West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 03/13/2008
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
Wendy Salvati, Planning Consultant
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 Niederpruem, to approve Minutes #2008-02 of February 14, 2008.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
A request from F.R.A. Engineering for site plan approval for property located at 55 Angle Road for a 3-building, 24-unit apartment complex.
Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, represented Young Development, and noted that the property at 55 Angle Road was recently rezoned to C-1(S) to allow for an apartment complex. The density of the property allowed for 23 units, but the Zoning Board of Appeals granted a variance for 24 units. This item was on the agenda last month for site plan approval, but it was tabled for some engineering work, and that has now been submitted. Mr. Lorigo presented correspondence from Town Engineer George Montz in response to their submission and he had asked for two slight modifications but did not believe that resubmission was necessary. Mr. Montz asked that the outlet storm sewer pipe size be changed to 15” on C5 and the New San MH notation on C6 be corrected to read 8” PVC.
Mr. Greenan questioned if Mr. Montz had any objection to the lighting or depth of the swale.
Mr. Lorigo responded that Mr. Montz had no objection to either of these items. He noted that the buildings were exactly the same as the Fox Trace complex on Southwestern Blvd. that was built 18 months ago. The buildings were turned so they did not face the residents of Carla Lane and a substantial amount of landscaping was presented. Garages were added at the back of the property where they had originally proposed a fourth building. There will be nine garages for the 24 units.
Mr. Greenan stated that he was willing to grant site plan approval conditioned upon submission of a drainage plan to Mr. Montz for his review before a final permit is issued. He further noted that the lighting plan did not make any sense to the Planning Board.
Dan Blamowski, FRA Engineering, 220 Red Tail, Orchard Park, stated that he would be resubmitting the storm drainage plan to Mr. Montz with the inclusion of his two comments. The lighting plan was done using wall mounts on the buildings. There will be no free standing light poles. All light will be controlled with side shields to direct the light so it does not spill over onto neighboring properties.
Mr. Rathmann referred to the less than ½ percent slope on the swale on the north side of the property and stated that this was pretty much non-existent.
Mr. Blamowski responded that this was the lowest they could possibly go with a grass lined channel.
Mr. Rathmann suggested increasing the slope and adding more drainage structures to get the water out quicker.
Mr. Blamowski stated that one structure was added to the north of the first parking lot in the grass area.
Bryan Young of Young Development stated that they were trying to save the trees for a buffer and not make large cuts. They wanted to keep the area as natural as possible and that was part of the reason why the swale was at a minimum. He would be filling in around the trees with shredded topsoil and intermixing blue spruce.
Mr. Rathmann did not believe that blue spruce was a good choice for wet soil and suggested that Mr. Young select another planting. He further noted the drainage swale on the south side of the second and third building that was draining water across a sidewalk to a receiver.
Mr. Blamowski responded that this was not so much a swale, but grade lines on the plans showing the direction of water away from the buildings.
Mr. Rathmann noted the top of pavement elevation at the handicapped ramps to the building entrances. He did not believe they could be handicapped accessible because there was a 9 to 10 inch grade change with a ramp and only about seven feet from the back of the ramp to the building. Mr. Rathmann stated that they would not be able to achieve a 5 percent slope for handicapped accessibility.
Mr. Blamowski thought that this had been taken care of in the design and that the plans met the ADA guidelines.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati suggested that Mr. Montz review the items mentioned by Mr. Rathmann when he reviews the final changes to the drainage plan. Mrs. Salvati further suggested that Mr. Blamowski use a different symbol for the sugar maples on the landscaping plan so that Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski could differentiate the trees.
Mr. Mendola commented that grass will obstruct water running to a swale and water running over a sidewalk was not a good situation. He further noted that the Fire Chief from Reserve had requested the curbs out so the ladder truck could turn.
Mr. Blamowski responded that the fire hydrant was moved to the south side of the driveway and a cut would be made across Angle Road on the south side of the property. The curb radius around each of the left turns between the buildings was adjusted in the front and back and they ran a fire truck template on the plan to verify that it worked.
Mr. Mendola responded that the ladder truck was 10 to 12 feet longer than a regular fire truck and that was what the fire chief was concerned about. He referred to the west side of the first driveway between building #1 and #2 and the curb between the last building and the garages where there appeared to be trees and commented that this would complicate the situation more.
Mr. Blamowski stated that the exhibit presented was the same one that was posted for the last meeting, but the plans that Mr. Mendola had showed the upgraded landscaping and curb radius changes. If there was a tree where Mr. Mendola was referring to, he would make sure it was removed from the plan.
Mrs. Salvati noted that one of the sugar maples was shown where the hot box would be located in the front of the property, and she suggested that this be relocated.
Mr. Czuprynski stated that even though Mr. Young owns the property next door, the location of the dumpster should be totally on the property where the apartments are located.
Mr. Blamowski stated that he had discussed this with the Code Enforcement Office and was told that as long as the properties were owned by the same person they could overlap the property line with the dumpster.
Mr. Young suggested an easement if required. He noted that this location was chosen to keep the dumpster away from the tenants and the homeowners along Carla Lane.
Mr. Rathmann thought they had discussed making the sidewalks at the parking area six feet wide, and although they were six feet wide at the side parking, they did not appear to be increased in the front where the handicapped parking was located.
Mr. Blamowski questioned what was stipulated in the Town Code.
Mr. Rathmann responded that there was no specific dimension in the Town Code, but if a car or truck were to pull in and block the sidewalk no one would be able to get by.
Mr. Blamowski noted that the parking space in the middle was eliminated, so there was no parking in front of the doors.
Mrs. Salvati referred to the lighting plan and questioned if there would be lights attached to the building to light the doorways.
Mr. Blamowski responded that there would be small wall mounted lights above the doorways that shine down on the entrance.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Nigro, to grant site plan approval for a 3-building, 24-unit apartment complex on property located at 55 Angle Road.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
A request from Zaxis Architectural P.C. for a rezoning & special permit for property located at 50 North Avenue & 2150 Union Road, being part of Lot Nos. 23 & 24, changing its classification from C-1(S), M-1 & R-65 to C-1(S), for senior housing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, 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, and a 10-year old survey. The Planning Board just received a site plan before this meeting and had not had a chance to review it, but they were considering having the petitioner do a wetlands delineation for the property so they know the acreage that is available. They also needed an updated survey and an elevation plan showing a rendering.
Doug Hutter, an architect with Zaxis Architectural, 4245 Union Road, Suite 210, agreed that the survey needed to be updated and they had hired a surveyor to do that. A formal drawing will be available next week. He recognized the wetlands but stated that they could not do a delineation until the snow was gone. Mr. Hutter asked that the Planning Board forego the wetlands delineation until the site plan approval process so they could get the project started. He was aware that they would have to deal with the Army Corps of Engineers with anything specific on the wetlands. Town Engineer George Montz had informed him that the site was not on any state or federal wetlands, so it would only be a local delineation issue. Mr. Hutter stated that they had just gotten the concept plan started and wanted to show the Planning Board what they were thinking about for the site. He hoped they could move forward with the application and questioned if the building elevations plan was needed for the rezoning or if it would fall under the site plan approval process.
Chairman Ciancio stated that the Planning Board would require the building elevations plan.
Mr. Greenan noted that the Planning Board would not approve a special use permit until they know what the building will look like.
Mr. Hutter stated that the site was adjacent to some nice senior residences and they wanted the project to be in keeping with that.
Chairman Ciancio noted that Union Fire Company was totally opposed to any more senior housing developments in this area because of the large concentration of this type of housing in their district.
Mr. Hutter stated that there was a market for senior housing in the Town of West Seneca and they had accommodated for fire trucks on the site plan with a loop road around the site for access on all sides.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro commented that the fire districts were concerned about the call volume from this and similar facilities. They noticed a significantly higher number of calls from these facilities and it was creating somewhat of a burden on their staffing and ability to respond. This was something that should be considered and discussed with the fire company.
Mr. Mendola stated that this area of town was saturated with this type of development and the number of calls was overwhelming the fire company. He thought that the fire company would want to know if there would be a nurse on duty at all times so that they would not be called out for minor health or assistance problems.
Chairman Ciancio stated that the demographics of West Seneca indicated the need for this type of housing, but it had to be addressed by the town.
Mr. Hutter offered to meet with the fire company to discuss their concerns.
Mr. Greenan questioned if the property would be removed from the tax rolls.
Mr. Hutter stated that the property would actually be added to the tax rolls with this development.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to table the request for a rezoning and special permit for property located at 50 North Avenue & 2150 Union Road, being part of Lot Nos. 23 & 24, changing its classification from C-1(S), M-1 & R-65 to C-1(S), for senior housing.
A request from St. Matthew's Cemetery for a special permit for property located at 64 Old French Road, being part of Lot No. 6, changing its classification from R-100A to R-100A(S), for a cemetery.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, 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.
David Ward, a landscape architect with Grever & Ward represented St. Matthews Cemetery and stated that they had received engineering approval for this site last year and received a NYS SPDE’s permit for stormwater pollution prevention in June 2007. He stated that this parcel was formerly used as a staging operation for Dan Majeski Nurseries. The large storage building and residence that once stood on the property were demolished prior to the sale last year and the property was cleared environmentally with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The property was contiguous with the existing cemetery so it was a natural fit, and there was access from within the cemetery to the new site. Mr. Ward envisioned a simple straight road from the new cemetery to Old French Road, which primarily was expected to be used as an exit for funerals. The property was cleared and clean fill was slowly being brought in to elevate the site. A total of about 4300 cubic yards were planned for the site to create a gentle slope from the cemetery to Old French Road. The property would be 95 percent green space for ground burial and 5 percent impervious road.
Mr. Mendola questioned if St. Matthew’s Cemetery had obtained a dumping permit.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro stated that he had spoken to Gary Rich of St. Matthew’s Cemetery for the past few years as they went through the acquisition process to ensure that everything was done properly, but he did not know whether a dumping or fill permit had been issued.
Mr. Ward stated that no construction had been started, but some soil was brought in and it was stockpiled on site.
Mr. Niederpruem questioned if Mr. Ward had any discussion with the County of Erie regarding surface drainage going into their system.
Mr. Ward stated that the drainage plan and storm water report had been submitted to the town Engineering Department and County of Erie.
Susan Webber, stated that she owns 60 and 42 Old French Road and so far St. Matthew’s Cemetery has been a fantastic neighbor, but she was concerned about how close this would be to her house and how much traffic it would generate. Her bedroom window backs up to this property and she also has a swimming pool in her back yard. Mrs. Weber further noted that a rumor had been going around the neighborhood that St. Matthew’s Cemetery was being sold and the new owner might do something else with the property.
Mr. Ward presented the plans for the cemetery and stated that the new road would be going straight down the middle and there was at least 200 feet.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded Mendola, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 64 Old French Road, being part of Lot No. 6, changing its classification from R-100A to R-100A(S), for a cemetery.
A request from TRM Architect for site plan review for property located at 4075 Seneca Street for addition of a vestibule.
Chairman Joseph Ciancio stated that along with the application the Planning Board had received a short environmental assessment form, an aerial photo, and a site plan. Site plan approval was being requested for a 30’ x 8’ addition to the front of Wilson Farms located at 4075 Seneca Street. Chairman Ciancio commented that addition of this vestibule to the front of the building will shorten the access from 44 feet to 38 feet.
Matthew Moscati of TRM Architect, 448 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, stated that the existing vestibule would be demolished and replaced with a new larger vestibule. The current striping for the parking spaces would not be affected because they are at a distance of 12 feet from the front of the building. The current front yard setback was non-conforming and they would have to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals because the proposed vestibule will further encroach on the front setback.
Chairman Ciancio referred to a letter from Town Engineer George Montz stating that he had reviewed the site plan for the proposed vestibule and noted that there was only approximately 23 feet from the end of the parking space in front of the store to the traffic side edge of the protective island. He questioned whether there was enough distance to conveniently back out, turn around, and safely exit the parking lot without backing into oncoming traffic. The front parking lot was tight without the proposed addition. Mr. Montz suggested that Mr. Moscati be required to demonstrate that there will be enough room to safely perform this maneuver before site plan approval is granted. He further suggested that the matter be referred to Carl Dimmig of the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning for his comment.
Town Clerk Patricia DePasquale advised that this item had been sent to the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning, but she had not yet received a response.
Chairman Ciancio further referred to a letter from Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski stating that the proposed expansion of Wilson Farms will exceed a reasonable use of the property. He found no elevation or floor plans with the application and noted that it was not a vestibule; it was an expansion of the existing store. Mr. Czuprynski suggested that floor plans and elevation plans be produced before any action is taken. Chairman Ciancio questioned why the vestibule was being increased and what it would be used for.
Mr. Moscati stated that nothing permanent would be put inside the vestibule, so he thought there would be seasonal products like windshield wiper fluid in the winter and gardening supplies in the spring. He did not specifically know what products there would be. Mr. Moscati stated that he had exterior elevations and floor plans available for this project.
Mr. Greenan questioned if this addition was an increase in selling area rather than a vestibule.
Mr. Moscati responded that the area would be used to sell products, but there would be no permanent displays.
Mr. Greenan questioned if a calculation had been performed on the parking in view of the additional sales area and if Mr. Moscati would be applying for a variance for the parking.
Mr. Moscati responded that the parking had not been recalculated and he was not seeking a variance for parking.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that one of the issues with this project was that the existing store did not meet parking requirements, so the parking would also not be sufficient with the addition.
Mr. Moscati stated that the project initially began as an interior remodeling to update the inside of the store. The feedback they received from the customers and managers was to work on the vestibule as well because right now the entrance was from Seneca Street and the majority of parking was along the side street. When they approached the new vestibule and exterior appearance of the building, they tried to dress up the side street elevation of the building to make it more like a front entry. For visibility reasons the sign is along Seneca Street, but the door was relocated more towards the side street and the elevations of the building make it look like a two sided building rather than just one side being dressed up.
Mr. Mendola noted that the existing store was in violation of the front setback and parking and the proposed addition would make it even more in violation. He thought the proposed vestibule would create a dangerous situation with the parking.
Mr. Niederpruem stated that the plans Mr. Moscati just submitted should have been submitted a month ago because it might have changed some of the outlooks. He thought that with some work the site plan could be close to conforming.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Nigro, to table the request for site plan approval for addition of a vestibule on property located at 4075 Seneca Street pending the petitioner submitting a final plan and approval of the required variances.
A request from M & T Bank for site plan review for property located at 1110 Union Road for demolition of existing facility and construction of a free standing bank branch.
Chairman Ciancio stated that along with the application the Planning Board had received a full environmental assessment form, a survey, and site plan.
Glen Pawlowski of Kideney Architects, 200 John James Audubon Pkwy., West Amherst, represented M & T Bank and stated their request for site plan approval for construction of a new bank branch facility at the current location of Citibank at Southgate Plaza. This facility will be replacing the current M & T Bank branch located within the plaza as well as the free-standing drive-thru. Mr. Pawlowski had received Town Engineer George Montz’ comments and had subsequent conversations with him on the project. An agreement had been reached on all of the items noted in Mr. Montz’ letter. Mr. Pawlowski understood that Planning Consultant Wendel Duchscherer had no objection to the plan as submitted, but noted that their comments referred to four drive-thru tellers and there were actually five.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati noted that every site plan review application must be submitted to the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning (ECDEP) for their review and a 30 day time frame was required. She did not believe the 30 day time frame had been met, so in accordance with the law the Planning Board could not act on this application.
Mr. Greenan suggested a conditional approval pending receipt of any comments from ECDEP.
Chairman Ciancio referred to the curvature exiting the parking area and stated that Mr. Montz wanted to leave this as is. He assumed that the reason he did not want that removed was to slow traffic down.
Ben Villanin, Asst. Landscape Architect with Kideney Architects, stated that the purpose of truncating the exit aisle was to avoid any conflict of people trying to take a left hand turn in front of someone taking a right hand turn. The other reason behind the expansion of the peninsula was to minimize the distance for turning into the oncoming lane while exiting the driveway.
Mr. Niederpruem questioned if there would be any special signage.
Mr. Pawlowski presented some preliminary elevations and stated that M & T Bank was going through a new corporate identity program. They were developing a linear strip that will be in their corporate color of green with a small scale logo and M & T Bank somewhere along the strip.
Mr. Greenan questioned if the building will be within the footprint shown.
Mr. Pawlowski responded that nothing would change.
Mr. Sherman questioned if Mr. Pawlowski had talked to the plaza about the lighting around the building and if it would remain the same.
Mr. Pawlowski stated that there will be new free-standing light standards, approximately 12 feet high.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to grant site plan approval for demolition of the existing facility at 1110 Union Road and construction of a free standing bank branch, conditioned upon no objection to the plans being received within 30 days of their submission to Erie County Environment & Planning and approval of Town Engineer George Montz.
A request from Walter Kolkiewicz for pre-application approval of the proposed 32-lot subdivision on Seneca Creek Road.
Chairman Ciancio stated that this item had previously been before the Planning Board but did not meet the Town Code, and the current submission also did not meet the Town Code. The plan showed one lot in the flood plain area and a proposed right-of-way over 1300 feet. The Town Code calls for 500 feet and the Planning Board had stated they would allow 600 feet.
Keith Marquis of Marquis Engineering, 3739 Seneca Street, represented Walter Kolkiewicz and stated that on the previous plan submitted he was unaware of the requirements with respect to the cul-de-sac and the 100-year flood plain. He presented a revised plan and stated that the area was comprised of R-65 and R-100 zoning, but he was going to request a change to R-65 for the entire subdivision. The cul-de-sac would be shortened to 620 to 650 feet and everything was based on a 40 foot setback. The lots would be 13,000 to 14,000 square feet. A detention area was proposed to the west toward the Buffalo Creek without going into the 100-year flood plain.
Mr. Rathmann questioned who will own the back parcel and what the grade change was at the top of the bank.
Mr. Marquis responded that Mr. Kolkiewicz will still own the back parcel. That property would be landlocked, but there would have to be a drainage easement. He did not know what the grade change was at this time.
Mr. Rathmann questioned who would be responsible for the storm water detention basin and stated that the Planning Board had talked about having a homeowner’s association be responsible for maintaining it.
Mr. Marquis stated that a homeowner’s association was a possibility that Mr. Kolkiewicz would have to consider.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati commented that if the detention basin was located on land that Mr. Kolkiewicz retained ownership of, he would be responsible for maintaining it.
Mr. Kolkiewicz stated that he could not answer any question concerning maintenance of the detention basin at this time.
Mr. Marquis stated that they were looking for some direction from the Planning Board as to whether this plan was viable. The rezoning to R-65 would make it a more profitable investment for the developer and give additional tax base to the town.
Mr. Greenan noted that this was at least the third plan submitted and it was a step in the right direction, but Town Engineer George Montz demanded a 60-foot radius on the cul-de-sac and this would affect the number of lots.
Mr. Marquis responded that they could meet whatever radius was required and it may or may not affect the number of lots.
Mr. Greenan stated that the property would have to be rezoned prior to pre-application approval of the subdivision being granted.
Chairman Ciancio stated that he would consider 75-foot lots for the subdivision, but that would reduce the number of lots by four.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati suggested that the Planning Board wait until they had more information on the site, such as the topography, before making any decisions on the road or lots since they do not know how steep the bank is.
Mr. Marquis did not understand why the topographic information was necessary at this point. He questioned how much of that information would affect where a house is built when the dirt could be moved around whatever way they want.
Mr. Niederpruem commented that this was the fourth plan submitted and he did not like any plan that showed 65-foot lots. He thought 75-foot lots should be a minimum.
Mr. Kolkiewicz stated that he would have to decide how many lots there would be if the zoning were changed to R-75 and whether it would be cost effective.
No motion was made by the Planning Board on this item.
A request from Eugene Piotrowski for pre-application approval of the proposed 36-lot Camelot Square Subdivision, Part III.
Chairman Ciancio stated that when this item was previously submitted to the Planning Board the petitioner was instructed to return with a letter of approval on the sewers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). He questioned if Mr. Piotrowski had received approval.
Attorney Ralph Lorigo represented Eugene Piotrowski and stated that he did not have a letter of approval from the NYSDEC, but Mr. Piotrowski was in the process of doing the wetlands delineation. He questioned if the current layout of the plan with its modifications was acceptable.
Mr. Rathmann commented that the transition between the two parcels was much better than the prior plan, but there was no storm water detention on the plan and he thought one lot would have to be removed to accomplish that.
Mr. Lorigo questioned if Mr. Niederpruem was comfortable with the entrance to the subdivision.
Mr. Niederpruem stated that the entrance was fine, but he referred to the depth of 134 feet on the west side and 185 feet on the east side.
Mr. Lorigo stated that he had reviewed this with Mr. Piotrowski and it was because of the additional parcels and tree lines, but the plan did meet the density.
Mr. Mendola questioned if Mr. Piotrowski had talked to someone about the temporary turn around on the south side.
Mr. Lorigo stated that he had told Mr. Piotrowski that a turn around was necessary and he added it on a temporary basis. The proposed subdivision was reduced to 36 lots and there were two access streets.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati noted that Lot Nos. 4, 5 & 6 still did not meet the Town Code. They were less than 10,000 square feet and only measured 8475 square feet.
No motion was made by the Planning Board on this item.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC