking was sufficient for that seating plan. Mr. Denz stated that they were granted a parking variance because the parking did not meet the square footage of the building.
Mr. Rathmann questioned how the petitioners had determined the additional parking spaces.
Ms. Ziccardi responded that the 34 additional parking spaces were based on what fit on the parcel of property. If they were to reduce the number of spaces to allow for an access driveway they would probably lose six or seven spaces.
Mr. Nigro stated that they could increase the distance between the rows of parking so that it would be easier to back out. Then they would not need another access driveway.
Mrs. Salvati stated that the parking lot would have to be fairly wide and they still needed to keep the parking ten feet from the lot line. She thought that this would encroach on the garage.
Mr. Rathmann questioned if the petitioners had any intention of repairing the existing retaining wall. He thought the condition of the wall was a hazard to anyone that might park near it.
Mr. Rathmann questioned if there would be a stairway between the parking lots.
Ms. Ziccardi indicated on the plan the proposed stairway between the parking lots.
Mrs. Salvati noted that 54 parking spaces were required based on a seating plan of 135, so the plan was clearly in compliance. An access driveway at the rear of the lot could be included without causing a hardship and it would be the safest way to design the lot.
Chairman Ciancio noted that a ten-foot setback was required along the lot line and the remaining property still required a viable 75-foot lot. He questioned if Mr. Denz intended to remove any existing trees.
Mr. Denz stated that he did not intend to remove any trees other than what was necessary for the parking lot to be blacktopped and striped. There would be a stockade fence like the existing fence for screening with 2½” crabapple or ash trees planted along it.
Mr. Rathmann thought that if the parking lot was reconfigured with an access driveway at the back they would be able to save the very large tree in the back corner. He wanted to see a landscape plan with the revised layout of the parking lot and at a larger scale. Mr. Rathmann also asked that the revised plan show the layout of both parking lots, indicate the handicapped parking spaces, and show the seating capacity of the facility.
Mrs. Salvati questioned if there were any intentions to light the parking lot.
Mr. Denz responded that he did intend to light the parking lot with the light directed from the back to the front.
Mrs. Salvati suggested that Mr. Denz submit a lighting plan for the site. She further referred to the legal description submitted and noted that some of the dimensions did not match the survey. Mrs. Salvati suggested that Mr. Denz ask Nussbaumer & Clarke why these dimensions did not match.
Ms. Ziccardi stated that the legal description and survey were forwarded to Mr. Denz’ attorney and the corrections were being made.
Mrs. Salvati stated that the Planning Board had asked for a through connection between the two parking lots and that was not part of the revised plan. She further noted that the site plan still did not meet the Town Code because a ten foot setback was required.
Mr. Denz responded that a through connection was not practical based on the engineering study and the grade levels. He questioned if the through connection was a requirement for the parking and noted that it would probably cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring the property to grade and drain it. Mr. Denz also thought that the setback was ten feet, but stated that he would correct that if necessary.
Mrs. Salvati stated that the parking lot had to be ten feet away from the zoning district boundary, not the property line.
Mr. Notaro noted that there was also an issue concerning the proximity of the garage to the property line on what will be the remaining parcel.
Mr. Greenan stated that if the scale was correct there was approximately seven feet from the garage to the property line.
Mr. Denz did not believe that the previous owner had gotten a building permit for the garage because it was not on any of the surveys. He would demolish it if need be.
Mr. Notaro stated that the plans submitted did not indicate any trees along the north property line.
Mr. Denz stated that he did not put trees along the north property line because he needed a place to put the snow.
Mr. Notaro noted that the Town Code required screening and Mr. Denz’ engineers did not take that into account when they drew the plans.
Mike Kelchlin, 5622 Seneca Street, questioned if the entire parcel would be rezoned to C-1, including where the house was located.
Chairman Ciancio advised that the rezoning would only apply to the parking lot. The parcel where the house was located would remain residential and would have to be at least 75-foot frontage.
Mr. Kelchlin referred to the angle of Seneca Street and the angle of the restaurant and stated that the red “Flappy’s” sign on the rear of the building will shine in the back yards of Seneca Street properties if the trees are removed for the parking lot. Even a six-foot stockade fence would not help because of the elevation of the property. He thought the only thing that would screen the property would be a 10 to 15-foot berm with a six-foot fence on top. Mr. Kelchlin was also concerned that the additional parking would provide space for the restaurant to hold “cruise nights” in the future.
Bill Falkner, 5627 Seneca Street, referred to the June 28, 2005 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting when a variance was granted to the restaurant to reduce the number of parking spaces from 103 to 54, and stated that the restaurant has been very busy and the parking was not sufficient for the number of patrons. He was concerned about the current ingress and egress to the parking lot with the number of vehicles trying to get in and out. Mr. Falkner wanted to see the house and garage remain residential, but was not opposed to a rezoning for the parking lot as long as there was screening and the ingress/egress was appropriate.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to close the public hearing.
On the question, Mr. Greenan stated that there was a parking problem at the restaurant and Mr. Denz was offering to solve it, and although it might not solve the entire problem, it was a step in the right direction. The proposed plan did not comply with the ordinance, but with a few changes it could be made to conform, and Mr. Greenan did not see any point in making the petitioner come back to the Planning Board.
Motion by Mendola that the Planning Board not act on this item until the petitioner returns with a plan that complies with what they have been asking for.
The motion failed due to lack of a second.
On the original motion,
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
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 survey, site plan, short environmental assessment form, and a tax map.
Chairman Ciancio stated that the Planning Board looked at this application, but they did not feel that the C-1 zoning was appropriate for this area of Clinton Street because it was primarily residential. They suggested that Mr. Scaccia apply for a home occupancy permit instead and noted that there could only be two chairs and a 2’ x 2’ sign.
Mr. Greenan advised that if the property were to be rezoned to C-1, the zoning would remain even after the property was sold. However, if a home occupancy permit is granted, the permit would terminate on the death of the business owner or sale of the property.
Wendy Salvati of Wendel Duchscherer also stated that some of the restrictions on the C-1 zoning were more onerous than with a home occupancy permit.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to table the above request until the next Planning Board meeting.
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 survey, site plan, deed description, short environmental assessment form, and a tax map.
Dan Riedy, 53 E. Royal Hill Drive, Orchard Park, stated his request to rezone a portion of property located at 395 West Avenue for automotive repair.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Nigro, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Nigro, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 395 West Avenue, being part of Lot No. 185, changing its classification from M-1 to M-1(S), for automotive repair, with the following stipulations: 1) no outside storage of unlicensed vehicles or auto parts; 2) no retail sale of automobiles; 3) no spray painting of vehicles on the property.
On the question, Mr. Greenan noted that the special permit should only apply to the portion indicated on the survey as follows: 233.30’ on the north, 130’ on the east, 146.58’ on the west, and 301’ on the south along West Avenue.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC