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Genesee County Planning Board

December 11, 2020 - 7:22pm

An Ellicott Street Road resident on Thursday night was advised to contact Town of Batavia council members over her objections to proposed side-by-side community solar projects on the property of a neighboring farmer that she said circumvented the town’s zoning regulations.

Speaking at the Genesee County Planning Board meeting via Zoom videoconferencing, Nancy Brach, of 5168 Ellicott Street Road, questioned the panel and Planning Director Felipe Oltramari about the validity of two (approximately) 20-acre solar arrays next to each other on land owned by Donald Partridge at 5117 Ellicott Street Road.

Brach expressed her views in the midst of a 40-minute discussion over the special use permit and area variance referrals to place a 5-megawatt solar farm on 18.2 acres of a 65-acre parcel and a 4-megawatt system on 19.6 acres of a 71-acre parcel. The projects, named Trousdale Solar I and Trousdale Solar II, are being developed for Partridge by Cypress Creek Renewables LLC.

“I understood that there was a 20-acre limit, is that correct?” Brach asked. After Oltramari answered yes, Brach said, “So, we’re putting together two 20-acre parcels, is that correct?”

Oltramari replied that “technically, there are two solar farms; they are side by side, but there are two of them.”

She proceeded to ask if they were owned by the same person and, again, Oltramari responded in the affirmative – the same landowner and the same solar company.

“So, my question is, if there is a 20-acre limit and you allow people to put parcel after parcel together, effectively, you could have 1,000 acres,” she said. “How do we prevent that? This is making a piece of property that doubles the amount of the minimum and yet we’re going ahead with it. What would keep us from having 100 acres, 200 acres, if you just let people split the property in name only?”

Acknowledging that Brach had a “valid point,” Oltramari noted that some municipalities don’t have any size limitations and some have larger than 20 acres, but 20 acres seems to be the minimum, and added that the Town of Batavia was one of the first localities to adopt a solar law.

He then said that New York State provides incentives for these types of solar projects that generate around 5 megawatts of power, before adding that a similar two-in-one type project – earmarked for a more isolated area in the Town of Pembroke – was on the evening’s referral list for a special use permit.

Undeterred, Brach, who was one of three Ellicott Street Road residents who voiced their opposition during the meeting, reiterated, “How to we protect (the 20-acre limitation) because it seems to go against how the law was designed?”

Oltramari then suggested a zoning change or at least a change in the wording would have to come from town officials, and said residents would need to petition their town board before that could happen.

Brach, who hosted a neighborhood meeting with Partridge at her home in June 2019 to convey their concerns, said the ambiguity of the zoning is what has people upset about “having a solar project put in their backyard.”

“If you say 20 acres, then two 20-acre parcels are not 20 acres, it’s 40 acres and it opens up the opportunity for 60 or 80 or 100 acres, and that’s just not honest,” she said.

Planning Board Member Jill Gould then explained that this panel makes recommendations based on whether the applications adhere to town zoning laws, and re-emphasized that complaints by Brach and others should be directed to the Town of Batavia.

Timothy Morrow and Kathy Antonelli, also of Ellicott Street Road, spoke prior to Brach.

Morrow said he wanted to know what chemicals were in the solar panels as he feared that harmful agents could seep into a large aquifer in that area and affect homeowners’ wells.

Jerry Leone, of Rochester, representing Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, said that he would provide Morrow with the findings of the environmental studies already conducted. Later on, it was indicated that the overwhelming majority of solar panels in New York are based on silicon technology (quartz or sand).

Antonelli said the solar arrays will be place “behind my house and diagonally from my property” and asked if the project would decrease the property values in the area.

“And why so close to our homes, with all of the farmland in this area?” she asked. “I don’t want to sit on my back deck and look at a solar farm.”

At the end of the debate, planners approved both solar projects by a 6-1 vote with Robert Houseknecht casting the “no” vote. The measure now goes back to the Batavia Town Planning Board, which is meeting next Tuesday, and one of the projects will also be considered by the Town Zoning Board of Appeals since an area variance is needed because the frontage is less than the minimum requirement.

Recommended modifications include obtaining a stormwater pollution prevention plan and relocating a part of the driveway and equipment pad from the middle of the array to the edge of the field or on existing laneways.

In other action, planners approved:

  • With modifications (stormwater pollution prevention plan and archaeological study), a site plan review for a LandPro sales, storage and maintenance facility at 4554 W. Saile Drive in the Town of Batavia. LandPro is a major dealer of John Deere tractors and equipment.
  • With modifications (see above), a site plan review and area variance for Rochester Regional Health’s four-story, 140,000-square-foot medical office building at 8103 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), near Call Parkway, in the Town of Batavia. The project will include the installation of a traffic signal on Route 98, connecting Call Parkway with Federal Drive.
  • A special use permit referral from Solar Liberty Energy Systems Inc. of Buffalo for solar farms generating 5.3 megawatts and 6.6 megawatts at 7984 Tesnow Road in the Town of Pembroke. The property is owned by Kreher Brothers LLC of Clarence.
  • A site plan review to relocate Precious Paws to an existing commercial building at 10571 Main St., Alexander. The applicant, Alicia Brenkus, will be converting a former pizza shop to her dog grooming business.
November 12, 2020 - 12:44pm

Update: 3:30 p.m. with comments from Victor Gautieri, president of V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc. on the proposed changes:

The crux of the change is when we started looking at when the folks walk in on the first floor, into the building, there is a corridor that leads ot the elevator, and then they take the elevator up to the second floor. Well, there were three turns that had to be made before you actually reached the elevator door. So, from a safety perspective and people's comfort level, I guess, it is better to have fewer turns and a more direct access to the elevator doors.

We made it much more convenient to get to those elevator doors, but in order to do so, we had to move the elevator from within the second-floor footprint. It's now coming out -- outside of the building, adjacent to the outside wall of the building (on the north side).

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The Genesee County Planning Board tonight is expected to consider a site plan review referral from the City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee on behalf of V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc.. The company is proposing to relocate an elevator leading to the second-floor apartments of the Ellicott Place project at 45-47 Ellicott St.

According to a document submitted by City Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall, the applicant has requested approval to modify the previously approved design of the second floor by moving the elevator originally planned for the interior of the existing building to a location on the exterior wall of the north elevation.

Randall wrote that the change would result in an exterior alteration to the building that is located in a Central Commercial (C-3) zone within the Business Improvement District.

In its submission for modification proposal, V.J. Gautieri officials report that the basis for the changes “is to develop a more easily accessible, safe entry for the second-floor apartment tenants, wherein the travel distance and corridor turns to the first-floor elevator access point would both be reduced to a more desirable condition.”

Specific changes, as outlined in the new plan, include:

  • On the south elevation, utilizing the existing stair to the second floor instead of pushing it outside of the second-floor footprint, which required a second-floor addition.
  • On the north elevation, shortening the distance to the apartment elevator, (which) required the shaft and associated exit stair to be pushed outside the second-floor footprint. This change will result in the construction of a 19- by 23-foot second-floor addition, with the exterior in wood cladding to keep with the second-floor visual design.
  • On the interior, requiring the southwest apartment to be changed from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom unit, and the northwest apartment to be changed from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom unit. Thus, the total number of one- and two-bedroom apartments will not change.

Work is underway on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project, a $2.3 million renovation of the exterior of the building and the vacant space that will include 10 market rate apartments on the second floor.

Plans call for the construction of seven one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments on the vacant, 11,600-square-foot second floor, and includes the development of 18,000 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail space.

In a related development, planners also will look at an area variance request from Signs by John’s Studio on behalf of V.J. Gautieri Constructors and Save-A-Lot to save_a_lot_logo_1.jpgreplace four existing internally lit signs featuring the supermarket’s existing logo with its new logo (pictured).

According to a City of Batavia sign permit application, there will be a 15-foot by 96-inch wall sign, a 44-inch by 145-inch pole sign and two 23-inch by 36-inch entrance/exit signs.

Both referrals have been recommended for approval by Genesee County Planning Department staff, but will be subject to review by the City Planning & Development Committee and, in the case of the sign application, by the City Zoning Board of Appeals.

Also on tonight’s agenda is a special use permit and site plan review to erect two buildings with eight apartment units each in a Limited Commercial zone at 8940 Alleghany Road (Route 77), near Cohocton Road, in the Town of Pembroke.

The applicant, Daryl Martin Architect, P.C., of Orchard Park, proposes to build a pair of two-story structures – each featuring seven two-bedroom apartments and one one-bedroom apartment for property owner/developer Tim Cansdale.

Planning department staff recommendation is approval with modifications pertaining to driveway and stormwater permits, and adherence to Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.

*Enhanced 911, E-911 or E911 is a system used in North America to automatically provide the caller's location to 9-1-1 dispatchers. 911 is the universal emergency telephone number in the region.

November 10, 2020 - 1:26pm

Now that the Batavia City Council has passed a resolution amending the city’s municipal code to allow public garages in I-1 (Industrial) zones, the catalyst of what turned out to be a drawn-out process says his plan to place an auto repair shop on his property is on hold.

“I lost my tenant, so at this point, we’ll see what happens. But at least it is all set so that somebody could do it and I may very well do it,” said Eric Biscaro, owner of Classic Home Improvements and Armor Building Supply at 653 Ellicott St., in reaction to a development from Monday night’s City Council meeting.

Biscaro approached City Council on Jan. 27 – nine months and 14 days ago – after the Genesee County Planning Board recommended disapproval of his request for a use variance to put up a small two-bay garage behind the Armor side of the facility.

Unfortunately for him at the time, city zoning permitted service stations only in areas zoned Commercial.

He was advised that a zoning modification may be the only way for his wish to come true, and that it would take several months to adopt a Local Law, which would happen only after a series of referrals to city and county planning boards, a public hearing and environmental review.

At that time, Biscaro had someone interested in running a repair shop on the site, but that isn’t the case anymore. But, he’s not ruling it out in the future.

“Now that it is approved, I might start marketing it again to see what I get,” he said. “Still, in any industrial zone now you can do that. I was very surprised that you couldn’t do it in the first place.”

Council’s action last night included the issuing of a negative declaration in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act and passage of an ordinance amending Chapter 190 entitled “zoning” of the City of Batavia Municipal Code to amend I-1 to include public garage businesses by a special use permit.

October 9, 2020 - 7:58am

The Genesee County Planning Board is asking the Byron Town Board to consider revisions to a couple sections of its proposed local law on solar energy systems.

Planners on Thursday night approved the referral from the town for zoning text amendments governing the placement of solar projects, but not before Planning Director Felipe Oltramari pointed out issues with wording in sections pertaining to property values and prime farmland.

On the clause addressing the impact of large-scale solar projects upon property values, Oltramari said it lacked clarity and detail, noting that it was just one sentence. The section in question currently states:

Property Value and Taxpayer Protection: Tier 3 and Tier 4 Solar Energy Systems, once constructed and operational, shall not reduce the property value of adjacent parcels where a parcel owner is not in privity of contract with the applicant or its successors, agents or assigns.

Oltramari said that description “needs to be fleshed out some more” and said that without an appraisal before and after the project siting, it would be difficult to prove how much, if any, the value of the property had changed.

He said he realizes that the town consulted with attorneys to draft the plan and didn’t want to overstep their expertise, but he said he “had concerns about the clarity and the practicality of having something like that that can’t really be enforced.”

On the use of prime farmland, Oltramari said he understands the reasoning behind limiting projects to no more than 10 percent of prime farmland – as is the case of the 280-megawatt Excelsior Solar Project under Article 10 of New York State law – but he believes the proposed local law doesn’t go far enough in its description of prime farmland.

He said a local resident mentioned a soil survey that determines how much prime farmland is in the town, specifically noting a category called “prime if drained.”

“That means that if the landowner puts in what they call tiling – drainage to make the soil drain better, then the land becomes prime farm if those improvements are made to the fields,” he said. “But whether or not the field is tiled, only the property owner knows and maybe a few others. You would have to know how much of that farmland is actually drained. If you don’t know that, you don’t know the full percentage of prime farmland in the town.”

Oltramari said he expects the Byron Town Planning Board to review the proposal and issue recommendations to the town board, and hopefully will take a look at those two sections.

County planners briefly discussed NextEra Energy Resources’ 1,700-acre Excelsior project that is in the hands of the state Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment.

While Oltramari said large solar arrays such as this “are supposed to adhere to local regulations,” Article 10 – and now the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act -- supersedes local planning board authority.

In other action, planners:

  • Approved a special use permit and downtown design review for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project to renovate the Main Street Pizza building at 206 E. Main St.

As first reported on The Batavian, applicant Paul Marchese, doing business as Just Chez Realty LLC, submitted plans to create two apartments on the second floor and change the exterior of the building at 206 E. Main St.

The only stipulation in the planners’ approval was that the project meets Enhanced 9-1-1* standards.

Marchese’s request now will go before the City Planning & Development Committee, likely at its Oct. 20 meeting.

  • Approved a zoning map change request from R-1 (residential) to C-2 (commercial) by James Barsaloux to offer local craft beer, food and live music, at his farm market operation at 8041 E. Main Road, Le Roy.

Oltramari said the Town of Le Roy’s comprehensive plan indicates acceptance of a mix of residential and commercial operations in its future land use.

Planners said they were concerned about traffic and noise, and hoped that the town would conduct a proper review of the site plan and special use permit to mitigate any potential problems.

Barsaloux said that he intends to have live music only a couple nights per month and no later than 9 p.m., adding that he wants to keep “a family atmosphere … not another bar.”

  • Approved a special use permit request from John Kula of Freedom Fellowship LLC, for a 3,200-square-foot three-bay auto repair garage and print shop at 254 Broadway Road (Route 20).

The project came before planners in August, when they granted an area variance for the public garage, which will be set up as a vocational training site for people in recovery from substance use disorders.

*Enhanced 911, E-911 or E911 is a system used in North America to automatically provide the caller's location to 9-1-1 dispatchers. 911 is the universal emergency telephone number in the region.

Previously: County planning agenda includes special use permit referral for Main Street Pizza building.

October 6, 2020 - 5:16pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Main Street Pizza, Genesee County Planning Board.

 

main_street_pizza.jpg

The Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday will consider a referral from Paul Marchese, doing business as Just Chez Realty LLC, for a special use permit and downtown design review for improvements to the Main Street Pizza building at 206 E. Main St.

Documents submitted to the planning board reveal that the applicant wishes to create two apartments on the second floor and change the exterior of the building that is located in the Downtown Business Improvement District.

A letter dated Sept. 29 from Doug Randall, City of Batavia code enforcement officer, to county planners and the City Planning & Development Committee indicates exterior changes involve: adding an entrance door on the south side; replacing windows; and changing the nameplate on the north (front) of the building from MANCUSO to MARCHESE and installing “up lighting” on that side.

Additional enhancements include: removing existing awnings and exposing the original transom windows; installing a new aluminum-clad wooden door on the north side; and installing new aluminum-clad wood windows/door storefront in the center bay.

The special use permit is for “restricted residential use” to allow the two second-story apartments in an area currently used as office space.

Following a recommendation by county planners, the referral will go before the City Planning & Development Committee, likely at its Oct. 20 meeting.

The $489,000 project has been awarded $137,600 from the Batavia Development Corporation’s building improvement fund through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

BDC Executive Director Andrew Maguire said the project will be completed in two phases, with the second phase featuring the creation of three additional residential units upstairs.

Other referrals of note on this week’s Genesee County Planning Board agenda:

  • Review of zoning text amendments from the Town of Byron for a local law governing solar energy systems as they relate to the town’s comprehensive plans.

Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said smaller solar projects such as those on building rooftops, on private property and that connect to the electric grid technically are not allowed unless a local law such as this is in place.

Large-scale solar energy systems, including those under Article 10 in New York State, are not bound by local solar energy laws, but generally attempt to follow those guidelines, Oltramari said.

Currently, the Town of Byron is engaged in negotiations with NextEra Energy Resources on the Excelsior Solar Project, a 280-megawatt, 1,700-acre venture being developed under Article 10 with oversight by the state Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board).

  • A zoning map change request by James Barsaloux in order for him to add local craft beer, food and live entertainment, specifically music, to his farm market operation at 8041 E. Main Road, Le Roy.

He is seeking a change in zoning from R-1 (residential) to C-2 (commercial), noting that the farm market business is a “grandfathered use in its current R-1 zone.”

Oltramari said that while the business is in an R-1 zone, it is surrounded by commercial ventures along East Main Road. A large parcel in an industrial zone is located across the road from the farm market.

  • A special use permit request from John Kula of Freedom Fellowship LLC, for a 3,200-square-foot three-bay auto repair garage and print shop at 254 Broadway Road (Route 20). This comes on the heels of the granting of an area variance for the project in August.

The public garage will be used for vocational training to support a ministry for those in recovery from substance use disorders, with work limited to light repair, tires, brakes and routine service.

September 25, 2020 - 1:40pm

An update of the direction that the Batavia City Council will take in filling the vacant city manager position is on the agenda of Monday night’s Conference Meeting at City Hall Council Chambers.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. previously indicated that the board would make its plan public at Monday’s meeting.

The choices boil down to utilizing a stipulation in a contract with The Novak Consulting Group of Cincinnati, Ohio, to receive a “free professional search” or to hire Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski, who has been serving in that capacity since the June departure of former City Manager Martin Moore.

The Novak Consulting Group assisted in the search to hire Moore in August of 2018. The firm’s agreement with the city included a free search should Moore leave within two years of his employment date.

City Council met in executive session earlier this week to, in all likelihood, discuss the city manager position.

Should Council decide to conduct a full search as it did in the case of the Moore hiring, it would consist of forming a screening committee to evaluate potential candidate resumes and, eventually, conduct interviews.

Jankowski has acknowledged there will be costs associated with the search that would not be covered by Novak’s guarantee, such as advertising in national trade publications and travel expenses.

The board could bypass a manager search and offer the job to Tabelski, who was hired as assistant city manager in August of last year.

In a related development, Council will consider a resolution on Monday’s meeting agenda to give Tabelski $1,000 per month in addition to her regular salary – effective July 20, 2020 – for assuming additional duties and responsibilities in the absence of a city manager. The stipend would continue until the city manager position is permanently filled.

Other agenda highlights include:

  • An application from the Downtown Business Improvement District to hold Christmas in the City from 2 to 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. A parade from Jefferson Avenue to Liberty Street is set for 6 p.m. Estimated costs for the event are $480 for police coverage, $276.42 for public works assistance and $1,425.71 for bureau of maintenance duties.
  • An audit presentation by Laura Landers of Freed Maxick concerning the city’s financial statements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020. Landers and Tabelski met with the City of Batavia Audit Advisory Committee on Aug. 18 to review the documents, and answered questions pertaining to fund transfers, debt service payments, fund balances (including water and sewer), the city’s self-insurance plan and the impact of decreased sales tax revenue.
  • A resolution authorizing a foreclosed house at 50 Oak St. to be transferred (for $1) to Habitat for Humanity for rehabilitation. If approved, it would be the 11th home acquired by Habitat from the City of Batavia. A memo from Tabelski to Council indicates that Habitat plans to invest between $58,000 and $62,000 to renovate the one-family house, which is assessed at $62,000. The Batavia Housing Authority is partnering with the city in this venture.
  • A resolution to schedule a public hearing on Oct. 26 to amend the Batavia Municipal Code to include public garages in I-1 industrial zones with a special use permit. This change stems from a January request by Eric Biscaro, owner of Classic Home Improvement, to construct an auto service station on the property at 653 Ellicott St. The zoning text change has been approved by the City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee and the Genesee County Planning Board.
September 11, 2020 - 2:28pm

A zoning text amendment that would add “public garages” to the list of allowed uses with a special use permit in all Industrial Districts in the City of Batavia is back in City Council’s hands after a recommendation of approval Thursday night from the Genesee County Planning Board.

County planners had no issues with the zoning change that was initiated back in January when Batavia businessman Eric Biscaro sought the city’s permission to build an auto service station on his Ellicott Street property that currently houses Classic Home Improvements and Armor Building Supply.

Initially, county planners denied Biscaro’s request for a use variance because the city code allowed auto repair shops only in the Batavia Industrial Park, and in a C-2 (Commercial) zone with a special use permit.

In July, the City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee decided to open the I-1 (Industrial) zone to include public garages, setting the stage for another review by the Genesee County Planning Board and, ultimately, a public hearing set by City Council.

Genesee County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said that last night’s planning board action is “the middle step” in the process and could see things working out for Biscaro, and any others who wish to pursue similar ventures in the I-1 zones.

“This is the way it is supposed to work,” Oltramari said, comparing this situation to the referral pertaining to an event venue in the Town of Darien that also was on Thursday’s agenda.

The planning board also approved, with modifications, a special use permit for West Seneca business partners Glenn Laben and Kelsey Dellaneve to build The Barn at Flower Creek, a 3,120-square-foot gambrel roof gathering facility to accommodate up to 220 guests for weddings, parties, graduations, etc., located at 388 Broadway Road, Darien.

The estimated $500,000 project also will include an access driveway, parking lot for 85 vehicles, and an onsite wastewater treatment system meeting health department requirements.

Required modifications are obtaining a driveway permit from the state Department of Transportation prior to approval by the Darien Town Planning Board and completing a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan prior to final approval from the Town.

Two years ago, the couple was denied a use variance and, as was the case with Biscaro, needed to seek a zoning amendment from the Town of Darien – this one to allow gathering halls in Low Density Residential Districts with a special use permit.

A public hearing on their proposal is set for 7:45 p.m. Sept. 21 at Darien Town Hall, 10569 Alleghany Road.

In other action, planners approved the following site plans:

  • For HP Hood to construct a 7,200-square-foot commercial cooler addition to the existing structure at its plant in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, East Main Street Road, Batavia. Neil Zinsmeyer, of Napierala Consulting, representing the company, said the cooler will provide overflow storage and will have little impact upon traffic or staffing levels.
  • For a 2,800-square-foot addition (78 feet by 36 feet) to the rear of the Imagination Station child care center at 5079 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.
  • For Holland Resources of East Bethany to put up a 45- by 100-foot addition (six more bays) to the north side of an existing self-service Recreational Vehicle storage building at 5545 Route 5, Stafford.
  • For a new real estate office in a Commercial District (C-2) at 7133 W. Main Road, Le Roy. Documents submitted by applicant Nancy Crocker, of SB Gee’s LLC indicate that Empire Realty Group, will be moving into the location.

Previous story: Genesee County planners to address special use permit for The Barn at Flower Creek in Darien​

September 8, 2020 - 5:15pm

If at first you don’t succeed … work with county and town planning boards to find a way to succeed.

That’s what West Seneca residents and business partners Glenn Laben and Kelsey Dellaneve did and, on Thursday, they’ll be back in front of the Genesee County Planning Board to seek a special use permit to erect a country-themed event venue at 388 Broadway Road, Darien.

Denied in August 2018 on their request for a use variance (which is difficult to acquire), the duo took the advice of County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari and asked Darien Town planners to make zoning amendments to allow gathering halls in Low Density Residential districts. The duo’s property on the south side of Broadway Road (Route 20) between County Line Road and Harlow Road is designated as LDR.

“Two years ago, the applicants were seeking a use variance, which almost always are denied,” Oltramari said today. “The state has a strict criteria for those, such as having to prove that there would be no reasonable return for the land.”

Now, since the Town of Darien’s action, the path seems to be clear for a special use permit.

“It’s the way the process is supposed to work,” Oltramari added.

According to submitted documents, the couple is proposing The Barn at Flower Creek, a 3,120-square-foot gambrel roof barn to accommodate up to 220 guests. The estimated $500,000 project also will include an access driveway, parking lot for 85 vehicles, and an on-site wastewater treatment system meeting health department requirements.

Preparation of food at the site is not planned.

The applicants hope to place the 60- by 52-foot gathering hall, driveway and parking lot on 2.2 acres of a 22-acre parcel consisting of rolling hills and tall grass.

“Finally,” said Dellaneve, anticipating a better outcome this time around. “The building, which can be used for weddings, graduations, retirements and corporate events, is based off a barn that previously was on the property.”

Laben, on the application, wrote that his company “respects the rural atmosphere of the neighborhood and plans to strictly enforce any noise ordinance and curfew as required” and that the set maximum capacity would not hamper the flow of vehicles to and from attractions such as Six Flags Darien Lake and Chestnut Hill Country Club.

The building will be approximately 700 feet from the right of way on Broadway.

County planners will make a recommendation on the request, and from there the special use permit will the subject of a public hearing at 7:45 p.m. Sept. 21 conducted by the Town of Darien Planning Board at Darien Town Hall, 10569 Alleghany Road.

Other referrals on the Genesee County Planning Board agenda include:

  • A site plan review for a 2,800-square-foot addition to the rear of the Imagination Station child care center at 5079 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.

Owners Kelly and Eric Kronbeck of Alden are proposing a $250,000 project to add classroom space to the facility, which is located on the north side of the road. The addition’s dimensions are 78 feet wide by 36 feet deep.

  • A site plan review for Holland Resources of East Bethany to put up a 45- by 100-foot addition to the north side of an existing self-service recreational vehicle storage building at 5545 Route 5, Stafford.

The applicant is looking to add six more bays for RV storage in a Commercial District.

  • A site plan review for a 7,200-square-foot commercial cooler addition to the existing structure at HP Hood, Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, East Main Street Road, Batavia.

A telephone call to HP Hood officials for more information was not returned at the time of the posting of this story.

August 14, 2020 - 7:20am

Genesee County planners didn’t need any comments from the applicants on their way to recommending approval of four business-related referrals on Thursday night.

At their monthly meeting conducted via Zoom videoconferencing, the planning board looked favorably upon 13 referrals -- with eight of them involving private matters such as home additions, sheds and barns and another being a request by the Oakfield Town Board to rezone 10 parcels on Albion Road from Land Conservation (LC) to Residential & Agricultural (R+A).

As reported on The Batavian earlier this week, the four remaining referrals were a new professional office building in the Town of Alexander, addition at PCORE Electric, Inc., in Le Roy, a community center in the Village of Oakfield and an auto repair/print shop associated with a ministry in Darien.

Planners recommended approval of all four, with the lone modification tacked on to A/C Associates’ application for a special use permit to construct a 92- by 50-foot one-story office building at 11198 Alexander Road. (Route 98).

The modification stipulates that the applicant obtains a driveway permit from the state Department of Transportation for the reconfigured driveway prior to approval by the Alexander Town Planning Board.

The plan is for A/C Associates to occupy part of the space, with additional offices to be made available for leasing.

The three other referrals stamped for approval were as follows:

  • A special use permit request from the owners of PCORE Electric Inc., in Le Roy (on the Lapp Insulator campus) to build a 2,800-square-foot addition and a new 6,700-square-foot asphalt pad. Planners also recommended that the applicant be aware of the vegetative buffer to Oatka Creek when creating the new pad.

  • A site plan review submitted by RWNY Property Group to place a community center (food pantry and farmers’ market) in an existing building at 33 S. Main St. (Route 63).

  • An area variance application from John Kula of Freedom Fellowship LLC, to put up a 3,200-square-foot three-bay auto repair garage and print shop at 254 Broadway Road (Route 20) in Darien.

The public garage will support a faith-based organization for those in recovery from substance use disorders. Work would be limited to light repair, tires, brakes and routine service.

August 12, 2020 - 2:03pm

The Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday is expected to consider 14 referrals, including a new professional office building in the Town of Alexander, an addition at PCORE Electric Inc. in Le Roy, a community center in the Village of Oakfield, and an auto repair/print shop associated with a faith-based group in Darien.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be conducted via Zoom videoconferencing.

Tony Batog of A/C Associates is seeking a special use permit and site plan approval to put up the office building on a 1-acre parcel zoned Agricultural-Residential at 11198 Alexander Road (Route 98).

Per the Town of Alexander’s zoning regulations, a special use permit is required prior to the construction of a mixed use residential/professional office building.

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said a house on the property will be coming down to make way for the 92- by 50-foot office building, with office space to be available for leasing.

David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting LLC, of Attica, project manager, said that Batog's business will occupy one of the offices and that two or three other office spaces are planned for the single-story structure that will feature a brick facade.

"It will have a commercial look with a residential feel," Ciurzynski said, adding that plans call for it to be complete next spring.

The location is south of the Village of Alexander, close to the Village of Attica, near Prospect Street and Route 98.

In Le Roy, the owners of PCORE Electric Inc., at 135 Gilbert St. (the Lapp Insulator campus) are requesting a special use permit to build a 2,800-square-foot addition and a new 6,700-square-foot asphalt pad.

Town code stipulates that special use permits are necessary for expansion of nonconforming uses.

In Oakfield, RWNY Property Group has submitted a site plan for review by county planners in anticipation of placing a community center (food pantry and farmers’ market) at 33 S. Main St. (Route 63).

Applicant Sue Zeliff, in documents provided to the village planning board, noted that the center would be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The community center will go into a longstanding building that previously served as a dance studio.

In Darien, John Kula of Freedom Fellowship LLC, has applied for an area variance to put up a 3,200-square-foot three-bay auto repair garage and print shop at 254 Broadway Road (Route 20).

According to his application, the public garage will be used for vocational training associated with a ministry that supports those in recovery from substance use disorders. Work would be limited to light repair, tires, brakes and routine service.

In a letter to the Town of Darien Zoning Board and Genesee County Planning Board, Darien Zoning Officer Jerry Yoder wrote that the Total Freedom New York ministry is a private, faith-based residential alternative addictions facility, and included its mission:

“Helping men and woman 18 and over get set free from life controlling problems and behaviors. Part of the program goals are to empower people through vocational and skills development to engage in family and community. To that end, the business development facilitates program goals and provides income to offset operational expenses.”

July 9, 2020 - 8:15pm

detox_center_renderings_gcasa.jpg

Genesee County planners tonight recommended approval of a site plan application from Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse to tack on a two-story, 20-bed detoxification center to the agency’s Atwater House residential facility at 424 E. Main St.

The new 8,788-square-foot addition of the medically supervised detox center enhances GCASA’s ability to treat people afflicted with substance dependency who are seeking support and recovery.

“The great thing about this project is that it allows for the continuum of care,” said Raymond Murphy, representing the Orchard Park architectural firm of Fontanese Folts Aubrecht Ernst on behalf of GCASA.

The detox center will be constructed as a two-story, wood-framed building attached to the southern end of Atwater House. It will consist of 16 beds serving state regulations for medically supervised detoxification and four transitional residential beds (similar to those available at Atwater House).

Murphy pointed out that the architecture is “in kind to what is already on campus .. the proposed volume is two stories to match and fit in nicely with the existing volumes.” He added that clapboard siding and roofing materials similar to those already on Atwater House will be used.

Earlier today, GCASA Executive Director John Bennett said the new configuration will streamline the delivery of services to those in need.

“Operationally, the Atwater residence and the new 816.7 facility (denoting the Office of Addiction Services and Supports Part 816.7 regulation) will benefit from close proximity to one another,” Bennett said. “This will offer more flexibility, comfort and support to clients in transitioning to a residential program – a key component in the continuum of care.”

Bennett said overdose rates have increased significantly due to the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic.

“Addiction is a disease of isolation and the pandemic has certainly isolated people from being able to attend self-help meetings, group counseling and other forms of support,” he said. “When you couple people in early recovery with isolation, the odds of relapse become increased. We need short-term medical detox more than ever in our communities.”

A letter from the architect to the planning board indicated that the proposed location of the addition is fairly open and will require the removal of about 10 trees directly within the building and parking footprint.

It also noted that a new 13-space parking lot will be added, increasing the total number of spaces to 113 (including 18 of them leased from Cornell Cooperative Extension to the west).

Plans call for the first floor of the detox center to house the “communal” functions of the building such as dining, serving, group rooms, intake and employee offices, while the second story will be split into two wings, each of which will contain four shared bedrooms (two beds each) and a bathroom.

The center block – situated between the wings – contains a central lounge, client laundry and nursing/physician spaces.

The $3.6 million addition is being funded by OASAS capital projects and will create 20 or more new permanent jobs -- nurses, counselors and support staff -- as well as several temporary construction jobs, Bennett said.

Planning Board Member Tom Schubmehl called the detox center “a welcome addition to the community … relatives and friends who have had to go for any help have had to go a long ways to get there. So, it is nice that GCASA is doing this.”

Bennett said that the proposal and architectural renderings previously were reviewed by the City Planning & Development Committee.

“They loved the way we designed it in that we made sure that it flowed with the existing Atwater House,” Bennett said. “Overall, the response was very favorable.”

The City PDC is expected to make a final ruling on the site plan at its July 21 meeting.

In other action, planners recommended:

-- Approval of a special use permit site plan and downtown design review application from V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc., to create 10 apartments on the second floor of the Save-A-Lot building at 45-47 Ellicott St.

A previous story of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project, known as Ellicott Place, appeared on Wednesday.

Planners’ approval suggested that future development of ground floor commercial space address access and activation of the south elevation toward Ellicott Street, and that the applicant apply for 9-1-1 address verification with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department to meet Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.

The DRI award was for $1.15 million; the balance of the $2.3 million venture will be funded through a loan with a financial institution, said Victor Gautieri, president of the Batavia company that owns the building.

In response to a question from Schubmehl about Save-A-Lot parking lot disruption during construction, Gautieri said crews will be operating for the most part within the east parking lot where most of the Save-A-Lot employees park their vehicles.

“We will be working in conjunction with those folks to make sure they still have access to the loading dock and make sure they have access to their side doors,” he said. “Save-A-Lot has been a tenant for quite some time and we have a good relationship with them.”

Gautieri said store management is “welcoming the redevelopment of the building and believe it’s going to enhance their sales.”

He said Save-A-Lot is planning a facelift of its own – “with new signage and reorientation within the store to freshen it up.”

Previously, Gautieri said the renovation will give the Ellicott Street neighborhood a long overdue modern look.

“When Ellicott Station (across the street) comes to be, it will complementary to ours and ours to theirs,” he said. “Hopefully, we will be able to attract some businesses that are not in Batavia now, which would be very good for the downtown area.”

-- Approval of a special use permit for Krista Lewis, on behalf of the Hesperus Lodge #837, to convert the first story of the historic building at 12 S. Lake Ave. (Route 19) in Bergen from a hair salon (Radiant Hair Designs) to a laundromat with micro-salon rentals.

In documents submitted to the planning board, Lewis indicated that she plans to install six washers and six dryers for the startup. The proposal calls for the laundromat to be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Additionally, three spaces are being set up for hair stylists to rent.

-- Approval of a site plan review submitted by Russ Walker to operate a candy shop in an existing commercial building at 21 Main St., Oakfield, location of the former Warner’s Flower Shop.

Approved as a gift shop in March, the operator is looking to add a 20-foot by 40-foot addition to the rear of the building. The addition would house a commercial kitchen, storage space and renovated bathroom.

According to plan documents, the new construction would be a pole barn design, with steel siding similar to the building on the other side of the municipal parking lot.

-- Approval of zoning text amendments to address solar energy systems and battery energy storage systems for the entire Town of Alabama.

Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said Alabama is the first local municipality to put battery energy storage systems into its zoning code, noting that he considers these primarily as standalone “accessories” to solar systems.

June 7, 2020 - 2:44pm

A referral for a special use permit and area variance for an addition of 20 housing units at DePaul Apartments, 555 E. Main St., Batavia, is on the agenda for Thursday’s Genesee County Planning Board meeting via Zoom videoconferencing.

Paul Schreiner of Parrone Engineering of East Rochester, acting on behalf of DePaul Properties, filed building permit, special use permit and Zoning Board of Appeals area variance applications for the construction of a 20,100-square-foot, two-story, 20-dwelling unit addition to the existing 42-unit development.

The current 49,786-square-foot multifamily complex on the north side of Route 5, west of Eastown Plaza, was built in 2009. Applicants for the one- and two-bedroom apartments must meet eligibility requirements of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

The project also will include the expansion of the existing parking area, adjustment of the existing storm drainage system and site grading. Whitney East of Rochester has been selected as the general contractor.

Following a review and recommendation by county planners, the proposal is scheduled to go before the Batavia City Planning & Development Committee on June 16 for a site plan review and then to the City ZBA on June 25 to review and act on required variances.

Variances required are as follows:

-- The maximum permitted number of dwelling units per building is 16 for large-scale multifamily developments. Currently, there are 42 units and 20 more are proposed for a total of 62.

-- Buildings in large-scale multifamily developments are required to be set back from interior roads, driveways and parking lots by at least 20 feet; eight feet is proposed.

-- Off-street parking is required at a rate of 1.5 spaces for each dwelling unit. The proposal calls for a total of 56 parking spaces at a rate of .90 spaces per dwelling unit. Currently, there are 32 spaces for the 42 units.

Other items on the agenda include:

-- A referral of the “final plat” of the Clinton Gardens Subdivision filed by Batavia Homes & Development on property behind 387 Garden Drive.

The proposal outlines the division of a portion of the property’s 11 acres into six separate parcels, with five of them dimensioned for development and the remaining portion to be set aside for future development.

The application was approved by the City Planning & Development Committee last June 18, contingent upon the owner submitting a “final plat” with one year.

Documents filed in 2019 by Robert Padanick, senior project manager for Nussbaumer & Clarke Inc., of Buffalo, indicate the owner is seeking to extend existing Carolwood Drive and Harrold Square – connecting two public dead-end streets – and allowing development of five new lots.

Additionally, about 460 feet of new pavement will be constructed, along with sanitary sewer, water and drainage utilities that previously were approved by city and county officials.

-- A referral for a special use permit submitted by Martin Rivers for a motor vehicle repair shop within a commercial district at 5278 Clinton Street Road (on the property of R&D Electronics).

The permit is required per Article III of the Town of Stafford zoning code.

Documents for the business, Rivers Performance, indicate that the shop will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with one to five cars on site and no outside storage.

Rivers is no longer operating a shop at his former location on Liberty Street.

-- A referral from Brickhouse Commons LLC, for a special use permit to operate a drive-thru business on Route 77, across from Pembroke Central High School.

According to submitted documents, the plan is to build a three-story, 32,000-square-foot multiuse building featuring 8,200 square feet of space for retail businesses as well as indoor parking and fitness area for tenants on the first floor and 17 apartments on the second and third floors.

J&R Fancher Property Holdings LLC, previously proposed the $3 million project at the Buffalo East Technology Park, located in the Town of Pembroke’s Interchange District.

-- A referral for a special use permit from Nixon Peabody law firm of Rochester on behalf of Blue Sky Towers III LLC, and Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems LLC (Verizon Wireless) to construct and operate a 155-foot cell phone communications tower (plus 4-foot lightning rod) on the property of Jeff and Patricia Jarosinski near 6811 Batavia Byron Road in the Town of Byron.

According to a letter to the Town of Byron Planning Board, Blue Sky will construct and own the tower and associated components for the benefit of Verizon Wireless (and potential subsequent users of the tower), with Verizon leasing a 100- by 100-foot area from the property owners.

Since the site is located in an Agricultural-Residential zone, a special use permit and site plan approval from the Town of Byron Planning Board are required.

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For more information about Thursday’s meeting, contact the Genesee County Planning Department at (585) 815-7901. County planners generally make recommendations of referrals, which then are moved on to municipal planning boards and zoning boards of appeals.

May 15, 2020 - 8:51am

The Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night recommended approval of a zoning text amendment to allow mixed-use buildings in the Town of Pembroke Interchange District, but not before a discussion on the practice of placing housing units in industrial parks.

Tom Schubmehl, a member of the planning board and Pembroke resident, said he had some reservations about the Town Board’s application to modify zoning in the Interchange District -- a wide area around Thruway Exit 48A, extending to Route 5 along Route 77.

“Is there any other district in the county industrial districts that allows residential use? Schubmehl asked, directing his question to County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari.

Oltramari said that the Interchange District was different from a traditional industrial district.

“It can have commercial and it can have industrial … it has the Flying J (Travel Center). It has other things like that and includes an industrial park from the EDC,” Oltramari said, adding that he couldn’t think of other similar areas in the county that permit mixed-use facilities.

Schubmehl said he couldn’t either and said “it is a concern of mine that we start letting residential fill in this space. It's going to be no different than the rest of Pembroke.”

“I know it has no bearing on the impact of inter-community that we're discussing here tonight as a County Planning Board, but as a resident of Pembroke, I think it's bad idea,” he stated.

$3 Million Commercial/Resident Project Proposed

The Genesee County Economic Development Center is touting a $3 million commercial/residential project at its Buffalo East Technology Park, which is situated in the Interchange District.

J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC has proposed building a 32,254-square-foot, three-story facility on two acres in the park, and is waiting for a public hearing and GCEDC board vote on its application to receive more than $600,000 in property, sales and mortgage tax incentives.

According to the GCEDC, the project consists of 17 market-rate, one- and two-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors, with space for four commercial tenants, as well as indoor parking and a fitness center on the ground floor.

Chris Suozzi, GCEDC vice president of business development, was on the planning board’s Zoom videoconference meeting last night, and pointed out that his agency worked with the Town of Pembroke on attracting the venture.

“They were all in favor for it,” Suozzi said. “Certainly, there's a housing shortage need in Genesee County. If anybody hasn't seen the housing study that LaBella (Associates) put out, (it’s) on the Genesee County website. And there's a big shortage of housing.”

GCEDC: 'Live, Work, Play' Model

Suozzi said the GCEDC is promoting a “live, work, play model” and that housing – particularly at industrial parks -- is an essential component in that thinking.

“And I know the location … in Pembroke is a great location because it's across from the school and already has a Tim Hortons that wasn't part of the EDC project, but it has that ability to be right next door to it and also has 7.9 acres in total that is being proposed, of which 2 (acres) are buildable and the other 5.9 are wetlands,” Suozzi offered. “They're all protected. It's a green space.”

He went on to say the project will generate tax revenue for the Town of Pembroke and reiterated that the town board is endorsing it.

Schubmehl then asked Suozzi if the GCEDC was going to consider residential at the WNY Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in the Town of Alabama.

“Well, you know, if the town said yes, I would certainly look at it, but it's not really up to Chris Suozzi and it’s not up to the EDC -- it's up to the municipality,” he said, again referencing a housing shortage.

“We look at economic development as a whole, and we bring in these companies … and the workers are living in Rochester and Buffalo, (so) we’re not optimizing the economic benefit of Genesee County,” he said. “And that's what that housing studies are showing; (that) there's a big need and we're missing the boat in terms of that revenue staying right in our county.

“So, to me, this is a new world right now and housing’s a big part of it, and the 'live, work, play' model is starting to change what's going on Downtown Buffalo right now … It's because all these old factories are being recondition and rehabbed and the millennials are jumping all over them and they're seeing growth in their workforce.”

Director Promotes Mixed Use for STAMP Site

Oltramari said he could foresee mixed-use buildings at the STAMP site, especially in a technology district closest to the hamlet of Alabama.

“I could see mixed-use buildings in that because the whole point of that is sort of having like an actual link between the hamlet and the business park,” he said. “You could have commercial businesses on the bottom floor, sort of like a main street kind of scenario. And I think that's been the vision for, you know, that kind of part of the park for a while now. So, I think even the town would be in favor of that at STAMP.”

Schubmehl asked whether or not the “live, work” model was actually in the proposal in front of the board, which prompted Oltramari to say he didn’t see it as a major issue.

“I think the era of separating uses, just for the sake of it commercial from residential or, you know, the whole reasoning behind that is to keep incompatible uses apart,” he said. “I don’t see that as a reason anymore, especially in the business parks.”

Planning Board Chair Laraine Caton then asked for a vote and all members, including Schubmehl, voted in favor of the request.

“No, I'm not opposed to it for the purposes as a planning board, we’re worried about inter-community problems here,” Schubmehl said. “And that's not an inter-community problem.”

In other action, planners:

-- Recommended approval with modifications of a special use permit for Jesse and Jolene Coots of Le Roy to operate an ATV, automotive event, hill climb, mud bog and time trial course on 10 acres of a 110-acre vacant parcel of land that they own on Perry Road in Pavilion.

The applicants said they plan to hold events two or three times this year (with the schedule dependent upon the COVID-19 pandemic).

The board’s modifications focus on the applicant obtaining written documentation from NYS Department of Conservation that the project will not be encroaching on wetlands as well as a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for the potential Federal Wetlands. It also asks that the Coots submit an application for 9-1-1 Address Verification to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office to ensure that an address is assigned that meets Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.

-- Recommended approval with modifications of a special use permit request from Waifin Properties LLC of Clarence Center to operate a contractor’s yard in a Commercial District at 850 Main Road, Pembroke.

The proposed yard would encompass a 100-foot by 100-foot area on a 7.6-acre lot.

The board said the applicant is required to surround equipment and materials storage area with a fence of at least 8 feet high that has a gate, which shall be closed and locked except during working hours.

February 14, 2020 - 1:52pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee County Planning Board.

The Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night recommended approval of a site plan review to operate a gift shop in the former Warner’s Flower Shop at 21 Main St., Oakfield.

Seeing no significant countywide or intercommunity impact, the board gave its OK for Denise Linsey, of Basom, to purchase the building and set up her own store in the Commercial (C-1) District, which will be called “Simple Pleasures Home Décor & Gifts.”

Linsey’s application states that the store will be open from 1 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The proposal now will be considered by the Oakfield Village Board for final approval.

In other action, the board recommended:

-- Approval with modifications of a special use permit for Thomas Dougherty of 1262 Herkimer Road, Darien, to construct a recreational pond on his property.

The approval is contingent upon the developer adhering to guidelines issued by the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District office that focus upon the location and construction parameters as well as obtaining permits from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

-- Approval of a site plan review for the construction of a 6,000-square-foot storage building (40-by-150) at Six Flags Darien Lake. The proposed 24-foot high building would be located off Sumner Road in an area behind the amphitheater.

-- Approval of a downtown design (site plan) review for contractor Ben Boyce to install a 12-foot by 9-foot overhead door and a 3-foot by 7-foot swing door along the west wall of the Tenney Coin Laundry facility at 200 Ellicott St., Batavia.

November 15, 2019 - 8:12am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee County Planning Board, darien lake.

wahoo_wave.jpg

The “Wahoo Wave” waterslide made a big splash with Genesee County planners on Thursday night as they recommended approval of the site plan for the state-of-the-art 60-foot attraction that will be coming to Darien Lake in the spring.

The planning board, at its monthly meeting at County Building No. 2 on West Main Street Road, said the ride should pose no significant impact to the amusement park’s landscape.

“It’s the latest and greatest,” said Ed McCarthy, director of maintenance and construction at Darien Lake. “Now, we’ll have one (a waterslide) on each side of the park, and this will definitely decrease the wait times (for guests).”

In September, Darien Lake officials announced the addition of the waterslide, which propels water at a rate of 3,400 gallons per minute, to their newly named Hurricane Harbor water park.

Touted as the only four-person curved wall ride in the world, the waterslide is actually branded as the TornadoWAVE 60 Water Ride and is made by ProSlide Technology Inc.

According to a press release, Wahoo Wave takes riders, settled into a four-person tube, through a hairpin turn, then a corkscrew turn and finally a three-story drop that takes them on the top of a massive water wall before landing in a pool.

Construction is expected to be completed by May of next year.

In other action, the board recommended:

-- Approval of a downtown design (site plan) review requested by Vance Group LLC to make exterior changes to a mixed-use building at 242 Ellicott St., at the corner of Liberty Street.

Members of the Valle and Lawrence families, owners of the structure, plan changes that include two fixed awnings, six new window sections to replace the storefront, stucco finish throughout and new upper floor windows. The building is located in the Batavia Improvement District.

-- Approval of a special use permit to convert the first story of an historic South Lake Avenue mixed-use building in the Village of Bergen from offices to a gym.

Mike and Kelly Marsocci (Mike’s Gym LLC) will be leasing the space from the Masonic Temple Association of Bergen to operate a commercial fitness center in the Central Commercial (C-2) District.

The couple’s report to the planning board showed that the gym will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for those at least 15 years old.

Members will be able to enter the premises with a key fob or similar entry mechanism, with exercise equipment ranging from cardiovascular and pre-loaded machines to free weights.

-- Approval of a site plan review and area variance to construct a 2,160-square-foot addition to the Churchville Fire Equipment Corp. building at 10246 Perry Road, Pavilion.

Documentation from the applicant indicates that the company is investing $500,000 on the 36- by 60-foot addition to house a paint booth.

-- Approval with modifications of a special use permit for Samantha Volkmar to operate the Great Expectations Dog Grooming business in her home on Big Tree Road in Pavilion.

The board OK'd the plan as long as the business sign does not exceed 4 square feet and is not located closer than 10 feet to any lot line.

According to her business plan, Volkmar, in the dog grooming business since June 2018, plans to convert an existing mudroom to provide services such as full grooms, bath and blow dry, touch-ups and nail trims.

Hours of operation are by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

-- Approval of the Bethany Town Board’s request to amend its zoning text to establish a six-month moratorium prohibiting solar farms.

The board, in its endorsement, noted that the moratorium gives the municipality “enough time to study and draft changes to its zoning law to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.”

This action paves the way for the town to enact a local law barring large scale solar installations.

October 10, 2019 - 8:18pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee County Planning Board, propane, wny stamp.

The Genesee County Planning Board tonight voted in favor of a special use permit for a family-owned propane business that is branching out to the Town of Le Roy.

The board unanimously approved the permit for Wendt’s Propane & Oil to install an above-ground propane distribution center at OATKA Hills 1 Commerce Park on North and Lake Roads in Le Roy, agreeing that the project should pose no significant county-wide or inter-community impact.

It was recommended, however, that Town of Le Roy officials alert the fire district of the plan and that the applicant submit documentation pertaining to 9-1-1 address verification requirements and to meet Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.

Company President Paul Wendt and his son, Trevor, sales manager, attended the meeting along with David Ciurzynski, of Ciurzynski Consulting LLC, in Attica.

“Our office is in Sanborn but we have been delivering more and more this way,” said Paul Wendt, noting that the Le Roy facility will be their first venture away from Niagara County. “We found a nice piece of property in Genesee County and we thought that it would be good to expand.”

Wendt said three employees initially will work at the Le Roy site, which (mirroring its home base) will provide propane and oil service for commercial, residential and agricultural customers.

According to documents filed with the planning board, the plan is to develop around six acres of the parcel for the above-ground storage tanks and 9,600-square-foot warehouse and truck garage building. The rest of the 11.9-acre tract will remain undeveloped, with an eye on creating walking paths and green space.

Ciurzynski said they hope to have the tanks installed in November and have the building up by next spring. First, they have to get the Town of Le Roy's approval of the special use permit and then apply for the necessary building permits.

The Wendts’ project is set up in two phases – the first to get the site ready for the installation of a pair of 30,000-gallon storage tanks, with four additional locations for future expansion, and the second to put up the warehouse and truck garage.

In other action, planners recommended:

-- Approval of a special sign permit for a third sign at Metro Mattress at 4187 Veterans Memorial Drive in the Town of Batavia. While the maximum number of signs normally is two, the board felt the extra sign would not cause any problems.

Documentation submitted by Craig Tesler of Premier Sign Systems showed three freestanding lighted signs would be affixed to the building – at dimensions of approximately 4 x 10 feet, 3 ½ by 24 feet, and 3 ½ by 7 ½ feet.

-- Approval of an ice cream stand to be operated by Amanda Smith, of Darien, on property owned by John Mroz at 9114 Alleghany Road (Route 77) in the Town of Pembroke.

-- Approval of a site plan review for relocation of a doctor’s office to a building owned by Nancy Crocker at 7133 W. Main Road (Route 5) in the Town of Le Roy. The 4,460-square-foot structure sits on 3.1 acres and meets medical code requirements, the owner said.

-- Approval of the final subdivision to transfer a roadway at the WNY Science &Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park from routes 77 and 63 to Crosby Road (STAMP Drive) in the Town of Alabama from the Genesee County Economic Development Center to the Genesee County Highway Department.

August 8, 2019 - 8:34pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee County Planning Board, Borrego Solar Systems.

Genesee County planners tonight stood by the Town of Batavia’s directive concerning its Planned Business Development District as it recommended disapproval of a special use permit and area variance for a pair of 20-acre, 7.2 megawatt ground solar systems on Oak Orchard Road (Route 98), just north of the NYS Thruway interchange.

In its unanimous decision, the planning board determined that the request by Oak Orchard Solar 1 LLC -- an entity set up by Borrego Solar Systems LLC -- does not fit into parameters set by the Batavia Town Board on what is considered to be prime agricultural land.

According to requirements of the PBD District, the minimum development size is 100 acres.

The Oak Orchard Solar project on land owned by Eric Saile totals 40 acres, but Marc Kenward, a senior engineer with the Erdman Anthony firm of Rochester, disagreed with that number.

“We’re disappointed (with the decision) since the two systems are to be built on an 85.96-acre site (broken into two parcels of 48 and 37 acres),” Kenward, principal engineer, said. “Plus, the Town Zoning Code clearly indicates that solar energy is an allowed use in all zoning districts.”

Kenward went on to say that the solar farm project meets many of the criteria of the PDB District and will increase the tax base and land assessment, preserve federal wetlands, and accommodate continued agricultural use in the area.

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari then explained that the Town’s Comprehensive Plan calls for this area to be held for “large-scale development … not to be broken up into smaller pieces.”

“The Town wants someone to come in with a complete package; almost like a mini-STAMP (referring to the WNY Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama),” Oltramari said. “Maybe even a place for a new (Buffalo) Bills stadium, which is pie in the sky, in my opinion.”

He said solar could be a part of a potential project there, but as an accessory use to offset expenses of a major mixed-use component.

The requirements of the PBD District as stated in the Town’s zoning regulations are as follows:

(1) Establish an area for new commercial, industrial, recreational and/or mixed use development on a large scale that will provide the Town and region with employment opportunities, additional tax base and other community benefits, while minimizing impacts on public services;

(2) Prevent piecemeal development that would compromise the availability and future marketability of a large area for significant new development;

(3) Accommodate continued agricultural use in an area that is highly suited for agriculture;

(4) Provide greater flexibility, more creative and imaginative design and utilization of innovative land development techniques while promoting more economical and efficient use of land, buildings, circulation systems and utilities;

(5) Provide for both individual building sites and common property which are planned and developed as a unit; to provide harmonious land uses which offer a high level of amenities;

(6) Permit a variety of industrial, commercial and/or recreational uses;

(7) Preserve natural and scenic qualities of the site during the development process.

Kenward said that if Oak Orchard Solar 1 LLC decides to move ahead with the project, it will have to “make our case” with the Town Zoning Board of Appeals later this month and, if successful, to the Town Planning Board in September.

In other action, the county planning board recommended:

-- Approval with modifications a site plan review for Provident Batavia LLC, doing business as SCP Distributors at 4430 W. Saile Drive, Batavia, to construct a 13,000-square-foot (180 by 60) addition.

SCP Distributors, a national swimming pool supplies company, is undergoing a $1.2 million project to complement its existing 25,000-square-foot warehouse that was built in 2006. According to submitted documents, Building Innovation Group of East Rochester has been selected as the general contractor.

Modifications center around preserving wetlands on the property and making sure there is no archaeological impact on the grounds.

Previously, the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board approved $156,312 in tax incentives, noting that the venture will produce a state/regional economic impact of more than $600,000 and will enable SCP Distributors to retain 15 full-time equivalent jobs.

-- Approval of a special use permit for a 19.8-acre, 4 megawatt ground-mounted solar system on property in an agricultural-residential district owned by Wayne Dunham at 3656 Galloway Road, Batavia. Prowind Inc. is the developer for Bright Oak Solar LLC.

-- Approval of a second group home for women at 234 Broadway Road, Darien, as requested by John Kula of Freedom Fellowship.

The home, located not far from the ministry’s current group home for women at 282 Broadway Road, was previously used as a plumbing business. It will sit on a commercial zone lot of 750 by 320 feet surrounded by a 5.4-acre parcel.

-- Approval of tandem 24-acre solar farms to be constructed by Borrego Solar Systems on property owned by Benjamin Miles at 241 Knapp Road, Pembroke.

The Knapp Road parcels, situated in an Agricultural-Residential District, will be designated as “east” and “west” and each will generate 5 megawatts of power.

January 10, 2019 - 8:25pm

dl_-_skyscreamer_2_a.jpg

After watching the Genesee County Planning Board quickly place its stamp of approval on a project that would result in the tallest thrill ride in New York coming to Six Flags Darien Lake, the theme park general manager couldn’t hold back his enthusiasm.

“The sheer magnitude of the ride – which will be the highest structure in the state – will make it the new signature ride and beacon of the Six Flags brand,” said Chris Thorpe, who attended the meeting tonight at Genesee County Building 2 on West Main Street Road. He was accompanied by Edward McCarthy, Darien Lake's maintenance & construction director.

County planners reviewed and saw no problem with the site plan that calls for the new Six Flags SkyScreamer to replace the Twister. The measure now goes before the Town of Darien Planning Board for final consideration.

If all goes according to plan, the new ride will be ready by opening day of the 2019 season at the park, which has changed its name to Six Flags Darien Lake in an effort to promote the well-known corporate brand, Thorpe said.

The SkyScreamer is a 242-foot tall (24 stories) swing ride that holds 32 riders, sitting two across in 16 open-air swings, and spins round and round a 98-foot circle at 35 miles per hour. At night, the ride’s dazzling, synchronized light package will be in full view.

According to documents from the Genesee County Economic Development Center, Six Flags Darien Lake is investing around $2.1 million for the new ride and has been granted a sales tax exemption of approximately $166,000.

 In other action, the planning board recommended:

-- Approval of zoning text amendments for the entire Town of Pembroke to add the definition of service organizations, allow them by special use permit in the Agricultural-Residential District and add language allowing for the revocation of a special use permit.

The changes were prompted by a request from the American Legion, which is looking to purchase a parcel of land near the new Western New York National Cemetery in Indian Falls, said County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari.

-- Approval with modifications of an area variance request by Batavia Downs Gaming to install an off-premise 25-foot pole sign to assist motorists.

The modifications call for the applicant to erect a monument-type sign, which are permitted in a Residential-1 District, and to explore a directory-style sign at the specified intersection with other Park Road businesses in order to avoid similar requests in the future.

-- Approvals of the following:

            -- A sign permit for Koolatron to add two signs at its Commerce Drive location;

            -- A special use permit for Lynn Strzelecki of Bergen to operate a hair salon by appointment only at her home;

            -- A special use permit for William and Patricia Cultrara to install a ground-mounted solar array for use at their Galloway Road, Batavia residence;

            -- A special use permit for Renee Franclemont of Allegany Road, Pembroke, to convert a portion of a commercial building into a single-family home.

November 8, 2018 - 8:41pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee County Planning Board, city of batavia.

With only three referral items and little else on the agenda, the Genesee County Planning Board tonight needed only 11 minutes to conduct its business, with the most notable action pertaining to the City of Batavia’s recent sign code review.

County planners recommended approval, with modifications, of zoning text amendments to the City’s packet of sign regulations.

In September, the City Planning & Development Committee reviewed the sign code and recommended the following changes:

-- Expanded list of exempt signs, specifically allowing a greater use of directional signage;
-- Defined drive-thru menu board signs to better conform to typical uses;
-- Clarified some language that may have been subjective;
-- Expanded areas where electronic message boards may be used;
-- Expanded the types of appeals that may be considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

With the PDC and County Planning Board’s blessing, City Council now is charged with reviewing the suggested changes to the sign code, coming to a consensus on the matter, scheduling a public hearing and adopting a local law that would put any changes into law.

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari, speaking after tonight’s meeting, said tackling sign codes is “tricky because you’re dealing with freedom of speech issues.”

“You can’t regulate content, but you can regulate (sign) placement, size and color,” he said. “If you have to read the sign to see if it is in regulation, then you’re regulating content.”

Oltramari then said content can be regulated when safety is involved – signs that read “danger” could present a hazard, for example – but that the government holds “content” to a higher standard.

“We try to steer communities away from regulating content,” he added.

As far as modifications are concerned, county planners are advising that City Council solicit its attorney’s opinion on whether “open and closed” signs or “hours of operation” signs could be considered content-based restrictions, and whether the ZBA is permitted to grant area variances for non-dimensional issues.

It is the County Planning Board’s view, stemming from talks with a NYS Department of State lawyer, that non-dimensional variances, such as lighting type, should be considered use variances and not area variances.

City Council adopted its current sign code in January 2017 through a local law that significantly changed the previous version. Since then, the City’s Inspection Bureau reported that numerous questions have come up as to interpretation and intent of the code, and requested a review and, if necessary, amendments to the code.

In other action, the planning board recommended approval of the Town of Byron’s updated Comprehensive Plan, acknowledging the extensive work of the town’s officials.

October 12, 2018 - 12:55pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee County Planning Board, Apple Tree Acres, speedway.

The Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night recommended the approval of a proposal to build a 60,000-square-foot facility to house a party rental equipment business in Apple Tree Acres Business Park in the Town of Bergen.

The board also recommended approval -- with modifications -- of an expansion of Amada Tool in the City of Batavia, a new earth shoring business in the Town of Batavia and a new Speedway fueling station/convenience store in the Town of Pembroke.

All decisions by county planners are subject to approval by municipal town boards and zoning boards, and may require public hearings.

According to the site plan review submitted by Hank Parker Rental, the party rental equipment building would measure 200 by 300 feet.

Planners deemed that the business would have no adverse effects on the area, but recommended the applicant apply with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that the address meets Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.

Alexander Amering, PE, of Costich Engineering submitted a site plan review to construct a 19,000-square-foot addition to Amada Tool at 4A Treadeasy Ave.

Planners signed on but stipulated that the applicant check with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation concerning any archaeological impact and also to complete a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan prior to final approval from the City Planning & Development Committee.

The same modifications apply to a site plan review submitted by Paul Vellano for an earth shoring office and storage facility at 4814 E. Saile Drive. The plan calls for the construction of a building measuring 40 feet by 80 feet.

Earth shoring and retention focuses on retaining soil that has been subjected to either a natural, unstable slope or a man-made excavation and when required, supporting existing adjacent structures.

Speedway, per applicant Jonathan Wocher, is proposing to construction a new gas station/store, and sought a special use permit and area variances for the number of signs – five as opposed to the maximum allowed of two; sign height – 100 feet as opposed to the maximum allowed of 50 feet, and sign area, 892 square feet as opposed to the maximum allowed of 100 square feet.

Planners recommended approval contingent upon the following:

-- Apply and obtain an area variance, or merge the two parcels (a Subway restaurant is on the other) as the land separation would result in the parcel to the south having less than the required frontage;

-- Reduce the freestanding sign area and height to conform with the Town's regulations or to a level consistent with the neighboring truck stops;

-- Conduct a phase 1 archeological survey wherever there will be a disturbance of the land;

-- Obtain documentation from NYS DOT for approval of the driveway given the change of use/intensity;

-- Complete, per DEC requirements, a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP);

-- Ensure that the storage and disposal of all new and used waste oils, lubricants, fuels, coolants and other hazardous materials lines up with all applicable State and Federal laws.

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said the developer agreed to all the modifications, including trying to obtain more frontage by possibly acquiring some property from the neighboring hotel on the east side of Route 77.

He also said the DOT will be restriping some of the road to help facilitate turning to and from the NYS Thruway.

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