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Developer of new DePaul project may ask council to table tonight's vote on rezoning

By Howard B. Owens

The developer of an apartment complex intended to provide an increase in affordable housing for people with disabilities, especially seniors with disabilities, in Batavia, said this afternoon that he intends to ask the City Council to table a resolution tonight that would rezone the land needed for the apartments.

Mark Fuller, a Genesee County resident, intends to build more than 80 units in a complex at 661, 665 and 679 E. Main St., Batavia.

"We're actually going to ask them to table the vote tonight until a housing study comes out in the middle of the year that I think very much supports the need for this type of housing," Fuller said. "That (the study) was brought up by a couple of council members, so we at least want to give them a chance to read the study before taking the vote."

The lots are currently zoned industrial and in order for the project to go forward, the council would need to rezone it to C2, a commercial designation that would allow apartments.

The lots are a former state police barracks and are surrounded by mostly residential and commercial property.

Two weeks ago, the council voted by a narrow 5-4 margin to move the resolution for rezoning to tonight's business meeting.

"In all the projects that we've done, we've had nothing but great support," Fuller said. "I'm just surprised there's been some pushback from City Council."

Fuller is currently working on 18 similar projects around the region for DePaul Properties, he said.

He said he thinks there is community support for building the apartments and that there is an unmet need in the community for this type of affordable housing oriented toward people with disabilities, seniors with disabilities, and veterans.

"We've had nothing but terrific support from everyone I've talk to about this," Fuller said.

He said once completed, even with a PILOT agreement in place, property taxes generated by these apartments would still be four times more revenue for the city and school district than the revenue currently generated by the existing use. Plus, the development would pay a substantial bill for municipal sewer and water.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m.

Interview conducted by The Batavian's news partner, WBTA.

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