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August 11, 2017 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gateway II, GCEDC, county planning, land use, batavia, business.

A Rochester-based company is working on plans to build five structures in the industrial park bounded by Oak Orchard Road and West Saile Drive, known as Gateway II, that investors hope will attract new business and jobs to the area.

The Genesee County Planning Board was asked to review the site plan for five buildings that will be a mix of warehouse and office space on an 18.8-acres lot and last night the board recommended approval.

Dave Cuirzynski, representing Gateway LS LLC, a subsidiary of Gallina Development Corp., said the company plans to start with one structure, find a tenant and use that to attract more tenants for the other four structures.

"This gives us some added space for companies to come in and attract more businesses," Cuirzynski said. "We can start developing Gateway so it can do what it was intended to do."

Gateway II is a shovel-ready industrial park developed by the Genesee County Economic Development Center. It is 57 acres and includes facilities for Ashley Furniture and Milton Caterpillar.

Gallina is planning a $2.625 million investment in the project, leading to the construction of 25,000 square feet of building that a potential tenant can modify to meet any business need, from office space to warehouse to light industrial.

The other four buildings could be as large as 27,000 square feet.

According to GCEDC officials, the agency regularly received requests for proposals for ready-to-use space, but it often isn't available locally. This new construction will help fill that gap.

The company is seeking sales and property tax exemptions of approximately $140,000. A public hearing on the request will be held on a date yet to be announced.

November 8, 2012 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, county planning.

Felipe Oltramari is becoming director of planning for Genesee County at a potentially very interesting time.

It's a time when trends nationally are changing and a time when the county could be on the verge of unprecedented growth.

Oltramari's appointment was approved by the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday and will be official once it's approved by the full legislature next week.

The 36-year-old native of Chile takes over for Jim Duval, who went to work for the planning department 1976, the year Oltramari was born (Duval became director in 2000). Oltramari worked for Duval for 10 years and said Duval did a fantastic job of running the department.

"If I can do half the job he did, I’ll be a very successful planner," Oltramari said.

Oltramari moved to the United States when he was 12 after his mother married a Kodak employee. He graduated from Irondequoit High School and then got a bachelor's degree from SUNY Geneseo in biology with a concentration in environmental science. After earning his master's in 2002 in environmental land planning from SUNY ESF (Environmental Science and Forestry, near Syracuse), he went to work in Genesee County's planning department.

"I'm looking forward to leading the department," Oltramari said. "We have a great staff. Holly McAllister and Jill Babinski have both always done a great job for county residents."

With the early success of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and the STAMP proposal in Alabama, the county planning department -- which acts as technical assistance and advisory for town and village planners -- could become very busy in the next few years.

Helping to managing growth, planning it intelligently and protecting natural resources will part of Oltramari's duties.

"One of the things the county has to keep in mind is we have great natural resources," Oltramari said.

Chief among those resoures is great farming soils, Oltramari said. while only about 8 percent of the Earth's surface has prime farm soils, Genesee County is about 50 percent prime farm soils.

So much good soil is even more valuable when you consider the water availability in this region.

"That’s one thing that makes us a bread basket for our state, and our country at one point," Oltramari said. "That’s one thing that we have to remember, how to manage and take care of our resources and not take it for granted."

One way to do that is through what's known as new urbanism, or planning around form rather than use.

"Before we worried about factories next to homes," Oltramari said. "But now the factory might be in China and things get assembled and shipped here. The global economy has changed the way local economies work. I think one of the things we'll see is people worrying less about what the use is next door and instead worry about how it looks and sits next their property, how it relates to their property."

Oltramari is looking at trends in places like Miami and Denver, and even Buffalo, to plan growth around tighter clusters of mixed-use development, where homes are more neighborhood friendly and shopping and work are close by.

Such developments help save space, and can help protect farm land.

Unlike places such as Clarence and Williamsville, which has already been through periods of sprawling growth, Genesee County has an opportunity to manage its growth in a way that better preserves resources and promotes community.

"If we grow in a smart way, don’t waste space, treat it like we should, we'll be a successful county," Oltramari said.

May 10, 2012 - 11:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, county planning.

County Planning Director Jim Duval is retiring after 36 years with the county June 14.

To help celebrate his final planning board meeting, Board Member Lucine Kauffman baked him a chocolate cake decorated with symbols of some of the planning issues the county has dealt with, such as signs, windmills and the STAMP project (symbol: a postage stamp on a stick).

Other members brought in drinks, cookies, cheese and crackers and other refreshments, which were served after the meeting.

Duval, a Bethany resident and Bethany volunteer firefighter, plans to stay in the area.

He noted that he'll now have more time to respond to daytime emergency calls.

Duval also told board members they will be left in good hands with an outstanding planning staff.

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