West Seneca Planning Board Meeting Minutes 10/08/2009
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
Wendy Salvati, Planning Consultant
Jeffrey Harrington, Deputy Town Attorney
Absent - Jim Rathmann
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 Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion by Rathmann, seconded by Nigro, to approve Minutes #2009-08 of September 10, 2009.
OLD BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
A request from Frank Wailand for site plan approval for property located at 3155 Seneca Street for six mini storage buildings and a 6500 sf tenant building.
Frank Wailand, 3922 Seneca Street, represented DTM Enterprises, the parent company of Carolina Furniture, and stated that no variances were being requested on the side yard setback. Due to the lateness in the construction season, the project will be done in phases and they will begin with the 6500 sf structure for Black Hat Chimney. The mini storage buildings will be built in the spring.
Chairman Niederpruem understood that Mr. Wailand had discussed the project with the Zoning Board and the 6500 sf building was moved off the right-of-way line. He questioned what other changes were made.
Mr. Wailand stated that the project was entirely reconfigured from what was originally proposed informally and the number of units was reduced.
Chairman Niederpruem referred to the storm water and questioned the paving and drainage plan.
Mr. Wailand stated that a plan was submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the town. In 2002 when the existing building was constructed, a permit was received from the DEC to discharge directly into Cazenovia Creek at a specific elevation. They now had another permit to do the same discharge with a separate 15-inch line, but it will go through a swirl chamber before discharging into the creek. The swirl chamber’s objective was to take contaminates out of the water before it is discharged into the creek. Mr. Wailand presented the Planning Board with a copy of the permit.
Mr. Niederpruem understood that a stream bank disturbance permit was required for anything within 50’ of the top of the bank of the stream.
Mr. Wailand was not aware of this and stated that the plans were submitted to the other agencies and they complied with the requirements.Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati advised that it was a DEC requirement that any structure built within 50’ of the top of a bank needs a stream bank disturbance permit. She suggested that Mr. Wailand inquire about this with the DEC. Motion by Greenan to issue a negative declaration with regard to environmental concerns for this project. Motion failed due to lack of a second. Chairman Niederpruem did not believe they could issue a negative declaration in light of the fact that they were aware of the required stream bank permit. Mr. Wailand suggested that the Planning Board only address Phase I, the Black Hat Chimney building, at this point, which is significantly far away from the stream. Phase II, the mini storage buildings, will be a spring project and by that time they will have the required permits from the DEC.
Mrs. Salvati stated that the DEC will regulate what happens along the stream bank so she thought the Planning Board could still move forward with the SEQR determination. If the Planning Board grants site plan approval, one of the conditions should be that a stream bank disturbance permit is obtained and a copy is on file with the town.
Mr. Rathmann stated that he spoke with the DEC yesterday regarding this project and the woman he spoke with was not at all familiar with the project. She informed him that they would have to be at least 50’ away with any structure or paving and would need storm water detention.
Mr. Wailand stated that all the information was sent to the DEC in August including the topographical survey, calculations for drainage, size of the line, etc. He did not receive any comments back from them, but had received the permits for storm water.
Mr. Rathmann preferred to see something from the DEC stating that they had reviewed the drawings.
Mrs. Salvati stated that the DEC must have looked at the drawings because they would not just arbitrarily issue a permit. The drainage issue was really Town Engineer George Montz’ area and the plans would not be signed until he was satisfied.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to issue a negative declaration with regard to the SEQR for this project.
Mr. Nigro questioned if Mr. Wailand had received any input from the fire department.
Mr. Wailand responded that he had not discussed the project with the fire department, but they maintained 30’ between all the buildings.
Mr. Sherman questioned if there was any issue with the spacing of the trees.
Mr. Rathmann stated that although the Austrian Pines are wide they take a long time to grow, so the trees should be closer than 40’ on center, preferably 20’. The trees should also be extended to the end of building #6 if they are allowed to plant within the easement. Mr. Rathmann further noted that the gas company does not always bury their lines very deep, and the pine trees should be planted somewhere between the gas line and edge of paving.
Mr. Wailand stated that this will be investigated before anything is done in that area.
Mrs. Salvati questioned where people will park for the public storage facility.
Mr. Wailand responded that generally people will park in front of their storage unit.
Mrs. Salvati stated that there will have to be parking for the office and this will have to be worked out with the Code Enforcement Office. Therefore, the plan that is brought back for Chairman Niederpruem to sign will be different than what is approved at this meeting because it will show additional parking.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to grant site plan approval for property located at 3155 Seneca Street for six mini storage buildings and a 6500 sf tenant building, conditioned upon the following: 1) receipt of a stream bank disturbance permit from the DEC; 2) spacing of the trees be changed from 40’ to 20’; 3) a SPDES permit be secured as required by the town.
NEW BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS
Craig Tschetter, owner of 4560 Clinton Street, stated that this request was for an expansion for the existing tenant, Tom Manko of Manko’s Automotive. Nothing about the property had changed since the previous request other than the fence along the rear was cut down to 5.5’ because the wind was causing maintenance problems.
Mr. Ciancio commented that this site could be an example of what can be done with this type of facility. This was a clean operation inside and out and the screening was proper.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to recommend that the Town Board issue a negative declaration for this project based on the miniscule effect it will have on any environmental concerns.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 4560 Clinton Street, being part of Lot No. 333, changing its classification from M-1 to M-1(S), for a light automotive/storage facility, noting that the special permit shall apply to the entire parcel.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board had received a legal description for two vacant lots, a full environmental assessment form, and a series of drawings.
Patricia Bittar of Wm. Schutt & Associates represented E.F. Burke Realty Co. and stated that the combined acreage of the two parcels was just over 17 acres. The property was zoned C-1 but they needed a special permit for multi-family dwellings, 144 units, 18 2-story buildings with 8 units per building. There will be an access driveway on Birchwood Avenue and on Meyer Road and the complex will have a community building and pool area. Parking was provided for 312, which included garages as well as open parking spaces. Ms. Bittar indicated the storm water management area on the plan and also stated that they would connect to the waterline on Meyer Road. A letter was received from Town Engineer George Montz advising that there was adequate sewer capacity.
Mr. Rathmann questioned why they would take the only nice area of trees on the entire site and put housing and parking on it and stated that the trees created a nice buffer for Route 400.
Ms. Bittar stated that they needed an adequate circulation pattern for fire access and thought this was the best layout possible and the most efficient use of the property.
Mr. Rathmann suggested that the buildings be located on the green space buffer indicated on the plan since it really was not a buffer because it did not provide any screening.
Ms. Bittar stated that because of the setbacks required there was not much that could be done with that part of the property, but they needed to include it to meet the density requirement.
Chairman Niederpruem agreed with Mr. Rathmann that the only nice feature of the property was the pine trees along Route 400 that were a natural separation. He questioned who owned the billboard and commented that it will look unsightly between the garages.
Brian Burke advised that E.F. Burke Realty Co. owned the billboard and leased it to Lamar Advertising. They planned to have entry monuments and do a landscape plan that will be aesthetically pleasing. Mr. Burke referred to the existing Birchwood Square Apartments that they also owned and stated that they are very particular in their attention to detail and making sure they are maintained in a first class manner.
Mr. Mendola questioned if the garages along Route 400 could be moved north of the buildings so some of the trees could be saved.
Mr. Rathmann did not have a problem with the location of this project, but commented that he would like them to try to preserve the pine trees so that area can also be a nice green space area for the residents. He further stated that they did not need as much parking as was provided and could reduce the number of spaces by 40 to 50.
Mr. Burke suggested additional greenery in the center area and stated that they wanted to have that as a natural recreation area for the residents. The row of garages along Route 400 separated the expressway from the development, acted as a quieting buffer, and created a sense of privacy. He appreciated the evergreens and was willing to incorporate as many as possible into the plan and would bring additional trees in to create an aesthetically pleasing area.
Mr. Rathmann stated that a tree survey was required for trees 4” and larger. He further noted that from the aerial photo it appeared there was some clearing within the pine trees so it might be possible for the road to be routed into the clear spaces instead of following the property line exactly.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that the Planning Board did not see a problem with the project, but there was some fine tuning that needed to be done, such as maintaining the natural buffer. There will also have to be a buffer from the manufacturing property next to the proposed project.
Ms. Bittar noted that a Phase I archeological study was done on the site and nothing was identified. They also accessed information online on the soils and nothing showed up as far as any concerns on wetlands.
Mr. Rathmann stated that there were potential hydric soils and based on the vegetation and standing water he thought there might be some federal wetlands.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski advised that the project did not meet the density requirement and it exceeded what was allowed by 29,000 sf. The density will either have to be reduced or they will need to request a variance.
Ms. Bittar thought the project met the density requirement and questioned how Mr. Czuprynski had calculated the density.
Mr. Czuprynski responded that the density was only off a minor amount, but the requirement was 8000 sf for the first unit and 5000 sf for each additional unit. This was per building, so each building required 43,000 sf. Also, with regard to the parking, only open spaces are counted. Garages are not counted because they are rented.
Ms. Bittar stated that they counted the garages because they are free and Mr. Burke stated that only certain units came with garages.
Mr. Czuprynski stated that the garages would not be counted if they only came with some of the units.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned the required setback for the garages.
Mr. Czuprynski responded that the setback was only 3’ because it was commercial abutting manufacturing. He also noted that the Burke’s own property to the west on the other side of the street and there are large piles of topsoil that came off the lot, so the lot was completely disturbed. He did not believe that wetlands would come into play because of this.
Ms. Bittar stated that the closest the garages are to the property line is 5’ and the access roads were 24’ wide because there were two.
Mrs. Salvati stated that Meyer Road was considered the front yard and Route 400 the rear so that is where the buildings would have to be 10’ off the property line, but garages were accessory structures.
Mr. Sherman questioned how the discharge of water from the retention ponds will be managed.
Ms. Bittar responded that there will be a controlled pipe to Meyer Road and they had discussed the sizing with Town Engineer George Montz.
Mrs. Salvati questioned if they had sewer approval for the project.
Ms. Bittar stated that the project was located in West Seneca Sewer District 8, which went to West Seneca Sewer District 6, and then to Erie County Sewer District 4, and then the Buffalo Sewer Authority.
Mr. Mendola questioned if the four apartments on the south could be moved a little to the north.
Ms. Bittar responded that they would lose 16 units because the minimum separation between buildings was 60’.
Mrs. Salvati suggested moving the units into the center of the project.
Ms. Bittar stated that this was the most economical plan they could come up with for the number of units allowed on the site.
Mr. Burke also stated that it offered more privacy with a center courtyard and recreation area.
Mrs. Salvati referred to the four 8-unit apartment buildings along Route 400 and suggested moving two of them to the Birchwood Avenue side.
Ms. Bittar stated that they would take another look at the layout of the project to see if it could be revised to save some of the trees.
Mrs. Salvati stated that the Town Board will designate itself as Lead Agency and initiate SEQR review on this project. They will not make a decision on the special permit until comments are received and they decide to issue a negative declaration.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to recommend that the Town Board initiate a SEQR coordinated review for this project.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at Meyer Road @ Birchwood Avenue, being part of Lot No. 206, changing its classification from C-1 to C-1(S), for an apartment complex, subject to SEQR approval and return to the Planning Board for final site plan review.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board received a deed description, a short environmental assessment form, a sketch plan, and a survey. Correspondence was received from the City of Lackawanna with questions about a buffer for the project and the County of Erie relative to access to the county highway with no comment.
Annette Bueme stated her request for a rezoning & special permit for 10 S. Fisher Road for an 1800 sf banquet facility.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that Mrs. Bueme had indicated the facility will have a capacity of 80 people, but the Planning Board needed to know what the inside of the structure will look like in order to determine the required parking, so a floor plan was necessary to verify the seating. If the rezoning and special permit is approved, it will create much non-conformity to the building code because it is so small and the driveways are so close to adjoining structures. This would include front yard setbacks, side yard setbacks, and screening. The City of Lackawanna also commented on this in their correspondence. Chairman Niederpruem further noted that the survey was not readable and they did not have enough information to deliberate on this application.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski will need to see how the seating will be laid out so he can determine the required parking. Changing the zoning will also change the required setbacks so they need a readable survey in order to determine if the setback requirements will be met and what variances will be needed. The Planning Board will also need to think about the long term potential implication of changing this residential property to commercial. Mrs. Salvati questioned Mr. Czuprynski’s determination that a special permit was required when there will be no kitchen or bar and no alcohol sold on the property.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to table this item pending receipt of a clear, current survey and a floor plan showing the interior division and location of all tables and dimensions.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board received a short environmental assessment form, a deed description, survey, and drawings of the proposed building.
Shawn Tober, 24 Park Meadow Drive, stated that he owns Sunrise Garden & Lawn and the company mows lawns, does other maintenance work, and does snow plowing. He wanted to use the rear building for storage of equipment and expand the business into a seasonal floral and gift shop. The hours of operation will be Monday – Friday, 10 A.M. – 7 P.M., Saturday 9 A.M. – 6 P.M, and probably closed on Sunday. The storage building will probably be used 5 to 6 days a week and not on Sunday. There will probably be two lights in the parking lot or he may rent two 10,000-watt units from NYSEG to light the front area.
Mr. Greenan noted that the plan showed two curb cuts each 25’ wide. He questioned if this was necessary to the project or if one 30’ wide curb cut in the middle would work that would be farther away from the neighbor to the north.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati suggested that Mr. Tober share a curb cut with the neighbor and turn it into one.
Mr. Tober noted that there was a telephone pole on the property line at that point.
Mr. Mendola questioned if the south curb cut was necessary to operate the business.
Mr. Tober stated that it was not necessary but it would be helpful. There is a lot of traffic on Orchard Park Road and the south curb cut lines up with Country Peddlers. Also, if that curb cut is eliminated they will have to relocate the dumpster.
Mrs. Salvati stated that because Orchard Park Road is a busy road, the town is trying to do a better job of managing highway access by limiting curb cuts and looking for ways to share access. The fewer driveways there are, the safer it is to get on and off the road. For a site that only has 60’ between two driveways, there is a question why both driveways are needed and whether a single 30’ driveway would work.
Mr. Tober stated that his only concern was being able to back the equipment in. He thought a single 30’ driveway could possibly work.
Mr. Rathmann stated that a single 30’ curb cut will not solve the problem because there will still be two curb cuts next to each other. He thought Mr. Tober needed two curb cuts just for circulation purposes so he does not end up with a dead end parking lot. A better solution would be to ask the neighbor to share the access.
Mrs. Salvati questioned if Mr. Tober would agree to the possibility of a cross connection with the neighbor at some point in the future if that situation were to arise and Mr. Tober responded that he would agree to that.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to issue a negative declaration with regard to SEQR for 1327 Orchard Park Road as the project will have no adverse impacts on the environment.
Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to grant site plan approval for property located at 1327 Orchard Park Road for construction of two pole barns for equipment storage and office/retail space for a lawn & garden service as presented on the plan submitted with a note on the plan that Mr. Tober agrees to future cross access with the neighbor to the north and also conditioned upon receipt of SPDES permits and increasing the size of the trees to 2.5” caliper.
On the question, Mr. Ciancio understood that Mr. Tober had applied for a variance for a shed on this property and questioned if the current site plan was used with that application.
Mr. Tober thought that it was and stated that the variance was for a storage building.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board received a short environmental assessment form, a survey, a location map and an erosion control plan. He noted that the survey was dated 2004 and they preferred a more current survey within two years. Chairman Niederpruem stated that some of the Planning Board members walked the site and there were things they could not find that were on the blueprint, such as storm drainage on the rear of the property.
Nicholas Costa Jr. stated that his plan was for a 60’ x 70’ building expansion and to pave the existing stone parking lot. Initially he was not sure how the expansion would go so there was some drainage in the rear yard, but some of it still had to go in. All environmental concerns on the property were dealt with and only the storm water runoff was left once the expansion was done.
Chairman Niederpruem requested building elevations for the proposed expansion.
Mr. Costa stated that he was only requested to present a site plan. The building will be block and the same height as the existing building.
Mr. Nigro questioned what the expansion will be used for.
Mr. Costa responded that the expansion will be used as a warehouse and a place to store his trucks.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that in order for the Planning Board to approve the plan they would need an updated survey, a building elevation, drainage for the complete site, screening for the adjacent residential district across the street, and any proposed signage. The Planning Board would like to see some sort of plantings in the green space along the west property line to dress up the site.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to table this item pending receipt of the requested items.
Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, stated the proposal for a 54-unit R-75 extension of Camelot Square Subdivision with two entrances and a third stubbed entrance. No variances will be required.
Mr. Mendola referred to the west property line that was thick with trees and questioned if there were any plans to keep them.
Mr. Lorigo responded that a tree survey would show exactly where the trees are, but the lots were 120’ deep so they may have to work around them.
Mr. Mendola further referred to the stub street and questioned where it is going to.
Mr. Lorigo responded that one of the Planning Board’s previous concerns about this phase was the number of entrances. The proposed plan had two entrances and there was still a lot of developable land, so the stub street was left for future development.
Chairman Niederpruem questioned the status of the sanitary sewers.
Mike Metzger, P.E. of Metzger Civil Engineering stated that he discussed the sanitary sewer with Town Engineer George Montz and understood that the town had done a significant amount of work in rectifying the existing inflow and infiltration problems and this was an ongoing program. Mr. Montz provided him with a recent report of the work that was done and Mr. Metzger wanted to present that to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to see if they would give the town credit for the work as compensation for allowing new homes to be built within the district. If the DEC did not agree with that, there was a mechanism in place to allow capacity to be opened up for projects. If the developer is willing to put money forward to help take out some extraneous flows in the sanitary sewer system, the DEC will allow capacity even if under consent order. If the developer takes 4 gallons of excess wet weather flow out of the sanitary sewer system, they will give you a gallon of flow of new capacity in the system. Mr. Metzger did not agree with the developer having to pay this, but it was the only remedy they had in some cases.
Chairman Niederpruem referred to the detention basin to the north and stated that this was the high point of the land. He also did not believe having it in the back yard of four sublots would be approved.
Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati spoke to Mr. Montz and he highly recommended that the Planning Board not move forward on this project until the applicant provides something from the DEC indicating how they are going to get approval for the sewers. Mr. Montz also indicated that he will not approve lots that have detention ponds on them. The detention ponds must be put on common land because there is no guarantee that private landowners will take care of it and there is no way to access it. Mr. Montz would require that the detention pond be placed on a piece of land inside the subdivision that would be controlled under a homeowner’s association.
Chairman Niederpruem stated that he was not in favor of the stub street leading to property that was owned by someone else and suggested a temporary turn around at Lot Nos. 19 and 8 to leave the option open.
Mr. Lorigo thought the stub street encouraged development and was incentive for Mr. Piotrowski to acquire the additional property.
Mr. Ciancio preferred the stub street so that people who buy the lots are aware there is possible future development.
Mrs. Salvati noted that Mr. Montz also had an issue with the federal wetlands on Lot No. 13 and suggested that Mr. Metzger talk to him about this. Mr. Montz further indicated that the Highway Department did not like islands in the cul-de-sacs because they created a problem for snow plows.
Mr. Rathmann referred to the substantial trees on the east side of the site and suggested reducing the size of the lots and creating a dedicated natural area.
Mr. Lorigo stated that depending on where the trees are he did not believe this would be a problem because Mr. Piotrowski’s intention was to preserve the trees.
Motion by Ciancio, seconded by Rathmann, to table this item.
Motion by Mendola, seconded by Rathmann, to adjourn the meeting at 10:15 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC