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Country Meadows

July 20, 2022 - 9:33am

A proposal to expand the Country Meadows Manufactured Homes Community on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Batavia is not sitting well with the residents of nearby Stringham Road.

About 35 people -- the overwhelming majority of them owners of homes on Stringham Drive – turned out for a public hearing conducted by the Batavia Town Planning Board on Tuesday night at the Town of Batavia Fire Station No. 2 on Stringham Drive.

Following a brief presentation by Glenn Thornton, an engineer representing Country Meadows’ owner Jeffery Cook, attendees peppered the planning board with several questions, focusing on the following issues:

  • The width of a buffer zone between the expansion and Stringham Drive;
  • The possibility of an emergency access road into the mobile park expansion from Stringham Drive;
  • The expansion’s effect on home property values;
  • Stormwater runoff mitigation;
  • The impact of the expansion on the environment and wildlife;
  • Increased traffic in the area.

SEVENTY-SIX MORE LOTS

Thornton, making his second appearance in front of the planning board in the past four weeks, said the plan is to take a 30-acre portion in the northwest quadrant of the park’s 75 acres and develop 76 more mobile home lots.

Currently, the park consists of 174 mobile homes with about four lots per acre, Thornton said. The proposal calls for two and a half lots per acre, and would include extensions to existing roads in the mobile home park that, according to Thornton, would be “privately owned and maintained – total compliant, private roads.”

“We propose to extend water mains and sanitary sewers so every lot will be served with municipal sewer and water,” he said, adding that lighting would be installed at the new intersections and at the end of the road.

Thornton also said that the expansion would include three stormwater ponds to capture and treat all stormwater runoff from the development area to satisfy state Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.

Property owner Cook said that the new mobile homes for sale would cost in the $80,000 to $120,000 range and that about 80 percent of those would be “double-wide” with paved driveways.

PARK RESIDENT: FIX EXISTING AREA

Judy Schildwaster, a longtime resident of the mobile home park, opened the public hearing by expressing her dismay with the lack of upkeep of the roads and tree trimming.

“This is the ninth owner since 1990 … and I see no improvement,” she said, adding that she doesn’t know the name of the property manager. “I’d like to see them come down and fix what they already own before they put in something new.”

Her statement drew a round of applause and opened the door for the Stringham Drive residents to pose their questions to the board and the developers. Planning Board Chair Kathleen Jasinski indicated that the questions would be addressed after everyone had a chance to speak.

Jeff Anders asked if they would be putting a berm up “to hide your eyesore from the rest of the neighbors” and also if there was a plan in place to address the decrease in Stringham Drive homeowners’ property values (prompting more applause).

He then asked those in attendance if they were in favor of this and received a resounding “No.”

James Myers said he heard there would be an access road from the mobile home park to Stringham Drive for emergency vehicles and wanted to know what would prevent people from using it to get into the park?

Roger Bickle said there is an open field behind his house and asked what “would be put in there so we don’t have to look at that?”

Daniel Edwards sought to find out how many feet the expansion will come within the Stringham Drive back yards, and if the woods would remain or be taken down. He also asked questions about water and sewer drainage, wildlife and home values.

NOT IN OUR BACKYARD 

“Respectfully, homeowners don’t want to live next to a mobile home park,” he said. “This will disrupt the beauty of living out in the town, on a dead-end street, with woods behind me. I have privacy – and now, I will be staring at mobile homes when I look out my back windows.”

David Sprung, who said his lot is the “lowest on the road,” said he was concerned about flooding, noting that he bought his lot with the understanding that it was wetlands and would never be developed.”

He said he figures this expansion is a “done deal” but asked the developer to consider the drainage issues.

Sprung also said he would oppose an emergency access road next to his house since it would likely be used by bicyclists and others looking for a short cut through the park or onto Clinton Street Road.

“It’s a pretty quiet neighborhood right now and I’d like to keep it that way,” he said.

Jasinski, responding to questions about starting date of the project, said, “We can’t tell you that now because we just started looking at the project.”

“It’s not approved (yet) … we’re going to work on it to make it the best project for everybody.”

Robert Rindo said he opposed an access road and believed that the increase in the number of cars would be a major problem.

Town Building Inspector Dan Lang said his department conducts annual inspections and additional inspections when receiving complaints. He did say that Country Meadows was “the best kept (mobile home) park in the Town of Batavia right now.”

THORNTON: ACCESS ROAD NOT IN PLAN

When given a chance to respond, Thornton emphasized that there are no plans to add an access road from Stringham Drive into the expansion.

“That’s not on our agenda right now,” he said, but added that they may be forced to put one in for emergency purposes (per a recommendation from the Genesee County Planning Board).

Thornton said his plan includes a 50-foot buffer zone from the Stringham Drive lots – up from the current 35-foot setback – and will maintain existing drainage patterns and existing vegetation.

“We’re listening to you,” he said, noting that an extension of Briarwood Terrace would run over two 36-inch culverts to facilitate proper drainage. He also said traffic studies have been completed and he doesn’t see that there will be an overload to the current roads in the mobile park.

Jasinski said the planning board has many questions as well, and will perform a State Environmental Quality Review during a meeting in August. She invited residents to attend future meetings and to send her emails with additional questions or concerns to [email protected].

In another development, the board set a public hearing for Aug. 16 at the Batavia Town Hall on West Main Street Road to consider a pair of ground-mounted solar farms on Alexander Road.

Renewable Properties, working with Bergmann Associates engineering firm of Rochester, is seeking approval of special use permits to install a 14-acre, 3-megawatt solar farm on a 29-acre parcel at 9183 Alexander Rd. and a 10-acre, 1.6-megawatt system at 9071 Alexander Rd.

Previously: Stringham Drive residents can weigh in on expansion of Country Meadows, though public hearing not required

July 8, 2022 - 2:24pm

LEGAL NOTICE:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Public Hearing will be held by the Town of Batavia Planning Board regarding an application by Rochester MHP Portfolio, LLC (Jeffrey Cook) for the expansion of Country Meadows Manufactured Homes Community with the construction of 76 new mobile home lots within the existing community. The project also involves construction of internal private roads, utilities and stormwater management areas.  This is located at 5121 Clinton Street Road, Town of Batavia.  This is in an area zoned Mobile Home Park (MHP) District.

Said hearing will be held at the Town of Batavia Firehall, Station #2 on 8535 Stringham Drive, Batavia, NY on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. at which time all interested persons will be heard.  If you cannot attend, you may send your comments and concerns to the Chairman at [email protected]  before the hearing.   All correspondence will be acknowledged.

By order of the Town of Batavia Planning Board

Kathleen Jasinski, Chairman.

June 23, 2022 - 2:05pm

img_1853cpuntrymeadows.jpg

A public hearing is not required for approval of a 76-unit expansion of the Country Meadows housing community at 5121 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, but since some residents of Stringham Drive might be concerned about it, the Town of Batavia Planning Board agreed at Tuesday's meeting to hold a hearing.

A public hearing requires notification to neighboring residents and gives them an opportunity to express concerns or ask questions.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m., July 19 at the Batavia Town Hall.

Country Meadows is operated by Rochester MHP Portfolio LLC and owner Jeffrey Cook.  It currently contains 174 manufactured homes.

Stringham Drive is immediately to the south of the 75-acre parcel.

Engineer Glenn F. Thornton presented the development plans to the board on Tuesday and said steps are being taken to address any potential concerns of Stringham Drive residents.  

He said there is an additional 50 feet of separation between the new home lots and the property lines of Stringham Drive homes.

"It's heavily vegetated over there (along the southern boundary of the development), so we're proposing to leave all of the vegetation in place to kind of screen the two properties from each other," Thornton said.

The new lots will be slightly more spacious than the existing lots, he said. The current lots are about four to an acre, he said.  The new lots will be 2.5 per acre.

Much of the reason for the larger lots are the constraints imposed by the geography and infrastructure of the area being developed.   There needs to be proper stormwater drainage and there is an existing "fairly wide" town sanitary sewer easement through the property.

"I think everything we're proposing is within the 6,000 square foot minimum lot size," Thornton said. "The separations between the homes, the setbacks from the property lines, I believe everything is code compliant, so we're not looking for any variances."

Much of the discussion Tuesday was about stormwater drainage.  The plan includes a swale, already a natural feature of the property, to drain water into a retention pond so it can be slowly drained into the town's stormwater drainage system, as well as berms to help channel runoff.

The new development will not increase runoff on Stringham Drive, Thornton said.

"Stringham Drive's drainage is coming our way actually," Thornton said. "We're actually capturing the runoff from Stringham Drive that's coming out on our property and routing it around our home sites, trying to get it up into this swale (pointing to an architectural drawing) up in here. Really, anything within the development area we have to capture and route into our stormwater management areas. So anything we have is going into those areas where we'll mitigate the flow to existing conditions as it leaves the property."

There are currently three driveways serving the development.

Planning documents submitted by Thornton's firm state there will not be a significant increase in traffic as a result of the additional pre-manufactured homes. It states there will be 275 additional vehicle trips daily, with 19 additional trips during the peak morning hour and 42 during the peak afternoon hour, and most of those trips through the property's western driveway.

That driveway can easily accommodate the additional traffic, the report states.

Photo: Glenn Thornton. Photo by Howard Owens.

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