Board Meeting Minutes 05/13/2010

1250 Union Road                                           Minutes #2010-05
West Seneca, NY 14224                                May 13, 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 & Wendy Salvati, Planning Consultants
                                          Shawn Martin, Town Attorney
                                          Jeffrey Harrington, Deputy 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 Ciancio, seconded by Nigro, to approve Minutes #2010-04 of April 8, 2010.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried



A public hearing to consider preliminary approval of the proposed 55-lot Camelot Square Subdivision, Phase III, located west of Angle Road, south of East & West Road and north of Reserve Road.

Motion by Rathmann, seconded by Ciancio, to open the public hearing.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, represented the developer, Eugene Piotrowski and stated that a letter was submitted dated May 3, 2010 that responded to all the open matters. There was a question as to whether there were any wetlands and a wetlands delineation was prepared and submitted indicating there are no wetlands on the site. Another question concerned SEQR segmentation due to the stub road proposed, but Erie County Planning was satisfied because Mr. Piotrowski does not own the additional land. There was also an issue with regard to traffic patterns at the intersection of Angle Road and East & West Road and a letter was submitted from the Erie County Traffic Safety Engineer indicating there would be no adverse traffic impacts created by the proposed project. Sewer capacity was a difficult and longstanding issue and Mike Metzger of Metzger Civil Engineering presented a 4:1 program that the County of Erie has in effect. A letter was submitted from Robert Locey, an Engineer with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), indicating their willingness to support and allow the 4:1 program to be used for this project. This project will improve the town’s situation because the developer has the responsibility of assisting the town in taking care of four gallons of waste while allowing one new gallon.

Mr. Ciancio questioned how the cost was divided. He commented that the town has been working on that line for years and questioned how much more improvement could be made.

Michael Metzger of Metzger Civil Engineering, 8560 Main Street, Williamsville, advised that problem areas in the existing sewer are identified and through analysis it is determined what kind of flows are coming into the sewer through the broken pipe, leaky manhole, etc. The developer will pay to make repairs to the existing sewers in order to take four gallons out for every new gallon of waste from the project. There is no cost to the town and the developer will actually be helping to offset existing problems that he had nothing to do with. Mr. Metzger stated that the town has been fairly aggressively with their improvement projects, but they have embarked on a huge project recently and just surpassed the first phase which was passed on to the NYSDEC. They were now entering the next phase and by the end of summer should know where the worst problem areas are so some projects can be identified to be implemented.

Mr. Niederpruem questioned what type of agreement is put in place between the developer and the town so the town is properly reimbursed for this.

Mr. Metzger stated that often the work is identified and the town doesn’t even get involved with it. Often a sanitary sewer has excess flows coming in from the sewer laterals, from the house to the sewer main, and municipalities are extremely reluctant and hesitant to spend money on private laterals, but the developer has the opportunity to come in when the laterals are identified and make the replacements. This way the town does not have to get involved in working on private property.

Mr. Mendola disagreed that the town would not be at all involved with the repairs and stated that the town would never let anyone other than themselves supervise the situation.

Mr. Metzger agreed that the town would monitor the situation, but they would not be involved with the funding.

Mr. Rathmann questioned the turning radius at the end of the cul-de-sac and stated that §103-13(n) states: “at the closed end with a turnaround having an outside roadway diameter of at least 120 feet.” He was concerned about the ability of a school bus or emergency vehicle to maneuver the cul-de-sac.

Mr. Metzger responded that they were at the preliminary plat phase of the project. The engineering drawings will reflect the town’s actual standards, but the cul-de-sac shown in the preliminary plat drawing was one that was provided directly by the Engineering Department.

Mr. Mendola thought the 60’ radius was in the wrong place on the drawing and it should be on the pavement which would cover the 120’ diameter.

Mr. Greenan disagreed and stated that for years the Engineering Department has used the same cul-de-sac description and it is the one that appears on the proposed subdivision map which does not comply with the ordinance.

Mr. Metzger stated that they will comply with whatever the town requires.

Mr. Mendola referred to the stub street and was not in favor of any road cut or pavement. He commented on another subdivision that was being developed with a stub street and stated that people have a tendency to put garages there and the town then ends up plowing the stub streets. He preferred that the curb be carried straight through and the area be kept as a paper street.

Mr. Lorigo stated that they would not have a problem doing that.

Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that this would have to be clear in the deeds for Lot Nos. 8 and 9, because the neighbors will quickly make claim to that land.

Mr. Lorigo stated that a subdivision map will be filed and it will be shown on that. Also, it will be Mr. Montz’s decision if the developer should follow Mr. Mendola’s suggestion.

Mr. Nigro referred to the proposed permanent conservation areas behind Lot Nos. 41 – 44 and questioned if trees will be planted there. He further questioned the depth of the conservation area and thought it was just wild brush.

Mr. Metzger responded that the conservation easement was about 50’ and there are currently trees on that property. That was why they were proposing the conservation area so the trees will be maintained.

Mr. Lorigo stated that the purpose of the conservation easement was to prevent anyone that buys property around the easement to remove the trees.

Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly stated that the conservation easement can be made a condition of the approval and can be coordinated so it includes the existing trees on the property.

Mrs. Salvati noted that at its widest point the conservation easement measures 40’.

Mr. Rathmann stated that he paced the area and from the property line in it was about 150’ where the trees end. Forty feet will probably just be the beginning of the trees.

Mr. Mendola referred to the trees along the west property line of the subdivision and asked that Mr. Piotrowski make a concerted effort to save as many trees as possible instead of clear cutting the property.

Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia questioned if the individuals that buy the lots will have to respect the easement.

Mr. Lorigo responded that they would have to respect the easement and that will be in their deed. Everyone in the subdivision will have the right to police it.

Mr. Reilly stated that a deed restriction will put the property owner on notice, but a conservation easement in the name of the town will involve the town in enforcement.

Mr. Mendola questioned if the easement will be made out to the town.

Mr. Lorigo stated that the conservation easement will be deeded to the town which will allow the town to enforce the obligation and it will also be in deed restrictions of the properties adjacent to the area.

Mr. Reilly suggested that the final plat show how the area will be demarcated.

Town Attorney Shawn Martin advised that all the comments made on the conservation easement were correct. Deeding the conservation easement to the town makes the provision enforceable by the town.

Amy Carpenter, 406 Woodward Crescent, questioned if the project will be located in Sewer District that has all the problems, and further, if there is a conservation easement to the town, will it be tax free.

Mr. Mendola advised that the project will be located in Sewer District #13.

Mr. Martin advised that the purpose of the easement was only to allow the town to enforce what is contained in the easement. The property is still owned by the property owners, but the town will be able to enforce the regulations.

Mrs. Carpenter questioned if there was anything in the code concerning the regulations.

Mr. Martin advised that there was a Tree Ordinance and it is enforced when there are complaints and issues.

Motion by Mr. Mendola, seconded by Greenan, to close the public hearing.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

Chairman Niederpruem stated that if the Planning Board is recommending approval, many of the conditions talked about should be part of the motion so they are easily enforced.

Mr. Reilly stated that the Planning Board will be issuing a negative declaration for the project. He referred to Mrs. Carpenter’s comment regarding the issues in Sewer District #13 and stated that a plan was presented to mitigate the problems and a letter was received from the NYSDEC in support of it. The Planning Board told the developer six months ago that they had to resolve this issue before the plan would move forward, and although preliminary plat approval will be granted, the issue will not go forward until the plan is in place and approved by the Town Engineer.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to adopt the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Town of West Seneca received an application for a 55-lot subdivision called Camelot Square; and

WHEREAS, the Town of West Seneca Planning Board in compliance with Part 617 of the implementing regulations pertaining to Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review Act – SEQRA) of the Environmental Conservation Law, has reviewed this action; and

WHEREAS, this project will not adversely affect the natural resources of the State and/or the health, safety and welfare of the public and is consistent with social and economic considerations; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Town of West Seneca Planning Board has determined that the proposed action is not anticipated to result in any significant negative affect on the environment and that a Negative Declaration is hereby issued; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Planning Board Chairman is authorized to sign the Environmental Assessment Form and the Town Planners are authorized to perform the appropriate mailings and notifications.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

Motion by Mendola, seconded by Niederpruem, to grant preliminary approval of the proposed 55 lot Camelot Square Subdivision, Phase III, located west of Angle Road, south of East & West Road and north of Reserve Road with the following stipulations: 1) a 60’ turning radius and 120’ diameter cul-de-sac; 2) caution shall be taken to save the trees on the west side; 3) the paper street will not be constructed, but the right-of-way shall be dedicated to the town; 4) a conservation easement shall be established and approved by the Town Attorney.

On the question, Mr. Greenan stated that unless the stub streets are dedicated to the town there will be extraordinary difficulties later with regard to the title for both parcels. He did not believe it was necessary for the stub streets to be curbed, but they should not remove the stub streets. The stub streets should be public streets, but be undeveloped and 30 years from now if the area does not go the way they think it will, the town can abandon the streets. Building of garages and formally abandoned streets is very common in some areas, usually in areas where the lots were 30’ wide to begin with. Mr. Greenan wanted to ensure that the stub streets will be dedicated to the town.

Mr. Mendola stated the intent of his motion was that the stub streets be dedicated to the town but not be paved at this time.

Mr. Reilly stated that he has dealt with this in other communities and he questioned who will pay for the road if there is future development.

Mr. Mendola responded that the developer will have to pay for the road.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Niederpruem, to amend the original motion and clarify that the streets shall be dedicated as shown on the map and the question of current paving be left to the discretion of the developer and the Engineering Department.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to approve the original motion as amended.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


A request from E.F. Burke Realty Co. for site plan approval for property located at Meyer Road & Birchwood Avenue, for the 144-unit Bridgeview apartment complex.

Brian Burke, E.F. Burke Realty Co., and Patricia Bittar of Wm. Schutt & Associates, appeared on the request.

Chairman Niederpruem stated this item has been before the Planning Board on several occasions and the developer has been to the Zoning Board of Appeals where some modifications have been made. The Planning Board members have some questions concerning the current plan as it relates to traffic flow, driveway widths, etc.

Mr. Rathman referred to the tree survey and noted it was modified from the original survey and would prefer to see the tree survey superinposed on the site plan.

Ms. Bittar stated half the layer was frozen on the trees which made it appear less densly previously. There are actually more trees than what was initially presented.

Mr. Rathmann stated he was also concerned with the safety aspect of garages being located directly on the other side of the parking spaces. This is a main circulation route and a person parked in the garage backing out into the traffic cannot see until out of the garage. A variance was given on the 30 foot width of the road which brought it down to a typical parking roadway with 24 feet. He felt the garages should be set back so that a person backing out can see traffic coming in either direction. Mr. Rathmann also noted that when parked in any of the parking spaces, a person needs to walk across the grass or along the roadway in order to get to the recreation or community center. He felt this type of community requires a sidewalk that circulates through the property. The dumpsters at 90 degrees to the roadway make it almost impossible for a dumpster truck to load. They should be placed at an angle.

Mr. Burke responded that there is a pad in the location identified on the plot. Often time, dumsters have a slide door on the side allowing easy access for the residents.

Mr. Rathmann stated that the typical waste management truck cannot swing into a ten or twelve foot enclosure with vehicles parked in the adjacent parking space.

Mr. Burke responded that this design is similar to their other properties and has worked well at those other locations as far as the turning radius, the size of the dumpster pad and corral around it. The dumpsters do have wheels on them so they can be moved about.

Mr. Rathmann referred to the proposed detention facilities which are 12 feet deep.  He asked if there will be an 8 foot pond in both locations, given that the outfall is 4 feet down from the rim, and because the soils are poorly draining soils.

Ms. Bittar stated they have to maintain an 8 foot water depth in order to meet DEC guidelines. The upper 4 feet is for managing storm water rainoff during rain events. They are connected under the roadway.

Mr. Rathmann questioned if there will be fencing or plantings around the ponds, noting that some communities also have open ponds.

Mr. Mendola asked how much water the pond will hold.

Ms. Bittar stated the normal depth per DEC code is 8 feet of normal water sitting in the pond to meet SPYDS requirements. Typically, every day there will be 8 feet of water except in storm events when there will be 12 feet of water until it dissipates to the control pipe.

Mr. Mendola asked what the slope on the pond is.

Ms. Bittar responded that it is 1:4 for the first 4 feet until water surface is reached and from that point it is 1:3 per DEC requirements.

Mr. Rathmann noted the outflow goes from the larger detention basin to the intersection of Meyer and Birchwood to a 15 inch pipe and then travels west under Birchwood and then outflows somewhere.

Ms. Bittar stated it then continues west to an existing wetland area. Everything is per the USGS maps and in coordination with George Montz. It follows the natural drainage patterns and the overall discharge rates are actually reduced through the control structure.

Mr. Mendola referred to the ditch and if it can accommodate the flow.

Mr. Rathmann noted they have a control strucure to regulate the flow. He questioned if there has been contact with the Corps of Engineers regarding the assumed isolated wetlands.

Ms. Bittar stated the timeframe keeps getting extended for them to get out into the field but according to Earth Dimensions, everyone is in agreement. They do not yet have anything in writing.

Mr. Niederpruem referred to the proposed 24 foot  roadway, noting this appears to be the major concern based on the safety issue when backing out from the garages.

Mr. Rathmann stated that there needs to be an adjustment for a person backing out of the garage so that the driver can see any oncoming traffic with this being the main circulation route.

Mr. Burke responded that they do post a 5 mile an hour sign in their other communites and the residents do respect it.

Mr. Niederpruen noted the garages along the 400 could be moved back to gain 6 feet.

Ms. Bittar stated the grading is tight with the conservation area but they can look at it again to see what can be done.

Mr. Burke stated that a pedestrian walkway as proposed by the Board is not a traditional senario with their other communities where guests drive their vehicles over to the pool area if they are unable to walk. The inner loop also acts as a recreational area for joggers and those using inline skates. He would prefer using that area for a pedestrian walk as well as access and egress, as in their other communities. The roadway cannot be expanded due to the confinement of the site by the conservation easement and other regulations and noted that the roadway was designed in this fashion based on previous comments from the Board.

Mr. Mendola referred to the building at the southeast corner of the development and questioned if there was sufficient parking spaces to accommodate that building as well as for the pool and community building.

Ms. Bittar responded that there are 246 required parking spaces, plus an additional 60 plus garage spaces. She felt that constituted sufficient parking.

Mr. Mendola stated that depended upon the excess parking spaces being in that location. If not, people will be parking on the pavement which will present a problem based on the 24 foot driveway.

Mr. Burke noted there are 28 parking spaces in front of the community center and pool area, some of which do accommodate the apartment building across the way. They also have a sign-in sheet for the pool which averages 12 to 20 people on any given day during the summer months. That is spread through the total course of the day and the pool offers a welcome amenity for the residents.

Ms. Salvati questioned if the community building is used throughout the year.

Mr. Burke responded that the community building is set up for small events, i.e., an anniversary party, and can only accommodate a limited number of people.

Ms. Bittar stated they have included the no parking and fire lanes signs along the access road as requested by the Fire Chief.

Ms. Salvati inquired if the roadways at their other sites are 24 feet wide.

Mr. Burke stated they were. They also have garages and he cannot recall a single incident where there was an accident.

Mr. Rathmann stated he remained in favor of sidewalks, especially to access the apartment buildings from the parking lot so one does not have to walk behind the cars.

Mr. Greenan felt the Board has imposed a number of areas that forced them into this configuration and now the Board is asking for amenities that go with wider roadways.

Ms. Salvati noted that the only area imposed was a 50 foot stretch along the 400 and the other area reserved for a conservation easement is on the other side of Birchwood Road.

Mr. Greenan noted that the other side of Birchwood Road is what gives the petitioner the bulk area to meet the ordinance and which pushes the buildings to their current location on this side of the road.

Ms. Salvai responded that the petitioner never planned to put units on the other side.

Mr. Greenan commented that if the garages were pushed back 6 feet on a straight line that would be a relatively minor adjustment except for the garage in the northwest corner. The location of that particular garage should be left up to the discretion of petitioner.

No comments were heard from the public.

Motion by Mr. Greenan, seconded by Mr. Nigro, to approve the site plan as presented with the exception that the garage units be moved back 6 feet, except the garage unit in the most northwest corner of the premises.

On the question, Mr. Niederpruem noted there is a parcel across the street that needs to have a designation assigned because it is part of the bulk area calculation and cannot be used for development in the future.

Ms. Salvati recommended a deed restriction and conservation easement.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mr. Nigro, to amend the motion to include within the site the portions of the premises shown on sheet C-4 and also the portion across Birchwood Road which is owned by the developer, as shown on the original application.

On the question, Mr. Rathmann requested that sidewalks be included in front of all parking spaces to provide access to the main units for the safety of the public.

Mr. Greenan stated he was not in favor of the sidewalks and would not be including them in his motion.

Ayes: Five (5)       Mr. Greenan, Mr. Nigro, Mr. Niederpruem, Mr. Sherman, Mr.                                     Ciancio

Noes: Two (2)       Mr. Rathmann, Mr. Mendola                           Motion Carried


A request from Young Development Inc. for a special permit for property located at 810 Union Road, being part of Lot Nos. 329 & 330, changing its classification from R-60 to R-60(S), for one 3-story, 128-unit senior apartment building and one 2-story, 47-unit HUD 202 apartment building.

Mr. Niederpruem noted this item has been before the Planning Board on several occasions.  The Planning Board has been named lead agent for the SEQR and the Board will be reviewing the SEQR information and additional information which the petitioner is presenting tonight.

Ralph Lorigo, Esq., 101 Slade Avenue, representing the petitioner, stated there were 26 different issues raised by the town consultant and the DEC. Responses to each item have been submitted, as well as follow up letters from Earth Dimensions, Heritage Preservation, Daryl Martin, C & S Engineers, site drawings and elevations, and a letter from the Town Engineer certifying adequate capacity in the downstream sewers. Mr. Lorigo suggested these items be made available for review by the public over the next few weeks. Any requests for further information can then be forwarded to petitioner for a response.

Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly, stated that 30 days have elapsed with no objections since the Planning Board designated itself lead agency. The petitioner and town representatives need to meet with a DEC representative over the next few weeks. One of the requirements of SEQR is completion of the EAF. Mr. Reilly reviewed in detail Part 2 – Project Impacts and Their Magnitude with the Planning Board members.   This item will be tabled tonight to give the Planning Board sufficient time to review all of the documentation and information provided. Mr. Drew noted that all the information will be reviewed in detail so that a decision may be made at the next meeting.

Mr. Niederpruem stated the EAF form will also be available to the public.

Mr. Lorigo requested that any comments be made in writing over the next two weeks with the following week reserved for responses from the petitioner.

Mr. Niederpruem requested that all the information provided to the Planning Board members be made available to the Town Clerk.

David Bonner, 16 Gervan Drive, questioned the procedure for delivering items on this project to the Planning Board members and questioned if a FOIL request was needed when residents appeared at the Town Clerk’s office.

Mr. Niederpruem outlined the responses received to date from the various agencies and noted that the entire file was open for inspection at the Town Clerk’s office without the need of a FOIL request.

Karen Lucachick, 61 Greenmeadow, stated she does not live near the subject premises but noted the apartment buildings at the entrance to her own development. The problem with the Houghton College site is not the proposed senior housing or subsidized housing, but rather the terms apartment and three story building. Apartments should not be buried in the middle of a single residential area. The other concern is problems in Sewer District #13 which are brought up often by residents at Town Board meetings because of raw sewage in their basements, some of whom have been affected for 30 years. Currently, there is Seneca Point, Princeton Estates, and houses next to Allendale, all of which belong to the same sewer district. The homes in Fisher Court never experienced problems until Princeton Estates was developed. She disagreed with Mr. Montz statement that there are no problems with Sewer District #13.

Susan Pisanczyn, 900 Union Road, stated she was opposed to this project and referred to her letter to the editor in this week’s Bee. She also referred to Planning Board minutes from December 21, 2005 pertaining to the request of Young Development for a 40 unit complex at 5240 and 5266 Seneca Street which is in a single family residential neighborhood. Wallace Piotrowski, a New York State Real Estate Appraiser, stated that “the Town of West Seneca was saturated with apartments and commented on the number of vacancies in other apartment complexes in town. He thought that adding this size apartment complex to an area that was not suitable for it would diminish the value of other properties in the area.”

The Planning Board recommended denial of the request based on the density of the project and that the proposed apartment complex would change the character of a single residential neighborhood. The same developer now wants to build a massive apartment complex right in the middle of a single family residential neighborhood. If it wasn’t the right fit for a 40 unit apartment complex on Seneca Street in 2005, then a 128 unit apartment building along with a 47 unit apartment building is not a right fit on the Houghton College property which is also a single family residential neighborhood of West Seneca. She encouraged the Planning Board to apply the same situation from 2005 when making a recommendation to the Town Board.

Mr. Niederpruem stated he would like to see more information on the line of sight drawings from Union Road and possibly the Gervan Drive area pertinent to what this 3-story structure will look like, as well as the rear building. He noted there was a question of threatened species and the existing traffic study should be looked at by an independent traffic engineer.

Mr. Rathmann noted the poor qualify of the current tree survey and requested a more expansive study superimposed on the site plan.

Mr. Reilly requested a notation on the map of the areas that will be deed restricted for conservation. Adjoining the wetland area on the south side is an area which he assumed would be deed restricted and left forever wild.

Robert Todoroff, 41 W Willowdale Drive, stated he felt there was insufficient time to be prepared for the next meeting since there remains information to be received.

Resident of 838 Union Road, stated the driveway and proposed 3-story 128-unit building are directly in his backyard. He and his wife purchased their home 4 years ago based on the park like setting in the back yard. They have a four-month old son and his concern was with the lack of privacy in the back yard and the possibility of injury to his son while this project was being built.

Christian Pisanczyn, 900 Union Road, stated his home was purchased in 1996 based on its location in front of a park-like campus surrounded by other single family homes with similar architecture. He understands that things change but had they known that this property would become an overdeveloped apartment complex they would never have made the investment. There are many areas that were rezoned years ago without thought given to how these decisions would affect future residents. This property is surrounded entirely by single family homes owned by hard working middle class West Seneca voters. Many are seniors who absolutely do not want this, or any apartment development, built on this land. The town can avoid future similar conflicts by taking a hard look at rezoning areas similar to Houghton College. Mr. Pisanczyn also suggested rezoning this property now before it is too late.

Motion by Mr. Greenan, seconded by Mr. Sherman, to table this item.

Ayes: Six (6)                            Mr. Greenan, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Rathmann, Mr.                                                       Niederpruem, Mr. Nigro, Mr. Ciancio

Abstaining: One (1)                  Mr. Mendola


A request from Sean & Maria Hanley for a special permit for property located at 1696 Orchard Park Road, being part of Lot No. 414, changing its classification from R-60A to R-60A(S), for a 5-unit apartment building.

Mr. Niederpruem stated this item was before the Planning Board last month and direction was given to the developer to provide certain items to be addressed on the plan, including a tree survey.

Sean Hanley, 3266 Seneca Street, stated that William Schutt Engineers provided an estimate to prepare the tree survey which was high. It was his understanding that he was going to have a recommendation to the next step before making that investment. He has a spot survey which shows the outline of the property and a photograph of the property showing basically overgrown brush.

Mr. Niederpruem noted that the Board had suggested setting the building so that it was in line with the whole block. He did not have a survey showing the frontages of the adjacent properties and how the building will fit in there.

Mr. Hanley stated the Schutt estimate also indicates the location of the existing houses but he did not want to make the investment without going to the next step on this request. He stated he did have an architectural drawing which shows the two neighboring houses.

Mr. Niederpruem noted that the applicant was requested to provide those items and drainage information prior to the meeting.

Mr. Hanley thought drainage would be done through the Engineering Department. He was unable to contact the Fire Chief but did speak with John Gullo in Town Hall and he did not feel there would be a problem with the design.

Mr. Niederpruem stated the Board requires certain information to make a decision and right now only sketch plans have been provided.

Mr. Hanley thought only a concept was necessary at this point.

Mr. Niederpruem noted the only item received was the 5-unit building but more information will be needed. There is an issue with the parking in the front and cited 120-44 B(1)(b) of the town code which bars parking in the front yard setback or in front of buildings in an R district. These items of concern need to be corrected. If the parking cannot go in the front, it will have to be moved to the back which will amend the backyard and the drainage plan may not fit into this parcel.

Mr. Hanley stated he provided 10 parking spaces where only 7 ½ are required.

Ms. Salvati stated 8 spaces are needed for visitor parking for a total of 10 spaces.

Mr. Mendola cautioned the petitioner that he should have an engineer or architect familiar with setbacks and other requirements present when appearing before the Planning Board.

Mr. Niederpruem noted that the plan under review now has issues to correct. The driveway width along the side of the building needs to be 30 feet and the plan shows 25 foot. His notes reflect that the petitioner was advised of this. This can be accomplished but the plan needs to be revised.

Mr. Reilly stated that some of these issues can be resolved when Mr. Hanley returns for sit plan review, if he receives a special use permit. Some other issues such as the required front yard and whether or not some of the parking spaces need to be eliminated must be resolved.

Ms. Salvati cited the town code which states, “No open off-street parking space shall be permitted in a required front yard or exterior side yard, except that reserved parking spaces may be located in such yards, provided that they are situated no closer than 20 feet to any street line and no closer than three feet to any side lot line and not directly in front of a principal building.”  Mr. Hanley has parking spaces right now that are situated in the required 40 foot setback area. He doesn’t have to do all the site design right now but there were some basic things that the Board had asked for to make a determination on recommending his special use permit. The setback issues can be worked out at site plan review, but Mr. Hanley was asked for a plan showing the location of the adjoining buildings. Mr. Hanley stated he has that with him tonight but typically the information has to be provided before the meeting to be consistent with what is required of other applicants. He was asked for information on the trees and this was discussed at the meeting held with Mr. Hanley.

Mr. Mendola referred to the drainage and cautioned Mr. Hanley that the town will not do the drainage or its design.

Mr. Hanley stated he was aware of that.

Mr. Mendola referred to the situation with the adjoining properties. To be workable, there must be drainage around the entire perimeter of the property.  The neighbor next door to the south drains directly to the property and this is an issue between the neighbors. The Engineering Department will require piped draining around the entire perimeter of the property..

Mr. Hanley stated he understands that he must design and build it.

Mr. Pinnavaia stated swales are allowed at times also. It’s up to the Engineering Department to decide.

Mr. Reilly reiterated the three issues with the current plan receiving a special permit: the drainage; parking in the front; and the tree issue. One of the requirements of the special use permit is to provide screening or other protective measures adequate to protect any adjacent properties in an R district. The issue of where this building will be placed on the property, how it will be screened from adjoining property are important aspects. The parking needs to be adequate in size and noted Ms. Salvati’s comments that some parking will be lost in front and where those spaces will be placed. The last item is location, size of the use, and nature and intensity of the operation and the variables relating to that issue.

Mr. Hanley stated that if he would have to fit the parking spaces in the back, then the garage must be eliminated, and he also may have to go to 4 units. There is no impact on the loss of trees since it is mostly brush and he will be adding trees.

Ms. Salvati stated the Board could recommend a special use permit for a maximum of 5 units and then the petitioner can go back down to 4 units if necessary once he returns for site plan review.

Pat Infintino, 28 Pine View Court, stated his home is directly behind where this building is going to be. His concern is the trees and screening. Currently, there is a large billboard which is an eyesore. He has no objection to the building on the property but he does not want to see it. It is not all brush; there are pine trees. Deer run on the property and there are other animals on the site. The first letter indicated 4 units and today there are 5. He purchased his townhouse in September and part of the charm of West Seneca is trees.

Paul Ardovini, 1680 Orchard Park Road, stated his objection to the request based on its inconsistency with other multi unit complexes in the area. Mr. Ardovini presented photos of other single family properties with adjacent multi units facing Orchard Park Road, as well as written comments outlining his objections. Every one of those properties on Orchard Park Road, East & West Road and Leydecker Road face the road. Everyone’s front yards face one another and everyone’s back yards are adjacent to one another. Consistency makes it fair and equal to everyone. Mr. Hanley’s design proposal gives him the advantage of Mr. Ardovini’s back yard as his tenant’s front yard. Mr. Ardovini will have five times the visibility from residents than if this was a single family residence next door. The four unit building adjacent to Mr. Hanley’s property also faces Orchard Park Road. The building is well maintained and looks good next to the other properties. The photos and their relationship to Orchard Park Road and his property were reviewed with the Board. The town has maintained a front of the property orientation toward the road and to put another building next to it in an opposing orientation is unfair. Referring to the photo showing the back face of his house with three bedrooms, there is a direct line of sight into those bedrooms from the applicant’s property. The majority of activity occurs in his back yard because of the main road. There is a driveway in his back yard, the children’s swing set is in the immediate front portion of the back yard, and the remaining open area, all of which immediately faces the front of the proposed building design. At least three of the four units would have a similar line of sight and the 6 foot high fence is not nearly enough to screen the current property from the new property. The forward facing of the apartment building should be in alignment with all the other houses on Orchard Park Road. If Mr. Hanley turned the building from its current sideways orientation to a forward to the road orientation, there will only be one or two units that would have line of sight into his property. Mr. Ardovini took a count of the trees; there are probably 7 very large trees along the property line and 5 of the 7 are significantly old hardwood trees.

Mr. Niederpruem stated the applicant cannot make this work without one or two of the units looking into Mr. Ardovini’s back yard.

Mr. Pinnavaia commented that more important to the location on the lot of the building is the location of the deck and balconies. The building could be positioned facing the street with balconies on the back which would look into Mr. Ardovini’s back yard. There is no notation of any sliding back doors.

Mr. Hanley responded that the back patios are on the opposite side and he did take Mr. Ardovini’s concerns into consideration in order to give him as much privacy as possible.

Mr. Mendola stated a 6 foot privacy fence would prevent people on the ground level from seeing over into the neighboring yard. The lot is only 98 feet wide and it’s difficult to turn the building.

Mr. Ardovini stated the next property is a four-unit building facing the road and it fits.

Mr. Hanley stated his lot is zoned R-50 and he has to stay 25 feet off each side lot line which leaves him less than 50 feet to build.

Mr. Ardovini disagreed and referred to documentation showing the property in relation to the road is 124.15 and the adjoining property is 133, so it is only 9 feet wider. There is a design that could work. His property line is the largest major property line next to this proposed property and the face of every unit faces him.

Ms. Salvati noted Mr. Ardovini’s main concern is one of the first criteria listed for consideration under special use permits: “the location of the site in respect to streets giving access thereto shall be such that such use will be in harmony with the orderly development of the district in which it is located.” This must be considered in addition to screening, parking and the other issues pointed out. It would help if there was a plan showing the adjacent neighboring structures.

Mr. Rathmann suggested taking two sets of two units and face them toward each other. There would be two buildings facing one another with the parking lot in the middle.

Mr. Hanley stated that would necessitate a variance for a flag lot. He would have to place the buildings one behind the other and there would still be a building facing the neighbor’s back yard.

Ms. Salvati suggested splitting the four units in half, turn one facing Orchard Park and the other half facing the back of the lot and connect them in the middle so that some were facing Orchard Park Road and some were facing the back.

Mr. Hanley stated he would then have to place the parking in the front of the building.

Ms. Salvati disagreed, stating some parking could go in front and some behind, although the garage may have to be removed from the plan.

Mr. Rathmann suggested using the five spaces behind the one building and putting five spaces where the garage was planned, sliding the whole parking lot up and putting a two-unit building on either side of it, facing toward Orchard Park Road. Each unit is about 40 feet wide, leaving 25 foot clearance on both sides.

Mr. Hanley stated he has met with the architect and this is the best possible plan.

Ms. Salvati noted that taking the two units and orienting them sideways, leaves them still within the 50 foot building envelope, with the driveway on the side. It’s just changing the shape of the building. The R-60 zoning will allow petitioner to do anywhere from one single family home to a 5 unit townhouse that may or may not require a variance. The Board needs to consider the criteria before recommending a special use.

Motion by Mr. Greenan, seconded by Mr. Nigro, to recommend approval for a special permit for property located at 1696 Orchard Park road, being part of Lot No. 414, changing its classification from R60A to R-60A(S), for a 5 unit apartment building, conditioned upon applicant providing appropriate screening of the lot as part of the zoning and if applicant returns to this Board without the appropriate screening, site plan approval will not be recommended.

Ayes: Four (4)       Mr. Greenan, Mr. Nigro, Mr. Ciancio, Mr. Mendola

Noes: Three (3)     Mr. Rathmann, Mr. Niederpruem, Mr. Sherman



A request from George Boller for a special permit for property located at 5029 Clinton Street, being part of Lot No. 9, changing its classification from C-2 to C-2(S), for used car sales.

George Boller, 5029 Clinton Street, stated his request to reinstitute auto sales on the property. He previously sold used vehicles in the 1960’s when the business was first incorporated. Currently there is a car wash and convenient store/bakery on the property along with a detail shop in the back. Mr. Boller stated that he is temporarily out of the gas sale business due to the current economics. The gas pumps have been removed, but the underground tanks remain.

Mr. Mendola questioned if the house next door was part of the business and commented on the barrels and debris lying around on the property that should be cleaned up.

Mr. Boller responded that the house was owned by family, but it was not part of the business. They were working on cleaning up the property.

Mr. Mendola further noted the lack of a guardrail along the creek at the exit of the car wash and thought this should be addressed.

Planning Consultant Andrew Reilly stated that if a special permit is granted for car sales, the special permit for gas sales would have to be removed because they cannot both be applied the way the site is designed. He further stated that Mr. Boller should indicate on the site plan exactly where the car sales will be located.

Mr. Boller indicated on the site plan the location for displaying four cars for sale. He was willing to close the entrance near the signal if the Planning Board made that a stipulation since it was not utilized a lot because of the close proximity to the intersection.

Mrs. Salvati noted that 19 parking spaces were required – 10 spaces for the store; four spaces for the cars on display; and five customer spaces. The site plan only had 13 spaces delineated, so Mr. Boller will have to delineate six additional parking spaces on the plan and ensure that they do not interfere with circulation to the car wash.

Mr. Sherman questioned if Mr. Boller had checked with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for the availability of obtaining a dealership license.

Mr. Boller responded that Jim Hill presently has a license to sell cars and the DMV is allowing him to move to this location. Mr. Hill plans to retire and Mr. Boller will then take over the license.

Mr. Sherman questioned if there will be any auto repairs on site.

Mr. Boller responded that they will only do repairs if they purchase a car that needs repair and it is something they can do, but at this point he did not anticipate obtaining a license to be an automotive repair facility.

Mr. Mendola questioned if the gas tanks have to be removed by law.

Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia advised that the infrastructure could remain.

Chairman Niederpruem questioned if the special permit would cease after a year if the gas pumps are not used.

Mr. Pinnavaia responded that even if gas sales were a pre-existing use, if gas is not sold for a year that use would no longer be permitted. However, if the gas sales were part of the special permit for the car wash, there would be a question as to whether gas sales would be allowed after a year.

Mr. Greenan thought this might be a prior non-conforming use and under the ordinance Mr. Boller had a right to upgrade that use. Mr. Pinnavaia would have to make a decision on that.

Mr. Pinnavaia recited §120-45(B)(1)(c) of the Town Code: “A classified use may be changed to a use of the same classification if the Board of Appeals determines that the new use is no more detrimental to the adjacent properties than the existing use and that off-street parking is adequate” and also §120-46(A): “In any district, whenever a nonconforming use of land, building or other structure, or any part or portion thereof, has been discontinued for a period of one year, such nonconforming use shall not thereafter be reestablished, and all future use shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.”

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to recommend approval of the request for a special permit for property located at 5029 Clinton Street, being part of Lot No. 9, changing its classification from C-2 to C-2(S), for used car sales, conditioned upon the following: 1) four parking spaces for vehicle sales; 2) entrance on Clinton Street near intersection of Transit Road shall be closed; 3) six additional customer parking spaces shall be delineated on the site plan; 4) installation of a guardrail along the creek at the car wash exit.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


A request from Nina Nadolny for site plan approval for property located at 1909 Union

Road to pave existing parking lot and install catch basin and retention pond for Elle Therapeutic Massage.

Nina Nadolny, 1021 Union Road, stated that she purchased the property at 1909 Union Road and the former Lein Avenue 50’ right-of-way with the intent of moving her business, Elle Therapeutic Massage to this location. Mrs. Nadolny was requesting site plan approval to install a parking lot for her business. The neighbor at 1899 Union Road has been using the Lein Avenue right-of-way to access his property and she understood there was approximately nine feet next to her neighbor’s building that could be used for a driveway.  If that is not sufficient, Mrs. Nadolny offered to quit claim another five feet to avoid any liability issue with him using her property.

Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that the neighbor may have some rights to continue using that property if they have been using it for a very long time. The property was not properly conveyed to the previous owner and there were issues with the deed description.

Mr. Greenan stated that Lein Avenue was abandoned by the Town Board and purchased by the previous owners in 1999, but he questioned who owned the property prior to that.

Mrs. Nadolny stated that at the last Town Board meeting a resolution was adopted concerning this and acknowledging a 50’ x 310’ lot.

Mrs. Salvati suggested that Mrs. Nadolny submit a new site plan indicating that five feet is being deeded to the neighbor.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that they would also want to see the deed, and sign location, parking, lighting, drainage, landscaping, and two adjacent houses indicated on the site plan along with a floor plan.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to table this item pending submission of additional information.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to adjourn the meeting at 10:50 P.M.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried