West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 06/12/2008
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 - 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 Mendola, seconded by Nigro, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Rathmann, seconded by Niederpruem, to approve Minutes #2008-05 of May 8, 2008.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, represented Metro Energy of WNY, Inc. and stated their proposal to substantially upgrade the existing Mobil gas station at 697 Orchard Park Road. The addition will be a 10’ x 37.5’, 375 sf, addition to the rear of the existing convenience store. The fuel canopy was demolished and will be replaced along with the three pumps and the underground fuel tanks will be relocated. The curb cut on Ridge Road that currently was totally open along the entire width of the gas station will be reduced to 36 feet and the curb cut on Orchard Park Road will also be reduced to 36 feet and moved slightly. Substantial green space and landscaping will be added along the front on Ridge Road, Orchard Park Road, and along the rear of the property. A dumpster enclosure was being added and curbing with catch basins and pipes to take care of storm water runoff as requested by Town Engineer George Montz. Mr. Lorigo referred to the drive-thru window and stated that nothing would be made on the premises. It would be similar to the current situation where the bagels that were sold out of that location since 1997 were brought in. The pole sign along Ridge Road will be removed and only the one sign at the corner of Orchard Park Road and Ridge Road will be used.
Mr. Mendola questioned the location of the drive-thru.
Mr. Lorigo responded that the drive-thru will be at the back of the building and there was plenty of room for stacking. Vehicles will enter from Ridge Road and proceed around the back of the building.
Mr. Rathmann noted that the size of the parking spaces was indicated as 8’ wide, including the handicapped parking, and they should be 9’ wide x 18’ long.
Mr. Lorigo stated that there was room available, so an adjustment would be made to the size of the parking spaces.
Mr. Rathmann further commented that the plants suggested to be used will far outgrow the space that has been allocated for them. He suggested a Dwarf Red Barberry near the order/menu board and reducing the number of Dwarf Burning Bushes on the island to just a straight row.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati further noted that they were supposed to have seven street trees and the plan only showed four. She suggested that rather than the burning bushes they include the proper number of trees along the front.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to issue a Negative Declaration with regard to SEQR for the project at 697 Orchard Park Road.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to grant site plan approval for property located at 697 Orchard Park Road, for replacement of the existing fuel canopy, pumps and underground fuel tanks and miscellaneous site improvements including a new 375 sf addition with drive-thru and freestanding sign, conditioned upon the following: 1) parking spaces adjusted to a minimum size of 9’ x 18’ to comply with the ordinance; 2) the plan being modified to show seven street trees; 3) shrubbery being substituted with another type that will grow within the bounds of the green area shown on the plan.
A request from Passero Associates for site plan approval for property located at 4500 Clinton Street, to rehabilitate the runway by mill & asphalt overlay to existing width and length, reconstruct taxiway connections, replace edge lighting, wiring, and underdrain, and install pavement markings.
Mary Kay Genthner of Passero Associates represented Aviation Consultants of WNY, Inc. and stated their request for site plan approval on the rehabilitation of Runway 6-24 by mill and asphalt overlay. They were proposing two variable depths milling with a two-inch plus asphalt overlay on the majority of the runway, including some full depth reconstruction at the taxiway connections at each end as indicated by the gray shaded area on the plans. The existing underdrain and edge lighting and wiring on the runway and taxiway will be replaced and the taxiway will be re-striped. Ms. Genthner stated that the edge lighting was a newer version of the existing lighting and was an FAA required lighting that defined the runway. LED’s will be used on the taxiway, but they were not yet approved for runway use.
Mr. Mendola questioned if the lights will be on 24 hours a day.
Ms. Genthner responded that the lights will operate as they do now, by radio control. Pilots click their radios as they are approaching or departing and the lights go on for a certain amount of time and then go off.
Mr. Niederpruem questioned if there were any other changes planned other than improving the surface and the lighting.
Ms. Genthner responded that there were no other changes planned.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to issue a Negative Declaration with regard to SEQR for the proposed runway rehabilitation project at 4500 Clinton Street.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to grant site plan approval for property located at 4500 Clinton Street, to rehabilitate the runway by mill & asphalt overlay to existing width and length, reconstruct taxiway connections, replace edge lighting, wiring, and underdrain, and install pavement markings.
A request from Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems, Inc. for site plan approval for property located at Ridge Road & Langner Road, for construction of a 4633 sf convenience store with drive-thru and a new 10-pump fueling facility with canopy.
Mike Green, Vice President of Delta Sonic Car Wash, introduced Jim Fatani, Architectural Project Manager, and Christopher Wood of Carmina, Wood, Morris, PC and stated that Delta Sonic was located at Ridge Road and Langner Road since 1970. The existing car wash was 4000 sf, the convenience store was 2194 sf, and there were five gas pumps with a canopy. They were proposing to remodel the car wash and match it architecturally to the new 4633 sf convenience store that will be built in the back. The existing convenience store will be demolished and the existing canopy will be taken down. A new canopy will be constructed to cover ten gas pumps. Dunkin Donuts will be located within the convenience store and there will be a drive-thru. Mr. Green stated that they were approved for this project in 2006, but the plan was scaled down. The size of the store was reduced and the detail shop and oil change was eliminated. There were currently three driveways off Langner Road that were fairly wide open and confusing. This would be reduced to two driveways, one entrance and one exit. Stacking at the car wash will be increased from the current 26 to 67 and the drive-thru for Dunkin Donuts had stacking for 17 cars. Mr. Green stated that the architecture of the building will be similar to their location at Southwestern Blvd. and Orchard Park Road and the project will be a great improvement over the current site.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati noted that this project was reviewed by the Planning Board in October 2005 and a special permit was granted by the Town Board in November 2005. Mrs. Salvati stated one of her concerns being the internal circulation on the site with proposed traffic for the car wash running through the center of the site creating some points of conflict. She recommended relocating the lane for the car wash and having it go to the back and behind the convenience store, following the outer boundary of the property. It could be run next to the lane for the drive-thru for a short distance with appropriate signage directing the patrons. This would eliminate conflicts around the fueling island. The parking area behind the convenience store could be moved to the northern area where the car wash lane was going to be. Mrs. Salvati had spoken to Mr. Wood about this and he thought they had room to shift over.
Mr. Wood presented an alternate plan with the drive-thru lane and car wash lane both going around the back of the building, but based on the operation of the store and the way a lot of people get gas and then go through the car wash, Delta Sonic thought the alternate plan might create even more traffic conflict than the previous plan. They thought the original plan was better and they would provide ample signage indicating the direction for gas and the car wash.
Mr. Sherman commented on the current situation with vehicles stacking at the gas pumps and questioned the proposed stacking capability of the gas pumps and if the vehicles waiting for gas would conflict with vehicles coming in from Langner Road.
Mr. Wood stated that there would be 10 gas dispensers or 20 fueling stations, so that should even out the stacking of vehicles. There was also ample spacing between the store and the gas pumps.
Chairman Ciancio thought it was important to control the direction of the traffic going to the gas pumps so that they were not going in both directions.
Mr. Rathmann stated that he was recently at the Walden Avenue location and the traffic was congested because cars were stacking in the traffic lane between the convenient store and the gas pumps.
Mr. Green stated that the distance between the gas pumps and the sidewalk outside the store at the Walden Avenue location was 50 feet, but the distance at this location would be 65 feet. This location was much more open than Walden Avenue.
Mr. Rathmann stated that his biggest concern was the location of the islands near the car wash area. He suggested that they be extended to help direct traffic a little better.
Mr. Greenan questioned the handling of storm water.
Mr. Wood responded that there were two existing outlets that went into the adjacent property to the utility, and those two outlets will remain. There was also a pipe that crossed Langner Road and went under the car wash and that pipe would remain. The site will be split into two sections and each will have its own catch basin and treatment structure before going out the discharge. There will be no outflow toward the wetlands area; everything will go where it currently goes.
Mr. Rathmann commented that everything currently went to the wetlands. With the last submission, they were going to approach the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) because they were discharging and developing more than an acre which required stormwater quality and quantity management. Mr. Rathmann questioned if they were having underground storage.
Mr. Wood stated that NYSDEC regulations viewed this as a redevelopment because they were increasing the green space. The quantity requirements were relaxed, but they still had to meet the quality requirements, and that will be met with the two water quality treatment structures. The treatment structure was a proprietary device that takes out floatables, suspended solids, and any oil or grease before it is discharged.
Chairman Ciancio questioned if they had any correspondence from the NYSDEC regarding this outflow.
Mr. Wood responded that they had not applied yet; they typically apply after site plan approval.
Chairman Ciancio questioned how the Planning Board could issue a Negative Declaration without this.
Mrs. Salvati stated that with the changes in the SPDES regulations, the town was now in charge of issuing the permits. They would have to get their SPDES permit through the Town Engineering Department and could not do anything until they had it. Mrs. Salvati understood that drainage would be the same way, but they were making the drainage system better with the treatment structures.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro stated that Principal Engineering Assistant Gary Bommer would be reviewing this and it would have to meet their criteria.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to grant a Negative Declaration with regard to SEQR for the proposed Delta Sonic project at Ridge Road and Langner Road.
On the question, Mr. Mendola questioned the easement going through the property.
Mr. Wood understood that a paper street went through the site, so a lot of the old public utilities continued to go through the site. The storm sewer went under Langner Road, under the car wash, and out to the power lines.
Mr. Niederpruem questioned if they were aware there were light standards and planter boxes in the right-of-way.
Mr. Green stated that he had talked with the County about this and they would either have to move them or buy some of the land. They had submitted a proposal, but the lights and planter boxes would be relocated if they could not purchase the land.
Mr. Niederpruem questioned the traffic impact of this project and if the County had commented on the traffic flow or pattern.
Mr. Green responded that the County did not require a traffic study because the car wash and convenience store were pre-existing, and they typically did not comment on on-site traffic flow. The County did want the 54’ wide curb cut made as small as possible, so that would be reduced a little but still be able to accommodate trucks.
Mr. Mendola questioned if the entire operation would be shut down during construction.
Mr. Green stated that he did not have a phasing plan done yet, but they would probably be shut down for two months at some point during construction.
Mrs. Salvati stated that according to Town Code, 19 street trees would be required for the amount of frontage. However, there was no room for planting along Ridge Road because of the slope or along Langner Road. She suggested incorporating more trees on site.
Mr. Rathmann suggested eliminating the Blue Spruce trees and the shrubs and adding Frank’s Red Maple trees or Honey Locust around the perimeter and on the planting islands to give some shade. Also, the hosta were shade plants and would not work in bright sunlight. Mr. Rathmann stated that as much as he would like plantings at the entrance, visibility was poor making it very difficult to get out onto Langner Road. He suggested nothing more than 2’ high at the entrance. Mr. Rathmann further referred to the parking behind the building and suggested that it be designated as employee parking with a turnaround space to allow vehicles to turn around to get out. He also referred to the four parking spaces between the drive-thru and suggested that signage be placed indicating a pedestrian crossing.
Mrs. Salvati stated that 18 parking spaces were required, but the plan provided for 47. She suggested eliminating the four spaces between the drive-thru.
Mr. Wood thought the spaces between the drive-thru were important due to their proximity to the store.
Mr. Rathmann referred to the seven parking spaces adjacent to the car wash stacking lane and suggested that they be removed.
Mr. Green agreed and stated that he preferred to see that island as all landscaping.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to grant site plan approval for property located at Ridge Road & Langner Road, for construction of a 4633 sf convenience store with drive-thru and a new 10-pump fueling facility with canopy conditioned upon the following: 1) addition of trees around the perimeter and within the island areas of the parking lot to meet the street tree requirement of 19; 2) removal of Blue Spruce trees and addition of more shade trees like Frank’s Red Maple or Honey Locust; 3) elimination of the hosta and use of another type of shrub such as Stella D’Ora Daylillies; 4) deletion of the seven parking spaces adjacent to the car wash stacking lane; 5) addition of a crosswalk at the southwest corner of the convenience store.
Walter Kolkiewicz presented his proposal for a 24-lot subdivision on Seneca Creek Road.
Chairman Ciancio referred to the length of the road and stated that the Town Code called for 500’, the Planning Board had recommended 600’ and the plan showed 700’. Town Engineer George Montz also did not like the proposed detention area. Chairman Ciancio further noted that the project would need a rezoning because the density would be reduced from R-100 to R-75.
Mr. Mendola did not believe the detention pond could be maintained where it was located.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro advised that the Engineering Department was not accepting the responsibility for easements or maintaining the detention pond in subdivisions. This would have to be maintained by the developer or a homeowner’s association.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati did not believe that Mr. Montz would allow the detention basin to be located where it was on the plan. Mr. Montz had advised her that he wanted to see it moved or eliminated and Mr. Kolkiewicz should discuss this with him.
Mr. Greenan stated that the Planning Board could not give preliminary approval because the property was not zoned correctly.
Mrs. Salvati stated that Mr. Kolkiewicz was instructed at the last meeting to do R-75 lots and the current plan reflected that. However, the 700’ road had to be reduced and there was an issue with the drainage basin. The front yard setback line should also be indicated on the lots. Mrs. Salvati further stated that Mr. Kolkiewicz would need to have the property rezoned before proceeding with subdivision approval.
APPOINTMENT OF PLANNING BOARD OFFICERS
Chairman Ciancio announced that he would be resigning as Chairman effective at the next meeting.
APPOINTMENT OF PLANNING BOARD OFFICRS (continued)
Motion by Ciancio, seconded by Mendola, to nominate Robert Niederpruem Jr. as Chairman of the West Seneca Planning Board.
Mr. Niederpruem stated that Joe Ciancio has been on the Planning Board for 25 years and succeeded his father as Chairman. Mr. Niederpruem appreciated Chairman Ciancio’s confidence and support in appointing him the next Chairman.
Motion by Niederpruem, seconded by Rathmann, to nominate Donald Mendola as Vice Chairman of the West Seneca Planning Board.
Motion by Niederpruem, seconded by Mendola, to nominate Joseph Sherman as Sergeant-at-Arms of the West Seneca Planning Board.
Chairman Ciancio questioned if the Town Board had issued a negative declaration when the rezoning of the property was approved.
Mr. Notaro advised that the Town Board had issued a negative declaration at the time of the rezoning, but the Planning Board also had to grant a negative declaration at the time of site plan approval.
Mrs. Salvati noted that when the Town Board issued the negative declaration there was no reasoning given to support their decision. There was nothing in the file to substantiate this and the project had some potential environmental impacts. The rezoning was approved some time ago, so the Planning Board really had to do a proper SEQR for the site plan approval. Mrs. Salvati suggested that the site plan approval be rescinded and the project go through the proper SEQR review before returning for site plan approval.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to rescind the site plan approval for the project at 162 Slade Avenue to allow for adequate SEQR review.
Motion by Ciancio, seconded by Niederpruem, to designate the West Seneca Planning Board as SEQR Lead Agent on the proposed project at 162 Slade Avenue and authorize the Town Clerk’s office and Planning Consultant to undertake SEQR coordinated review.
Mr. Notaro stated that he would contact Ellicott Development and advise them of the actions taken by the Planning Board.
Mrs. Salvati advised that the project required some other permits so there were involved agencies such as the NYSDEC, NYS Thruway Authority, and the County of Erie. The project plans would have to be sent out to each of these agencies for their review.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC