Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Batavia Town Planning Board

December 19, 2018 - 9:24am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Planning Board, HP Hood.

The Batavia Town Planning Board on Tuesday night advanced a pair of projects – one industrial and the other residential – to the public hearing stage next month.

Planners lined up in favor of a 4,000-square-foot boiler room expansion at HP Hood LLC, 5140 Ag Park Drive West, an endeavor that will give the food processing facility greater capacity as business increases.

Kevin Moyer, the company’s project engineer manager, and Scott Blair, construction project manager for Design Group out of Concord, N.H., addressed the board during the site plan review.

Moyer said the addition will be adjacent to the existing boiler room with a roll-up door at the front.

Construction specifications are consistent with the rest of the building, Blair added.

 “(The project) is redundancy more than anything else,” Moyer said, noting that putting in a third boiler gives the facility a spare during times of inspection and the expansion provides room for a fourth in the future.

The request, which the board said does not pose any significant adverse environmental impact, will go to the Town Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 14 for a public hearing and back to the Town Planning Board the next night.

Planners also set a public hearing for Jan. 15 to consider a special use permit to allow Maren and Matt Holman of 45 Edgewood Drive to operate an appointment-only hair salon as a Home Occupation 1 in a Residential District.

Maren, a licensed cosmetologist for 14 years, and her husband have set up a 200-square-foot room behind the garage of their ranch home for the business.

Planners inquired about the Genesee County Planning Board’s recommendation that a turn-around on the driveway should be included to prevent customers from having to back their vehicles into the street.

Matt Holman said that is their plan but, for the time being, there is a 15-foot wide driveway of asphalt fillings that would act as a turn-around.

February 21, 2018 - 7:09am

It took 45 minutes of thoughtful discussion about pedestrian safety, sidewalk design/construction costs and comprehensive plans on Tuesday night for the Town of Batavia Planning Board to decide to grant approval of an Ohio developer’s site plan for a proposed 9,000-square-foot Dollar General store at the corner of West Main Street Road and Barrett Drive in the hamlet of East Pembroke.

The endorsement of the project comes with a major stipulation – Zaremba Group, which specializes in build-to-suit retail development programs for retailers across the country, must contribute $10,000 to a sidewalk fund should the Batavia Town Board desire that a sidewalk be built on the property, extending to an existing sidewalk on nearby East Avenue.

Todd Hamula, senior development manager for the Lakewood, Ohio firm, addressed planners for a second time, fresh off approval by the Town Zoning Board of Appeals permitting the developer to reduce the number of parking spaces from the required 46 to 30.

He was seeking site plan approval from the planning board, pointing out some changes in the layout and details of a stormwater retention pond.

The revised plan also includes a short stretch of sidewalk on the property, which, according to Hamula, “gives (the Town) the ability to connect in the future to East Avenue.”

However, Town Engineer Steve Mountain -- after noting that issues such as the pond being close to a residence and the store’s driveway being about 12 feet wider than the desired 24 feet were “not difficult to overcome” – said that he was in favor of sidewalk from East Avenue to the store “to prevent residents from walking in the road (Route 5).”

“Sidewalks are something we have batted around a lot,” said Mountain, adding that the Town has considered forming a sidewalk district to reach its long-term goal of a “walkable community” per its comprehensive plan for the hamlet. “I believe sidewalks are prudent … and recommend completing that loop.”

At that point, planners began debating whether to approve the site plan with sidewalks (about 260 feet of 5-foot-wide sidewalk would be needed) or without sidewalks, and wondering aloud who would be responsible for the cost.

Mountain said he figured the cost to be in the $5,000 to $10,000 range if the developer were to put the sidewalk in, to which Hamula countered that “it’s going to be every bit of 20 to 25 thousand.”

Hamula said he was under the impression that previous negotiations with county and town officials resulted in the Zaremba Group not having to put in a sidewalk that connected with East Avenue.

He then proposed a contribution of $5,000 toward a sidewalk – calling it an “impact fee” – as long as the Town put it in.

“That (building the sidewalk) would be a daunting task for a private developer,” he said.

Mountain stuck to his guns, stating that the Town wouldn’t be building a sidewalk if not for the Dollar General project, and that “it would cost us 35 to 40 percent more than a private developer.”

He also warned the board that the Town could be liable if a pedestrian was hit by a car walking in the road, and urged the board to approve the site plan either with a sidewalk or without a sidewalk.

A couple different motions were presented. One called for granting approval based on the Town paying for engineering and permit costs and the developer being responsible for putting the sidewalk in, but that was withdrawn.

Board member Paul McCullough then asked Hamula if he would be willing to put $10,000 toward a sidewalk fund.

Hamula said he would agree to a cap of $10,000, and minutes later, the board made a motion to approve the site plan without sidewalks with the developer agreeing to contribute $10,000 toward a sidewalk fund should the Town of Batavia want sidewalks and also contingent upon the developer fulfilling other engineering requests.

It was approved 7-0, as was a second motion – a recommendation to the Town Board to include a sidewalk extending from the store to East Avenue when considering the plan.

Afterward, Hamula said he hopes to break ground on the $1.3 million project around Memorial Day and have it completed by Labor Day. He said it will employ eight to 12 people, including a full-time manager, and will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

In other action, the board approved site plans of the new Town of Batavia Fire Department substation on Stringham Drive and the expansion of the Classy Chassy Carwash on Veterans Memorial Drive.

The fire department recently announced plans to build a $3.2 million station to replace Station 2 on Clinton Street Road. The proposal was recommended for approval by the Genesee County Planning Board as long as a Department of Transportation permit pertaining to an entrance to the 10,000-square-foot substation was obtained.

Representatives of Clark Patterson Lee, the engineering firm hired by the department, said that an application for the permit is in process.

Jeff Arnold of Clifton Springs, owner of Classy Chassy, is planning a $200,000 addition to the facility’s Eco-Soft Wash, expanding the tunnel wash from 40 to 100 feet.

He said the addition will not alter the traffic flow and will retain enough room for drivers to exit after using a revamped vacuum center and for emergency vehicles to maneuver around the property.

On Monday, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved an area variance for Classy Chassy, reducing the building setback from the required 30 feet to 18 ½ feet.

December 19, 2017 - 8:07pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Planning Board, Oakwood Estates.


A unanimous vote by the Batavia Town Planning Board for a variance to subdivide 35 parcels at Oakwood Estates on East Main Street Road is sure to brighten the Christmas season for real estate developer Peter Zeliff (photo at right).

The board, at its meeting at Batavia Town Hall tonight, voted 5-0 (three members were absent) to split the two-family home lots into 70 parcels with variances, waivers and conditions reviewed as applied for by Zeliff.

This action opens the door for Zeliff to contract with Ryan Homes to build 70 single-family, two-story homes on the site, with the houses ranging in size from 1,500- to 2,500-square feet.

When asked if this lifts a weight off his shoulders, Zeliff replied, “Definitely,” adding that he has been sitting on a more than $5 million investment for about four years.

During that time, he has sold 12 lots and built homes on seven, but, as a result of the board’s vote, there are now a total of 128 lots on the development.

“Ryan Homes came to me and they feel they can fill a spot in the market that isn’t taken care of here (in Genesee County),” Zeliff said. “That’s the (homes that sell for) $175,000 to $250,000.”

Zeliff told the board that the majority of the subdivided lots are situated on the south and west side of the development, and will have a minimum of 60 feet of frontage.

“Duplexes haven’t gone over real big. People don’t want to buy half of a duplex. I thought it would go over well, but it hasn’t,” Zeliff said, adding that the subdivision will not increase the amount of traffic or the number of occupants.

Zeliff said his initial plan was to build the development in three phases, but he then changed his mind – building out the entire property.

He said all lots have city water and sewer, electric and cable; the selling price of the lots starts at $30,000.

In other action, the board approved an application by Ulrich Signs of Lockport to build a new sign for the Five Start Urgent Care project on Veterans Memorial Drive, a structure next to Home Depot that also will include QDOBA Mexican Eats restaurant.

The board proposed a joint meeting with Batavia Town Board and Batavia Town Zoning Board of Appeals and tentatively scheduled it for 6 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Town Hall.

November 22, 2017 - 11:40am


As they approach the Thanksgiving holiday, Tim and Amanda Gleba are thankful for being able to “live off the land” on their 50-acre organic farm and, most recently, for the Batavia Town Planning Board’s approval to build a pond for agricultural purposes.

Town planners on Tuesday night OK'd a special use permit for the couple to construct a half-acre pond behind their home at 3726 South Main Street Road.

 “The pond will be used for irrigation and for watering our livestock,” Tim said, adding that working the farm is a labor of love. “It’s a hobby of ours; something we really enjoy.”

Both Tim and Amanda, Batavia High School graduates who got married in June 2016, have full-time professions.

He is a precision machining instructor for Genesee Valley Educational Partnership at the Batavia campus on State Street Road, and Amanda (maiden name, Torrey) is a senior food tech at Perry Ice Cream in Akron.

They farm about five acres of their property, growing organic vegetables and keeping free-range chickens for eggs, Tim said. They are working toward certification through the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

The Glebas also planted Christmas trees that will be ready for sale in about five years, and plan to develop a certified tree farm.

The couple says they are committed to this lifestyle -- and sharing the fruits of their labor with others. They credited Tom Ryan of Ryan’s Rose Organic Farm on Rose Road for helping them in their endeavor.

“We’re homesteaders,” Amanda said. “That was the main thing that got us started … for us to benefit from the land. Now, the community can benefit as well.”

Public participation is possible due to the fact that Gleba Farms LLC is a Community Supported Agriculture farm that offers yearly memberships to people interested in obtaining their vegetables and eggs. Vegetables include corn, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, squash and pumpkins.

When available (produce is seasonal, of course), folks can come to the farm to pick up their vegetables, Amanda said, noting that membership dues enable them to keep the service going.

The Glebas also sell meat from heritage breed turkeys and American guinea hogs (a gourmet meat), which they send out for processing.

For more information about the CSA, go to www.glebafarmsny.com.

Tim said they will start work on the pond next May or June. The only requirement of the special use permit is that town engineers must approve the design to ensure that elevations and overflow systems are built correctly.

In other action, Planners:

-- Set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Dec. 19 in connection with the proposed re-subdivision by developer Peter Zeliff at Oakwood Estates off East Main Street Road.

The modifications, which have been approved by the Town Zoning Board of Appeals, focus on dividing 35 parcels into 70 parcels, paving the way to build duplexes or smaller single-family homes.

-- Approved a request for two signs at the new T-Mobile location at 8400 Lewiston Road, next to Total Tan. The business was expected to open today.

-- Learned that QDOBA Mexican Eats will occupy the building on Veterans Memorial Drive, next to Home Depot, that is being constructed to also house Five Star Urgent Care. The structure is about 25 percent complete.

QDOBA, according to Wikipedia, is a chain of fast casual restaurants in the United States and Canada serving Mexican-style cuisine. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box since its purchase from ACI Capital, Western Growth Capital, and other private investors in 2003.

There are QDOBA locations in the Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Rochester areas.

Photo -- Amanda and Tim Gleba at Gleba Farms LLC. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

September 5, 2017 - 8:38pm


The Batavia Town Planning Board on Tuesday night approved the placement of three face lit, red, white and blue acrylic wall signs for the proposed Five Star Urgent Care project on Veterans Memorial Drive, adjacent to The Home Depot.

Tracey Diehl, expeditor for the national chain of walk-in clinics that treat people with illnesses and injuries and perform physicals, immunizations and X-rays, said that the 16-foot-high signs each measure 133.12 square feet and will allow patrons to identify Five Star Urgent Care when coming from all directions.

“We wanted to make the signs (depicting the firm’s red, white and blue logo) equal in size so that they don’t look awkward,” Diehl told the board. “They will be face lit and made of acrylic with a vinyl overlay.”

Diehl said the site, which has yet to be developed, is close to The Home Depot and the NYS Thruway, with visibility from Veterans Memorial Drive, the Thruway and Park Road.

Previously, Five Star Urgent Care’s variance requests were approved by the Town Zoning Board of Appeals and recommended for approval by the Genesee County Planning Board.

According to the company’s website, there are 12 locations in New York, including Jamestown, Geneva, Ithaca and Plattsburgh. Diehl said that “six more sites are in the process” of being finalized.

She also noted that there are some in other states.

The New York locations were founded in 2012 by Dr. John Radford, a physician based in Ellicottville who spent time as an emergency department employee in Batavia early in his more than 20-year career.

Diehl said that a major benefit provided by Five Star Urgent Care is that it takes walk-ins. Plans are to open by the end of the year.

In other action, the board approved a site plan and the construction of one building for Gateway GC LLC’s commercial office building/parking lot project in the Gateway II Corporate Park on Call Parkway off West Saile Drive.

Further expansion, however, would be subject to the completion of conditions from the original list of Gateway II park improvements that focus on traffic flow and a water main.

According to David Ciurzynski, project manager for general contract Manning Squires Hennig Co. Inc., the $2.6 million plan calls for the construction of five 27,00-square-foot buildings with ample landscaping featuring several varieties of trees, including maples, oaks, chestnuts and birch.

Board Chairperson Kathy Jasinski noted the importance of proper landscaping.

“This is something that I was interested in, since you will be setting the bar," she said. "For anything that follows, we would like to keep the same look."

Town Engineer Steve Mountain pointed out that there could be traffic flow issues as buildings are added to the site, adding that the expense of highway improvements would likely be split among developers, the Genesee County Economic Development Center and state and/or federal grants.

Ciurzynski said that his company is working with GCEDC to complete Call Parkway (a path to Route 98) and the water lines needed to service the buildings.

He said that the project “doesn’t work if we have (approval for) only one building,” adding that his company already has attracted a possible tenant for the first building.

June 21, 2017 - 9:41am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Planning Board, Fleet Maintenance.

Town of Batavia planners on Tuesday night approved a special use permit and site plan review for Fleet Maintenance Inc., a 16-bay truck repair facility that will be situated on State Street Road, adjacent to the New York State Thruway.

"We did a lot of work on it (this project) and investigated the neighbors' concerns over water drainage and traffic," said Kathy Jasinski, planning board chairperson. "I believed we addressed them all and while some may not be happy with everything, we think this is a good fit (for that area)."

The special use permit was needed to address the hours of operation for the business, which, according to Jasinski, have been set at 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, "expanded hours" on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

Planners voted 6-1 in favor of granting the special use permit, with Paul McCullough voting no, and unanimously approved the site plan.

Jasinski said that owner Debbie Gawron, of West Seneca, indicated that there would be around 10 to 12 trucks at the facility per day.

Previously, the owners went before the Genesee County Planning Board.

Reportedly, the business will employ around 35 people. No timetable for construction was given, Jasinski said.

In another development, the board set a public hearing for July 18 for the Muckdog Solar II Project, a 2 megawatt solar farm proposed for Pearl Street Road, across from Hopkins Road.

Jasinski said a special use permit is required since the project is entering a second phase. 

February 8, 2017 - 8:47am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia Town Planning Board, solar farms.

As Batavia Town planners moved a pair of solar farm projects ahead Tuesday night, they debated the ramifications of more of these ventures upon agricultural land in the future.

The planning board approved seeking lead agency status for state environmental quality review for 11-acre solar farms on properties owned by Thomas Lichtenthal at 8169 Bank Street Road and Call Farms at 7755 Oak Orchard Road.

Both landowners are working with ForeFront Power to repurpose a portion of their 93-acre and 83.5-acre parcels, respectively, to connect to the power grid and generate about two megawatts of power each – enough electricity to service about 300 homes.

In typical solar farm agreements, property owners receive “rent” for using their land, which becomes a vehicle to produce electricity from a clean, renewable source -- while the solar company benefits by selling the solar power to the utility company.

The Lichtenthal and Call farms proposals first came to the planning board in December 2015.

Genesee County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari reported that the area to be used on the Call Farms property was not prime land for farming, while the Bank Street Road site is in an archeologically sensitive area and will need additional documentation.

Following their positive lead agency votes, board members and Oltramari discussed the solar farm issue in the context of the loss of prime agricultural land.

As the only town in the county that has zoning for solar farms, Oltramari said the protection of farm land “could become an issue as you get more of these” projects.

Planner Lou Paganello said he could see things getting out of hand.

“I didn’t think we’d be talking about giving up to 100 acres,” he said. “Where do we stop things from getting out of control? What are our options?

“Looking at the long term, we could have 50, 100 or 200 of these coming in. We need to know our legal rights and limits.”

Code Enforcement Officer Daniel Lang reminded board members that they had previously discussed solar farms at length and had decided to allow them as long as they didn’t exceed 20 acres.

“I think we should have done it (consider other restrictions) then, not after we’ve received applications,” he said.

Planner Jeremy Liles agreed with Lang, adding “how can we regulate the way someone uses their land?”

Town Engineer Steve Mountain noted that the local law was enacted to limit solar farms in size and that the special use permit process “gives us more say” concerning the most beneficial use of the land – a point echoed by Lang.

While some said they foresee many more solar farm applications down the road, planner Paul Marchese said he wasn’t so sure of that.

“I don’t think there will be an explosion because of the requirements that they (solar farms) need to be so close to the (power) grid,” he said.

In other developments:

-- Planners approved the construction of a 64-foot by 150-foot open air pavilion that would be attached to the existing building at the Bontrager Auctions site at 8975 Wortendyke Road. Voting came after planners determined that the project would have no impact upon the environment.

Owner Todd Jantzi said he will employ Dave Bennett Construction to build the pavilion, starting in March. He said that the covered structure, which will replace a tent, will enable him to conduct auctions year-round.

-- The board discussed a proposal by Pellegrino Auto Sales to put on a three-bay addition, measuring 1,200 square feet, at the dealership located at 4060 Pearl Street Road.

This proposal needs to go through the variance process, starting with the Genesee County Planning Board to the Town Zoning Board of Appeals and back to the Town Planning Board.

-- Town Engineer Steve Mountain said that the town has completed three of four required “high-impact actions” toward its goal of achieving Clean Energy Communities status and earning one of 14 grants in the Genesee/Finger Lakes Region -- 10 at $50,000 and four at $100,000 -- through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority program.

Mountain said that the town has successfully implemented the Benchmarking, Unified Solar Permit and Energy Code Enforcement Training actions, and expects to finish the LED Street Lights component by this summer. The town has about 70 street lights that need to be converted to energy-efficient LEDs.

On Monday night, City of Batavia officials attended a presentation on the program, which was reported on The Batavian.

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break