Board Meeting Minutes 08/12/2010

1250 Union Road                                           Minutes #2010-08
West Seneca, NY 14224                                August 12, 2010

Chairman Robert Niederpruem Jr. called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. followed by the Pledge to the Flag.

ROLL CALL: Present    -   Robert Niederpruem Jr., Chairman
                                          Joseph Ciancio
                                          Gerald Greenan
                                          Donald Mendola
                                          Anthony Nigro
                                          Jim Rathmann
                                          Joseph Sherman
                                          Robert Pinnavaia, Code Enforcement Officer
                                          Andrew Reilly, Planning Consultant
                                          Wendy Weber-Salvati, Planning Consultant
                                          Shawn Martin, Town Attorney
         Absent    -   None

Chairman Niederpruem read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or other emergency.


Motion by Rathmann, seconded by Mendola, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


Motion by Nigro, seconded by Ciancio, to approve Minutes #2010-07 of July 8, 2010.

On the question, Mr. Ciancio stated that he opposed the special use permit for the Houghton College project and asked that the minutes be corrected to reflect his negative vote.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried



A request from National Fuel for site plan approval for property located at 400 Mineral Springs Road for construction of a 7750 sf, one-story, stand alone training facility and associated site work.

Russell Bennett of TVGA Consultants represented National Fuel and noted that the actual address for the project is 365 Mineral Springs Road.  The revised site plan met all the setback requirements and a 10’ strip of green space was added along the entire length of the parcel on Mineral Springs Road along with eight trees and another species as indicated in the legend.  Pavement striping was eliminated along the north side of the building and landscaping was expanded in the front of the building.  Landscaping was also added at the northeast corner of the site where there is an existing pylon sign.  Mr. Bennett referred to the portion of the site that crosses the City of Buffalo line and stated that he verified with the City of Buffalo building department that a permit will not be required and site plan approval from their planning department is not required.  The plan is in compliance with the City of Buffalo’s zoning ordinance with regard to screening on all three sides of the parking lot.

Chairman Niederpruem referred to the condition of the existing fence along the property line and questioned if there were any plans to replace it.

Mr. Bennett responded that the fence was in the process of being painted.

Mr. Mendola commented that the petitioner did a great job in complying with the requests of the Planning Board to improve the entranceway to the town.

Mr. Rathmann also complimented Mr. Bennett on the landscaping in front of the building and parking area.  He referred to the signs indicating the handicapped parking area and noted that NYS Law now requires “Do Not Park” signs at the access aisles.

Mr. Bennett stated that he will ensure the proper signage is in place.

Mr. Mendola questioned the lighting for the facility.

Mr. Bennett responded that they had lighting as required by the code at the exterior exits, at the ramp, and at the east entrance to the building.  There will be lighting on the building to illuminate the entrances and along the walkways leading to the entrance.

Mr. Nigro questioned if there will be a new pylon sign and Mr. Bennett stated that they will use the existing pylon sign.

No comments were received from the public.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to issue a negative declaration with regard to SEQR for the National Fuel project located at 400 Mineral Springs Road for construction of a 7750 sf, one-story, stand alone training facility and associated site work.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to approve site plan CS-100 for National Fuel located at 400 Mineral Springs Road for construction of a 7750 sf, one-story, stand alone training facility and associated site work.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


A request from Walter Kolkiewicz for preliminary approval of the proposed Victoria Estates Subdivision located on Seneca Creek Road for 22 lots.

Keith Marquis of Marquis Engineering represented Walter Kolkiewicz and stated that the site plan was revised in response to comments from the Engineering Department and the Planning Board.  To address concerns about ponding water on the west side of the property towards the creek, the storm drainage will be run through that area and there will be a drainage swale on the west property line with discharge into the creek.  This will eliminate the ponding and allow drainage from the subdivision to discharge into the creek.  An environmental structure will be utilized between two lots on the cul-de-sac to separate particles from the roadway drainage.  Mr. Marquis noted that the drainage indicated on the plans was based on the recommendation of the Engineering Department and they still had to clear up some invert elevations and the size of the separator chamber.

Mr. Ciancio questioned who will maintain the chamber.

Mr. Marquis advised that the town will do the maintenance biannually to remove any solids from the chamber.  It will be mostly leaves and loose debris.

Chairman Niederpruem referred to the conservation easement for the rear area of the development and stated this will have to be addressed on the site plan and legally.

Mr. Marquis understood that the Planning Board was looking for a conservation area along the rear lots.  Mr. Kolkiewicz informed him that he had clients that were looking to continue the lots back to the creek, so an easement was not indicated on the plan.

Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that the conservation easement was a condition of the rezoning and won’t affect the layout of a lot.  The lots will still continue back to the end of the property, but there cannot be any development in that area.  That area is a flood plain so building is also restricted by Town Code.

Town Attorney Shawn Martin advised that the conservation easement will have to be recorded with the County so it is enforceable.

Mr. Mendola noted that each property line had to have a swale, but there was nothing marked on the plan.

Mr. Marquis referred to the grading plan where the lots were indicated “A”, “B”, or “AB”.

Karen Lucachick, Greenmeadow Drive, questioned what sewer district the property was located in.

Mr. Mendola advised that this was Erie County Sewer District #1.

Mrs. Salvati noted that the minimum lot size for each of the lots must be indicated on the plan.

Motion by Mendola, seconded by Greenan, to schedule a public hearing for the September 9, 2010 Planning Board meeting to consider preliminary approval of the proposed 22-lot Victoria Estates Subdivision located on Seneca Creek Road.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


2010-05 & SPR 2010-07

A request from Upstate Cellular Network d/b/a Verizon Wireless for a special tower permit and site plan approval for property located at 2801 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 198, changing its classification from C-1 to C-1(S), for a 100' monopole tower and wireless communications antennas, a 12' x 8' rooftop equipment shed, together with other site improvements as set forth in the application materials and site plan.

Greg Nearpass, an attorney with Nixon Peabody, represented Verizon Wireless and stated that the equipment shelter will actually be located within the fire department building.  Only the HVAC units will be located on the rooftop.  He stated that Verizon Wireless was a public utility licensed and regulated by the FCC and charged with providing reliable wireless service to its customers, including individuals, businesses, police, fire and emergency services, etc.  Mr. Nearpass commented on the advances in cellular technology and stated that it is now used by ambulances to transmit vital signs to a hospital and by fire companies to download information on a structure as they’re going to a fire.  Verizon Wireless was in the process of a multi-million dollar upgrade to its cellular technology infrastructure particularly in upstate and WNY.  As a public utility, Verizon Wireless was subject to a different zoning standard and only had to show there is a need for the service and the proposed location remedies the need. To show the need, Verizon Wireless radio frequency engineers generate propagation maps.  They analyze the existing coverage in an area to establish a need and develop a search area to locate the tower.  Main factors in determining the search area are the coverage objectives which are typically major roadways and populated areas as well as the location of other Verizon Wireless sites.  Sites need to be located close enough to have “hand off” coverage, but not too closely where they cause interference.  Mr. Nearpass stated that they were proposing a 100’ monopole at Seneca Hose Fire Company that will achieve the coverage objectives and provide reliable coverage to residential and commercial customers along Route 240 from Route 400 to Ridge Road and along Seneca Street from Chamberlin Drive to Center Road.  It will also provide proper “hand off” coverage to the Mineral Springs Road site and I-90/Route 219 site.  Mr. Nearpass stated that the first thing Verizon Wireless looks at when they come into a community is co-location opportunities.  Co-location is preferred because it is cheaper and the approval process is quicker.  In this case, the two closest towers are located approximately one mile north on Harlem Road, one on the Erie I Boces property and the other on Suburban Adult Services property next to I-90.  Both towers are located too far north to provide the coverage needed on I-90 along Ridge Road and too close to the Mineral Springs Road site.  Mr. Nearpass stated that they also looked for government or municipal owned property in the search area. There was none, but the fire department is a municipal use type of property and it meets the coverage objectives.  Mr. Nearpass noted that they were asking for a waiver from the front yard setback requirement.  The Town Code requires that a tower be set back the height of the tower plus 150’ from any front yard line.  He indicated on the site plan the proposed location of the tower at the back corner of the property next to the building, which was a setback of 121’, and stated that with good cause the Planning Board can waive the setback requirement.  The purpose of the setback requirement was to allow a sufficient fall zone for the tower; however, the proposed tower is engineered to fall within itself and only needs a radius of approximately 50’ for the fall zone.

Mr. Rathmann commented that if the structure collapses on itself within a 50’ radius it could go through the roof of the firehall.

Mr. Nearpass stated that the tower is designed to meet NYS and federal safety standards for structural capacity.  This is a sustained wind of either 90 mph or 45 mph with 1” of radial ice covering the entire tower.  He was not aware of any tower that had fallen.

Mr. Ciancio questioned the range of coverage for an individual tower, the power emitted, and the height of the maintenance shed.

Mr. Nearpass responded that the range of coverage depended on the height of the tower (i.e. the higher the tower, the more coverage).  Towers are designed to be at the minimum height necessary to achieve the coverage objectives.  The coverage for the proposed tower is 1 to 1.5 miles.  The power emitted complies with all FCC regulations.  The second floor interior space of the fire department will be modified to house the equipment.

Chairman Niederpruem commented that the proposed location was a high profile area and very visible when coming down Orchard Park Road.  He referred to other sites identified by Verizon Wireless that he thought might be a better location.  About 10 years ago the Planning Board had a tower special permit request for a location on Orchard Park Road behind the Ironworkers Hall.  That location is only ¼ mile from the proposed site.  Chairman Niederpruem also thought that Ray Laks had sufficient area behind their property for locating the tower and it would be well off the road and more out of eyesight.  He further noted that Ray Laks property was located in the center of the search ring.  Chairman Niederpruem suggested a coordinated review to receive input from others and also allow time for the petitioner to look at some of the Planning Board’s recommendations.

Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati advised that because this is a tower special use permit, the Planning Board was only a recommending body to the Town Board on both the special permit and the site plan approval.  Therefore, the Planning Board could not be the lead agency for SEQR, but they could recommend that the Town Board designate themselves as lead agency and initiate a coordinated SEQR review.  Mrs. Salvati suggested that the applicant first identify other sites and return to the Planning Board.

Mr. Rathmann questioned the possibility of increasing the height of the tower to 150’ and relocating to the manufacturing area on the north side of Route 400.

Mr. Nearpass stated that anything west of I-90 would be out of the search ring, but he would look into the possibility of a taller tower.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to table the above request until the September 9, 2010 Planning Board meeting.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


A request from Wal-Mart Real Estate for site plan approval for property located at 2400 Seneca Street for shopping center renovation for a 115,000 +/- sf building, including demolition (replacement building), parking, buffer fence, utilities, sidewalks, driveway improvements, new traffic signal and other typical site improvements.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board received a full environmental assessment form, a site plan, demolition plan, grading plan, utility plans, etc.

Kelly Pronti, an attorney with Harter, Secrest & Emery, represented Wal-Mart and introduced Kim Thompson, Project Coordinator with Bergmann Associates; Jim Basile, Civil Engineer with Bergmann Associates; and Kelly Thompson, Traffic Engineer.

Kim Thompson stated that Wal-Mart wanted to be a good neighbor in West Seneca and thought that the Wal-Mart Supercenter concept was the best way to service the customers.  The supercenter offered general merchandise and groceries and also provided a vision center, pharmacy, deli, etc. with the store.  This was also a good planning project as Wal-Mart chose a site that was already a commercial establishment and will be utilizing a vacant building.  They were aware of the residential and commercial neighbors and were willing to address buffers, fencing, lighting, etc.  They had previously met informally with the neighbors to inform them of the project and answer their questions.  Ms. Thompson stated that the site is zoned commercial and they were not requesting any variances.

Jim Basile stated that the plaza was bordered by Edson Street on the north, Burch Avenue on the south, Manhassett Street on the east, and fronts Seneca Street on the west side.  The parcel consists of 14.7 acres and is surrounded by residential on all sides except the west which is commercial.  The property is zoned C-1 and there are two existing stand alone buildings.  The building on the west is a 35,000 sf strip plaza, and the other building is the 125,000 sf abandoned retail store.  Vehicle access to the property occurs from a driveway on Seneca Street and another on Burch Avenue.  There  are  two  pedestrian  access  points – one  from  Edson Street and one from

Manhassett Street.  Parking is located mostly to the west of the abandoned store with some to the north and to the north and west of the strip plaza.  There is a dilapidated wood fence that surrounds the property and a few light poles scattered throughout the parking lot, along the property line, and along the driveway.  An existing pylon sign is located south of the Seneca Street driveway.  The utilities that serve the abandoned building are as follows: a 6-inch sanitary lateral that serves the site from Edson Street; a water line that comes in from Manhassett Street and enters through a water meter pit that serves the building; storm water is collected in a series of catch basins and piped to a 24-inch diameter sewer to Manhassett Street; overhead electric is present at Edson Street and gas service comes in from Manhassett Street.  Mr. Basile presented a rendering of the proposed plan indicating that the 125,000 sf building will be demolished and replaced with a 115,800 sf retail store in approximately the same location.  The building will meet all the required setbacks and parking will be mostly in the front of the store.  There will be 769 parking spaces, a ratio of 5.08 per thousand, which meets the Town Code requirement.  The size of the parking spaces and aisles also meets the Town Code requirement along with the 10’ parking setback from the property line. The existing fence that surrounds the property will be replaced by a 6’ vinyl fence in the same location and there will be openings at the access points at Edson Street and Manhassett Street.  Several landscape improvements are proposed throughout the parking lot and along the fence.  Vehicle access will remain the same, from Seneca Street and Burch Avenue.  Improvements will be made to the Seneca Street driveway, including realigning the driveway with a right and left hand turn lane, restriping of Seneca Street to include a left hand turn lane, and installation of a traffic signal to control traffic.  A new sidewalk connection is proposed in front of the existing retail store that will take pedestrians across the front along the sidewalk and crosswalks to the northwest corner of the store.  A new pylon sign is also proposed on the south side of the driveway.  There will be lighting improvements throughout the parking lot and the proposal is for high efficiency LED fixtures mounted on 25’ high poles with 3’ bases.  The lights will be setback from the property line within the parking area and will provide a minimum level of light along the property line for security.  A new sanitary sewer will serve the site from Manhassett Street, water will enter the building from the same location it currently enters, backflow and metering will occur inside the building, storm water will be collected in a series of catch basins and directed into a storm water quality treatment area and filtration system that will be underneath the parking lot and flow controlled to a 24-inch pipe and back to the Manhassett Street sewer.  The storm water meets NYSDEC guidelines and regulations and the Town of West Seneca stormwater ordinances.  Electric will serve the site via underground from Edson Street and gas will come in from Manhassett Street.

Mr. Mendola questioned if they were eliminating the existing sanitary sewer.

Mr. Basile advised that the existing sanitary sewer connects to the sewer on Edson Street and that will be abandoned.

Mr. Mendola questioned if they had checked to see if the sanitary sewer on Manhassett Street could accept the proposed connection.

Mr Basile understood there was ample capacity in that sewer and stated that a plan was submitted to Town Engineer George Montz.

Mr. Mendola questioned if the proposed plan had been submitted to the fire department, noting that they may have some input on the design or location of the building and what they need to maneuver their equipment.  He suggested that Mr. Basile meet with the fire department.

Kelly Thompson, Traffic Engineer with Bergmann Associates, referred to the traffic impact study that was submitted to the town and City of Buffalo.  The design considerations they examined when looking at the traffic impact were to maintain a good level of service throughout the corridor, pedestrian accommodations, and arterial and access management elements.  The study examines peak hour volumes for evenings and weekends and determines the existing level of service (ie. how well the roadway operates and if it is operating well with minimum delay and short cue lengths).  It was determined that the existing level of service is relatively good at all intersections along the corridor with the exception of the Harlem Road intersection that has a poor level of service on a regular basis during peak hours.  The area immediately adjacent to the store has a very good level of service.  They also look at how the traffic volumes will be impacted by the new facility.  They examine and determine how much additional traffic will be added to the base level of traffic already in the corridor.  Studies are done based on the size of the structure and what kind of traffic it will generate.  When that determination is made they add this to the existing traffic counts along the corridor and determine a future level of service based on a distribution of traffic along the corridor.  In producing the study, it was determined that the new levels of service at the time the building is put into operation will still be relatively good to moderate levels of service along the corridor, again with the exception of Harlem Road.  There was some concerns about the amount of traffic operation at the site driveway for one of the turning movements.  If they maintain the driveway as it currently exists with a stop sign, vehicles wanting to make a left turn onto Seneca Street will have difficulty doing so.  Therefore, they examined other types of traffic measures to assist in improving the operation of the driveway.  They performed a traffic warrant analysis to determine if a traffic signal will help in this instance.  They found that a traffic signal is warranted at the driveway at the time the development is constructed.  The level of operation will be improved and the area will be safer for pedestrians and vehicular traffic.  With the volume of traffic that will be added to Seneca Street, they also felt that a left turn lane needed to be installed for southbound traffic on Seneca Street turning into the site.  Installation of the left turn lane will mean that parking on the west side of Seneca Street in that area will have to be restricted.  They will also want to maintain access management ideas in this area where the main driveway will maintain and be the truck entrance to the site.  Therefore, the radius for right turning traffic into the site has to be designed based on being able to accommodate a truck.  Even though the driveway will have two lanes exiting the site, the radius will have to be widened to ensure that right turning traffic into the site will be able to make the turn properly.

Mr. Mendola questioned if there will be a raised island dividing the main driveway.

Ms. Thompson advised that it will be a painted median.

Chairman Niederpruem questioned if the City of Buffalo traffic engineers had looked at the study.

Ms. Thompson stated that she spoke with Eric Schmarter, the City’s traffic engineer, and he concurred with the mitigation requirements.  The only issue he questioned was how they had distributed the traffic, especially the 10 percent they thought would divert to the cut through.  They thought the figure was a little high but were not in disagreement with it.

Chairman Niederpruem questioned if the signals will be coordinated.

Ms. Thompson responded that the signal to the north is 550’ away and the signal to the south is 700’ away.  They are about at a limit where they can be coordinated successfully. It would be more of a time based coordination rather than any type of hard wire or fiber connection.

Chairman Niederpruem noted that Burch Avenue is a town highway and questioned if it was mentioned in the traffic study as a backup or secondary access.

Ms. Thompson stated that they looked at Burch Avenue as a secondary access, but trucks will be excluded.

Town Attorney Shawn Martin advised that under the Town Code trucks/tractor trailers were prohibited from that area of Burch Avenue, Grace Avenue, and Wildwood Place.

Chairman Niederpruem referred to the loading docks at the rear of the store and questioned if the flow of traffic will be for trucks to enter clockwise and circle around to back into the dock on the south, and vice versa for the dock on the other side.  Mr. Basile stated this was correct.  Chairman Niederpruem further referred to the residences abutting the rear property line and questioned if a 10’ grass buffer and six foot vinyl fence was sufficient for the delivery trucks.  He also questioned if there were restrictions on delivery times.

Mr. Basile thought there was ample room for the trucks and did not believe there would be a problem.  Ms. Thompson stated that they would comply with the Town Code and she did not believe there were any restrictions on delivery times.  They typically did not have trucks delivering in the middle of the night, but there was a possibility that could occur.

Chairman Niederpruem requested an enhanced buffer along the rear property line due to the activity that will take place behind the building.  This is a 24/7 operation and he wanted to protect the neighbors from disturbances.  He suggested some type of enhanced barrier and commented on the Tops Market in East Aurora where a combination earth berm and wall were used to mitigate the noise.

Ms. Thompson stated that they can also look at constructing a wall at the loading dock to help mitigate the noise.

Mr. Mendola questioned if there was sufficient room behind the building for snow plowing and storage.

Mr. Basile stated that if the snow storage was excessive they would have to remove it to another location.

Mr. Mendola questioned the lighting on the rear of the building.

Ms. Thompson stated that lights will be mounted on the building only at the access points to the building and are not intended for site lighting.  Light poles along the back for site lighting will be directed towards the driveway and building and away from the residences.  They can also provide shields on the back of the light poles to direct the light.

Mr. Ciancio questioned the façade of the building.

Ms. Thompson stated that the architect was not present at the meeting, but building elevations were provided with the application.  In general, there were different uses of materials throughout the building.  More recently, Wal-Mart has been using a pre-cast panel and has found great success with them in this area.

Mr. Mendola questioned if there will be a second floor with offices.  Ms. Thompson stated there would not be a second floor to the building.

Chairman Niederpruem noted that the proposed building will be taller than the existing building and he questioned if the height was comparable to the Wal-Mart in Hamburg and Lancaster.

Ms. Thompson responded that the proposed height of the building is 30’. She thought the Wal-Mart in Hamburg might exceed that height due to some variations to the façade.

Mr. Rathmann stated that the Planning Board members would like to have some input on the façade of the proposed building.

Ms. Thompson stated that they would be happy to bring the architect to the next meeting to talk in greater depth about the building elevation.

Mr. Rathmann commented on the huge parking lot and stated that there was no storage area for snow.  He questioned if it will be stockpiled in the corner of the lot, noting that it might interfere with the delivery trucks.

Ms. Thompson stated that they typically try to push the snow to the perimeter away from customer traffic and emergency vehicle access, but they are limited on the perimeter of the paved area at this site.  She noted that an operating manual is prepared for each project for store operations telling them what to do with the snow and when to do it and there are instances where they have to haul snow away from the site.

Mr. Rathmann referred to the existing retail store and understood that Wal-Mart was not retaining that as part of their property.  He questioned if that was a separate parcel that was deeded off.

Ms. Thompson stated that as part of the application they will be proposing an administrative subdivision approval.  The retail plaza will be retained by the current owner.  Wal-Mart will be maintaining the main access road as part of a reciprocal agreement.

Mr. Rathmann referred to the pedestrian access from Manhassett Street and Edson Street and questioned if there will be improvements made, including installation of low level lighting for safety purposes.

Mr. Basile stated that they would consider improvements and installation of lighting on the pedestrian walkways.

Mr. Rathmann referred to the main driveway where it meets the parking area and suggested that the traffic pattern at the junction be looked at, including the addition of islands to allow direct pedestrian access from Seneca Street to the building.

Mr. Basile thought this was a reasonable request but noted that it would eliminate a considerable amount of parking.  Ms. Thompson stated that the proposed parking was at a 5.0 ratio which was required by Town Code.

Mr. Greenan asked for clarification on the parking plan and noted that it shows the land that will not be owned by Wal-Mart.

Ms. Thompson stated that they considered the entire area a shopping center and the parking ratio applied to it was pursuant to shopping centers.  The Town Code did not specify that the buildings had to be owned by the same owner.

Mr. Greenan stated that without the strip plaza owner being an applicant the Planning Board could not do anything with that parcel.

Ms. Thompson did not believe there was an issue with this and stated that they had every intention of working with the adjacent property owner.  Wal-Mart will own the Seneca Street access and the strip plaza owner will maintain the Burch Avenue access.  There will be a reciprocal easement agreement that provides for cross access with the strip plaza owner and both parties will have obligations.

Mr. Mendola referred to the pedestrian access from Manhassett Street and questioned if there was a rear entrance to the store.  He thought that walking traffic to the store would be heavy, so safe pedestrian access was an important issue.

Ms. Thompson advised that there was no rear access for customers.  The only access was at the front of the building for security reasons.  They will take a serious look at pedestrian access from all directions.

Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly suggested that they meet informally to work toward having safe pedestrian access to the site.

Marjorie Taylor, Burch Avenue, questioned if the fence will stop at Grace Street.

Mr. Basile indicated on the plan where the fence will begin and end.

NYS Assemblyman Mark Schroeder, 145th Assembly District, stated that 9 years ago there were 54 vacant, deplorable buildings on Seneca Street that extended from South Buffalo into West Seneca.  Over the last 9 years, that number has declined to 12 – 14. There is a $2 million street project taking place on the Seneca Street portion of the South Buffalo side of the project, so there has been much progress. They are working directly with the Greater South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce and the West Seneca Chamber of Commerce to make Seneca Street the best it can be.  Three to five years ago Assemblyman Schroeder was brought into a situation where Wal-Mart was interested in building a store on private property on Mineral Springs Road in West Seneca.  He thought that was a very bad location and would be extremely disruptive to the Winchester, Kaisertown and South Buffalo area of town.  At the time, he brought to Wal-Mart’s attention this vacant building on Seneca Street, they responded, and they were now very interested in the property.  Assemblyman Schroeder commented that this was a “game changer” for Seneca Street, both West Seneca and South Buffalo, and will provide an opportunity for 300 jobs, especially for residents that live closest to the store.  He called most of the businesses on Seneca Street and most are very interested in this project. Assemblyman Schroeder commented that this was a great  opportunity for West Seneca and Buffalo.  Supervisor Piotrowski and Mayor Brown have both been very cooperative and he thought it will be a great project.

Robert Luke, West Seneca, supported the project and stated that it will be a convenience for the area residents and be more secure with lighting in the parking area.  He suggested the end of Mt. Vernon as another pedestrian access to the store.

Dan Scheck, Burch Avenue, did not believe a 6’ fence was high enough to screen the store and suggested additional fire hydrants to service the property.  Mr. Scheck was concerned about truck traffic on the side streets and the volume of traffic this project will bring to Burch Avenue.  He suggested that the corner of Burch Avenue and Manhassett Street be straightened out to prevent accidents from happening with the increase in traffic.

Eric Conley, 1st Asst. Chief of Seneca Hose Fire Company, stated that the fire department had not met with representatives of Wal-Mart concerning the site plan.  They had no idea on the suppression efforts planned for inside the building or the main that feeds it.  Mr. Conley stated that the fire department had no objections to the project but asked that they be involved in a meeting with Wal-Mart representatives regarding buildings and inspections to clarify any concerns.

Linda Toy, Burch Avenue, supported the Wal-Mart project but agreed with Mr. Scheck’s comments about the intersection of Burch Avenue and Manhassett Street where there were no sidewalks.  Mrs. Toy questioned the type of plantings that will be along the property lines and hoped they will be large enough to act as a sound barrier.  She further suggested an island down the center of the parking lot so pedestrians from Seneca Street can walk safely to the store.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that trees and shrubs were proposed and a landscape plan was available in the Town Clerk’s office for the public to view.

Mr. Reilly stated that the Planning Board will be establishing itself as lead agency under the SEQR laws and allow 30 days to ensure that other agencies agree with that designation and submit their comments.  He suggested that Wal-Mart representatives meet with the fire department, Engineering Department, Code Enforcement, etc. over the next few weeks and submit revisions to their plan by the first week of September.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to adopt the attached resolution declaring the West Seneca Planning Board’s intent to act as lead agency with regard to SEQR for the proposed Wal-Mart project at 2400 Seneca Street.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried



A request from Wm. Schutt & Associates, P.C. representing Marrano/Marc Equity for preliminary approval of the proposed 10-lot Caldwell Drive Subdivision.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board received a Part I Environmental Impact Statement, site plans, utility plans, and layout drawings of the proposed development.

Dave DePaolo, Executive Vice President of Marrano/Marc Equity, stated their proposal for a 10-lot extension to Caldwell Drive on the south end of Princeton Estates Subdivision.  He presented an aerial view of the subdivision and stated that the street is completely developed and dedicated to the town.  The extension has sidewalks on one side, street lights, water, and storm sewers, but no sanitary sewer.  The sanitary sewer will be extended from Caldwell Drive to the south to service the new lots and this extension will have to be approved.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that sewer capacity in that area is a big issue and the 10 lots were not included in the original subdivision.

Robyn Cierniak, Project Engineer with Wm. Schutt & Associates, stated that from the onset of the design for the 10 lots they have been in contact with Town Engineer George Montz as well as Erie County for sanitary sewer capacity.  They have been working closely with them and following the protocols they set for the project.  Based on comments from both parties, there is sufficient capacity for the 10 lots.

Mr. DePaolo stated that Princeton Estates has 154 taps attached to the project and they may be able to reserve 10 lots from that project to allow this project to proceed. In any event, mitigation will need to be done to allow the 10 lots to go forward.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that the Planning Board will need written verification from Erie County and the NYSDEC of their approval before they can act on preliminary approval.

Mr. Rathmann questioned why Marrano/Marc Equity would be extending the subdivision with 10 lots when they haven’t built out the initial project.

Mr. DePaolo stated that this is existing roadway and they were able to secure enough land adjacent to the road to subdivide the frontage.

Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly suggested that the Planning Board schedule a public hearing to hear any other issues the public may have besides the sewers.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to schedule a public hearing for September 9, 2010 to consider preliminary approval of the proposed 10-lot Caldwell Drive Subdivision.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 P.M.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried