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May 10, 2012 - 11:17pm

Planned senior housing project in Le Roy starting over on approval process

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Le Roy, land use.

Pete McQuillen is pushing forward once again with his plans to build a senior living community off Robbins Road in Le Roy, and if Thursday's Genesee County Planning Board meeting is any indication, he's going to face renewed opposition.

The board voted unanimously to recommend approval of a zoning change to allow the project to move forward.

McQuillen spoke to the board, and so did David Boyce, a Filmore Street resident who joined his neighbor, Town Supervisor Stephen Barbeau, in a lawsuit against the Village and the Town of Le Roy.

The lawsuit eventually led to the village concluding some of its procedures in approving the project were not in compliance with state law, which has left McQuillen with no choice but to start the approval process over.

Boyce said emphatically he is favor of the project, but then listed a series of complaints, that if completely addressed would completely nullify McQuillen's current plans.

Chief among Boyce's complaints is that in targeting 55-and-older residents, Robbins Nest Drive doesn't comply with the village master plan.

Boyce said the master plan calls for housing for the 30 to 55 age group, which is a primary source of spending.

He also said the project density is out of compliance with the master plan.

Jim Duval, county planning director, said staff has concluded the project does comply with the master plan.

Robbins Nest Drive must still go through several more steps of approval, including approval of a final plan, before McQuillen can proceed with construction.

Also, in another matter, the planning board recommended that the City of Batavia not approve a sign variance for Gold Rush at 4152 W. Main St., Batavia.

Owner Jim Vo put up several large promotional signs in windows in a belief that they complied with city ordinance. City code inspectors later told him the signs were out of compliance, even though they are similar in content and size to signs that had been allowed for a previous tenant.

Besides advertising his business, the signs are also important privacy screens for customers while they are in his store, he said.

However, Vo said he wants to be a good business neighbor and if he can't get approval for his signs, he'll find a way to comply with the code and meet his customers' expectations for privacy.

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