West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 08/14/2008
Chairman Robert Niederpruem called the meeting to order at 6:40 P.M. followed by the Pledge to the Flag.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Paul Notaro, Deputy Town Attorney
Wendy Salvati, Planning Consultant
Absent - None
Chairman Robert Niederpruem 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 Ciancio, 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 #2008-07 of July 10, 2008.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Philip Badame, 80 Briarhill Drive, Orchard Park, stated that he purchased the property at the rear of 2437 Berg Road, the former Reserve Fire Hall, approximately 9 or 10 years ago. The property was formerly owned by the plumber’s union and it was vacant for several years. Mr. Badame tried to turn the property into something that would be attractive and a good investment, but it was difficult because of the zoning.
There were limitations placed on C-1 property that caused a number of businesses to not be able to operate at this site. Mr. Badame purchased an additional one-third acre behind the property, raised the elevation, and prepared the proper drainage plan that was approved by the Town Engineering Department. Three sides of the area were fenced with a six foot high fence and it was paved with millings. Mr. Badame had been using the property for parking trucks and trailers that were parked illegally in residential yards, but Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski informed him that he would have to get the property rezoned to C-2 for that use. There were several travel trailers owned by West Seneca residents that were parked at this site, and he also donated space to a Boy Scout Troop to park their trailer, the New York State Police for a trailer, and a West Seneca Police Officer to park his trailer. Mr. Badame stated that there would be no vertical construction on the property. He only wanted to park vehicles.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned how many vehicles Mr. Badame anticipated putting on the site. He further questioned if the drainage plan prepared by Nussbaumer & Clarke was approved by the town.
Mr. Badame estimated the number of vehicles to be 15 to 20 and noted that most would be cars from people that have a summer and winter vehicle. He currently had three travel trailers on the property. Mr. Badame submitted a copy of the drainage plan indicating that it had been approved by the Engineering Department.
Mr. Nigro questioned if Mr. Badame intended to enclose the entire parcel with a fence.
Mr. Badame stated that he bought the parcel three years ago and although he was never asked to fence it, he had fenced three sides of it. The only reason he did not fence the back portion was because it ran along property owned by Connors Kennels and Mrs. Connors had stated over the past several years that she was going to fence it. If the fence was a requirement, Mr. Badame would do so and he had received a permit from the Code Enforcement Office to fence the entire parcel.
Mr. Mendola questioned if Mr. Badame had done any of the drainage work as indicated on the drainage plan.
Mr. Badame responded that he had not done any drainage work because it was very expensive and he wanted to get the property rezoned first. If approved, he would put in two receivers and run the drain to the receivers on his adjacent property.
Chairman Niederpruem noted that the survey indicated Mr. Badame had .39 acres of property, and he questioned how much of that would be developed into a hard surface.
Mr. Badame responded that about two-thirds of the area would be used and it was already hard surfaced. He indicated on the plan the area that would be used for parking.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned if the parking area would extend to the back yard of the Kasperek property and Mr. Badame confirmed that it would. Chairman Niederpruem further referred to the Connors’ property and the vacant strip and another parcel next to it.
Mr. Badame stated that the Connors’ property was heavily treed, so he did not put a fence there. If it was required, he would put up a fence.
Chairman Niederpruem referred to the red roofed building on the property and questioned if Mr. Badame intended to change the use of that building.
Mr. Badame stated that area was zoned C-1 and he did not intend to change it. The property behind this was rezoned a few years ago to C-2.
Mr. Mendola questioned if there was a tree survey completed when he stripped the property and Mr. Badame stated that he had done a tree survey.
Mr. Nigro questioned if Mr. Badame had gotten any objection from any of the neighbors.
Mr. Badame stated that the only objection he was aware of was from the Connors’.
Mr. Ciancio questioned how Mr. Badame was able to pave the area if it was not zoned properly.
Mr. Badame stated that he had asked what he had to use for a hard surface and was told by the Code Enforcement Office that millings were sufficient. After he brought the elevation up three feet and leveled it, millings were brought in and compacted. He was not going to pave the area with asphalt because it was not economically feasible. The property was landlocked and he wanted to use it for something since he was paying taxes on it, but he did not make a lot of money parking cars on it. Mr. Badame stated that this was a separate parcel from 2437 Berg Road, but there was no other access to it. He bought the property from Ed Taylor who owned the house at 1543 Orchard Park Road. Mr. Taylor sold the property to Mr. Badame and was then able to sell the house for a reduced amount.
Jeannette Connors, 1589 Orchard Park Road, stated that when she built her house she was told the property in the rear was residential. The house at 1543 Orchard Park Road was also residential and the lot extended back 600 feet or more. Mr. Badame now owned the property at the rear and was trying to rezone it to commercial. Mrs. Connors noted that Mr. Badame had an ad on Craig’s List for parking RV’s, boats, trucks, etc. on this site. Her house faces the property and she commented that it looks like a junkyard. She did not think this was fair to her especially when she pays $17,000 a year in taxes. Mrs. Connors suggested that Mr. Badame put the parking lot on the fire hall property instead.
Chairman Niederpruem understood that Mrs. Connors owned two parcels on Orchard Park Road and her parcel was treed.
Mrs. Connors stated that the lot was treed, but when the leaves were off the trees she was able to see the mess in the parking area. The parking lot was not fenced in that area and even if it was, the trucks parked there would be higher than the fence.
Mr. Badame stated that there was no junk or debris in the parking area, but he was willing to fence the area that abutted Mrs. Connors’ property. He welcomed the Planning Board members to visit the property and stated that he was there seven days a week and kept it very well policed. Mr. Badame further referred to a wood business located on Orchard Park Road that was not screened and did not comply with the zoning ordinance.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned if Mr. Badame planned to light the property in any way or put up additional fencing.
Mr. Badame responded that he did not intend to light the property. When he applied for the permit to fence the property, it was enough footage to do the entire parcel. If the rezoning is not approved, he would be taking down the fence that was there.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to recommend denial of the request for a rezoning for property located at 2437 Berg Road, being part of Lot No. 417, changing its classification from R-60 to C-2, for parking of boats, trailers, and cars, noting that the proposal violates the Master Plan that clearly established Berg Road as a residential neighborhood and there is no screening provided for the adjacent residential zones.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board had received a legal description, a SEQR form, a survey, and a site plan.
David Ogiony, President of Camino Development, stated his request for site plan approval to construct a building at 496 Bullis Road.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that the Planning Board had questions about the shared driveway, parking, and the intended use of the building. There were also issues about surrounding residential neighbors.
Mr. Mendola referred to the neighbor to the west and stated that Mr. Ogiony’s building was plotted 20 feet off that property line. There was a berm between the properties, but he questioned if there would be any screening with trees.
Mr. Ogiony stated that the neighbor, Jim Sypniewski, asked him for a berm rather than a fence. He had no problem with the building and understood it was zoned properly. At one time, Mr. Sypniewski had asked Mr. Ogiony if he could purchase some of his land so he could build a ramp for his handicapped daughter who was in a wheelchair. Mr. Ogiony told him that would jeopardize the use of his property because of the setbacks he was required to hold. When Mr. Ogiony started plans for this project he asked Mr. Sypniewski if he needed property for the ramp and he said he would be fine without it, but he asked for a berm instead of a fence.
Mr. Greenan suggested leaving 20 feet of trees.
Mr. Ogiony stated that he could do that, but Mr. Sypniewski asked for a berm.
Mr. Mendola stated that the ordinance called for a minimum five foot berm.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that because of the automotive use, Mr. Ogiony would have to have some sort of buffer, either a fence, berm, or trees.
Mr. Mendola questioned if both the properties Mr. Ogiony owned on Bullis Road at the present time were in the same corporation name.
Mr. Ogiony advised that both properties were owned by the same corporation.
Mr. Mendola questioned if Mr. Ogiony had any plans to sell the older parcel.
Mr. Ogiony responded that he did not have any plans to sell the parcel.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that the building as proposed on the site plan had a first floor elevation, but they did not have a concept of what it would look like.
Mr. Ogiony stated that he had plans and it would be near identical but nicer and more attractive than the existing building. He did not submit plans because they were not ready at the time. The building will be decorated with four or five courses of a colored block with a grey course of block and a scored block above that. The office area will probably be a hearty plank siding and the vestibule will probably be constructed of the same block in similar color pattern as the main building.
Chairman Niederpruem commented that the building was basically a warehouse, but he did not see a loading dock. He questioned how the garage would be accessed.
Mr. Ogiony stated that there were two garage doors on the east side and there would be a parking lot on the south side, or front of the building, for nine vehicles. The front would be paved and the side would be gravel. Mr. Ogiony had spoken to Town Engineer George Montz on this and told him he would pave it if required.
Mr. Mendola questioned if the buildings would face each other.
Mr. Ogiony stated that both garage entrances will face each other. The existing building will face the new building but sit back farther and they would be using the same driveway. There was a tenant in the existing building, but there was a chance that when his lease expires or if Mr. Ogiony sells the property or another tenant comes in, he could re-route the driveway and there was plenty of room to do this.
Mr. Mendola questioned what percentage of the new building would be office.
Mr. Ogiony responded that probably 25 percent would be office space.
Mr. Rathmann questioned if Mr. Ogiony would have a problem with keeping the vegetation on the south and west sides.
Mr. Ogiony stated that he had to remove trees on the south side for a sewer tap, water tap and the driveway, but he was planning to leave the rest. He planned to keep as much buffer as possible on the south side. Mr. Ogiony noted that the property was low, but the improvements will enhance the property and drain it better.
Mr. Rathmann commented that one side of the berm would be drained, but the water would have no place to go on the other side between Mr. Ogiony’s property and the neighbor.
Mr. Ogiony stated that he put a small piece of underdrain through that section out to the ditch on Bullis Road, which helped his neighbor’s drainage situation in his back yard.
Mr. Rathmann suggested relocating the receivers somehow so the vegetation could be saved. He further commented on the Blue Spruce on top of the berm and stated that they do not like wet soil. Mr. Rathmann suggested using trees that were more tolerant of wet soil.
Chairman Niederpruem referred to the Tree Ordinance and stated that they were trying to preserve as many trees as possible.
Mr. Ogiony stated that he had been at this location since 1990 and had tried to keep as many of the existing trees in the front yard as possible. He was unable to fill the area because he would lose the trees, but that has kept the area wet and difficult to mow.
Mr. Sherman questioned what type of tenant Mr. Ogiony was looking for.
Mr. Ogiony stated that he might use the building for himself because he sold his business located in the rear building to a former partner, and he now had started up again on a very small scale. He will probably use the building initially until he finds a reputable, decent tenant. Mr. Ogiony was aware of a fence contractor looking for yard space or a building.
Mr. Nigro questioned if the lighting would be wall mounted or pole lighting.
Mr. Ogiony responded that there would be no pole lighting. The paved and gravel areas were not large areas and wall mounts would light it sufficiently. There would be no lighting on the side that faces the residential neighbor.
Motion by Mr. Greenan, seconded by Mr. Mendola, to grant site plan approval for property located at 496 Bullis Road, being part of Lot No. 363, for an office/warehouse facility, with the proposed berm being an option rather than a requirement; however, the developer should keep peace with the next door neighbor and make every effort to minimize removal of trees on the site.
On the question, Mr. Mendola stated that the situation of leaving some of the trees will be addressed by the Engineering Department when the drainage plans are approved.
Mrs. Salvati noted that this was a Type 2 action under SEQR so no determination was required by the Planning Board.
Wendy Salvati, Planning Consultant, reviewed an e-mail from Brian Skok, DOT, regarding the concern of the DOT on the turning radius on the drive thru exit.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to allow revision of the site plan to accept the NYS DOT request that a 15 ft radius on the drive thru exit be put in place to accommodate turning onto Orchard Park Road, noting that the plan also shifted one parking place from the east side of the building to the north side of the building.
Motion by Niederpruem, seconded by Mendola, to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC