West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 03/12/2009
Chairman Robert Niederpruem called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. followed by the Pledge to the Flag.
ROLL CALL: Present -
William P. Czuprynski, Code Enforcement Officer
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 Rathmann, seconded by Ciancio, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Sherman, seconded by Rathmann, to approve Minutes #2009-02 of February 12, 2009.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board received a short environmental assessment form, a survey, and a site plan.
Paulette Krakowski stated her intention to open an art studio/gallery at 1168 Orchard Park Road. The building had not been used for a retail business for approximately 12 years. Her business will occupy the 1000 to 1100 sf bottom half of the building. The business will be retail in the storefront as well as a gallery with artists for small openings on a Friday night once every month or two months. Ms. Krakowski was also looking to open the rear portion for art classes for adults and children.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that there have been some comments on this being an existing parcel and whether they had to go through the site plan process. He referred to the 13 parking spaces and questioned what size crowd was anticipated.
Ms. Krakowski stated that her biggest crowd would be for an art opening if she had a group showing of artists, and that would require some on street parking on Cranwood Drive. For the classes, there would never be more than 8 people.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that he was hoping there would be no parking on Cranwood Drive.
Ms. Krakowski stated that it would depend on the opening. Art openings are normally held on Friday nights or Sunday afternoons and people come and go over a two hour period.
Mr. Mendola questioned if the existing garage will be used for storage.
Ms. Krakowski responded that the garage will be used for storage for the person that lives on the second floor.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned if Ms. Krakowski was the property owner and if there were any changes proposed for the outside of the building.
Ms. Krakowski responded that Dr. Dan Mazur was the property owner and there were no changes planned for the outside of the building. There will be a new sign where the existing sign posts were located to identify the art gallery.
Mr. Rathmann questioned how many students were anticipated in a class.
Ms. Krakowski responded that there will be no more than eight students per class.
Mr. Rathmann referred to the parking space in front of the garage door and suggested that it be relocated to behind the garage.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski stated that he would need to see the inside layout of the building in order to determine the number of parking spaces required.
Ms. Krakowski stated that she was told for 1000 sf she would need at least 10 parking spaces.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned what percentage of the 1000 sf will be just for show.
Ms. Krakowski responded that about 600 sf was just for show. The remaining 400 sf will be for classroom and office space. She further commented that she thought the only issue was the parking and nothing more.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati referred to the existing parking as shown on the plan. In addition to the tenant residing upstairs, the proposed art openings may require additional parking on Cranwood Drive. Even if this project were to go to full site plan review, the parking situation will not change and the process will not remedy the parking situation. Site plan waiver remains an option if the Planning Board is comfortable with the potential occasional parking on Cranwood Drive.
Mr. Czuprynski stated he would still need to see the inside layout of the building to determine the number of required parking spaces depending on the proposed space for the different uses.
Property owner Dan Mazur presented a detailed drawing of the inside of the building indicating the changes they would like to make to it.
Mrs. Salvati suggested that the project continue to follow the site plan waiver route and that the applicant submit the building layout to Mr. Czuprynski for review and comment. She felt any concerns of the Code Enforcement Officer could be worked out. The main concern for the project is the parking situation. If it is determined there is insufficient parking provided, then the proposed uses for the building will have to be cut back. Site plan review looks at landscaping, drainage and other issues which is not the situation here. This is a classic case for a site plan waiver.
Motion by Ciancio, seconded by Mendola, to table the request for site plan approval for property located at 1168 Orchard Park Road for an art studio and gallery pending the decision of the site plan waiver committee.
Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, represented Young Development, LLC and stated that some minor changes were made to the project as a result of engineering and the project was now a 50-unit, two story senior citizens complex.
Mr. Greenan questioned where authority was given to add units to the special permit that was approved by the Town Board.
Mr. Lorigo responded that density is something they had to go to the Zoning Board for approval. The building size did not change, but when the project was fully engineered the building design allowed for 50 units instead of 49 units and the Zoning Board approved 50 units. Mr. Lorigo further commented that since the town instituted the site plan approval process, the number of units is not part of the special permit. The special permit is simply for multiple dwellings. The density is a question for the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Mr. Greenan stated that with the site plan approval process the Planning Board could cut the number of units because they were not locked in with any number from the Zoning Board.
Mr. Lorigo thought that the Planning Board could make changes to the building to a certain degree, but not change the number of units approved by the Zoning Board. The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a variance for 253,000 sq ft which is 50 units.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati disagreed and stated that she had spoken with Town Attorney Edwin Hunter on this issue. He agreed that the special use permit is granted by the Town Board and the Planning Board did not have the authority to change the conditions of that permit.
Mr. Lorigo stated that the special permit was for multiple dwellings and the Town Board backed away from the density issue even though their motion stated 49 units. The number of units was part of the site plan process.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski stated that the Town Board approved the plan that was before them at the time and that plan indicated 49 units.
Mr. Lorigo stated that the Town Board voted on a zoning change of the land itself from C-1 and R-90 to C-1(S) to allow multiple dwellings. The rest is site plan approval. The project then goes to the Zoning Board of Appeals for the number of units based on density.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that he was not comfortable voting for a change in the number of units and further noted the conversation between Wendy Salvati and the Town Attorney.
Mr. Lorigo suggested that the Planning Board look at any other issues they might have and he will ask the Town Board to amend their motion and delete the number of units.
Mr. Mendola noted that the first plan submitted had a road going all the way around the building, but the current site plan did not and fire and emergency vehicles will have a difficult time accessing certain parts of the building without it.
Mr. Lorigo stated that the plan was modified with comments from the Planning Board and the walkway, grass pavers, and gate were added.
Mr. Rathmann questioned how they would get the adjoining property owner to maintain access to the emergency gate.
Mr. Lorigo stated that they would have a joint access agreement with the property owner.
Mr. Rathmann suggested moving the access road and shifting the parking to the apartment side of the parking lot. The number of parking spaces will stay the same.
Mr. Young was satisfied with the change proposed and stated that he was only trying to accommodate the person across the street on Schultz Road with the other layout.
Mr. Lorigo stated that Town Engineer George Montz already approved the engineering plan, and they will have to re-engineer the site to make the change that was proposed.
Mr. Czuprynski suggested that something be added to the joint access agreement with the neighboring property owner to stripe the pavement to prevent someone from parking in front of the gate.
Mr. Young questioned why they would need the emergency access when the change proposed by Mr. Rathmann added a second access driveway.
Mr. Rathmann responded that the one access on Schultz Road was too remote from the rest of the site. He thought that emergency access from the neighboring property was necessary.
Brian Guy, Chief of East Seneca Fire Company, commented on the size of the building and the distance between entrances and stated that he would like to see increased access so they could get a ladder truck on every corner.
Mr. Young was concerned with the appearance of the project and wanted to keep the green space as much as possible.
Discussion and review of the plan at the dais followed and Chairman Niederpruem noted the following changes:
Mr. Lorigo stated that he will be going back to the Town Board to ask them to amend the approval and not indicate the number of units in their motion.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to table the request for site plan approval for property located at 2880 Transit Road for construction of a two-story, 49-unit apartment building with associated parking and landscape areas, stormwater detention facility, and utilities, pending the outcome of the petitioner’s request that the Town Board amend their previous motion for approval and pursuant to the recommendations of the Planning Board.
Tom Collins, a partner in Transitowne, and Russ Christopher, owner of the strip plaza at 3218 & 3224 Transit Road, appeared before the Planning Board. Mr. Collins stated that he acquired a Kia franchise in January and needed a showroom to display the vehicles. He had a lease agreement with Mr. Christopher to use a 5100 sf portion of the strip plaza for a new car showroom. The space will be used for sales only. Services of vehicles will be done at Transitowne’s main building on Transit Road.
Chairman Niederpruem stated a concern over rezoning half of the building for a special use. He noted that the drawing submitted was from 1995 and it was difficult to understand what will be changed or improved.
Mr. Collins stated that nothing will change; he will just be putting some cars in the building. Chrysler will be going in front of Congress at the end of this month and the landscape could change a lot on Chrysler’s side. Mr. Collins stated that his landscaping in the sense of franchising and what his obligations will be may change. This will be a temporary showroom and he needed it up and running just for display because Kia had to be a separate facility. Mr. Collins was in ongoing negotiations with the owner of the two parcels between Transitowne and the strip plaza to acquire those two parcels. When that is accomplished, he plans to move Kia there and will be back to the Planning Board with a larger project.
Mr. Ciancio questioned if Mr. Collins will be displaying cars outside.
Mr. Collins responded that he would not be displaying them outside in the strip plaza. He owns the parking lot next to it where they will be displayed.
Mr. Christopher stated that the site plan presented was from 1995 and he just had the property built out for another tenant, Miller Paint, three years ago. When Miller Paint moved in, he removed some walls and added some restrooms and other interior work for them. This was the space that Transitowne Kia will be taking over. There will be no structural changes made.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati noted that a rezoning to C-2 was required along with the special permit and the Planning Board should also recommend on the SEQR.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to recommend a SEQR negative declaration to the Town Board for this rezoning and special permit.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Ciancio, to recommend approval of the request for a rezoning and special permit for property located at 3218 & 3224 Transit Road, being part of Lot Nos. 51 & 52, changing its classification from C-1 to C-2(S), for a new car showroom, conditioned on the following: 1) the zoning change shall apply only to the southerly 60 feet of the building; 2) no exterior display of cars; 3) no auto repairs.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC