West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 06/14/2007
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 Niederpruem, seconded by Rathmann, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Nigro, to approve Minutes #2007-04 of May 10, 2007.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Niederpruem, to open the public hearing.
Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, represented Eugene Piotrowski and stated his proposal to construct an 87-lot patio home subdivision in Camelot Square. There will be 37 lots 55’ x 120’ (6600 square feet), 24 lots 50’ x 160’ (8000 square feet), and 12 lots 53’ x 159’ (8480 square feet) and another nine or ten lots even larger. The patio homes will be built on 60-foot wide public streets rather than private streets. Mr. Lorigo commented on the demand for patio homes and noted that the town did not have a patio home ordinance and that was why they were applying for the rezoning and special permit. He referred to the Marrano patio home subdivision that was approved by the Town Board a few years ago and stated that it was doing extremely well, while the sale of single family dwellings has slowed down. Mr. Lorigo stated that patio homes were not lesser in price or value than single family residences, but they were an easier, more convenient type of living on smaller lots, mainly for seniors. They were upscale housing and often more expensive than single family homes. The proposed patio homes will sell at $180,000 and more and their assessed valuation will be above the typical assessed valuation for homes in West Seneca.
Chairman Ciancio stated that the proposed patio home development did not fit in with the Master Plan or the character of the neighborhood.
Mr. Lorigo disagreed and stated that although patio home developments were denser, they were still single family dwelling units.
Chairman Ciancio commented that there was an existing sewer problem in this area and the density will exacerbate the problem.
Mr. Mendola questioned the size of the lots in the Marrano subdivision as compared to the proposed subdivision.
Mr. Lorigo responded that the proposed lots were larger than those in the Marrano subdivision.
Mr. Mendola stated that the proposed development was not like the Marrano patio home development because it will be a public street and the town will have to maintain it. Other than the appearance of the houses, the development did not compare to the Marrano development.
Mr. Greenan noted that the R-50 zoning permitted two-family dwellings. He questioned if one of the conditions of the special permit would be that the development would be solely single family dwellings.
Mr. Lorigo responded that one of the conditions could be that the development be solely single family dwellings.
Mr. Greenan stated that the minimum requirement for lot sizes in an R-50 zoning was 8000 square feet.
Mr. Lorigo agreed and responded that the majority of the lots were in excess of 8000 square feet, but there were 37 that were 6600 square feet. The actual homes will probably be smaller, but not smaller than 1500 square feet.
Mr. Niederpruem stated that the Erie County Division of Planning expressed concern about the traffic volume from this proposed development. He questioned the difference in traffic volume due to the increased density from an R-75 zoning to an R-50 zoning.
Mr. Lorigo responded that the density would be in excess of an R-75 zoning, but not to the extent of what was allowed in the R-50 zoning. He noted that Mr. Piotrowski was trying to accommodate the buying public who were looking for these types of homes.
Mr. Niederpruem stated that there would be 87 lots with the R-50 zoning, but the density would be reduced by almost 50 percent in an R-75 zoning. There are two outlets to Angle Road and the people that bought homes in Camelot Square realized that there was still land to be developed, but he thought 87 lots was too many.
Mr. Hunter stated that since there would be a homeowners association to take care of maintenance, perhaps green space could be incorporated and the density reduced to enhance the character of the neighborhood.
Mr. Mendola questioned if there definitely would be a homeowners association.
Mr. Lorigo responded that they were still at the planning stage of the development, but he had recommended to Mr. Piotrowski that there be a homeowners association because people that wanted these type homes on smaller lots did not want to do outside maintenance. He thought the homeowners association was a necessity in order to market the dwellings as patio homes.
Mr. Mendola stated that the majority of vehicles leaving this development would exit via Camelot Drive and this would overload that street. He thought that very few would use the alternate streets.
Mr. Lorigo referred to traffic studies on patio homes and stated that the traffic is substantially different than that of a residential subdivision. The studies indicate that people living in patio homes are retired and do not leave their homes at 7 or 8 A.M. They leave later in the morning and return earlier than the afternoon rush hour.
Mr. Greenan noted that patio home developments were upscale, but he thought Mr. Piotrowski should revise his plan and present a more mature proposal that had a chance of being pleasing to the Planning Board and the neighbors.
Mr. Lorigo stated that it was at least six years ago that he appeared before the Planning Board and Town Board with the Marrano patio homes and the town still did not have an ordinance that addressed this type of development. If there was an ordinance, he would have come before the board with a concrete plan. Mr. Lorigo stated that they were open to suggestions from the Planning Board.
Mr. Rathmann noted that there were no stormwater management facilities on site. This was required and would provide green space. He further noted that the cul-de-sac on the south exceeded the subdivision requirement of 1000-foot maximum length.
Eric Paul, 99 Hemlock Drive, stated that he has been a resident of this neighborhood since 1959 and always knew that someday a project would be built on this property, but this was not the right project. The property was surrounded on four sides by single family R-75 neighborhoods. Mr. Paul noted that some other recent subdivisions (ie. Nina Heights & Rolling Woods) have gone to 85’ and 90’ lots to make the subdivision nicer for single family development and to relieve congestion issues. Approval of 50’ lots would shoehorn three homes where only two homes belong and raise additional drainage and sewer capacity issues. Mr. Paul commented that despite the high cost of these homes they had a very negative appearance. Approval of any reduction from R-75 would substantially decrease the surrounding property values. Mr. Paul submitted a petition signed by 46 property owners adjacent to the subject property that were opposed to the rezoning of this property. He stated that approval of 87 lots, or even 60 or 55 lots in an R-75 zoning, with limited access in and out, was inappropriate for the property. There would be an additional 250 to 300 cars traveling on Camelot Drive every day. There would also be problems with school buses, garbage collection, fire protection, etc. in the cul-de-sacs. Mr. Paul urged the Planning Board to reject this proposal.
Jean Marie Cieslica, 51 Hemlock Drive, stated that five years ago she and her husband moved from a highly congested area of West Seneca to their present home in a residential neighborhood to raise their two children. She questioned what school district the Marrano patio homes were located in.
Mr. Rathmann responded that the Marrano patio homes were located in the West Seneca school district.
Mrs. Cieslica stated that her home is located in the Orchard Park school district and its value is higher than that of a patio home. Prior to it being sold to Mr. Piotrowski, Mrs. Cieslica had considered purchasing the vacant land behind her home to continue the green space in her back yard, and she asked that this option be given to the homeowners. Mrs. Cieslica further noted that her neighborhood often loses power and they have to contact NYSEG. She thought the town should look at the amount of power being supplied to its communities.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to recommend denial of the request for a rezoning & special permit for property located at Camelot Square Subdivision, being part of Lot Nos. 380, 381, 386 & 387, changing its classification from R-75 to R-50(S), for a patio home development with 50 ft. frontage lots, based on it not conforming to the Master Plan.
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 short environmental assessment form, a tree survey, a site plan, and a survey.
Brian Piotrowski, 62 Cove Creek Run, co-owner of the French Quarter Manufactured Home Park, stated that 25 years ago they had obtained a special permit to construct the mobile home park and they would like to separate a ˝ acre parcel from the project to build two single family homes on 75’ lots. Mr. Piotrowski noted that there is a single family home to the immediate right of this property.
Mr. Piotrowski agreed to amend the application and request a zoning change to R-75.
Mike Sywak, 440 French Road, commented on a flooding problem in this area of French Road, a safety hazard with the “S” curve of the road, and a visibility issue. He questioned if the homes would be built near the road and add to the visibility problem.
Chairman Ciancio responded that there were setback requirements for residential homes and the drainage plan would have to be approved by the Engineering Department before a building permit could be issued.
Mr. Sywak commented on the condition of French Road and questioned if any repairs would be made to it.
Chairman Ciancio stated that French Road was a county road and they would be responsible for any repairs that were necessary.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Niederpruem, seconded by Mendola, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 412 French Road, being part of Lot No. 12, changing its classification from C-2(S) to R-75, for residential use.
Peter Johnston of Wm. Schutt & Associates, P.C. discussed the proposed subdivision and the pre-application plan and survey submitted.
Motion by Ciancio, seconded by Niederpruem, to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC