West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 05/08/2008
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
Absent - Joseph Sherman
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 Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Nigro, seconded by Niederpruem, to approve Minutes #2008-04 of April 10, 2008.
OLD BUSNIESS COMMUNICATIONS
2008-02A 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.
Chairman Ciancio stated that this item was before the Planning Board at a prior meeting and the petitioner was asked to provide more information. The petitioner submitted a wetlands delineation, a full environmental assessment form, an updated survey, and a building elevation plan.
Doug Hutter of Zaxis Architectural, 4245 Union Road, Buffalo, presented a color site plan and stated that the entire project involved 10.3 acres. A zoning change from M-1 to C-1(S) was necessary for five acres on the east side and a zoning change from residential to C-1(S) for a small portion (60’ x 160’) along the street. The project will be multi-family in a patio home format, not a multi-story building or apartment complex. United Church Home will own the homes and rent them to individuals. The road will be privately owned, so the town will not be responsible for maintaining it. There will be 42 units with either two bedrooms (about 1100 sf) or three bedrooms (just over 1200 sf). Each of the units will also have two bathrooms, a living room, dining area, kitchen, front and rear porch, and a single car garage. Mr. Hutter noted that a market research study indicated the need for this type of development, and they were trying to make the project a neighborhood community for senior citizens. There will be no age requirements or discrimination, but it will be targeted towards senior citizens or retired people, and they did not expect couples with families to have an interest. The buildings will all be ADA accessible and this will be independent living, not a nursing home type situation. Mr. Hutter presented the building elevations and floor plan and stated that they were looking for the architecture to be a typical residential style, gable roofs, dormers, some brick under the porches, vinyl siding, etc. The units will be separated by the garage, so there will be more privacy without a shared wall. Mr. Hutter stated that an updated survey and wetlands delineation map was submitted, and they had asked for more information from the Army Corps of Engineers. The town had a ditch that ran through the middle of the property and they would respect that. There also were easements for a main sanitary sewer line on the property that serviced a good portion of the town. Mr. Hutter stated that they had looked at some initial storm drainage ideas for some detention zones and would go into more detail after the property was rezoned.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that in reviewing the project she looked at the zoning and the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and did not find the project to be inconsistent with those recommendations. She referred to other senior citizen and multi-family developments in the area and noted that this project was in keeping with the character of the surrounding neighborhood. Mrs. Salvati further stated that a SEQR recommendation would be required for the project. The applicant provided a revised full environmental assessment form, an updated property survey, and a wetlands delineation as requested by the Planning Board. Mrs. Salvati stated that she initially thought C-1(S) was the best zoning for the proposed project, but multi-family housing was not a permitted use in the C-1 zoning. The special permit allowed for the multi-family housing and she questioned if there was a better zoning category for this project.
Mr. Greenan stated that the current zoning for part of this property was C-1(S). Prior to adoption of the site plan ordinance, the Planning Board used the special permit classification to control what was put on a piece of property. The existing special permit on the property was probably for something entirely different than the proposed project.
Mr. Hutter understood that this property was rezoned at the same time that United Church Home was developed and the C-1(S) was for multi-family housing.
Mr. Greenan stated that the existing C-1(S) was for a building in a specific location, a specific number of feet from Union Road, and a specific number of feet from the rear and side property lines, all of which were different from the current proposal. He thought the zoning should be changed to an “R” district instead of C-1, which would prohibit anything like a strip plaza from being put on the property, but the traditional R-50 district would not permit building on a private road. Mr. Greenan further suggested addition of a special permit to allow for building on a private road.
Mr. Hutter noted that they did not want the property divided into individual 50 ft. sublots. They wanted it to be one contiguous property because the units would be rental units and would not be sold.
Mrs. Salvati stated that the R-50 district was for group dwellings or multi-family dwellings, but it required a special permit. Mr. Hutter would have to look at the bulk area requirements to see if the project fit. The R-50 district required 8000 sf for the first dwelling unit, which she interpreted as the first building, plus 5000 sf for each additional dwelling unit. Mrs. Salvati suggested that Mr. Hutter work with the Code Enforcement Office with regard to the bulk area requirements.
Mr. Hutter questioned if he would need to file any other paperwork for the change in zoning.
Mr. Greenan stated that the project would have to be refined before going to the Town Board. If the number of units exceeded what was allowed in the R-50 zoning, Mr. Hutter would have to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro stated that if the Planning Board recommended changing the zoning to R-50(S), they make it conditioned on the appropriate drawings and paperwork being submitted with sufficient time for the Town Board to review it.
Mr. Mendola questioned if the same corporation would retain ownership of the existing United Church Home and the proposed project. He further questioned if the proposed project would be a for profit development.
Mr. Hutter responded that both developments would have the same owner. United Church Home was non-profit, but the proposed project would be for profit.
Mr. Mendola referred to the ditch that ran through the property and the detention area and questioned if the property owner would be maintaining both of them.
Mr. Hutter hoped they could come to some balance with the Engineering Department since the ditch that was located on private property took water from the community. He further noted that there were two detention ponds, one on either side of the ditch, and maintenance of these was the responsibility of the property owner.
Mr. Mendola referred to the condition of the entrance road.
Mr. Hutter stated that the entrance road would probably be redone as part of the construction process.Mr. Niederpruem questioned the market research study and the estimated rental for the units.
Mr. Hutter responded that they were just getting into budgeting this and were not sure what the rental cost would be.
Mr. Niederpruem commented on the traffic from 42 units and the estimate of 20 cars during peak hours.
Mr. Hutter stated that people who were retired did not get up and go to work every day, so there was no rush hour. He did not see there being a peak time for vehicles, but simply and average per hour.
Mr. Nigro noted that the plan indicated 54 parking spaces, but he estimated the parking requirement to be 73 spaces.
Mrs. Salvati advised that 1.5 spaces per unit were required, plus ten spaces for visitors.
Mr. Hutter stated that the plan submitted did not include parking for visitors, but he would revise the plan and include additional parking if required. They wanted to minimize the amount of pavement on the site.
Mr. Greenan noted that the garages each counted as one parking space.
Mrs. Salvati stated that parking was a site plan issue and they would get into this deeper when the project returned for site plan approval, but the plan would have to be revised for submission to the Town Board.
Mr. Mendola questioned if changing the zoning to residential would negate the need for sprinklers.
Mr. Hutter stated that sprinklers were a NYS Building Code issue and the size of the proposed buildings did not demand the need for a sprinkler system within the buildings even if the zoning remained C-1. The type of building, construction and size of the building created the need for a sprinkler system. A multi-story development would require a sprinkler system because of the size of the building and number of people living in it. The proposed patio homes did not require a sprinkler system, but they were discussing whether they wanted to include that in the buildings.
Mr. Mendola commented on the flooding in the Gardenville Parkway area and cautioned Mr. Hutter about having the proper design for the ditch.
Mr. Hutter responded that he had discussed with the Engineering Department the importance of maintaining the elevations where the ditch enters the property and leaves. They would have to make sure the ditch is clean so it flows properly.
Chairman Ciancio noted that at the previous Planning Board meeting some concerns were expressed about the number of fire calls the volunteer fire department had to respond to from these types of facilities.
Mr. Hutter stated that he met about two weeks ago with Brian Doster from W.S. Fire District No. 2, two other commissioners, and a member of the Town Board to discuss the project.
Brian Doster, W.S. Fire District No. 2, thanked the Planning Board for making the fire service a higher priority because these types of developments had a big impact on the fire departments. He also thanked United Church Home for meeting with the fire commissioners to discuss the project. Mr. Doster stated that the fire department’s concerns were addressed at the meeting. The project was initially proposed as a senior facility with no details, but they now understood it would be a patio home development. Mr. Doster noted that any development will have an impact on the fire department, but a patio home development will not have the same impact as that of an assisted living or above type of facility.
Chairman Ciancio commented on referring to the project as a patio home development and putting it in an R-50 zoning.
Mr. Notaro thought that use of the words “patio home” was more of a marketing term. The plan being discussed was a multi-family dwelling and it would still be maintaining the R-50 bulk area requirements and other requirements that were not traditional to a patio home development.
Chairman Ciancio commented on the new storm water regulations and the fact that the detention areas hold water for a longer period of time, so most of them now have to be fenced.
Mr. Hutter stated that they would be working with the Engineering Department on this issue and the Army Corps of Engineers on the wetlands issue.
Mr. Mendola commended Mr. Hutter and the commissioners from W.S. Fire District 2 for working together on this project.
Mr. Rathmann referred to the SEQR form and noted that the figures needed to be adjusted to coincide with the wetlands delineation.
Gary Oosterhoudt, Chairman of the West Seneca Environmental Commission, was satisfied that the long form environmental assessment had been submitted and expressed concern that the detention area be fenced.
Ron Budny, 100 North Avenue, supported the project and thought it would be a valuable asset to the community.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to recommend approval of the request 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 R-50(S), for a multi-family development, conditioned upon the requirements of a publicly dedicated highway for access not being part of the conditions applied to the rezoning and noting that all other requirements of the R-50 zoning will apply unless waived by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to recommend that the West Seneca Town Board issue a Negative Declaration with regard to SEQR for the proposed multi-family project located at 50 North Avenue and 2150 Union Road.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to open the public hearing.
Chairman Ciancio noted that along with the application the Planning Board had received a deed description and a survey.
Attorney Michael G. Cooper represented Kirk & Julia Ruhland and submitted a short environmental assessment form and aerial photos of the property with an overlay indicating the proposed lot. The proposed lot was ½ acre and currently zoned M-1. The Ruhland’s wanted to rezone the lot to R-75A for their daughter to build a one or two-family home. Mr. Cooper noted that this was a mixed use area of Clinton Street and the rezoning would fit in the neighborhood.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that the majority of the surrounding area was zoned R-100A and the Comprehensive Plan supported that zoning and the rural nature of the area. She noted that breaking off this one lot was not inconsistent with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan, but the Planning Board should consider the bigger picture if the applicant were to come back for the bulk of the area. Mrs. Salvati stated that the survey did not show the entire property owned by the Ruhland’s and it was confusing because it was broken out into various parcels. However, she had pulled up aerial photos to review the parcel and make a determination.
Chairman Ciancio commented that an R-100A zoning would be more consistent with the surrounding area.
Mr. Cooper thought the best fit was the R-75A zoning and noted that there were some extra accessory uses.
Mrs. Salvati noted that the R-100A zoning would support a two-family home. The proposed lot size was 100’ x 233’ or 23,300 sf and that would meet the code.
Mr. Greenan questioned the bulk area for R-75A zoning and noted that he was prepared to recommend the R-100A zoning until he saw the final picture. If the Ruhland’s planned to develop the back land in the future, they would need an area for a 60’ road and the town had not varied on that figure in a number of years. The Ruhland’s had a total of 266.5’ of frontage left and if they kept the zoning at R-75A it would allow them to construct a road where it would be more convenient.
Mr. Ruhland stated that he lived on the property for 45 years and owned it for 25 years. He had no plans to develop the rear parcel and only wanted to build a house for his daughter and in-laws.
Mrs. Salvati advised that the minimum lot size in an R-75A zoning was 10,000 sf, so this parcel was above and beyond that figure.
Mr. Mendola noted that the survey was done in 2003, but it did not have any buildings plotted on it. He was inclined to table this item pending receipt of a survey showing the buildings.
Mr. Greenan stated that the survey was of land proposed to be sold a few years ago. Mr. Ruhland was not proposing to sell his house; therefore, he did not pay to have it surveyed. The house was outside the heavy line on the survey.
Mrs. Salvati stated that Wendel Duchscherer did not find any issue with the proposed rezoning and it was consistent with the neighborhood.
Mr. Greenan noted that 80’ of frontage would be required for a two-family home in an R-75A zoning.
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 recommend approval of the request for a rezoning for property located at 2979 Clinton Street, being part of Lot No. 42, changing its classification from M-1 to R-75A, for a residential home, noting that the parcel to be rezoned is 80’ frontage x 233’ depth measured from the center line of Clinton Street in the extreme northeast corner of the applicant’s property.
On the question, Mr. Mendola suggested adding to the motion a requirement for a certified survey showing the buildings on the property.
Mr. Greenan was not willing to amend the motion and noted that the requirement for an 80’ frontage lot would solve that issue.
Mrs. Salvati agreed that if the size of the lot was reduced to 80’ it would address any potential issues that might arise with the lot line being too close to the existing garage.
Chairman Ciancio noted that the survey would have to be amended if the size of the parcel was changed.
Mr. Mendola thought the buildings should also be plotted on the amended survey.
Mr. Cooper stated that the survey would only be of the northeast parcel, so it would not require plotting of the buildings on the neighboring properties.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to recommend that the Town Board issue a Negative Declaration with regard to SEQR for the proposed residential parcel at 2979 Clinton Street.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC