West Seneca Town Board Minutes 02/13/2006
Supervisor Paul T. Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Absent - None
Supervisor Clark read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or an emergency.
2-A MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
2-B LEGAL NOTICES
1. Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: “OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FOR A SPECIAL PERMIT FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 5700 SENECA STREET, BEING PART OF LOT NO. 227, CHANGING ITS CLASSIFICATION FROM C-2 TO C-2(S), FOR A RESTAURANT SERVING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES” in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed.(Donald T. Denz)
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to open the public hearing.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan read the recommendation of the Planning Board: “At its December 21, 2005 meeting, the Planning Board recommended approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 5700 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 227, changing its classification from C-2 to C-2(S), for a restaurant serving alcoholic beverages with the following stipulations: 1) the required parking shall conform with the seating; 2) any lighting on the side shall be directed away from the residential property to the west.”
Donald Denz, 1005 Main Street, East Aurora, stated his plan to open a family type restaurant at 5700 Seneca Street, similar to a Friday’s or Applebee’s. Mr. Denz did not anticipate the restaurant to have loud music, and his intention was for it to be a family restaurant serving Buffalo style food. He noted that the Planning Board had recommended that 10 feet near the residential zoning be eliminated from the special permit.
Councilman Osmanski questioned the proposed addition to the second floor.
Mr. Denz responded that he intended to have an outdoor patio on the first floor, fully enclosed with a seven to eight-foot high stockade fence for privacy, along with a second floor patio. There would be no exit from the patios to the outside, other than an emergency exit.
2-B LEGAL NOTICES
Councilman Hicks referred to the northwest portion of the property and stated that the neighbors were concerned about their privacy because the fence did not extend the entire length of the property. They suggested extending the fence about 30 feet to the east.
Mr. Denz stated that he was willing to construct a fence on his own property and would do so if required.
Councilman Hicks further commented on the height of the existing light standard and suggested that it be lowered and have shields installed to prevent the light from shining in the neighbors’ yards.
Mr. Denz did not have a problem making these changes to the lighting.
Councilman Graber questioned the purpose of the second floor patio and commented on the noise problem outdoor patios created in neighborhoods. He was not in favor of a second floor outdoor patio and thought it would only mean continuous problems for the neighborhood. If the board approved the special permit, he suggested making this a restriction.
Mr. Denz asked that the board consider allowing the second floor outdoor patio. He noted that there was not much seating area inside the second floor and not a lot of windows. Mr. Denz thought that if they had a small dinner party on the second floor the outdoor patio would work well because people could access the patio through the sliding glass doors.
Councilman Graber commented that most of the neighbors did not have a problem with Mr. Denz’ proposal, other than the second floor outdoor patio.
Mr. Denz noted that he wanted the restaurant to be a family type restaurant and the outdoor patio would be a place for people to eat and smoke. He thought the patio would add to the ambience of the restaurant and did not intend to play loud music outside.
Councilman Hicks suggested enclosing the patio.
Mr. Denz did not want to enclose it entirely like the rest of the building and preferred to keep the patio area open to the outdoors.
Joann Smith, 5626 Seneca Street, questioned what side of the building the second floor patio would be on.
Mr. Greenan stated that the plans indicated the second floor patio over the existing first floor patio on the back of the building.
William Falkner, 5627 Seneca Street, had no objection to the proposed restaurant, but was opposed to a second floor patio. He commented on an existing lighting problem and thought that parking could also be a problem given the number of spaces in the parking lot.
Allen Smith, 5626 Seneca Street, commented on the lights shining in his yard and the noise in the neighborhood. He was not opposed to a restaurant but did not want the second floor patio and music to add to the noise.
Mike Kelchlin, 5622 Seneca Street, was in favor of having a restaurant on this corner, but was opposed to a second floor patio. Because of the lay of his property, people on the patio would be able to look in his backyard. Mr. Kelchlin commented on the Nickel Creek Café on Clinton Street and Borden Road and how that business exploded when new owners took over. He was also concerned about the lighting and noise that would be generated by this restaurant.
2-B LEGAL NOTICES
Mr. Denz stated that he recently opened a Catholic bookstore, the Upper Room on Main Street in East Aurora, and had to address parking and other concerns with that project. Mr. Denz paid cash for this property on Seneca Street and Transit Road, so he intended to be there for a long time. He noted that he was a law-abiding citizen and would be held accountable for what went on at the restaurant. Mr. Denz understood that lighting and noise was a concern with the second floor patio and suggested that he install sliding windows to enclose the area after 10 P.M. He did not intend for the restaurant to be a sports bar, but did want to have a couple plasma TV’s. Mr. Denz referred to the comment on parking and understood that for every two parking spaces there could be five customers. The seating was designed to conform with available parking along with seven spaces for employees and one extra space. He did not want patrons of the restaurant to be parking on the street and would try to prevent that from happening. Mr. Denz presented a site plan for the project.
Councilman Bove questioned Mr. Denz’ intention with regard to music.
Mr. Denz did not expect to have any bands playing at the restaurant. He also did not expect to have any solo guitar players, but this could possibly happen. There would be no jukebox, just some speakers inside the building and a couple outside. He did not anticipate any loud music.
Mr. Greenan stated that the Town Board could regulate what is done on the outside patio and could specify that there be no live bands and that the music be kept at a low decibel. They could also regulate the extent of the screening on the side of the patio that faced the Seneca Street residents. The board did not have anything that showed what the proposed patio would look like.
Mr. Denz stated that he had hired the architect that did the original building to draw up the plans. He expected to enter the patio from the hallway in the restaurant and the first and second floor patios would be enclosed on all sides, except for one or two feet at the top. People on the patio would not be able to see outside of the patio. He also wanted sliding windows for the top portion that could be quickly put in to enclose it.
Architect Frank Butler stated that the patio in question was 25’ x 18’ and only two sides were open to the outside at the top and bottom. One of the corners was also filled with an elevator shaft to access the second floor.
Councilman Hicks stated that he was willing to approve the special permit with the following stipulations: 1) reconfiguration of the parking lot; 2) lowering the light standard; 3) shielding lights from the neighbors; 4) construction of a fence on the northwest portion of the property and continuing 30 feet to the east; 5) no second floor patio.
Mr. Greenan thought it was difficult to approve or disapprove the special permit without more detail. He suggested that the Town Board table this item to allow the petitioner to bring in detailed drawings that addressed alternatives.
Supervisor Clark referred to the plan and noted that it appeared the second floor patio was directed more northwest than west and this would be away from the residential neighborhood. He suggested that Mr. Denz get better drawings showing the location of the second floor patio and present them to the neighbors to make sure they understood the location.
Councilman Graber commented that he stood on the existing patio and the residential houses were clearly visible from it.
2-B LEGAL NOTICES
Mrs. Denz agreed with Councilman Graber but stated that the addition would hide the view of the residential houses.
Councilman Graber responded that noise would still be a problem and he thought that noise from the restaurant would travel quite a distance down Seneca Street.
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to table this item until the February 27, 2006 Town Board meeting.
2. Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: “OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FOR A SPECIAL PERMIT FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 49 BOYNTON AVENUE, BEING PART OF LOT NO. 4, CHANGING ITS CLASSIFICATION FROM R-50 TO R-50(S), FOR ADDITION OF A FOURTH UNIT TO EXISTING STRUCTURE” in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed. (Phillip Hauenstein)
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to open the public hearing.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan read the recommendation of the Planning Board: “At its January 18, 2006 meeting, the Planning Board recommended denial of the request for a special permit for property located at 49 Boynton Avenue, being part of Lot No. 4, changing its classification from R-50 to R-50(S), for addition of a fourth unit to the existing three-family structure, based on lack of bulk area, parking, side yards and front and rear setbacks.”
Phillip Hauenstein, 49 Boynton Avenue, stated that he lives in the lower rear unit of the house and the fourth unit will be located in the upper rear. The building was constructed with 3½ kitchens; the fourth kitchen was never finished with a kitchen sink. There will be no addition to the building. Mr. Hauenstein presented a petition signed by 75 percent of the neighbors that did not have a problem with his proposal for a fourth unit.
Councilman Osmanski commented on the lack of bulk area and the parking.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski noted that if the special permit were approved, Mr. Hauenstein would still need a variance for the bulk area.
Mr. Hauenstein thought there was enough room for parking and would blacktop the median shown on the plans if necessary.
Councilman Osmanski stated that Mr. Hauenstein would need a 20-foot driveway on either side of the median or one 30-foot driveway in addition to the parking.
Mr. Czuprynski stated that Mr. Hauenstein owned 70 feet to the south of the property that could be used for the driveway or parking.
2-B LEGAL NOTICES
Councilman Osmanski noted that the plan submitted did not even meet half the bulk area requirement, and with the parking and driveway repositioned it might take away even more of the bulk area. He was not comfortable voting for something without detailed specifics as to how the lot would be set up. Councilman Osmanski suggested that this item be tabled to allow Mr. Hauenstein to submit a plan that met the requirements stated.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to table this item pending submission of a better plan by the petitioner.
1. Supervisor Clark re Reappointment of Kathleen Gullo as Marriage Officer
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, pursuant to Domestic Relations Law, Section 11-C, to reappoint Kathleen M. Gullo as Marriage Officer with the authority to solemnize marriages occurring within the Town of West Seneca.
2. Supervisor Clark re Appointment of MaryLauren Parisi as part-time Clerk
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to appoint MaryLauren S. Parisi as part-time Clerk effective February 14, 2006 at a rate of $6.90 per hour and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
3. Town Attorney re Construction planning services agreement for Senior Citizen’s Center
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize the Supervisor to execute an agreement with LMC Company for services regarding improvements to the West Seneca Senior Citizens Center.
4. Town Attorney re WNY Official’s Association agreement
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize the Town Attorney’s Office to prepare an agreement with the Western New York Official’s Association covering refereeing of Little Loop Football games for the 2006 season in an amount not to exceed $3000 and authorize the Supervisor to execute the agreement.
2-C COMMUNICATIONS5. Town Engineer re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize payment of the following vouchers for the Engineering Department:
Nichols, Long & Moore Construction (sewer restoration work) $8856.03
6. Highway Supt. re Military leave of absence for Darryl Seibert
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to approve a military leave of absence for Darryl Seibert effective February 6 – 10 and February 13 – 17, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
7. Highway Supt. re Rate increase for part-time laborer Christopher Caruana
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to approve a $.75 rate increase for Christopher Caruana in his position as part-time laborer in the Buildings & Grounds Department effective upon completion of the required 2500 hours and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
8. Highway Supt. re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize payment of the following vouchers for the Highway Department:
National Overhead Door (garage door) $3265.00
9. Chief Gehen re Additional cost for attendance at School Resource Officer training
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize an additional $574 for Police Officer Timothy Pratt’s attendance at the School Resource Officer training session, February 20 – 24, 2006 in Rochester, New York, noting that the added expense reflects lodging and meal expenses not factored into the original request and the total cost of the training will now be $1099.
10. Chief Gehen re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize payment of $6388.95 to Northeastern Uniforms & Equipment for uniforms.
11. Code Enforcement Officer re Specialty sign for Black Hat Chimney
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to approve the request of Black Hat Chimney for a specialty sign under their existing sign at 3155 Seneca Street.
12. Code Enforcement Officer re Purchase requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize payment of $3334.73 to Biel’s Microfilming for microfilming services.
13. Tax Receiver re Extension of collection date for town and county taxes
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize Receiver of Taxes Ruth Breidenstein to extend the collection date for town and county taxes from April 30th to June 30th, thereby allowing late fees to remain in West Seneca.
14. Recreation Director re Bid date for arts & crafts supplies
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to set a bid date of March 13, 2006 at 10:00 A.M. for receipt of bids on the purchase of arts & crafts supplies.
2-E DEPARTMENTAL PRESENTATIONS
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
RESIDENT QUESTIONS STATUS OF ASSESSOR’S OFFICE
Dale Clarke, 379 Indian Church Road, questioned the status of the Assessor’s Office.
Supervisor Clark responded that Real Property Appraiser Ed Toy was currently handling the Assessor’s Office. Supervisor Clark and Town Attorney Timothy Greenan had been conducting interviews and meetings in order to bring a recommendation for reorganizing and reestablishing the office with some cost containment.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
STATUS OF MASTER PLAN
Amy Carpenter, 406 Woodward Crescent, questioned the status of the Master Plan.
Councilman Osmanski responded that prior to this meeting the Town Board members had received all the comments that were submitted to the Town Clerk’s Office. They would be reviewing and discussing these comments to decide if anything should be changed or incorporated in the Master Plan. Councilman Osmanski hoped to have the comments reviewed by the end of February and would decide then if any further public hearings would be necessary.
Ms. Carpenter questioned if the next step would be to approve the Master Plan if the Town Board was satisfied with it.
Councilman Osmanski responded that there were some zoning recommendations that were somewhat controversial and the board had not discussed whether they wanted to approve the entire plan including the controversial issues, or approve part of the plan and continue to work on the controversial items.
SOCCER COMPLEX ISSUES
Frank Russo, Parkside Drive, referred to the last Town Board meeting and a speaker under “Issues of the Public” that stated she was not opposed to renting out the soccer complex. Mr. Russo wanted it understood that the individual was speaking for herself, not for the majority of people in the neighborhood. As President of the Southgate Homeowner’s Association, Mr. Russo stated that he spoke for the majority of residents of the neighborhood and they were totally against renting out the soccer complex. He also referred to a comment made by Councilman Osmanski that the residents want the best of both worlds and stated that the residents only wanted the outside activity cut back at the soccer park so the noise would be reduced and their privacy would not be invaded. Mr. Russo stated that the lease should have been terminated a long time ago because the soccer association took in hundreds of thousands of dollars but was not paying the town. He further commented that he was disappointed to hear that the new President of the soccer association played in the Buffalo District Men’s League and coached at Damien College, and these were two groups that the residents did not want using the soccer park. Mr. Russo questioned if the board members had received any figures on the soccer complex yet.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan responded that he had received an e-mail this date with the figures for 2003 and 2004 in summary format without the underlying information. He also had copies of the 990 tax returns for the soccer association and met with Mr. Pawlik who was getting the information from the treasurer and putting it all together. Mr. Greenan had discussed with Mr. Pawlik, Mr. Lawson and Mr. Zygaj developing a plan for 2006 and renegotiating the lease so the town would have greater responsibility and accountability for use and management of the soccer park.
ADDITION OF COMMONWEALTH EDISON AS ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR
Frank Boncore, 250 Heather Hill Drive, questioned the status of the Commonwealth Edison inspections.
Town Attorney Timothy Greenan responded that Commonwealth Edison was an inspection company that did electrical inspections. The Town of West Seneca currently had a single electrical inspector, the NYS Board of Fire Underwriters, and Mr. Boncore had suggested that Commonwealth Edison be added as a second underwriter so that people had a choice. This would require an amendment to the town’s statute, but he wanted to discuss this with Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski before making a recommendation to the Town Board.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
ADDITION OF COMMONWEALTH EDISON AS ELECTICAL INSPECTOR (cont’d)
Mr. Boncore commented on his experience with response time from Commonwealth Edison and the NYS Board of Fire Underwriters and thought that Commonwealth Edison offered better quality service.
OPPOSITION TO THREE-MINUTE RULE
Frank Boncore, 250 Heatherhill Drive, opposed the three-minute rule at Town Board meetings and questioned why it did not apply earlier in the meeting for the speakers at the public hearing.
Supervisor Clark responded that the rules were a little more flexible at public hearings concerning rezoning and special permit requests.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
BID AWARD FOR POLICE VEHICLES
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to award the bid for purchase of five new marked Ford Crown Victoria police vehicles to DeLacy Ford, 3061 Transit Road, Elma, NY 14059, at a total cost of $88,865.00, noting that these vehicles will replace older vehicles that are included in the bid as trades.
APPOINTMENT OF BRIAN THOMPSON AS SANITATION SUBSTITUTE
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Councilman Graber, to appoint Brian Thompson as Sanitation Substitute at a rate of $7 per hour effective February 13, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
STATUS CHANGE FOR JOHN FENZ TO PART-TIME SEASONAL
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to change the status of part-time Law Clerk John Fenz to part-time, seasonal effective February 13, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
PURCHASE OF FLOOR SCRUBBER FOR SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize payment of $5653 for purchase of a Tennant T3 20-inch auto scrubber from American Custodial Inc. for use on the special flooring at the West Seneca Senior Citizens Center, noting that this purchase was appropriated under the fitness center grant project.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
RESIGNATION OF JOSEPH KLEINFELDER FROM ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to accept the resignation of Joseph Kleinfelder and terminate him as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals effective February 13, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
On the question, Supervisor Clark stated that due to some health problems Mr. Kleinfelder was resigning after over 30 years of service to the Town of West Seneca.
Councilman Bove commented that Mr. Kleinfelder was a committed and loyal resident of the Town of West Seneca and served the town well. She thanked him for his service and wished him the best.
APPOINTMENT OF MICHAEL HUGHES TO ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Graber, to appoint Michael P. Hughes to the Zoning Board of Appeals effective February 14, 2006 to complete the unexpired term of Joseph Kleinfelder that expires on November 23, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
On the question, Supervisor Clark noted that Mr. Hughes was a Public Relations Specialist at Kaleida Health and a very experienced individual who was active in the community.
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC