Board Meeting Minutes 04/08/2010

1250 Union Road                                           Minutes #2010-04
West Seneca, NY 14224                                April 8, 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 Ciancio, to approve the proofs of publication and posting of legal notice.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


Motion by Rathmann, seconded by Mendola, to approve Minutes #2010-03 of March 11, 2010.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried



A request from Metzger Civil Engineering, PLLC for preliminary approval of the proposed Camelot Square Subdivision, Phase III, for 55 lots.

Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, represented the petitioner and stated that letters were received in response to all the requests and copies had been provided to the Planning Board. He asked that a public hearing be scheduled for the next Planning Board meeting to move forward with the subdivision.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that the information was just received this date by the Planning Board and after a brief review it appeared to be in order. Therefore, a public hearing could be scheduled for their next meeting.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to table this item and schedule a public hearing for the May 13, 2010 Planning Board meeting.

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.

Chairman Niederpruem advised that the petitioner was not prepared to go forward and requested that this item be tabled.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to table this item.

Ayes: All Noes: None 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.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that the Planning Board had received a complete application for this project on April 5th and the town’s Planning Consultant prepared a brief presentation to explain what the Planning Board will be doing at this meeting and in the future with the project.

Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati read the following statement concerning the process and procedures to be followed for this action:

“For the benefit of the Planning Board and the public and for the record, it is important to review the process and procedures that must be followed for this action. There is a process that must be followed that is outlined in the Town Code; the town cannot just vote to approve or deny this project here and now. There are a number of steps that must be followed before the Town Board can make any kind of decision on the special permit for this project. Properly following this process is in the best interest of the town, the applicant and the public. Tonight the Planning Board will not be making a recommendation to approve or deny the special permit. Before any such decision can happen, the Planning Board must take the steps necessary to ensure that they have gathered and reviewed all the information required to enable the Town Board to make a well reasoned decision on this project. These steps and procedures include the following: 1) The town must have a defined project – a) The applicant, Mr. Young, is seeking to construct multi-family housing on the Houghton College property; b) The property is zoned R-60A, R-75 and R-75A. The development of a total of 175 multi-family dwelling units is proposed for the portion of the site that is zoned R-60A, because this is where multi-family housing is permitted. The applicant is not seeking to rezone any of this land; c) R-60A zoning allows any use that is permitted in an R-50 district. Per the Zoning Ordinance, permitted uses in an R-50 district include group dwellings and multi-family dwellings by special permit from the Town Board; d) Per the zoning regulations which govern the issuance of special permits, all uses that are subject to a special permit from the Town Board are deemed to possess unique and special characteristics that require consideration on a case by case basis; 2) To begin the special permit process, the town must have a complete application – a) As of April 5, 2010 the Planning Board has now received a complete application from the applicant, which includes a revised site plan that was provided to the Planning Board on March 11, 2010 for the construction of 175 multi-family units and a revised Environmental Assessment Form (which reflects the revisions made to the site plan) that was received from the applicant on April 5, 2010; 3) The process for evaluating the issuance of a special permit involves the following – a) Prior to authorizing a special permit, the Town Board must hold a public hearing. Prior to holding this hearing, the project must be referred to the Planning Board for a report and recommendation on the special permit. The Planning Board then has 45 days from the date of this referral to make their recommendations to the Town Board. For the purposes of this project, that time frame started on April 5, 2010 when the Board received the full and complete application; b) The authorization of a special permit also requires review and evaluation pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act or SEQR. SEQR is state law that establishes a process that requires consideration of environmental factors early in the planning stages of actions and projects that are directly undertaken, funded or approved by local, regional and state agencies. By evaluating environmental considerations early in the planning process, projects and actions can be modified, as required, to avoid adverse impacts on the environment;  c) Before the Town Board holds their public hearing and before they make a decision on the special permit, a SEQR review must be conducted. In other words, the town must review pertinent information to determine if the proposed action (the construction of multi-family housing on the subject property) could result in potential adverse impacts to the environment. The information generated through the SEQR process will help the Planning Board with their recommendation to the Town Board; 4) The process for this project includes – a) Since the town now has a complete application, the Planning Board can formally start the SEQR review process. This is important because it will allow the Board to gather input from other involved and interested agencies, such as state and county agencies, as well as the public; b) Once the Planning Board has received comments from the coordinated project review with the other agencies, they must review these comments, along with other information that is already on file or on the record, and can get additional input from the public. Then they will make a SEQR determination of significance (and possibly a recommendation for the special permit), depending on whether they decide on a positive or negative declaration of significance. A positive declaration would require a greater level of SEQR review through the preparation of an environmental impact statement. A negative declaration would close the SEQR process; c) Thereafter, depending on the outcome of the SEQR process, the Planning Board must make its report and recommendations to the Town Board for the special permit; d) Thereafter, the Town Board must hold a public hearing for the special permit and render a decision; e) If the applicant receives special permit approval from the Town Board, they must return to the Planning Board for site plan approval.  A special permit allows the town to attach conditions on the use of the site, as authorized by the permit (this would be discussed at future meetings, as appropriate), and this would likely impact the site plan and site design. Therefore, tonight no decisions will be made and no recommendations will be offered to the Town Board. We will only be starting the SEQR process. In summary: 1) The town must follow the process required for a special permit and the SEQR law (the town must follow the Law). At this point in the process, the Town Board cannot just say “yes or no” to the proposed project; 2) The process will involve future Planning Board meetings (at least one more in May); 3) The process will include a public hearing at the Town Board, who will ultimately make a decision on the special permit; 4) The process also includes SEQR review, which must be completed before any approval or denial is given by the Town Board; 5) The process will take about 2 to 4 months or longer and will offer more opportunities for the public to offer comments and ask questions; 6) The final action on the request for the special permit will include a well reasoned decision, which if approved, may include conditions that would affect the future use of the site as authorized under the permit. I hope this has been helpful in laying out the process that the Planning Board and Town Board should follow as we move ahead. Again, I reiterate that no recommendation for approval or denial on the special permit will be made tonight.”

Attorney Ralph Lorigo, 101 Slade Avenue, representing Young Development Inc. stated that the property is zoned R-60 and recited from the Town Code the following permitted uses in an R-60 zoning without a special permit: telephone exchanges, real estate or insurance offices, mortuary, art/dance/music studios, fire stations with club facilities, hotel/motel, two-family dwellings; and uses that require a special permit: multi-family dwellings, hospital/medical buildings, nursing/convalescence home used primarily for contagious disease/mental patients/drug or liquor addicts, penal or correctional uses. §120.23 says that the uses requiring a special permit “shall be deemed to be permitted uses in their respective districts.” It sets up four criteria for the Planning Board to follow: 1) location & size of use and nature of intensity (they are asking to place two buildings totaling 175 units in a total of 37.5 acres, 20.5 acres of R-60 zoning); 2) screening or protective measures that are adequate to protect all adjacent properties (have not gotten to that stage, but they are obligated to provide screening and protective measures for neighboring and surrounding residential homes); 3) off-street parking shall be adequate (no problem with this project); 4) Town Board may prescribe any conditions it deems to be necessary or desirable to develop the plan. Mr. Lorigo stated that the town adopted the site plan approval ordinance two years ago, which takes into account the things they used to go through with the special permit. He commented on Young Development’s other projects and the considerable amount Mr. Young has invested in town. Mr. Lorigo noted that the Houghton College property currently pays no town, county or school taxes. The proposed project will not require any variances. People Inc. manages 755 senior apartments in 17 buildings (HUD 202) and the average age of the resident in those units is 76 years of age (80 percent female, 20 percent male). People Inc. has a waiting list in Orchard Park, Hamburg, and West Seneca in excess of 220 people. The units are highly regulated by HUD. Residents must be 62 or older and no more than two people can occupy one unit. The income level must be under $21,500 annually. Mr. Lorigo stated that there are 5638 households in West Seneca aged 62 and older, 18.25 percent of them are renters and 81.75 percent are homeowners. Sixty-five percent of the renters earn less than $20,000 annually and 44 percent of the homeowners earn less than $20,000 annually. In 2008, the number of seniors (62 and older) in West Seneca was 8963. They are the fastest growing segment of the town’s population. Factoring in the fact that the average age of a resident in the complex is 76, the statistics show that the great majority of those individuals around 76 years old and living in West Seneca will qualify to live in an affordable complex such as the one proposed. Mr. Lorigo further referred to the proposed 128-unit apartment complex and stated that Mr. Young was willing to commit tens of millions of dollars in his belief that this is a benefit to the seniors and community at-large. He thought the signs displayed on the surrounding neighbors’ lawns demonstrated a prejudice against seniors and seniors with income less than $21,500. The residents seemed to believe that 175 units on a 37 acre parcel will in some way infringe upon the neighbors and two architecturally aesthetic buildings well-maintained in a 37 acre parcel will negatively affect surrounding property values. Mr. Lorigo stated that he understood and respected the residents’ right to protect their properties; however, he thought that a few of the residents had used personal attacks and incorrect information to make their point. Mr. Lorigo thought the majority of people were concerned with real issues such as, how many units will be there, the look of the building, the density for the acreage, the buffer between the buildings, the landscaping etc., and all of these were site plan issues to be addressed at that point. He noted that the only job of the Planning Board right now was to recommend to the Town Board if multiple dwellings should be allowed on this site. With regard to SEQR, Mr. Lorigo stated that he has practiced before the Planning Board for almost 30 years and there has never been a positive declaration to anything in the town. Although there are good reasons to follow SEQR and he fully expected the Planning Board to follow the process, there will have to be environmental issues present to decide how far they will have to go and he did not see any environmental issues. Traffic was always an issue and a traffic study was provided. In this situation they were dealing with seniors an average age of 76. The experts that prepared the traffic report have said that traffic in and out will not create a problem. Mr. Lorigo stated that neighborhood concerns were always an issue and there were a great deal of them that needed to be aired, but they needed to be looked at seriously with an open mind. He stated that seniors deserved to have affordable housing available within their community.

Mr. Ciancio stated that he researched the HUD process on the Internet and was very impressed at the information that was available. He questioned the time frame for the applicant applying to HUD and when the application expires.

Mr. Lorigo stated there are other agencies besides People Inc. and funding is generated by need. They have to get statistics, run reports, and evaluate all statistical data to prove that need to HUD and show them that the site is proper and a good place for seniors to live. They also have to show that the project fits in with the community. Mr. Lorigo noted that People Inc. was previously before the Planning Board with proposed projects for two other locations and the Planning Board recommended the Houghton College site. Mr. Lorigo advised that the project must be started by September 2010 for People Inc. to receive the commitment from HUD.

Mr. Sherman questioned if there were any statistics on the impact the project will have on EMS services with the average age of the renters being 76.

Mr. Lorigo stated that it was reported in the Buffalo News that the Police Chief and fire department stated that there wasn’t a problem in handling the project and they could accommodate it. He referred to the Carnation project on Southwestern Blvd. and stated there were a total of 20 calls for 2009 and for the Burchfield project there were 14 calls for 2009. The average number of calls for all the senior housing projects was 15 per year.

Mr. Mendola questioned if there was any provision for certified medical assistance 24/7 and Mr. Lorigo stated there was not.

Mr. Rathmann questioned what guarantee there was that the project will remain senior housing and not convert to regular rental units.

Mr. Lorigo responded that a number of towns have a senior overlay in their Town Code, but West Seneca does not. However, a stipulation can be made in the special permit that regulates the project for only seniors.

Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia commented that there are things the Town Board can attach to a special permit that the Planning Board cannot do under the site plan review. It is not as simple as saying they do not want something. There are conditions that the Planning Board can recommend to the Town Board that are over and above the site plan process such as “the location and size of use, the nature and intensity of the operations involved in or conducted in connection with it, the size of the site in relation to it and 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.”

David Bonner, 16 Gervan Drive, stated that Mr. Young has called the project senior housing and the residents were not opposed to senior housing, but they were opposed to a large scale rental development in the center of town. There were concerns about traffic patterns and although the traffic study submitted was favorable for the project, it was Mr. Young’s traffic study. Mr. Bonner referred to the SEQR process and questioned if the Planning Board took into account traffic and safety concerns or only environmental concerns.

Mrs. Salvati advised that Mr. Young provided an environmental assessment form and there is a second part to the form that outlines potential impacts. They need to do an analysis to determine impacts to the following: 1) land including any action that would result in a physical change to the project site, 2) water involving actions that would affect any water body that is designated as protected under environmental conservation laws or any action affecting non-protected existing or new bodies of water, 3) surface water or ground water quality or quantity, anything that will alter

drainage flow or patterns or surface water runoff, 4) air quality, 5) plants and animals and whether the proposed action will affect any threatened or endangered species, or non-threatened or non-endangered species, 6) agricultural land resources and whether the proposed action will disrupt or prevent installation of agricultural land management systems, 7) aesthetic resources, 8) historic or archaeological resources, 9) open space and recreation, 10) critical environmental areas, 11) transportation and whether there will be an affect on existing transportation systems, an alteration of present patterns of movement of people and/or goods, or result in major traffic problems, 12) energy and the affect on the community’s sources of fuel or energy, 13) noise or odor impacts, 14) public health and safety, 15) growth and character of the community or neighborhood, 16) public controversy related to the potential adverse environmental impacts. Mrs. Salvati stated that SEQR also looks at economic considerations and other social considerations. It tries to be all encompassing in making sure it addresses any potential impacts that may result.

Mr. Bonner questioned if the Planning Board’s discoveries are totally independent of the opposing residents and the developer and Chairman Niederpruem advised that they were. Mr. Bonner further questioned if the proposed project involved a rezoning and special permit or just a special permit and Chairman Niederpruem advised it was just a special permit.

Mrs. Salvati noted that part of the use of the SEQR process was to look at the action and identify if there are modifications or changes that can be made to the action to address any potential impacts.

Mr. Bonner questioned if there were any moratoriums or restrictions with respect to sewers or drainage in that area of town.

Mrs. Salvati thought that Sewer District 13 might be under a consent order from the DEC but they would have to check with Town Engineer George Montz.

Mr. Pinnavaia stated that they will not be extending the main line sewer as with a subdivision. As a private entity they will just be draining into it so there is no moratorium involved.

Mr. Bonner referred to the September deadline for the HUD funding and questioned if the Planning Board will feel pressured because of that. Chairman Niederpruem responded that they will be following the process and the law.

Reserve Fire Chief Robert Kaminski stated there were no changes to the 15 concerns they had presented at the last Planning Board meeting.

Chairman Niederpruem recited the fire companies concerns as follows: 1) There may already be a different plan that they will submit tomorrow night. If that is the case then we are not capable of commenting without the ability to study the plan; 2) access roads from Union – the current entrance is not wide enough, the closed entrance poses a hazard for traffic, reopening Gervan is not an option for emergency services; 3) turning radiuses is the parking areas do not accommodate our vehicles – need to be 50’ areas; 4) need additional hydrant locations minimum 500’; 5) size of watermains; 6) hydrants from two different watermains to avoid loss of pressure; 7) all buildings sprinkled; 8) size of elevators sufficient to accommodate gurney and crew working a code; 9) individuals in wheelchairs and with walkers to the first floor of all buildings; 10) access to buildings is insufficient, especially the rear of the main building, three-story, water retention cannot be there; 11) need complete 360 access to the rear of the two-story building; 12) population density is too excessive for the capacity of the fire department; 13) generators to support power outages; 14) shelter in place plans for storms; 15) emergency plan for the facility. Chairman Niederpruem stated that some of the concerns will be answered by the SEQR and others were engineering issues.

Bruce Vona, 320 East & West Road, did not believe what was presented on the site plan was accurate. He referred to trees on the northeast corner of the site and stated that they did not exist. Mr. Young would have to plant thousands of trees to acquire the density that is depicted. Mr. Vona questioned if this was an error in the drawing or meant as a disguise for the potential for future development. The buildings are justified to the southern portion of the property and he thought the HUD building should be moved to the front of the property.

Jackie Marx, Cove Creek Run, understood that Houghton College did not generate any tax revenue for the town, but questioned if the HUD housing will.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that the HUD building generates user taxes like water, street lights and sewer, but does not pay property taxes.

Mr. Lorigo stated that the 5.5 acres for the People Inc. project is not property taxable, but it does pay special district taxes. The remaining 32+ acres will be fully taxable. He further noted that many people that move into these apartments were receiving enhanced star and senior exceptions in their homes.

Chairman Niederpruem questioned the approximate assessment on other senior projects such as Lily’s Place.

Mr. Lorigo responded that it was a variable that took into account the assessed valuation of the land and type of unit built. Along with the 128 units being fully taxable, Lambein Hall will also become fully taxable because it will be a rental unit.

Mr. Ciancio stated that he checked on the assessed valuation of the units and it will be around $20,000 per unit. Also, there are 264 senior apartment units in town.

Charity Johnson, Cathedral Drive, commented on Mr. Young’s other projects and thought they were simply buildings with no home character, specifically the Carnation housing project which she failed to see as anything spectacular. Mrs. Johnson thought that the seniors have been catered to over the years and referred to some People Inc. houses that were not well-maintained.

Dan Frontera, 791 Union Road, referred to Mr. Lorigo’s statement that there were 14 calls at the Burchfield facility at 2244 Union Road for 2009 and recited the following information he received from a Freedom of Information Request for 2009 EMS calls: 2244 Union Road – 45 calls; 2290 Union Road – 23 calls; 1187 Orchard Park Road – 44 calls; 2341 Union Road – 50 calls; 50 North Avenue – 34 calls; 745 Indian Church Road – 17 calls; 580 Orchard Park Road – 15 calls; 3030 Clinton Street – 95 calls; 2987 Seneca Street – 23 calls; for a total of 351 EMS calls for all the senior facilities in town.

Mr. Lorigo thought this information was misleading because it mixed assisted living facilities and nursing home facilities in with senior housing facilities.

Jeanette Zahm, Sunbriar Drive, stated that she is an advocate for the less fortunate and questioned whether the opposition was to the People Inc. buildings and people of lesser means. She commented that her father spent all his money taking care of her mother who had cancer and then ended up living in a People Inc. building, and she was very thankful for that. Mrs. Zahm did not understand why there was a problem with the People Inc. apartments and stated that the opponents should not be thinking about the quality of people because all people have needs.

Chairman Niederpruem responded that the Planning Board was not looking at the type of people, their age, or income level and that was not in their purview. The action was a planning process that the Planning Board was reviewing under NYS law.

Susan Uebelhoer, an employee of Young Development, stated that she has managed their rental office for four years and at present their apartments are at 2 percent vacancy. This figure did not include Katie’s Place which was currently filling up. The vacancy rate was not surprising because their prices are affordable, the buildings are neat and clean, and the grounds are impeccable. They also have great tenants. Mrs. Uebelhoer stated that she was attending the meeting on her own free will; she was not required to be present or told what to say. The residents could blame her for the lack of invitations sent out at the February informational meeting at Houghton College and she apologized to those that thought they were purposely left out. That was not their intention and it was not a conspiracy. Mrs. Uebelhoer read a letter from a West Seneca resident in support of the senior housing project at the Houghton College site.

Evelyn Hicks, 276 Seneca Creek Road, stated that this is a planning issue and if the residents in town would get involved in things and learn about the zoning code and the comprehensive plan and try to make the town a better place, they would not have to fight every development that is proposed. The zoning would be correct for properties, which it is not for this project. Mrs. Hicks stated that the town needs to take a close look at what the people want and where they want it and make the zoning consistent with those desires, but the town can’t do it themselves. The people need to get involved, look at it, and make positive recommendations to the boards so these things can be changed.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to adopt the following resolution designating the Planning Board as Lead Agency for SEQR purposes:

WHEREAS, the Town of West Seneca has received a special permit application from Young Development, Inc. for a project known as Southgate Commons Senior Community for the construction of a three-story, 128-unit senior apartment building and a two-story, 47-unit HUD apartment building; and

WHEREAS, this proposal would require a special permit from the West Seneca Town Board and site plan approval from the West Seneca Planning Board; and

WHEREAS, the project must first be reviewed by the Planning Board for the issuance of a report and recommendation relative to the special permit; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with Part 617 of the implementing regulations to Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review – SEQR) of the Environmental Conservation Law, the West Seneca Planning Board, as an approval agency, would like to establish itself as SEQR Lead Agency and conduct a coordinated review of this action; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the West Seneca Planning Board authorizes the Town Planner and Town Clerk to perform the required mailings and notifications in accordance with the SEQR requirements, to establish the Planning Board as Lead Agency and to gather input from other involved and interested agencies on this proposed project.

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

             Noes: None                  Abstentions: (1) Mr. Mendola      Motion Carried



A request from EdBauer Construction for site plan approval for property located at 2750 Clinton Street for construction of office space and a small warehouse.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board received a deed description, full environmental assessment form, survey, and site plan.

Ed Kellman of EdBauer Construction stated that the business is currently located at 454 Dingens Street and they were in the process of purchasing the property at 2750 Clinton Street to construct a small warehouse and office.

Mr. Mendola referred to the area indicated as “future development” on the site plan and questioned what they intended to do there, noting that the site plan will have to be revised to include that.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that there were some concerns about a cultural resource survey in that area and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Army Corps of Engineers has expressed concerns about a nationwide water permit for that area. None of this was addressed in the documents received by the Planning Board.

Mr. Kellman responded that they had addressed the watershed with the Army Corps of Engineers and a suggestion was made on how they could alleviate the problem.

Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that the Planning Board had received documentation that the petitioner started the process with the Army Corps of Engineers and filed an application for a nationwide permit. The Army Corps of Engineers indicated they needed to coordinate with NYSDEC for a water quality certification. The NYS Office of Historic Preservation indicated that they wanted a Phase IA cultural resource assessment. Mrs. Salvati was not sure whether a wetlands delineation had been done.

Mr. Kellman stated that they had looked at the documentation on wetlands and there were none on the site. The wetlands were across the street.

Mr. Rathmann advised that they could not simply base this on the maps; they had to have a soils engineer determine if there are wetlands. He was aware of federal wetlands nearby and potentially hydric soils on site, so the Army Corps of Engineers will have to sign off.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that no landscape plan was included and there was a note on the site plan that all the topsoil will be stripped and stockpiled, so the Planning Board needed to know their intention. Also, this is a treed area and there is a Tree Ordinance. The Planning Board was not in favor of clear cutting the property without knowing their plans.

Mr. Ciancio questioned if they had talked to Town Engineer George Montz about bridging the stream at the entrance.

Mrs. Salvati stated that she had an initial discussion with Mr. Montz this date and he took a preliminary look at the project. Mr. Montz had some issues with the way they were proposing the culvert and that will have to be worked out, but he requested that the applicant submit more detailed plans so he can better understand how the detention basin will outlet into the intermittent stream.

Mr. Ciancio referred to the 20’ buffer area and did not believe it was enough for abutting a residential zoning.

Mr. Kellman stated that the intent was to leave a 20’ tree buffer around the entire property line.

Mr. Mendola questioned if there will be any construction equipment on the property and if it will be stored outside.

Mr. Kellman responded that there will be construction equipment on the property and some of it will be stored outside behind the building.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that the area for equipment storage should be indicated on the site plan. He further noted that a permit for the curb cut was required from the NYS Department of Transportation. There was also some question about a county easement across Clinton Street.

Mr. Kellman stated that they had talked to the county about accessing the property and done some preliminary work with relocating the guide rail.

Chairman Niederpruem referred to a note from the Code Enforcement Office regarding parking and loading and screening requirements. The people on French Road will be looking down into the yard and there was some concern as to whether the screening was adequate. The Planning Board also wanted to know the lighting plan.

Mr. Nigro questioned if they intended to put up a pole sign.

Mr. Kellman stated that they wanted to have a small sign along the road at the entrance.

Mr. Mendola stated that the sign should also be plotted on the site plan.

Mr. Sherman questioned what type of contractor the business was.

Mr. Kellman responded that they were a general contractor and did roads and bridges.

Mr. Sherman questioned if any construction debris from the roads and bridges will be stored on site.

Mr. Kellman stated that they only intended to store equipment and materials on site. Other than the existing topsoil that will be stockpiled, there will be no temporary storage of any type of debris on site.

Mr. Rathmann noted that a tree survey was required indicating all trees four inches and larger on the site.

Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that a letter was received from the West Seneca Environmental Commission indicating that although they were not opposed to the project, they had concerns about protection of the intermittent stream. They had a number of comments and recommended some best management practices that should be applied on the site to help protect the water quality in the stream. Mrs. Salvati thought that the NYSDEC will also look at this because they need a water quality certification. Mrs. Salvati suggested that the petitioner meet with Planning Consultant Sarah DesJardin for help on what documents needed to be submitted.

Mr. Mendola stated that the engineer should indicate the ditch that runs along the east side and what kind of slope will be used to ensure it will be functional to carry water to the outlet.

Evelyn Hicks, 276 Seneca Creek Road, member of the West Seneca Environmental Commission, stated that the drawing and environmental assessment form did not indicate anything about future development on the site and she was concerned about the size of the project. The proposed site is 6 acres and if the project is going to be more than that a SEQR would be necessary to determine what the impacts will be. Mrs. Hicks noted that the commission was not opposed to the project, but they had some concerns because it will have an impact on the intermittent stream that leads directly to a NYS wetland across the street and then to the Buffalo Creek, Buffalo River and Lake Erie. They were also concerned about clear cutting the property and wanted to work with the construction company on best management practices, including the use of native plants in the landscaping. Mrs. Hicks suggested a minimum 30’ buffer zone planted with native vegetation rather than 20’. She further suggested that studies be done on the rate of flow into the feeder stream so they do not have a flooding situation. Mrs. Hicks stated that there were also some concerns about the topsoil that will be stripped and stockpiled and the impact it will have on the drainage. Other concerns were the construction vehicles on site and lighting and the impact that will have on the neighborhood.

Mr. Mendola questioned if there will be pavers stored on site, and if so, where they will be cleaned.

Mr. Kellman responded that there will be pavers stored on site, but they are usually cleaned on location of the job. They will occasionally clean them at the Clinton Street site.

Mr. Mendola advised that there will have to be some preparation for this so the cleaning agents and oils do not go into the ground. Mrs. Salvati noted that this also was a concern of Town Engineer George Montz.

Mr. Sherman referred to the plan indicating that the building is 6000 sf with one parking space for every 350 sf and stated that this should be one space for every 100 sf. With 3000 sf of office space, 30 parking spaces will be required.

Mr. Kellman responded that the office staff is a maximum of 10 people.

Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia advised that they could apply for a variance on the parking.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Ciancio, to table this item until notified by the applicant that they are ready to submit plans and information requested by the Planning Board.

On the question, Mrs. Salvati suggested that the petitioner set up a meeting with Sarah DesJardin to help them understand what needs to be done to complete their application.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


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 4-unit apartment building.

Chairman Niederpruem stated that along with the application the Planning Board had received a short environmental assessment form, a deed, a survey, and a site plan. He understood it was determined that the property is actually zoned R-50 and the plan had been changed to a 5-unit apartment building.

Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia advised that the survey Mr. Hanley initially submitted was old and difficult to read. When he closed on the property, the survey was redone and Mr. Pinnavaia was then able to measure onto the zoning map the exact location of the lot. The lot was part of the townhouse development built by Mr. Breski and was included in the R-50 zoning. The R-50 zoning is less restrictive than R-60A and allowed for another unit while still meeting the bulk area requirement.

Sean Hanley, 3266 Seneca Street, stated he would like to build a townhouse style apartment building that he felt will fit nicely in the neighborhood. There will only be one sewer and water line, so it cannot be sold off as separate units.  The two billboards on the property will be removed.

Chairman Niederpruem questioned if there was a lighting plan and how much of the property Mr. Hanley planned to clear. He further questioned removal of the billboards.

Mr. Hanley responded that the proposed building footprint will be about 3500 sf which is just over 10 percent of the property. The entire green area that will remain will be over 50 percent of the property. He will submit a lighting plan at the site plan review stage. Mr. Hanley stated that Lamar owns the billboards and he has to give them 30 days notice to remove them.

Mr. Mendola noted that the building setback should be the same as the building to the south.

Mr. Hanley stated that the only thing different from the plan submitted will be the additional unit and the building was moved 20’ to the front of the property which is still a 70’ setback.

Mr. Greenan questioned if there will be a homeowner’s association and Mr. Hanley advised that there will not.

Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati stated that the Planning Board could ask for a tree survey at site plan review or could require it now if they feel certain vegetation should be saved and should be made a condition of the special permit.

Mr. Mendola suggested that Mr. Hanley submit a tree survey with the revised plan.

Mr. Rathmann questioned if a 30’ driveway was required throughout the project and Mr. Pinnavaia advised that a 30’ driveway was required for multi-family developments.

James Geary, 1720 Orchard Park Road, stated that his property adjoins the proposed parcel on the south side at the rear and he has had to build up his property due to flooding issues since Mr. Breski built the condominium project. Mr. Geary noted there is a pond at the rear of the property and he was concerned that he will again have flooding problems if the topography is changed with construction of this project.

Mr. Mendola stated that Mr. Hanley will have to submit a drainage plan and it will have to be approved by Town Engineer George Montz.

Paul Ardovini, 1680 Orchard Park Road, stated that his property is immediately adjacent to the proposed project. The majority of buildings in the neighborhood were single family homes and he was not happy about a 5-unit apartment building next to his home because he felt it will have an affect on his quality of life. Mr. Ardovini questioned the zoning change from R-60A to R-50.

Mr. Pinnavaia advised that they originally thought the zoning for this parcel was split. The R-60A zoning allowed for multi-family dwellings by special permit, but in that area of Orchard Park Road it only went back 250’ so that limited Mr. Hanley as to the bulk area. It was then discovered that the full depth of the lot was zoned R-50 and that allowed him to add the fifth unit. Mr. Pinnavaia noted that this lot was included in the rezoning for the Westview townhouses and Mr. Hanley’s project will almost mirror that development.

Mr. Ardovini commented that the Westview townhouses were an excellent project but he was concerned about a 5-unit building devaluing his property.

Ernie Bogenrider, 1700 Orchard Park Road, expressed concern about drainage problems and stated there is a 24-inch pipe that carries water from the lot across Orchard Park Road and into the front lawn of the condominiums, so this could cause a problem. There is also a sewer problem in the area. Mr. Bogenrider further asked that the proposed building be setback in alignment with the surrounding homes, noting that the plan presented did not indicate that.

Mr. Hanley stated that he positioned the building where it will be least obstructive to the neighbor to the north. The neighbor on the other side has all his water draining onto the lot and he thought that might be why he had issues with the project. Mr. Hanley stated that there are low spots on the property that hold water, but there are no ponds. He talked with the Engineering Department and will submit a drainage plan, but Mr. Hanley did not believe there will be any issues.

Mr. Mendola suggested that Mr. Hanley plot the setback for the house to the north and the south on the site plan.

Reserve Fire Chief Robert Kaminski stated that he did not receive the 5-unit plan, but the 4-unit plan was difficult to read. He asked for a copy of the revised plan and time to review it before the Planning Board made their recommendation.

Chairman Niederpruem suggested that Mr. Hanley meet with the fire chief and go over the 5-unit plan prior to the next meeting.

Motion by Greenan, seconded by Rathmann, to table this item until the applicant is ready to submit a complete 5-unit plan.

On the question, Planning Consultant Wendy Salvati noted that Mr. Hanley should also submit a revised application and environmental assessment form.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried


Motion by Greenan, seconded by Mendola, to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 P.M.

Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried