West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 05/10/2007
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 Mendola, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Nigro, seconded by Mendola, to approve Minutes #2007-03 of April 12, 2007.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to open the public hearing.
Chairman Ciancio noted that there was some question as to the location of the gas line and whether it would create any problem.
Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that the final plan was missing the dimensions of the existing petroleum pipeline easement shown on the plot, and this should be revised prior to signing the final plan.
Mr. Greenan stated that most of the length of the easement was 50 feet wide and the petroleum company had absolute clearing rights on anything built within the easement. He agreed that the easement should be delineated on the final map cover so property owners will know they cannot build a pool, shed, or any other structure within the easement.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to grant final approval of the proposed five-lot subdivision on Terrace Blvd. subject to delineating on the plan the petroleum easement that covers the rear 50 feet.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Chairman Ciancio stated that Mr. Piotrowski’s attorney had a conflict and could not attend the meeting. They requested that the item be tabled until the next meeting.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to table the above request until the next regular Planning Board meeting.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to open the public hearing.
Mr. Hunter stated that he was abstaining from participation in this item because of his law firm’s recent representation of Marita Car Rentals, Inc.
Chairman Ciancio noted that 1976 Ridge Road was previously a used car business, but the property was vacant for over one year so the special permit was dropped.
Attorney Jennifer Dougherty of Phillips Lytle LLP, 3400 HSBC Center, Buffalo, represented Marita Car Rentals, an independent licensee of Budget Car Rentals. Marita Car Rentals is a NYS certified woman-owned business, locally owned, and operating in the WNY area for 40 years. They employed 120+ employees at eight locations in the Buffalo area. Budget planned to retrofit the existing building for their car rental facility. There will be two to three employees at this location. A front desk clerk will take reservations and assist customers with the sale of moving supplies. Another employee will check in the cars, inspect the vehicles, and clean them. The third employee will be the on-site manager. Hours of operation will be 7:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M., but if market demand is not that great the hours will be reduced. Ms. Dougherty pointed out the location of lighting on the plan and the existing sign that will be used for this facility. The pylon sign will be painted to make it more attractive and a new façade added. There will be no servicing of vehicles or fueling operations on site. Budget picked this particular location because of the paved driveway and parking lot with 20 spaces, easy access to the site, the planting strip in front of the facility that is actually twice as wide as required by Town Code, and the surrounding commercial neighborhood.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski noted that adding fluids to a vehicle such as windshield washer solvent and checking the oil was considered servicing a vehicle. He questioned if this service would take place on the vehicles.
Ms. Dougherty responded that they may add windshield washer fluid and check the oil at this location, but not change the oil.
Mr. Rathmann noted that under NYS Law the project was required to have an eight foot handicapped access aisle, but the plan showed two to three foot aisles on either side of the handicapped parking space.
Mr. Rathmann questioned where someone would park their vehicle at the facility if they were not being dropped off.
Ms. Dougherty responded that if there was no room at this location they would valet the vehicle to the facility at the airport.
Consultant Wendy Salvati noted that a small portion of the site lies across the street from an R-60A residential district that would require screening from an automotive use. There was existing landscaping that should suffice in meeting the screening requirement.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 1976 Ridge Road, being part of Lot No. 296, changing its classification from M-1(S) to M-1(S), for a car rental facility, subject to submitting to the Town Board a parking plan drafted to conform with current NYS Law with regard to handicapped parking.
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 deed description, a short environmental assessment form, a site plan, a survey, and a tax map.
Chairman Ciancio referred to the NYS motor vehicle sign on the property and questioned if Mr. Holland was currently doing any service work on the premises.
Mr. Holland responded that he had requested permission to hang the sign and was applying for the rezoning to sell used cars.
Chairman Ciancio questioned if vehicles would be stored in front of the property.
Mr. Holland responded that everything would be inside except for two or three cars in the back parking area. Nothing would be stored in the front.
Mr. Nigro noted that there were presently eight cars in the back parking area and he questioned if these were Mr. Holland’s vehicles.
Mr. Holland stated that there were some vehicles from his telecommunications business parked on site, but they would be going to Florida shortly. Other than that there were only a couple of cars on site.
Chairman Ciancio stated that the project did not meet the Town Code with regard to rear yard setback or side yard setback.
Mr. Holland stated that most of his business was with classic cars and was done over the Internet. He collected antique cars and shipped them overseas. Mr. Holland noted that there will not be a lot of activity at the site and it will be very quiet.
Mr. Mendola questioned what the property was used for prior to Mr. Holland purchasing it.
Mr. Holland responded that Country Peddlers was previously located at this site, and most recently, Tri-R Mechanical Contractors. However, the property was vacant for about two years prior to Mr. Holland purchasing it. He updated the building with glass block windows and new doors and was in the process of installing new siding.
Chairman Ciancio commented that the fencing and rear yard was a mess.
Consultant Wendy Salvati noted that because this property abutted a residential zoning district a 20 foot buffer area was required and screening in the form of a stockade fence or landscaping. The driveway would also have to be paved.
Mr. Holland stated that he would be installing a new stockade fence around the perimeter of the property and he had spoken with someone about installing a new driveway. He did not see any problem with having a 20 foot buffer in the rear.
Mr. Niederpruem stated that there was only 35 feet available at the rear of the property, so with a 20-foot buffer there would only be 15 feet of usable hard surface available. He also questioned what will happen to the special permit if Mr. Holland goes out of business and sells the property.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski advised that if Mr. Holland sells the property and within a year the new owner decides to open a used car business and do exactly what Mr. Holland was approved to do, it would be allowed under the special permit. If the property is not used for a used car business in a year, the special permit is dropped.
Mrs. Salvati stated that there really was not enough space to display used cars, but Mr. Holland’s situation was unique in that it is Internet sales. She suggested that Mr. Holland submit a plan indicating how the parking would be delineated.
Mr. Greenan noted that there was only room for five conforming spaces and no more. This could be a condition of the special permit.
Mr. Rathmann noted the close proximity to the City of Buffalo and questioned if they were notified.
Town Clerk Patricia DePasquale advised that the City of Buffalo was notified of the special permit request.
Chairman Ciancio thought that the petitioner should come back to the Planning Board with a parking plan.
Mr. Greenan did not believe this was necessary since the only place the cars could be parked was on the 19’ x 49.5’ unimproved portion of the lot and there could only be five parking spaces.
Mr. Holland stated that there would be very few cars parked outside. The cars would be parked in the garage and he indicated the location of the garage doors on the plan.
Mr. Rathmann questioned if Mr. Holland would be repairing the vehicles on site.
Mr. Holland responded that he would not be doing any mechanical work on the vehicles on site.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Niederpruem, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Ciancio, seconded by Mendola, to recommend denial of the request for a special permit for property located at 2481 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 37, changing its classification from C-2 to C-2(S), for a used car business, noting that there is no way for the project to meet the Town Code.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Niederpruem, to open the public hearing.
Chairman Ciancio stated that along with the application the Planning Board had received a deed description, a short environmental assessment form, a site plan, a survey and a tax map.
Charles Holbrook, 12 Gervan Drive, stated that he purchased the property at 3761 Seneca Street about seven years ago when it was agricultural. There was a barn, two butler buildings for manufacturing pallets, etc., and a concrete block building for washing vegetables and the property looked like a junkyard at that time.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski stated that there was a lift in one of the garages, a backhoe, and a construction company sign on the building.
Mr. Mendola also noted that the application stated that vehicles would be repaired on the property.
Ms. Dougherty stated that Mr. Holbrook wanted the buildings to be a museum of historical Ebenezer. The smaller butler building was fully equipped with tools that were used in historic Ebenezer and the larger butler building housed a dumpster, backhoe, and other modern equipment. The last building will be completely gutted with the downstairs used for offices for the Historical Society of Ebenezer. Ms. Dougherty stated that Mr. Holbrook was working on an irrevocable trust to ensure longevity of the museum.
Chairman Ciancio stated that Mr. Czuprynski had requested a C-2 zoning based on what he saw on the property; however, if Mr. Holbrook wanted to use the property as a historical museum the proper zoning would be R-60A.
Mr. Mendola noted that the construction equipment on site would only be allowed as an exhibit in the museum; it would not be allowed to be used for a business.
Mr. Holbrook responded that a contractor paid him rent to store his construction equipment, and the equipment was parked behind a seven foot fence. Mr. Holbrook stated that he could not have the museum without the rental income.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that a C-2 zoning was necessary to allow storage of the contractor’s equipment.
Chairman Ciancio commented that there were a number of uses in the C-2 zoning that would be undesirable in this residential area.
John Margarone, 3767 Seneca Street, stated that his property abuts Mr. Holbrook’s property and he has had many problems with the tenants. They were running a business from this property and there were fumes, dust, and noise that the residents had to deal with. Mr. Margarone presented pictures of vehicles being brought in on flatbeds and the garage bay with a full-sized lift and very large acetylene oxygen tanks. He had complained about this operation to the Building Department for five years but nothing was done to stop it.
Motion by Niederpruem, seconded by Mendola, to recommend denial of the request for a rezoning for property located at 3761 Seneca Street, being part of Lot Nos. 165 & 166, changing its classification from R-65A to C-2, for storage of contractor’s equipment.
Motion by Niederpruem, seconded by Ciancio, to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC