Patio homes/building lots development project is back on the Le Roy Village Board's agenda for tonight
Update, 3 p.m.: Le Roy Village Mayor just reported that the Village Board will not be deciding the fate of this project tonight, but plans to complete the State Environmental Quality Review process. He said he is looking into scheduling a meeting for Nov. 1 for the vote, although that date has yet to be confirmed.
The housing development being proposed by a Batavia businessman returns to the public arena tonight when the Le Roy Village Board convenes its regular monthly meeting at Memorial Auditorium on Trigon Park.
Eric Biscaro’s plan to construct 30 duplex units for residents 50 and older on a 20-acre parcel of land off East Avenue in the village (photo at top) has drawn much attention over the past five months – and a great deal of opposition from a vocal group of citizens who live in the East Avenue, Poplar Lane, Orchard Drive neighborhood.
Those calling for the village board to turn down the project – which requires rezoning from Residential to Planned Unit Development – have given various reasons, including it’s not a good fit for the area, increased traffic and stormwater runoff.
However, there have been LeRoyans who have spoken favorably of the venture, which also includes extending East Avenue to accommodate 18 single-family building lots. Those supporting it have pointed to studies that show Le Roy (and Genesee County) lack adequate housing for seniors and also have mentioned the tax revenue the project would generate.
So, after a recommendation of approval by the Genesee County Planning Board, two previous well-attended public hearings, and some back-and-forth dialogue on The Batavian, the matter is back on the village board’s agenda, with proceedings to begin at 7 o’clock.
Mayor Greg Rogers, contacted earlier this week, said board members seem to be satisfied with traffic and stormwater runoff studies conducted by the CPL engineering firm hired by the village.
“Yes. We’ve reviewed CPL’s study of the water and traffic issues and they’re (CPL) good with that,” he said.
The pressing concern now, he said, is what to do about Biscaro’s offer to put the East Avenue extension in himself, with minimal assistance (around $30,000) in the way of stone, gravel and trucks from the village. The developer also is seeking a $7,000 cap on building permit fees (which represents about a 50 percent discount).
Rogers said that no decision has been made by the board as far as Biscaro putting the road in.
“He has proposed putting the majority of the roads in for the 60 units (senior housing complex) and the 18 building lots on an extension of East Avenue,” Rogers advised. “The board is looking at a commitment of $50,000 to $75,000 toward the road extension.”
The board is thinking about spending that much because the current village code stipulates that curbs and storm sewers come with the installation of new roads.
“That definitely will be part of the conversation Wednesday (tonight),” he said.
Biscaro, using his Clinton Crossings Adult Community as an example, contends that curbs and storm drains aren’t necessary and “do not make the neighborhood.”
“Curbs trap the water on the street and force it to the storm drains,” he said. “You all heard the complaints about water in the storm drains going into the culvert under East Avenue and on to the golf course. Why do it? It’s not necessary. Our stormwater plan already takes care of any water on that street without sending it on to anyone else.”
The owner of Armor Building Supply in Batavia, Biscaro said he has multiple plans that will meet New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requirements and will present those, as well as a Letter of Compliance, to the board.
He said the “pros” of the project far outweigh the “cons” when it comes to being a benefit for the Village of Le Roy.
Biscaro said he got involved with the village after receiving word from Rogers that the board was considering an investment of up to $1 million to extend East Avenue. The proposal also includes opening up South Avenue as an emergency exit/entrance to South Street.
“A vote for the project will lead to quality built patio homes with garages built for easy senior living with no maintenance and more importantly no worries, and a nice new street where beautiful single-family homes will be built,” Biscaro said. “Maybe someone’s children or siblings can build and stay in Le Roy.”
As he did at the last public hearing, Biscaro – who said he will be investing $9 million over the next five years -- brought up the positive tax implications for the village.
“The current annual tax receipts for that property is approximately $1,360 -- $400 to the village and $960 to the (Le Roy Central) school district,” said Biscaro, who is seeking a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement with the Genesee County Economic Development Center. “In just the first year alone, the village would get $2,400 and the school would receive $5,760.”
He said the cumulative totals after 10 years would equal $311,500 to the village and $747,600 to the school district.
“If the board votes against it, it’s the same $1,360 year after year,” he said.
Biscaro said he is committed to building something that will enhance the neighborhood, which has been called a “jewel” by its residents.
“The issue right now is that we have nothing at this location and very little income,” he said. “We need to work together to create something out of this scrub land section of the village, and make this development another gem of the neighborhood.”