West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 12/11/2008
Chairman Robert Niederpruem called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. followed by the Pledge to the Flag.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Paul Notaro, Deputy Town Attorney
Andrew Reilly, Planning Consultant
Absent - William P. Czuprynski, Code Enforcement Officer
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 Rathmann, seconded by Mendola, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Nigro, seconded by Ciancio, to approve Minutes #2008-11 of November 13, 2008.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Chairman Niederpruem stated this project was before the Planning Board on several occasions and the environmental review was received and reviewed along with the plan.
Rhonda Fredericks, People Inc., and Jocelyn Bos, Housing Director for People, Inc, appeared on behalf of petitioner.
Mr. Mendola referred to the area left for access to the rear property and questioned how that issue was addressed.
Ms. Bos stated People Inc. was not purchasing the entire property and the owner needed that area in order to access the rear of the property.
Mr Mendola referred to the many concerns expressed by the surrounding neighbors and asked Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly for his comments.
Mr. Reilly stated that on issues in general, People Inc. had been doing a very good job in attempting to resolve the numerous problems on the property, but they were unable to resolve the access and drainage issues, etc. It was his recommendation that the Planning Board deny the request for rezoning and let it proceed to the Town Board for final determination. People, Inc. hired professional engineers in an attempt to resolve the problems, but they have been unsuccessful.
Chairman Niederpruem noted that Town Engineer George Montz expressed concerns that could not be mitigated on this piece of property.
Ms. Bos stated she was aware of that and they concurred with Mr. Montz. There was no financially feasible solution to those problems.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to recommend denial of the request for a rezoning & special permit for property located at 4592 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 223, changing its classification from R-75 to R-50(S), for a senior independent living facility.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Chairman Niederpruem noted that this subdivision project had been before the Planning Board on numerous occasions. There were issues with the flood plain, the rear lots at the end of the cul de sac, the size of the lots, and the length of the cul de sac. The developer and engineer were directed to come up with a plan that fit the building and zoning codes of West Seneca. The revised layout was reviewed by the Planning Board and those issues appear to have been satisfied.
Mr. Mendola referred to the length of the road and commented that the Planning Board requested on more than one occasion that the length of the cul de sac be 500 ft and the plan submitted showed almost 700 ft.
Keith Marquis of Marquis Engineering stated the actual length was 620 ft and it was his understanding from past dialogue with the Planning Board that 600 ft was acceptable. There may have been a misunderstanding on his part that the 600 ft had to be from the very end of the pavement. They took the 620 ft to the center line of the cul de sac which is normally the way things are stationed on a site plan.
Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly noted that the plan started with 50 lots which was reduced and the direction on the length of the road was 600 ft. The Town Board directed 75 ft lots as opposed to the 65 ft lots proposed by the developer and that was the reason the length of the road was 630 ft. It was his opinion that Mr. Kolkiewicz met the intent of the Town Board and by making him cut back another 50 ft, he would be losing more lots. Public health and safety issues called for shorter cul de sacs and he doubted if anyone would argue the difference between 600 ft and 640 ft. The developer did everything asked of him.
Mr. Greenan pointed out the distance being used was being pulled from the center line of Seneca Creek Road, rather than the side.
Mr. Ciancio noted that the initial plan called for 1000 ft of road with 65 ft lots. The developer put the large lots on Seneca Creek with R65 houses in the R65 zoning, and was requesting a reduction on the R100 zoning to R75. He felt the developer had followed the recommendations of the Planning Board and the plan was now acceptable.
Mr. Nigro noted that the application requested R75A, but the Town Board eliminated the “A” designation.
Mr. Reilly stated the Town Board did not want the “A” designation in order to avoid duplexes.
Mr. Greenan further noted that in order to utilize the “A”, the lot would have to be widened to 85 ft.
Paula Minklei, Orchard Park Road, stated the “A” zoning would permit two-family dwellings and allow for cost effective and more affordable housing. It allowed for more environmentally friendly houses that were easier to heat and cool, more taxable dwellings on one street, maximizing use of water lines, sewer lines, lighting, snow plowing and other amenities provided by tax dollars. She did not view two-family homes or duplexes as necessarily being bad for the community and in this day and age, the town should be looking at environmentally sound answers to housing.
John Walsh, Pleasantview Lane, stated his street backs up to this property. This subdivision called for 22 single family homes and his concern was for the back lots from the escarpment, from the hill to the creek.
Mr. Marquis stated they did not plan to build in that area.
Mr. Reilly commented that the Town had asked for a conservation easement so that houses could not be built in that area in the future. That area was also a flood plain.
Lawrence Tyler, Pleasantview Lane, stated that was his concern also and wanted to verify the R75 zoning.
Evelyn Hicks, Seneca Creek Road, referred to the two lots in the rear and asked if it was possible to include a deed restriction on those lots so that a three-car garage or a house with an in-law apartment could not be built.
Chairman Niederpruem stated a building permit would not be issued in the flood plain and the zoning was such that a special use permit would be required in order to build a barn.
Mr. Reilly stated the residents were protected but it would be appropriate to have a conservation easement so that area is left as virgin land.
Chairman Niederpruem noted that there had been previous discussion on the possibility of leaving the strip along the creek for a future green area.
Mr. Reilly noted that the Planning Board could request that the Town Board consider a conservation easement for a trail or some other use.
Debbie McCreedy, Pleasantview Lane, questioned the distance between the back of her lot and the subdivision and after reviewing the plan with Mr. Reilly, it was noted that there was a concern with drainage in the back area. Mr. Reilly noted that a drainage system would need to be devised with a retention basin.
Chairman Niederpruem noted that the subdivision was being reviewed for rezoning at this point. Once the developer had the rezoning in place, than he would meet with Town Engineer George Montz and arrive at calculations to ensure that surface water from his site would not encroach on the neighbors’ lots. The rear lots were 207 ft deep so there would be quite a gap.
Mr. Mendola also noted that there will be perimeter drainage on the new subdivision and no water will be allowed to go on Ms. McCreedy’s property.
Ms. McCreedy commented on the water that currently sits in the back area and a problem they were having with mosquitoes.
Mr. Reilly commented that the design of this subdivision should improve that condition.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to recommend approval of the request for a rezoning for property located at 862 Seneca Creek Road, being part of Lot Nos. 92, 97, 98, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, & 106, changing its classification from R-100A to R-75, for a 22-lot residential subdivision, in accordance with the map and with the realization that the exact layout of the lots and drainage are yet to come once the proper zoning has been received.
On the question, Mr. Ciancio questioned if a line could be drawn behind the back houses and not rezone that area.
Mr. Reilly recommended the conservation easement, rather than rezoning the property piecemeal.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro agreed that there should not be different zoning throughout the property. The parcel should be treated as a whole with a conservation easement considered for the back area.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to amend the motion and recommend approval of the request for a rezoning for property located at 862 Seneca Creek Road, being part of Lot Nos. 92, 97, 98, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, & 106, changing its classification from R-100A to R-75, for a 22-lot residential subdivision, with the R-75 zoning extended to the creek, but not to include the conservation easement.
On the question, Mr. Greenan stated the issue of the conservation easement could be discussed at the time of site plan review.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to recommend the issuance of a negative declaration with regard to SEQR for property located at 862 Seneca Creek Road, being part of Lot Nos. 92, 97, 98, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, & 106, for a 22-lot residential subdivision.
On the question, Mr. Reilly noted that the Planning Board reviewed this proposed subdivision over the past six months and the developer addressed concerns with regard to environmental issues to the satisfaction of the Planning Board.
Chairman Niederpruem stated this item was before the Zoning Board last night for a determination of the precise line between the residential and commercial areas. There was no resolution to that question, so it was difficult for the Planning Board to determine exactly what was being rezoned. At this point the Planning Board would hear the presentation of the petitioner and advise on whatever deficiencies it sees in the project, but they would not be making a decision at this meeting.
Ralph Lorigo, Esq., 101 Slade Avenue, appeared on behalf of the petitioner, and stated the Kentucky Fried Chicken location at 1175 Union Road was currently zoned C-1. There was an additional house at 1189 Union Road that was part of the parcel being proposed for rezoning and another house along the rear at 52 Ebenezer Drive. There was an issue that had not been fully determined with regard to the zoning. Zoning along this corridor on both sides of Union Road was C-1 according to the zoning map. There was some language in the Town Code that was confusing and Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski would be making a determination before the next meeting. In any event there would be a change in zoning because C-2(S) was now needed for a restaurant, as opposed to the C-1 zoning which allowed the existing restaurant. There may be some R-65A zoning that will need to be rezoned to C-2(S). The parcel now comprised three existing pieces .745 acres in size and
roughly 150 x 210 ft. The parcel met all town codes and would not require any variances whatsoever. The existing building will be demolished and replaced with a state-of-the-art 2,815 sq ft building. National franchises now required franchisees to meet certain specifications in order to continue the franchise. If they were not able to create this building, the franchise would be lost at this location. The new building will have a drive-thru with stacking for at least seven vehicles in a straight line and potentially more before existing onto Ebenezer Drive. Their history anticipates never needing as many as seven. Mr. Lorigo referred to the rendering submitted to the Planning Board and the landscape plan. They attempted to allow for sufficient landscaping to buffer the additional residential neighbors abutting this property. There was an 8 ft foot fence proposed along the east border and northern border. In response to some of the neighbors’ concerns, they considered a 3 ft masonry type wall that would prevent the lights from vehicles shining into the neighbors’ property. There will be shielded lighting on the building and substantial green space areas.
Mr. Mendola noted that an 8 ft fence would require a variance and questioned if that was addressed at the Zoning Board.
Mr. Lorigo responded that it had not been discussed because the only question before the Zoning Board was Mr. Czuprynski’s application for determination of the zoning. The Zoning Board advised Mr. Czuprynski that he had to make the decision where the zoning falls. Adjoining this particular restaurant across the street was McDonald’s and there was also Antoinette’s further up Union Road, which is a commercial thoroughfare. The petitioner was mindful of being a good neighbor and was willing to listen to whatever buffering or other recommendations the Planning Board suggested.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned if there was any effort made to avoid going down Ebenezer Drive with possibly buying the next property to the north and turning the building to avoid moving into the residential area.
Mr. Lorigo stated he was not involved at that stage, but his understanding and the initial determination when submitted to Planning Consultant Sarah Desjardins was that it was zoned commercial 200 ft back.
Chairman Niederpruem noted the problems that ensued once the project went back into Ebenezer Drive.
Mr. Lorigo stated that KFC was a tenant at its current location, and there had been a broker involved in negotiating a sufficient parcel of land. He was unaware of whether or not those negotiations to purchase the property to the north failed, but this was the site that was under contract. It was the opinion of Mr. Lorigo, after reviewing the map and code that it was zoned C-1 to the depth of 200 ft along Union Road.
Chairman Niederpruem emphasized the potential impact on the surrounding area in terms of light, smell and noise. Preliminarily, the plan did nothing to address those issues.
Mr. Lorigo noted that the depth of McDonald’s was far in excess of this particular property and the Cloverbank residential streets to the rear of McDonald’s were similar to the makeup of Dunkin Donuts. This was the situation that currently existed along Union Road. Whether the depth was 117 or 200 ft, it was commercial zoning along Union Road and these types of establishments were allowed. Mr. Lorigo stated that the neighbors’ concerns could be addressed by implementing buffering.
Chairman Niederpruem referred to the Comprehensive Plan which called this area the town or village center. Architecturally, the look of the Kentucky Fried Chicken was not as appealing as what he would expect to see in the town center.
Mr. Lorigo responded that the look was in the eye of the beholder, but they were willing to listen to any suggestions. This was the new prototype that could be seen in other town centers.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned the proposed hours for this project.
Mr. Lorigo responded the hours would be from 10:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., the same hours that currently existed.
Mr. Mendola referred to past sewer problems caused by the accumulation of grease. He questioned if there was a redesigned plan so the residents of Ebenezer Drive would not have to suffer.
Mr. Lorigo stated the statutes were clear; there must be a grease trap and it cannot be placed in the sewer system. The new design of the building would accomplish that and Town Engineer George Montz would also have to approve the type of system Kentucky Fried Chicken will be using.
Mr. Sherman noted there was a vermin issue in addition to the noise, smell and lighting issues.
Lowell Dewey, licensed professional engineer with C & S Engineers, stated the lighting was downward facing. There will be a foot candle plan that will show zero exposure to the property line and outside of it. Hours of operation were 10 A.M. to 9 P.M. The grease trap is 1000 gallons, which is the standard and probably ten times larger than what is there now.
Mr. Lorigo noted that anytime there is a drive-thru there is the potential for speaker noise, but the speakers were now set up to minimize any echoing effect. They were fairly sedate today and not just voice boxes. In terms of vermin, that was an issue of maintaining a new building properly and if it is not done, there were codes to enforce it. This franchisee had a number of locations and they were accustomed to dealing with these type of issues. There was a substantial amount of investment in acquiring these three sites as well as the demolition of the old building and construction of the new building. The tax base will be substantially greater than what it currently is.
Mr. Dewey stated there will also be a new dumpster enclosure. This building used to be a gas station with the rest rooms on the outside of the building.
Mr. Ciancio asked if the hours were set up by the franchisee or the corporation.
Mr. Lorigo stated the hours were set by the franchisee, and there was no intention of making this a 24-hour operation. Another location at 535 Dick Road had been completely redone similar to this proposed building. There will be some change in terms of design, but the store on Dick Road is about 3500 sq ft where this location will be 2815 sq ft.
Chairman Niederpruem stated the architecture could be dealt with later, but he felt the architecture on the renderings presented was obnoxious and substantial thought would be needed in terms of concept design for the driveway on Ebenezer Drive. Just building a 3 ft wall was not the answer.
Mr. Rathmann questioned the maintenance plan for the area behind the dumpsters.
Mr. Dewey stated that area was full of mature trees and part of residents’ back yards. In speaking to the resident to the east, there was approximately 2˝ ft from their house to the property line. Moving the fence up tight to the setback for the parking will give them 10 more ft of space to occupy. The green piece in the back may be left as a yard, or they may move the existing garage back and let the people next door use it. They did not want to cut the trees down and would be putting up a gate for maintenance of the area.
Mr. Rathmann questioned the accommodations for cars down the drive-in side. He noted the people parked in the eleven spaces would not be able to get out of their parking spaces if the drive-thru lane is filled.
Mr. Dewey stated they have done a number of KFCs and Taco Bells in the WNY area and they do not experience the same stacking problems associated with a Tim Horton drive thru.
Mr. Rathmann disagreed and felt there would be a problem with people trying to back out from the eleven spaces when there is full capacity of stacked cars.
Mr. Dewey stated that people typically wait and this was the prototype that was used nationwide.
Mr. Sherman noted that if a C2(S) was approved for the KFC and even if it did work but then was sold to a Tim Horton’s, the zoning would be affected for all the restaurants there.
Mr. Lorigo stated that today, each of these type franchises required a certain footprint and building style. This individual was making a substantial investment to acquire these three properties and build the restaurant. He currently ran 58 other KFC restaurants and it was a long range situation for this franchisee.
Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly noted on the drawing where the parking would require a variance and also referred to the fence that would need a variance. Mr. Reilly clarified that the biggest issue with this project was the special use permit. The town says that special uses should be taken on an individual basis. There were four criteria presented that were difficult to meet. The project would need a lighting study and a noise study. The restaurant may state it will close at 9:00 P.M., but there was currently a problem in Williamsville where a restaurant decided to be open 24 hours. Hours could not be dictated and this type of situation would present a tremendous problem if it occurred here.
Mr. Lorigo responded that the history of this type of operation in other locations shows that this type of establishment will never be a 24 hour establishment. It is not similar to a Tim Horton’s or Dunkin Donuts or other late night spots. The hours of operation are in fact 10:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Noise, lighting, and screening were issues they could address, but he asked for clarification on how to address smell.
Mr. Reilly indicated there were some dumpsters that controlled smell better than others and suggested the petitioner look into them. He understood this was not planned as a combined KFC-Taco Bell which were open much later, but would like to see some guarantee that this operation would not be open all night long. Lighting and noise had to be addressed. The moving of the fence was a good idea, but a fence would not absorb the noise and may need some landscaping to help that issue. Exhaust fans to eliminate the smell may also need to be considered.
Mr. Rathmann also noted the issue of traffic. He would like to see one access point and not on Ebenezer Drive.
Mr. Reilly stated that some of the newer codes counted stacking from the ordering window and not the pickup window.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to table this item for a revised plan from the petitioner that meets the concerns of the Planning Board.
Ralph Lorigo, Esq., 101 Slade Avenue, attorney for the petitioner, referred to the correction letter sent to the Planning Board indicating this project was for the construction of 51 units. There were no changes to the plan; this was an error on the initial application. The request was for a special use permit to change the zoning from C-1 to C-1(S). The project was for a senior housing facility and similar to the project on Schultz and Transit Road which was approved by the Town Board at its last meeting. This was a two-story building on 3.42 acres at the corner of Southwestern Blvd. and Crofton Drive. Mr. Lorigo referred to an additional small piece on Crofton Drive that was the entrance but was not reflected in the mailing to the residents. With the exception of density, the project met all the codes in the Town of West Seneca. The units will be 600 – 700 sq ft, one and two-bedroom units. The units were small so the density issue took on a different interpretation, as opposed to the typical 1000-1100 sq ft apartments. There will be two 30 ft full access driveways, one on Southwestern Blvd. and one on Crofton Drive, with 109 parking spaces that exceed the code. The lighting will be wall mounted fixtures plus shielded parking lot lighting on the west side of the building for security. This type of living was an important new aspect to seniors who were looking to live in these types of apartments. They are current market rate apartments and not subsidized. There will be two community rooms, one with exercise equipment and a pool table. These projects were very secure with pull chains in every apartment and fully sprinkled. A person had to be buzzed to gain entry to the building. Garbage pickup will be inside the building so residents can bring their garbage for disposal without having to leave the facility. Residents of these type facilities form relationships among others in the building and do not leave the complex that often. There is a landscape plan which shows substantial landscaping to act as a buffer. It is residential use on Southwestern Blvd. that fits in well with the other uses that Mr. Young has proposed and built along that corridor.
Mr. Nigro referred to the land along the north border behind the apartments and commented that it is a couple feet higher than in the center of the land. He questioned if there would be any grading in that area.
Dan Blamowski of FRA Engineering stated there was an existing drainage ditch and sewer system right around the high point of Southwestern Blvd. and everything flowed to the east through a drainage system on the north side of the road. There was an existing ditch along the front of the property. Based on the engineering review, nothing could be drained to the neighboring properties; 100 percent of the site’s storm water must be contained in a detention pond and discharged to the sewer system on Route 20.
Chairman Niederpruem referred to Mr. Nigro’s comment on this parcel being higher than the homes on Carla Lane and questioned if there was a plan to cut the hill down.
Bryan Young, 2240 Southwestern Boulevard, stated the grading in the back would stay much the same as it was now. There was a back yard drain in the area where it goes down the hill.
Mr. Nigro disagreed and stated that property was drained to Carla Lane.
Mr. Young reviewed the site plan with the Planning Board and noted that no water would be allowed to run down the hill, other than the 10 ft portion over which they had no control. The balance of the other water will run back into the detention pond.
Mr. Nigro stated his concern was for the back yards of Carla Lane, where if the land is not lowered, the building will be higher than the houses on Carla Lane. The building takes up most of the property and that is why the density is so huge.
Chairman Niederpruem read a letter received from Fire Chief Christopher Boltz stating “The current plan does not allow for vehicle access to all sides of the building. We have found that in the case of an alarm or actual incident within the building, the elderly tenants do not evacuate themselves. There is a sidewalk around the building which is better than nothing, but it does not allow for immediate deployment of needed evacuation equipment. Disabled wheelchair-walker assisted residents on second floor will not evacuate by themselves.” Chairman Niederpruem referred to the senior housing project on Transit and Schultz that had a ring road.
Mr. Lorigo stated that project had a walkway.
Mr. Mendola stated there was about 50 feet of walkway and the rest was road.
Chairman Niederpruem noted that the Fire Chief was requesting an additional fire hydrant on the property, with the nearest hydrant being on Southwestern Blvd. and Crofton Drive. “Due to age and health status of many residents, many times they are on home oxygen systems. During a time of power outage, we receive many calls for portable generators to power apartment units such as this. I would ask for some type of standby generator in a common area to provide the necessary power for residents. I would ask that this power system also provide lighting in common hallways for the building. Power outages to these types of buildings can be major problems.” The Fire Chief also noted that he spoke with Mr. Young.
Mr. Lorigo stated there was no town requirement for a ring road.
Mr. Mendola stated that for the safety of the people, there should be a ring road. He noted that people who are physically handicapped want to live on the second floor and in a time of emergency when it is necessary to get these people out, a ladder truck must be brought it. That can’t be done unless there is a ring road.
Mr. Lorigo referred to a complex in Cheektowaga where they required a ring road around certain complexes and the fire company agreed because the building was sprinkled and there was a walkway where hoses could be pulled and ladders could be taken. In this case, there is no code requiring any kind of ring road, so a balance must be made with what is practical for the site. Mr. Lorigo presumed the complex being proposed on Southwestern Blvd. would be more acceptable to the people on Carla Lane than some commercial type of development similar to a KFC. This was a residential use, the building would be sprinkled, and the fire hydrant was acceptable. There was a lot of safety built into the situation and the standby generator was a good idea, but he objected to requiring the petitioner to do a ring road when it was not mandated by a code.
Mr. Rathmann stated the NYS Fire code addresses emergency vehicle access around buildings if the building is sprinkled and the distance varies, but he was uncertain of the details.
Mr. Lorigo stated it had to do with the length of fire hoses and that is why the walkway was sufficient for the Cheektowaga project.
Mr. Ciancio stated that all these problems have arisen due to the density of the project. He noted that Mr. Czuprynski had several concerns, including the width of the roadway which should be 25 ft but which is indicated as 24 ft on the plan. The location of the dumpster in the front was a concern as well as access to the back part. There were also parking spaces next to the dumpster.
Mr. Nigro commented that the building was too big for the lot. This was a two-story building with only a 31 ft buffer for the people on Carla Lane.
Mr. Lorigo responded that the ratio was 57 percent.
Mr. Young stated that the problem with this project was the construction cost, based on the alarm system with pull chains, monitoring for the older people, and installation of an elevator. It would not work as a 43 unit project.
Mr. Ciancio stated he would prefer an entrance on Crofton Drive and not on Southwestern Blvd.
Mr. Mendola reiterated his concern on evacuation of older people. In the case of a blackout, the elevator would not work.
Mr. Blamowski stated the road could be extended somewhat with a 12 ft path along the west side of the property. Location of the dumpster and other modifications to the site plan were discussed with the Planning Board members.
Mr. Greenan suggested moving the building another 15 ft east toward Crofton Drive.
Mr. Young agreed and noted that repositioning the building would solve a number of issues and provide more room for a road at the back.
Mr. Mendola noted the survey was dated 1951.
Mr. Blamowski stated a new survey was being generated.
Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly noted that the project was over on the parking.
Mr. Lorigo stated that moving the building would cut the parking back.
Mr. Reilly asked how many units would be lost by shrinking the building 10 – 15 ft.
Mr. Blamowski stated four units would be lost, but he could look into pulling two units.
Mr. Reilly noted that all these projects exceeded the density requirement and the Planning Board would be sending a memo to the Town Board strongly advising a revision to the code. It was his opinion that the density requirements should be eliminated and the town should concentrate more on green space and setbacks.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to table this item for submission of a revised plan that meets the concerns of the Planning Board.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application, the Planning Board received an engineering report, a full environmental assessment form, floor plans and a rendering of the structure.
John Lydon, Architect, Left Coast Design Studio, stated the project was actually 5340 sq ft in size as opposed to the 5000 sq ft listed on the application.
Chairman Niederpruem stated the form that was completed by Western New York Federal Credit Union indicated 5000 sq ft.
Mr. Lydon stated that was not accurate. It had increased to 5340 and he did not believe there were any code issues that played into the additional 340 sq ft. The perimeter of the walls were changed but issues of setbacks had been addressed.
Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly noted the plans submitted showed 5350 sq ft.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that parking calculations were not provided for the site.
Mr. Lydon stated they were granted a variance for 36 parking spaces by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The calculations may not be on the form but they were done in order to apply for the parking variance. Mr. Lydon stated that Union Road was zoned C-1 with a residential house and the rear was zoned residential. The landscape plan showed arborvitae and a stockade fence along the side property line where the drive thru would be located.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned the type of signage proposed for the front.
Mr. Lydon stated it had not been addressed yet, but they would adhere to all sign standards.
Mr. Ciancio questioned the traffic flow for the project.
Mr. Lydon stated he met with Town Engineer George Montz who indicated there appeared to be no problem. Proceeding north on Union Road, a vehicle will make a quick right into the lot and enter the drive thru lane. Going south on Union Road, a turn must be made at the Race Street light and then enter. There is in-and-out on Race Street, but only in on Union Road going North.
Mr. Ciancio questioned if the entrance on Union Road was necessary.
Mr. Lydon felt that it was and it was strongly recommended by Mr. Montz.
Mr. Reilly stated that the Planning Consultant had advised the petitioner they preferred not to see it on Union Road, but the Town told him to place the entrance on Union Road.
Mr. Lydon thought it did encourage a smoother flow.
Mr. Mendola suggested additional signage to control the flow of traffic and show the entrance to the credit union.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned the possibility of any foot traffic, in light of the sidewalks in the vicinity.
Marie Betti of the credit union stated they had no foot traffic now and did not anticipate future foot traffic.
Mr. Rathmann asked if the entrance off Union Road was strictly ingress, going north, and suggested that a more restrictive radius on the north side would discourage people from making a left hand exit onto Union Road. He noted the building was very attractive and thought it was unfortunate it could not be rotated to face Union Road rather than Race Street.
Mr. Lydon stated that was not possible because parking was not allowed in front of a building according to the building code. The Union Road façade and all the parking was to the side. If the building was facing Union Road, no parking would be allowed. The orientation toward the Burchfield Center was probably a nicer vista for the workers than looking at Union Road with the cars.
Mr. Greenan referred to the 40 ft parcel which did not appear to be included in the application.
Marie Betti stated they were under contract for the house immediately to the south and the vacant parcel.
Mr. Lydon stated the plan showed the perimeters of the parcel.
Mr. Reilly commented that he liked the look of the building as it reflected the image of the area. He suggested that any sign also reflect the image of the area with some architectural components.
Mr. Lydon stated part of the design rationale was to be sensitive to the nature preserve across the street, so the stone and landscape design was a reaction to the nature preserve and being a good neighbor design-wise. If they worked together, it made for a nicer, stronger corner.
Mr. Rathmann also noted an access aisle on either side was required for where the two handicapped symbols were indicated on the plan. If they are grouped together with one common access aisle, then only one spot would be lost. He also cautioned that there was an abundance of deer in the area and arborvitae are a favorite with them. He suggested deer resistant plantings rather than the arborvitae. Mr. Rathmann referred to the grading plan and noted there was a lengthy garage on the east side of the parking lot and it appeared the water sloped from the garage onto the petitioner’s site. He was concerned there may be water draining from the petitioner’s site to the garage.
Mr. Lydon stated they would take a closer look at that situation.
Mr. Reilly referred to the 239M referral to the County. Two responses were received from the County with no adverse comments other than to obtain the necessary permits and approvals for the sewer connections. This was an unlisted action under SEQR so there was no coordinated review performed.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, that there are no adverse environmental effects of this project and that a Negative Declaration be issued with regard to SEQR for property located at 1937 and 1957 Union Road for construction of a new 5340 sf, one-story commercial structure to house the operations of WNY Federal Credit Union.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to grant site plan approval for property located at 1937 & 1957 Union Road, for construction of a new 5340 sf, one-story commercial structure to house the operations of WNY Federal Credit Union, with the modifications suggested by the Planning Board and conditioned upon final approval by the Town Engineer.
Motion by Nigro, seconded by Mendola, to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC SECRETARY