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February 10, 2021 - 11:09am

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The Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night is expected to act on a staff recommendation to approve a site plan submitted by the owner of a Jackson Street building to be renovated with support from the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The monthly meeting will take place via Zoom videoconferencing starting at 7 o’clock.

Jack Waggoner, of Corfu, is looking to change the exterior appearance of the structure that currently houses Gilliana’s Diner (41 Jackson St.) and Michael Anthony’s Hair Salon (43 Jackson St.) on the lower floor and five office units on the top floor.

Waggoner said that a law firm (Block, Longo, LaMarca and Brzezinski, P.C.) will be moving in next month to 39 Jackson St., which had been the site of Art Ah La Carte.

Proposed changes include building out storefront entrances flush to the face of the building, replacing windows, installing exterior down lighting on the face of the elevation, removing existing ridged canopy projections and installing new retractable fabric awnings.

Additionally, the project calls for the installation of a new aluminum-clad wooden door with transoms and side lights on the west and south elevations and new aluminum-clad wood storefronts with transom windows on the west and south elevations.

An architect’s rendering has signage with the name of the business above the retractable awnings, something that Waggoner said is a possibility.

Part of the Downtown Business Improvement District, the building is one of several to receive Building Improvement Fund assistance.

Andrew Maguire, director of economic development for the Batavia Development Corporation, said the project was awarded $100,000 of the $600,000 in BIF money available through the DRI. The BDC is charged with implementing, administering and executing this grant program, which mirrors the Homes and Community Renewal New York Main Street Grant program.

The building at 1 School St., home to Batavia Massage Therapy, is connected to the primary building and may see some improvements as well, Waggoner said.

“Not like the Jackson Street façade, but I’m still working on it – seeing how the budget works out. Possibly, do new doors over there and maybe some windows, but nothing spectacular there,” he said.

Following county planners' review, the referral will be considered by the City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee at its Feb. 16 meeting.

Per the grant program, work on the building is subject to a competitive bidding process. Waggoner said he is in the process of contracting with an architectural firm and hopes to begin renovations in May.

The county planning department staff is recommending approval, noting that the exterior changes align with the city’s design guidelines.

Thursday’s agenda also includes the following referrals:

  • An area variance request submitted by The Daily News, 438 E. Main St., to have Signs by John’s Studio place a 4-foot by 40-foot non-illuminated pole sign identifying itself outside of the required 40- by 40-foot clear area for a corner lot at East Main and Harvester Avenue.

The referral will have to go before the City of Batavia Zoning Board of Appeals for area variances due to the fact that pole signs are not permitted in the Commercial C-1 district and the minimum vertical clearance under pole signs is 10 feet – not 2 feet as proposed.

Submitted documentation indicates that the sign will create no undesirable change in the district and is necessary because the building owner does not permit wall signs on the structure.

The planning department staff is recommending approval as the proposed sign should pose no significant countywide or intercommunity impact.

  • A site plan review and special use permit request Ryan Dewitt Oil Co. of Pearl Creek to place a car wash in a Commercial C-2 district at 13 Lake St. (Route 19) in Le Roy. Previously, it was the location of a gas station.

Planning department staff recommends approval as long as the applicant obtains a driveway permit from the New York State Department of Transportation for the change in use and merges the two parcels into one to avoid the need for variances.

  • A site plan review and area variance referral from Peter Yasses, of Byron, who is proposing to construct a self-storage unit on an acre parcel in a Commercial district on Byron Holley Road (Route 237), near Mill Pond Road.

Variances are needed to allow for less than minimums of lot size, frontage and depth, and front and side setbacks.

The planning staff recommends approval with modifications, which include Yasses obtaining a driveway permit from the state DOT for the change in use prior to final approval by the town, and installing on-site lighting so as to not shine directly onto neighboring properties or cause a hazard for motorists.

  • Zoning text amendments submitted by the Le Roy Village Board to include laundromats in Commercial C-1, Commercial C-2 and Industrial districts upon the issuance of a special use permit and to include business and professional offices to the list of permitted uses in an Industrial I-1 district.

Planning staff recommends approval of both amendments.

At top -- Architect's rendering of improvements planned for 39-43 Jackson St., Batavia.

January 28, 2021 - 12:05pm

Much along the lines of a circus juggler, Andrew Maguire is determined to keep the balls in the air as he tracks the many City of Batavia projects funded by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Building Improvement Fund and New York Main Street grant programs.

Maguire, director of economic development for the Batavia Development Corporation, went through his list of what he called “2021 milestone projects” and other irons in the fire during the agency’s monthly board meeting this morning via Zoom videoconferencing.

“There are a couple of big ones, obviously,” he said. “Ellicott Station (the mixed-use venture on the former Soccio & Della Penna and Santy’s Tire Sales property on Ellicott Street) is hopefully going to be beginning construction in early spring and projections for the Healthy Living Campus (YMCA project on East Main Street) are for the fall of 2021 to begin construction and demolition. Those two big ones alone should equate to almost $50 million of investment into the city.”

Maguire said he was confident that the City Centre Mall and Jackson Square projects also would commence construction this year, as well as Main Street 56 Theater (at the City Centre), 206 E. Main St. (Main Street Pizza Company building), 201 E. Main St. (GO ART!), 39-43 Jackson St. (corner building next to School Street), 97 Main St. (old Genesee Bank building) and 219 E. Main St. (Fieldstone Private Wealth - Ameriprise Financial Services).

“These are all projects that will run through our grant programs. So, they do have time frames they have to comply with so I’m pretty confident that all of these on this list will be moving to the construction phase in 2021 – which should yield over $50 million total investment through the grant funding program,” Maguire said.

He admitted the DRI process is “kind of tedious and relatively slow” but, again, said he expects the City Centre, Jackson Square, Ellicott Station and Healthy Living Campus “will all be hitting the ground running in 2021, which I’m excited about.”

Going down the list, Maguire reported the following:

  • 206 E. Main St. (Main Street Pizza Company building).

He said an asbestos survey was being done and that owner Paul Marchese is expected to finalize the design plan by early February. “As soon as I get my hands on it, it is going out the door to get bid out,” he said.

  • 242 Ellicott St. (corner of Liberty Street).

With a salon downstairs and two apartments upstairs, owners have completed the interior work and are waiting for the weather to break to do the façade work, Maguire said, adding that it should be done in early spring.

  • 99 Main St., (old Mane Attraction building, now a dental office).

“They’re getting some stuff cleaned out right now and hopefully we will see some big dumpsters in the near future,” Maguire said.

  • 109-111 Main St. (Eli Fish Brewing Company and restaurant).

The owners selected Whitney East as their preferred developer and it is going on to construction pretty soon, Maguire said.

  • 39-43 Jackson St. (just north of School Street).

Maguire said he is working with the City Planning & Development Committee to get the site plan on to the latter’s agenda, adding that it needs county planning approval as well.

  • 201 E. Main St. (GO ART!).

He said that GO ART! officials are working with a local lead paint tester to determine the extent of that potential issue.

  • 219 E. Main St. (Fieldstone - Ameriprise).

“We’re working through an environmental checklist there. Obviously, there was an adjacent dry cleaner years ago and that could require further environmental testing,” Maguire said.

  • 97 Main St. (old Genesee Bank building).

Maguire said the plans are top-notch, but won’t be delivered until after completion of State Historic Preservation Office testing.

  • 33-39 Ellicott St. (Batavia Tailors & Cleaners, Domino’s, DiMatteo law firm, Village Audiology).

The building owner (Batavia Tailors) will be contracting for façade work and heating/cooling work, and also is required to perform environmental testing, Maguire said.

In other action, the board:

  • Voted in favor of additional three-year terms for members Lori Aratari, Christine Fix, Nate Varland and Rebecca Cohen, and one-year appointments to the executive committee for Aratari, president; Wesley Bedford, vice president; Jake Whiting, secretary, and Cohen, treasurer.
  • Modified language in the Performance Evaluation Policy to include that a review of the director’s job performance will be conducted by the executive committee, not a “committee” as previously stated.
  • Learned from Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski that the agency’s financial reports, generated by the City of Batavia, won’t be converted to the city’s new software system until sometime in 2022. Varland requested some type of “financial health at a glance” report to make it easier to determine the BDC’s financial standing rather than having to look at multiple documents. Maguire offered to compile a “budget actual, which would be simpler format to look at” moving forward.
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