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Genesee County Planning Board

January 13, 2022 - 8:39pm

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Randy Fancher, president of J&R Specialties of Akron, citing ongoing supply chain issues and inflation, presented a fourth version of his company’s plan to develop three parcels at the corner of Route 5 and Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke to the Genesee County Planning Board tonight.

“We’ve been here before,” said Fancher, speaking of the planning board’s previous approvals of the Brickhouse Commons LLC mixed-use project – a pair of buildings combining retail and residential near Brickhouse Corners Drive and Tim Hortons, and across from Pembroke High School.

While that venture is still on the table, Fancher and his brother, Jeff, vice president, now are proposing to construct a 42,000-square-foot warehouse and office building – between the two mixed-use structures.

“Our core business needs have changed drastically over the last year with all the supply chain issues and inflation, and so we are now having to stock way more product than in the past,” he said. “So, now this is our core need for this warehouse.”

Fancher told The Batavian that the company’s current set-up – working out of three separate facilities in Akron – is “extremely inefficient.”

“As everything in the world has changed recently, we have decided it would be much more efficient to build a new warehouse/office complex large enough to have everything under one roof,” he said.

Pending final approvals from the town and other agencies, the Fanchers said they are committed to developing the warehouse/office first, followed by the mixed-use apartments/retail space and, eventually, a three-story mixed use building with commercial on the first floor and 17 apartments on the second and third floors farther south along Route 77.

Fancher said that J&R Specialties already has received approvals for the mixed-use buildings, which are located in the Genesee County Economic Development Center’s Buffalo East Technology Park in the town’s Interchange District.

Planning Board member Tom Schubmehl, a Pembroke resident, asked Fancher about the amount of truck traffic the warehousing operation would produce.

Fancher replied that the plan calls for the loading dock to accommodate three tractor-trailers at any time, adding that he figures there will be three to five semis at the location per day.

“… the drawing we submitted was only a conceptual,” he said. “We had to check with the Town of Pembroke to see if they needed curbs -- what their curb requirements were. Once we get approval, we’ll move into an actual site plan and then we can address semi flow.”

Planning Board Chair Laraine Caton noted that the intersection will become quite contested before Planning Director Felipe Oltramari mentioned that the trucks will enter and exit from Brickhouse Corners Drive, which is off of Route 5.

The board then recommended approval of the site plan, with modifications pertaining to acquisition of a stormwater permit, signage that complies with the town’s zoning regulations, and meeting Enhanced 9-1-1 standards and (the recently added) public safety radio system in-building coverage requirements.

PEMBROKE IN THE CANNABIS ‘ZONE’

The planning board also recommended approval of the Town of Pembroke’s desire to amend its zoning test to include “cannabis related businesses” throughout the 41.7-square-mile municipality.

The town has opted in to allow cannabis dispensaries and on-site consumption establishments in accordance with New York State’s Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act. Other Genesee County communities that opted in are the City of Batavia, Towns of Darien and Pavilion, and Village of Corfu.

The text amendment would allow for cannabis related businesses to operate with a special use permit.

Schubmehl commented that Pembroke will become “the county’s business center for marijuana distribution,” prompting Oltramari to advise that cannabis sales already are taking place on the nearby Tonawanda Seneca Nation Reservation.

INCENTIVE TO COMPLETE SURVEY

Oltramari said that Genesee County is number one in the state thus far in terms of people responding to an online survey about broadband access (www.geneseebroadband.com). He said that 3 percent of households have filled out the survey, which is twice as much as any other county.

County residents completing the survey can enter a drawing for a “Dine, Stay & Play Package” at Batavia Downs Gaming which includes a one-night stay for two at the Hotel at Batavia Downs and $50 towards a meal at Fortune’s restaurant (valid Sunday-Thursday).

The planning director said he will be presenting the Genesee 2050 Comprehensive Plan and Recreation Plan to the County Legislature’s Public Service Committee next Tuesday.

Drawing above: Brickhouse Commons site plan -- Route 5 (Main Road) is at right; Route 77 (Alleghany Road) is at the bottom. The proposed warehouse/office building is located between the two proposed commercial/residential buildings. 

Previously: GCEDC board approves assistance for Pembroke mixed-use project

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December 9, 2021 - 9:30pm

For Padma Kasthurirangan, a national expert in wind energy distribution, a project being promoted by Whitecap Electric, LLC, of Amherst, in the Town of Darien can’t begin fast enough.

“We would like to start, like two years ago, but our construction will probably be in 2023,” said Kasthurirangan, responding to The Batavian’s question about a starting date for the installation of two wind turbines of up to 2.5 megawatts each on farmland at 2311 Bennett Road.

The chief engineer and president of Buffalo Renewables, she was in Batavia tonight -- along with three colleagues – at the Genesee County Planning Board meeting at County Building 2.

County planners recommended approval of the site plan and special use permit, with a few modifications pertaining to decommissioning, visual impact and bird analysis studies, and stormwater prevention.

As reported on The Batavian yesterday, the $6 million project calls for the wind turbines, which would be connected to the grid under the Community Distributed Generation program, to be about 450 feet high.

During the meeting, Kasthurirangan informed planners that her company has been working on this for quite some time, and is committed to meeting all requirements put forth by the Town of Darien.

She said utilities will be placed under the ground and that the company is not requesting any variances.

John Hannon, a partner with Triad Recycle and Energy in Buffalo, added that they’re waiting for National Grid to determine where it wants the connection, and will restore any disrupted land to agricultural use.

Also representing the project at the meeting were Vasu Primlani, business development manager at Buffalo Renewables and a renowned environmentalist, and engineer Kenneth Rawe Jr.

Hannon said that Triad Recycle and Energy has two wind turbines at its facility in Tonawanda and that “Padma has put up more turbines than anyone in New York State.”

On the subject of noise complaints from wind turbines, Kasthurirangan said that most of the noise complaints “are not usually backed by actual noise issues.”

“It can make noise when there's a problem with the turbine, but the turbines that we pick will be certified to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards, and they go through a whole acoustic testing process," she said.

In other action, planners recommended approval of:

  • A revised site plan for exterior changes at 99 Main St., Batavia, an historic building that is being renovated as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
  • A zoning map change from Planned Development to Residential for homes at 145 and 147 Pearl St., Batavia, to enable the placement of a shed at 147 Pearl St. The matter now will go to the City Planning & Development Committee.

GENESEE 2050 TALK SCHEDULED

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari announced that a presentation of the Genesee 2050 project, encompassing the county's Comprehensive and Recreation plans, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Old County Courthouse. Citizens can attend in person or via Zoom. Contact Oltramari at 585-815-7901 for more information.

Previously: Planners to review revised site plan for 99 Main St.

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November 10, 2021 - 12:43pm

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The Genesee County Planning Board has 12 referrals on the agenda – including a site plan review of a proposed 5-megawatt solar system in the Town of Le Roy – for tonight’s 7 o’clock meeting at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road in Batavia.

The board is meeting a day earlier than usual due to Veterans Day on Thursday.

AES Clean Energy, based in Louisville, Colo., is seeking to build the ground-mounted commercial solar array on 38.7 acres of two parcels of land approximately covering 66 acres at 7054 West Main Rd., Le Roy.

The land, owned by Route 5 Storage LLC, care of M.J. Prinzi, is located in an Industrial (I-1) District on the south side of the highway, across from the Keeney Road intersection.

According to submitted documents, the system – consisting of 20,142 modules – will take about four to six months to build after final approvals. It will feature an access road from West Main Road. It also will be classified as a “community” solar farm in that it will provide energy to the existing electric grid and allow local customers to contract for electricity at or below current market rates.

Genesee County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari and staff are recommending approval of the project with modifications centering on the applicant following all New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets construction mitigation guidelines and by relocating the driveway and equipment pads from the middle of the field to the end of the field to minimize the impact upon future farming.

Other referrals of note are as follows:

  • A site plan review for a 1,944-square foot (81 by 24) addition to the existing building owned by Gadd Properties (Alexander Equipment) at 3266 Buffalo St., Alexander;
  • A site plan review for the Burning Barrell BBQ restaurant to be operated by Nicholas Rada at 10 East Main St., Corfu;
  • A site plan review and area variance request for Harrington’s Farm Market to replace an existing greenhouse with a new 2,304-square foot (48 by 48) greenhouse on its property at 5282 Clinton St. Rd. in the Town of Stafford;
  • A sign permit request from Pierrepoint Visual Graphics, Inc., of Rochester, to place new signs for a proposed UR Medicine office building at the Gateway II Industrial Park at 7999 Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia.

Photo: Overhead view showing the parcel of land (with blue line around it) earmarked for a 5-megawatt solar system on West Main Road in the Town of Le Roy. West Main Road is along the top and East Bethany Le Roy Road is to the right. Courtesy of Genesee County Planning Department.

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October 16, 2021 - 8:47am

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“Good for your garden, good for your community, good for your planet” – and, in the eyes of Genesee County Planning Board members, good enough for a location on Wright Road in the Town of Alabama.

Planners on Thursday night recommended approval of a site plan for EcoVerde Organics, LLC, of Buffalo, to own and operate a compost facility on a portion of a 27-acre parcel in an Industrial zone at 396 Wright Rd.

The company, which was formed in 2017 by entrepreneur Warren Emblidge Jr., uses the motto above as it promotes environmental and social ecosystem improvement through composting.

EcoVerde Assistant Chief Katy Duggan appeared at the planning board meeting at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road.

“We’re a small company that was started by a local businessman (Emblidge, EcoVerde’s chief) who had been successful (in other ventures) for many years,” Duggan said. “He got the idea of sustainability and the next step was to get some composting going.”

Duggan, in her third year with the company, said EcoVerde had a composting plant in East Aurora but now is focused on this site in the Town of Alabama.

“We work with people, businesses and others in our local community to source our inputs, then make and sell quality soil amendments like compost,” she explained. “Our products improve soil to support plant growth with less chemical fertilizer and less nutrient run-off into waterways to protect our natural environment.

“We look forward to operating in Genesee County where we can support its goal of agricultural preservation.”

She said that a new food scraps law in New York State requires businesses and institutions that generate a certain amount of food scraps to donate usable food and to recycle what’s left.

“So, some of this is in preparation for that,” she said.

A former recycling sustainability coordinator and educator, Duggan developed the Lewiston Art Festival recycling and food waste composting program, and developed food waste collection and waste audit services for commercial customers.

Plans for the Alabama facility are to process source-separated organics, manure and yard waste (specifically food scraps), solid manure/bedding, select food processing waste and crop residue, and leaf and yard waste from municipalities and landscape professionals. Biosolids will not be accepted.

Duggan said activity won’t begin until after final approval from the Town of Alabama Planning Board, which was scheduled to meet this Monday, but has cancelled that session.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has granted EcoVerde approval to operate the compost facility, she said, limiting production to 7,500 cubic yards per year. She said customers will include farmers (organic and market), landscapers, gardeners and homeowners.

“We will start by bringing material into the plant, initially manure and yard waste, and since compost takes three months to make, we plan to start selling it in the spring,” Duggan added.

The planning board’s recommendation of approval is contingent upon EcoVerde obtaining a stormwater permit from the DEC if it disturbs more than one acre of land, and registering with the GLOW Solid Waste Management Committee and reporting the amount of material recovered by the facility to the GLOW Recycling Coordinator.

Planning Board member Tom Schubmehl also requested that Duggan reach out to leaders of the neighboring Tonawanda Seneca Nation to mitigate any odor or other issues caused by prevailing winds. She said that she would be agreeable to that.

In other action, the board recommended approval of:

  • A special use permit to combine two parcels into one Commercial zone to accommodate New York Bus Sales’ new 20,000-plus-square foot school bus service/sales facility at the corner of West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia.

Lauren Rodriguez, civil engineer with LaBella Associates, said the facility will cover seven acres, with minimal security lighting and fencing.

One of the board’s concerns was that on-site lighting would not shine directly onto neighboring properties or cause a hazard for motorists.

The project application has been accepted by the Genesee County Economic Development Center,

  • The addition of four storage units to the current seven at West Batavia Storage at 8550 Wortendyke Rd. in the Town of Batavia, with the on-site lighting stipulation.
  • An area variance for Har-Go Farms in Pavilion to construct a 6,300-square foot barn addition in an Agricultural-Residential (AR-1) District.

Photo: Katy Duggan of EcoVerde Organics presents the company's site plan to Genesee County Planning Board members, clockwise from bottom, Laraine Catan, Planning Director Felipe Oltramari, Jill Gould, Richard Richmond II, Legislator John Deleo, Robert Bennett, Eric Biscaro, Tom Schubmehl, Deputy Director Erin Pence. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: GCEDC board of directors accepts application for New York Bus Sales facility in Town of Batavia

Comments
September 20, 2021 - 12:23pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Village of Corfu, Genesee County Planning Board.

An Akron entrepreneur says he is scrapping his plans to convert an empty building in the Village of Corfu into a bistro restaurant/ice cream shop.

Earlier this month, the Genesee County Planning Board approved, with modifications, Randy Hesior’s site plan to lease space in a vacant building on a 7.2-acre parcel at 47-49 West Main St.

Hesior was looking to put about $15,000 into the facility, and eventually employ eight to 16 people.

Since then, Hesior told The Batavian that the property owner, who lives in Clarence Center, indicated that he was not willing to spend any money to satisfy requirements pertaining to a driveway or to erect a fence shielding the building from neighbors’ homes.

Modifications recommended by the planning board included that the applicant obtain a driveway permit from New York State Department of Transportation for the change of use prior to approval by the Corfu Village Planning Board and to make sure on-site lighting was installed as to not shine directly onto neighboring property or cause a hazard for motorists.

“So, I’m going to have to look for another building someplace else,” he said.

Another dining establishment in the Village of Corfu is moving forward, however, as planners recommended approval, as long as signage complies with zoning regulations, a site plan to operate Home Slice 33 Pizzeria at 12 East Main St.

The first-floor business will offer pizza, wings, subs and fryer foods, with enough space to seat 18 to 20 customers. Takeout and delivery are additional options.

Comments
September 8, 2021 - 12:10pm

It looks as though the Village of Corfu will be the home of two more eating places before the end of the year.

The agenda of Thursday night’s Genesee County Planning Board meeting includes site plan reviews for a pizzeria at 12 East Main St. and a restaurant/bistro/ice cream shop at 47-49 West Main St.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 o’clock at County Building 2, 3837 West Main St. Rd.

According to documents submitted to Planning Director Felipe Oltramari:

  • Corfu Mayor Tom Sargent and Darien Town Council Member David Krzemien are teaming up to operate Home Slice 33 Pizzeria in an existing building in the village’s Commercial district.

It will be housed on the first floor, providing enough space for 18 to 20 customers and also will offer takeout and delivery. Menu offerings include pizza, wings, subs and fryer foods.

After about $15,000 in remodeling, the business will employ seven to 10 people.

Planning department recommendation, approval with the modification that any signage complies with the Village's zoning regulations. With this required modification, the proposed restaurant should pose no significant county-wide or inter-community impact.

  • Akron resident Randy Hesior is looking to open Randy Joe’s Bistro by converting an empty building on a 7.2-acre parcel in the Neighborhood Business district into a “warm, welcoming bistro that will serve a variety of foods” – including ice cream.

He, too, after putting in about $15,000 in improvements, will employ eight to 16 people while operating the restaurant, which also will be able to cater small events and host company parties.

Planning department recommendation, approval with the modifications that the applicant obtains a driveway permit from NYS DOT for the change of use prior to approval by the Village Planning Board; installs on-site lighting so as to not shine directly onto neighboring properties or cause a hazard for motorists, and erects signage that complies with the village's zoning regulations.

Darien Mandates SUP for Airbnb Homes

Also, on the agenda are special use permit requests from three existing Airbnb bed and breakfast/tourist residences that have been in operation for quite some time in the Town of Darien.

The homes are Eliza Brooke Farmstead at 2407 Broadway Rd., Happy Harry’s Country Home at 11095 Warner Rd. and Fix Family Country Oasis at 938 Sumner Rd.

Town of Darien Zoning Law requires a special use permit for all short term rentals defined as bed and breakfast/tourist homes (also known as Airbnb or VRBO rentals or listed privately): a one-family dwelling (not necessarily owner-occupied) in which overnight accommodation is provided for not more than eight transient people for profit and may include serving breakfast.

Upon issuance of the SUP, the town’s code enforcement officer will conduct a fire inspection initially and at three year intervals, with an operating permit to be issued upon each fire inspection.

Comments
August 11, 2021 - 3:02pm

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Randy Fancher, president of Fancher Properties of Akron, is returning to the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night for a third time to propose a revised site plan for a mixed-use project on Main Road between Brickhouse Corners Drive and Tim Hortons in the Town of Pembroke.

The latest version has Fancher Properties of Akron, doing business as Brickhouse Commons LLC, constructing a two-story building with 7,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and six market rate apartments on the second floor, along with driveways, parking lots and a six-bay tenant parking garage to the south.

A review of his site plan is on the agenda of tomorrow’s meeting starting at 7 o’clock at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road.

“This is basically the third version considering changes requested by the DOT (NYS Department of Transportation) and issues with wetlands,” Fancher said. “So, this is where we have to start until we hear back from the Army Corps of Engineers on our request for wetland reclassification, which could take up to a year. We didn’t want to wait so we decided to get started here.”

Fancher said that his company will begin construction once all permits are obtained and verbal commitments for tax incentives from the Genesee County Economic Development Center are approved.

“We’re looking to start in the late fall and hope to have the building up about a year from now,” he said.

The project has changed in scope from what Fancher Properties proposed last June – going from a three-story mixed-use building with retail on the first floor and 17 apartments on the top two floors.

In January of this year, the company modified its plan to a two-story mixed-use building along with two buildings housing 12 apartments.

“Last year, we were already to go but then the DOT said that we couldn’t have a driveway onto Route 77,” Fancher said. “We’ve had a few challenges up to this point but we’re working through them.”

Because of the DOT’s concerns, the company moved the location from Route 77 to Main Road (Route 5).

“We’re still on the corner, basically, but instead of building on Route 77, we’re on Route 5,” Fancher said, adding that the venture was delayed because the DOT would not allow a curb cut onto Route 77,

“We have to connect a road from Route 77 over to Brickhouse Corners Road, which is where Yancey’s Fancy is located. There are wetlands there and we’ve applied to the Army Corps of Engineers for reclassification because, right now, the road has a big curve in it,” he said. “Once we get that approval, we can continue on to Phase 2 and Phase 3, which will consist of more retail and more apartments.”

The development’s location is the GCEDC’s Buffalo East Technology Park in the Town of Pembroke’s Interchange District.

Fancher said he and his brother, Jeff, company vice president, plan to reach out to companies such as Starbucks or Mighty Taco to gauge their interest in placing a store at the site.

Other referrals on tomorrow’s planning board agenda include:

-- Downtown design review for a new façade, lighting and signage on one side of the Batavia Tailors & Cleaners building at 33-39 Ellicott St., along with a new rooftop heating and air conditioning unit.

-- Downtown design review for the addition of four wall-mounted canopies, one large structural entrance canopy, new wall paneling and new freestanding signage at Fieldstone Private Wealth, 219 East Main St., at the intersection of Summit Street. The project is part of the New York Main Street grant program administered by the Batavia Development Corp.

-- Downtown design review of the Healthy Living Campus project in the city, with developers seeking approval to remove multiple buildings and construct new ones.

-- Site plan review and sign permit request from Zambito Realtors to convert a dwelling into a new realty office across from Applebee’s on Lewiston Road. The project includes siding, windows, and removing a breezeway to make it into an office with handicap ramp.

-- Site plan review and special use permit in a Commercial district for Alvamar Healthy Foods to use 1,000 square feet on the first floor of the Masonic Temple building at 12 S. Lake Ave. in Bergen for freeze drying, warehousing and shipping of healthy snacks.

Owners Eddie Alvord and Michael Marsocci’s application indicates that Phase 2 would be the addition of retail space in the front area of the building to dispense healthy snack foods with no preservatives.

-- Site plan review for Tamara Parker to reuse an existing storefront at 22 East Main St., Corfu, for a sign and vinyl graphics business to be known as TMP Signs.

-- Special use permit for PCORE Electric, Inc., 135 Gilbert St., Le Roy, to build a 227 square-foot addition for an office.

Photo: Architect's rendering of Brickhouse Commons mixed-use building proposed by Fancher Properties of Akron near the intersection of Route 5 and Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke.

Comments
June 11, 2021 - 12:42pm

Genesee County Planning Board members Thursday night, on their way to approving the site plan for the Plug Power Inc., green hydrogen facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama, were on the receiving end of an education about the company’s operation from its vice president of project development.

Plug Power, a publicly traded business based in Latham (outside of Albany), is primed to become the first tenant at STAMP – with plans to put up an 8,000-square-foot operations and maintenance building, a 40,000-square-foot electrolyzer building and a 68,000-square-foot compressor building on the Crosby Road tech park.

The company is the world’s largest producer of hydrogen fuel cells that power forklifts and heavy-duty freight and its facility to be located at STAMP will be the largest in North America.

“This is the largest green hydrogen facility in North America by a lot,” Brenor Brophy said. “It actually is the largest green liquid hydrogen facility in the world. So, it is a major step forward in the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

Brophy took planners through the process of taking fresh water and electricity and turning that into hydrogen and oxygen. Plug Power had been making hydrogen cells for the warehouse and logistics industry and, last year, started making its own hydrogen.

“This is a green hydrogen product; fuel that is made from zero-carbon renewable energy,” Brophy said. “This is the hydroelectric energy from Niagara …”

He said Plug Power will harness renewable energy from the new substation that the company is building on the STAMP site – a facility that is large enough to power their entire park.

“We will take about half of that energy for our facility,” he said. “We take fresh water and electricity and we split it into hydrogen and oxygen. The only emission we have from this site is pure oxygen. We take that hydrogen gas and we cool it down to what I call biogenic temperature that turns it into a liquid.”

From there, tanker trucks will transport the liquid hydrogen to Plug Power customers all over the Northeast region.

Brophy said the firm’s customers include Walmart, Kroger’s, Amazon, Home Depot and Lowe’s.

He said the plant will produce 45 metric tons of hydrogen per day, with each truck holding about four and a half metric tons.

“So that means there will be approximately 10 trucks per day on average,” he said. “Not every truck is full leaving or (it could be) empty coming back, so it may be 10 to 12 trucks per day, which is quite low.”

Brophy called it a “beautiful site” on 30 acres. He said plans call for the placement of a row of trees along the front to obscure it from the road.

“It is a very important site,” he said. “We are absolutely delighted to be siting it in Western New York as a New York company. This is our first and biggest green hydrogen plant in what will be a national network.”

Planner Tom Schubmehl, who abstained from voting, was prepared with a list of questions about the project that focused on the following:

  • Start-up Date

Brophy said he expects “to finish commissioning” in late 2022 or early 2023.

  • Wastewater

Brophy said there are two components – the sanitary sewer needed for employees on site and discharge of leftover process water.

He said the number of employees on site is not large enough to support the construction of an actual wastewater treatment facility “so we will have a tank system there that will be approved by the DEC that we will have emptied out until such time as the wastewater treatment plant will require construction.”

“As far as what we call the process water … we will have the forced main that will discharge directly into Oak Orchard Creek and will require a permit from the (New York State) DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation).

  • Stormwater

Brophy said a stormwater retention pond is an allowable use in that area.

  • Reconstruction of Crosby Road

This will be done by the Genesee County Economic Development Center – a complete rebuild of the section from Stamp Drive south to the edge of Plug Power’s site. Also, a 12-inch water transmission main will be extended from Route 77 where it currently exists, down Stamp Drive and down Crosby Road to get to the Plug Power site.

  • Tanker Trucks (noting there is parking for 26)

​Brophy said those parked in the staging area will be empty so “when a driver shows up with an empty tanker we will have a full one waiting for them.”

  • Storage Steer

Brophy said that storage unit will hold a week of production.

“It’s a high-resilience network,” he said. “If one goes down, we can support other plants in the network from that. Our customers are folks like Walmart, Kroger or Amazon, and so we can never let that warehouse go down. Amazon can’t go down a week before Christmas so we aim for a really high-resilience network.”

  • Water Usage (noting the facility will use 280,000 gallons per day)

Schubmehl mentioned that Genesee County is calling for residents to conserve water this summer.

Mark Masse, GCEDC senior vice president of operations, said there is capacity coming up the line from Pembroke and County Engineer Tim Hens has “put place markers in for projects and Plug Power’s project has been held in the county water, so to speak, as a placeholder for a couple of years now. So, it has been accounted for and is included in those numbers.”

He added that GCEDC is pursuing another water line from Niagara County that could bring in an additional 1.5 million gallons per day.

“But the 280,000 gallons … that has been reserved in capacity in all of the numbers that Tim has been working with,” he reiterated.

Schubmehl responded that he was puzzled by that strategy.

“I just hope that you understand how difficult that is to know that this is what has been held in reserve while county residents are being told not to water their lawns this week,” he said. “It just seems a little odd.”

Comments
June 11, 2021 - 9:53am

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A Lake Street Road (Route 19) resident has come out against the proposed rezoning of seven parcels of land meant to expand the Le Roy Food & Tech Park, claiming that changing it from Residential to Industrial contradicts the Town of Le Roy’s Comprehensive Plan and will prevent him from “the intended use and enjoyment” of his property.

Eric Baines Jr., speaking at Thursday night’s Genesee County Planning Board meeting via Zoom videoconferencing, said that in November he bought what is known as the Olmsted Manor, a 2,900-square-foot colonial house that is near the 75-acre industrial park on Route 19 and Randall Road owned by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

He said he did not favor a referral submitted to the planning board by the Town of Le Roy to rezone seven parcels totaling about 185 acres to possibly set the stage for a cheese manufacturer, specifically the Ohio-based Great Lakes Cheese, to build a $500 million plant on land adjacent to the park.

Reportedly, Great Lakes Cheese officials have contacted landowners with purchase offers to expand the park to meet the company’s needs.

“At the time when we did our research, the 2017 published Town Comprehensive Plan said that the current use map did not reflect Industrial zoning as well as the future map does not show Industrial zoning surrounding – they’re both Agricultural,” Raines said. “Given that both maps reflect that, we (he and his girlfriend) made the decision to buy this house.”

Looking to Upgrade the Property

Raines said that “use and enjoyment of our land (14 acres) will be jeopardized by this rezoning as we intend fix up the place.”

“This is an historical house, which we’re proud to own … in an historic district in Le Roy,” he said. “We wanted to grow our own food here and largely be independent. To say we are against the industrialization of the agricultural land behind this is not to just push it behind me and go somewhere else.

“We are opposed to it, in general, as to be reflected by the vegetable garden we put in almost immediately. If anybody goes by on Route 19, I am sure you have seen that the place has not been taken care of over the past 50 years, but it is now because we’re here.”

Raines said his plans for the property include recreational hunting, expanding his garden and putting up bat houses to keep the ecosystem healthy.

“This (rezoning and siting of the cheese factory) will trigger a laundry list of chain events that will prohibit any of what we hope to do,” he said.

Responding to a question from Planning Board Member Eric Biscaro, Raines said his property extends right to the line proposed for the cheese plant. He then brought up issues of smell and noise.

“For a $500 million plant, to say there won’t be noise (is not true),” he said. “The electromagnetic radiation alone coming from this plant is going be astronomical, and not something that we had any intention of being surrounded by.”

He said this action does not seem fair, believing that the comprehensive plan serves as a land use document governed by state law and is good through 2029.

Board Only Looking at Rezoning Referral

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said that last night’s referral only addresses the rezoning change, not the proposed cheese manufacturing plant.

“The planning board is only considering a rezoning request, which can be made with or without a project,” he said. “If it does get rezoned and a project does come to fruition, we will be reviewing all environmental impacts, including odor and noise, lighting, anything you may think of as part of that project, which would be a separate referral.”

Oltramari sought to clarify the zoning procedure, stating that the comprehensive plan and future land use maps serve as “guidance” but do not restrict municipalities or draw specific boundaries for rezoning.

“You have points that are definitely valid,” he said in response to Raines. “It’s just I wouldn’t go as far as saying that because that area is (zoned) Agriculture, that it should stay Agriculture until 2029. In theory, actually, the town board could amend the future land use plan … through a public process … before 2029 and completely overhaul the comprehensive plan in two years or something like that.”

Raines contended that neighbors who own a horse farm would be “stripped of their horse pasture if this goes through,” and mentioned that he heard talk of eminent domain, which is the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.

He also said some of his other neighbors are against rezoning and the potential 480,000-square-foot manufacturing plant.

Masse: No Talk of Eminent Domain

Mark Masse, GCEDC senior vice president of Operations, quickly disputed the eminent domain claim, stating that the agency’s board of directors will not participate in that process.

“We have not done it, we have not proposed it, we have never brought it up, and we have never spoken about it,” he said.

Planning Board Member Bob Bennett, referring to eminent domain, noted that GCEDC won’t be the owners of the properties on track to be rezoned.

Contacted this morning, Le Roy Town Supervisor Jim Farnholz disputed the eminent domain claim – “a private entity can not move forward on eminent domain,” he said – and that to his knowledge, “there has been no resistance whatsoever from landowners who have been approached (by Great Lakes Cheese.”

“I know that some of the neighbors have sold significant property to Great Lakes Cheese and that the Falcone Funeral Home is no part of this since they operate under a special use permit in an R-2 zone,” he said. “In fact, changing to an I-2 zone would give him a sense of security for his business.”

Farnholz also mentioned that Raines has a 12-acre buffer behind his house “that is completely grown in, so he wouldn’t see the project” and that all odor, noise and wastewater issues have to meet New York State Department of Environmental Conservation standards.

Le Roy Planners to Meet on Tuesday

The supervisor said that the Le Roy Planning Board will address the issue next Tuesday and that the town board has scheduled a public hearing on the matter for July 8.

As far as the county planning board, it took no action as a motion to approve the rezoning referral died for a lack of second, and a subsequent motion for disapproval did not gain the necessary five votes.

Oltramari said it now goes back to the Town of Le Roy, which can act without a recommendation from county planners.

The planning department had recommended approval since the comprehensive plan adopted by the Town of Le Roy in 2017 identifies this area in its Future Land Use Plan as Agriculture and adjacent to Industrial. Thus, Oltramari wrote, it can be argued that rezoning the property to an industrial use that supports agriculture is consistent with the plan should pose no significant countywide or intercommunity impact.

Earlier in the meeting, Masse said his view was that the town was “trying to be proactive – trying to be ahead a little bit.”

“Obviously, our board approved a purchase and sale agreement for one business (BioWorks Inc., of Victor) at the Le Roy Food & Tech Park that’s existing there – to take 60 of the 75 acres. I think the town is seeing that hopefully will be successful and is trying to be proactive by rezoning some of the other parcels there to help grow that,” he said.

Prospective Company Talking to Landowners

Masse said GCEDC wouldn’t be purchasing the other parcels to be rezoned.

“At this point in time, the companies that have been interested in it have been talking – we put them directly in touch with the property owners,” he said.

He added that BioWorks would be looking at West Bergen Road and Route 19 as entrances and exits.

Bennett mentioned that if the cheese factory was to come in with 500 jobs, “that’s a lot of traffic to come out to West Bergen Road and Route 19.”

“If a company were to locate there, on those back parcels, they would probably come in off of (Route) 19 – that would be the main traffic,” Masse replied. “That would be a shared entrance for our park as well as those back parcels. And that’s going to be driven by the Department of Transportation as well, whether there would be any improvements required there or not.”

Masse said BioWorks is creating 30 jobs but has yet to apply for (tax) incentives.

“Their truck traffic would be like FedEx and UPS delivery trucks,” he said. “It wouldn’t be anything heavy, and from a water standpoint, that particular project plans on recycling all rainwater … and will have very little to no municipal use.”

He added that GCEDC is looking at different options to supply natural gas to the property.

Zoning map at top shows the current zoning, left, and the proposed zoning -- changing the parcels in yellow (Residential) to light purple (Industrial) next to the Le Roy Food & Tech Park.

Comments
June 9, 2021 - 8:23pm

plug.jpg

The Genesee County Planning Department is recommending approval of a site plan review submitted by Plug Power Inc., the Latham-based company specializing in the development of hydrogen fuel cells systems for applications such as heavy-duty freight and forklifts.

The referral is one of 15 on the agenda of the county planning board’s meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday via Zoom videoconferencing.

According to information provided to the planning department, the site plan to place the green hydrogen facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park includes three structures – an 8,000-square-foot operations and maintenance building, a 40,000-square-foot electrolyzer building and a 68,000-square-foot compressor building.

STAMP, located on Crosby Road in the Town of Alabama, is designated as a Technology (T-1) District.

Additional documentation indicates the Genesee County Economic Development Center, which owns STAMP, is in the final stages of closing the sale of 29.884 acres to be allocated to the Plug Power venture, which is being called Gateway Project.

The full environmental assessment form filled out by Plug Power reveals that construction will take place in two phases, with phase one to commence in March 2022 and phase 2 to be completed in June 2023.

It is projected that the company will use 280,000 gallons of water per day, with expected additional capacity from the construction of two new water lines. Company officials state that 70,500 gallons of wastewater will be generated each day. The grounds also will feature a stormwater management facility.

Approximately 16 tanker trucks will come to the facility each day on a reconstructed Crosby Road to provide a new access path. Construction is expected to take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Once complete, it will be a 24-hour operation.

Last Thursday, Genesee County Economic Development Center directors approved approximately $2.8 million in sales tax incentives related to the construction of the electrical substation.

The GCEDC reported that Plug Power is investing $232 million the company to build the facility, which is estimated to create 68 full-time jobs.

The company also is investing $55 million toward the construction a substation that will enable 100-percent renewable, reliable electricity at less than $0.035/kwh to future tenants in partnership with the New York Power Authority and National Grid.

Other referrals of note:

  • Special use permit, area variance and site plan review for a Quicklee’s convenience store and four-pump fuel station island at the former Bob Evans Restaurant location in a Commercial (C-2) District at 204 Oak St. (Route 98) in the City of Batavia.

The area variance is necessary because the service station is 165 feet from a church (less than the minimum 500 feet) and the proposed number of parking spaces is 40 (less than the minimum 68).

Patricia Bittar, director of land development projects at WM Schutt Associates, filed the application, stating that the proposed project will take up 2,771 square feet for the convenience store and 1,000 square feet for a drive-thru restaurant.

The planning department recommends approval. The applicant also will have to go in front of the City Planning & Development Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals.

  • Site plan review for a 107,138-square-foot addition for warehousing and manufacturing to Liberty Pumps, 7000 Apple Tree Ave., Bergen

The planning department recommends approval with modifications pertaining to stormwater prevention and archaeological impact documentation.

  • As previously reported on The Batavian, a zoning map change request from the Le Roy Town Board to rezone seven parcels from Residential (R-2) to Light Industrial (I-2) District to expand the GCEDC-owned Le Roy Food & Tech Park on Route 19 ad Randall Road in the Town of Le Roy.

This action could open the door for Great Lakes Cheese of Hiram, Ohio, to build a $500 million processing plant at the site.

The planning department recommends approval since the Comprehensive Plan adopted by the Town of Le Roy in 2017 identifies this area in its Future Land Use Plan as Agriculture and adjacent to Industrial.

  • Zoning text amendments from the Oakfield Town Board for the entire Town of Oakfield to allow major solar collection systems to the Land Conservation (LC) and Agricultural-Residential (AR) Districts and to add public and private utilities to the LC District.

The towns of Oakfield and Elba are gearing up for the proposed construction of a 500-megawatt solar farm by Hecate Energy, which today announced that is has filed an application with the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting.

If approved and constructed, the Cider Solar Farm would be the largest solar project ever built in New York State.

Hecate Energy’s press release indicated that the $500 million private infrastructure investment is expected to create moe than 500 construction jobs and will be capable of supplying 920,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year – enough to power more than 120,000 average New York households.

The planning department is recommending approval.

  • A special use permit for Chad Downs, 1300 McVean Road, Darien, to place a pest control business in his home, which sits in a Low Density Residential (LDR) District.

The planning department recommends approval with the modification that the storage and disposal of herbicides, pesticides and other hazardous materials must be conducted in accordance with applicable State and Federal regulations.

Architect's rendering at top: 3D view of the Plug Power facility to go at WNY STAMP. The rectangle building at the front is the compressor building and the long building behind it is the electrolyzer building. The operations and maintenance building is the smaller structure at right.

Comments
May 14, 2021 - 3:00pm

Interest in a proposed campground on Perry Road in the Town of Pavilion is high, according to the consultant working with a LeRoyan looking to develop 20 to 30 acres of a 94-acre parcel.

“We have about 60 people who have signed letters of intent to rent campsites already,” said David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting LLC, of Attica.

Ciurzynski represented Jesse Coots of Le Roy at Thursday night’s Genesee County Planning Board meeting via Zoom videoconferencing.

Planners recommended approval of a special use permit for the 346-site campground and recreation area at 10156 Perry Road, but included stipulations involving mitigation of adverse impact upon wetlands there and obtaining a stormwater pollution prevention permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Developers are addressing those issues, Ciurzynski said.

“We’re really excited about this project. We’ve completed the engineering study and wetland delineation, which has been submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers and the DEC,” he said. “Once we get the special use permit, we’ll get into full engineering and be able to complete the stormwater pollution prevention and other elements of the project.”

Ciurzynski said the plan is to start with 100 sites and build out the remainder after campers begin to populate the campground.

Planners asked about water and sewage capabilities, with Ciurzynski stating that the size of the project prohibits holding tanks.

“We’re going to have to do a septic system, with a full leach bed and everything,” he said.

Planning Director Felipe Oltramari responded by stating he hopes the owners have “good luck in finding water” when drilling wells.

Ciurzynski said the preferred option is to put the first 100 sites up against the road to minimize the number of wells required since the Town of Pavilion also has embarked upon its water district project.

“In talking with the supervisor (Rob LaPoint), he would like to get this water district along Perry Road going as well, so we’re hoping our project helps leapfrog that into place so we can use the water from the Pavilion water district instead of having to drill multiple wells,” he said.

Currently, the 94-acre parcel consists of woodland and farm fields, and is zoned Agricultural-Residential.

In other action, planners recommended approval of several other referrals, including:

  • An area variance to change the parking space size for a proposed Rochester Regional Health medical building on Oak Orchard Road in the Town of Batavia;
  • A special use permit for a covered outdoor dining space at the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford;
  • A change in zoning to Commercial for a parcel at 211 E. Main Street to facilitate the development of the GLOW YMCA/United Memorial Medical Center Healthy Living Campus;
  • A site plan for a new liquor store at 9 E. Main St., Corfu;
  • A special use permit, with modification, for a 5-megawatt solar system on Oak Orchard Road, south of the Village of Elba;
  • A special use permit for a hair salon at 1 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, on an appointment-only basis.

Previously: Planners expected to consider outdoor dining site at Red Osier, sizeable campground on Perry Road in Pavilion

Comments
May 12, 2021 - 2:10pm

The Genesee County Planning Board is in for a busy night on Thursday with an agenda featuring 17 referrals, including a proposal to build an outdoor dining space at the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford and another to develop a 346-site campground and recreation area on Perry Road in Pavilion.

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

Owners Timothy Adams and Steven Foster have submitted a site plan and request for a special use permit to place an outdoor dining pavilion at the rear of the Red Osier property on Route 5.

Plans call for the covered shelter to be set on a 30- by 40-foot concrete pad to the south of the restaurant. The owners also are looking to add a portable 12- by 24-foot manufactured shed for storage and aesthetics, adding that the dumpster will be relocated away from that area and also will be on a concrete pad and fenced in.

Preliminary word is that planning department staff suggests approval of the referral, stating that the proposed pavilion and improvements should pose no significant countywide or intercommunity impact.

Jesse Coots, of Le Roy, submitted a site plan and is asking for a special use permit to create and operate the campground at 10156 Perry Road. The plan calls for building it in two phases, using 20 to 30 acres of a 94-acre parcel that is zoned Agricultural-Residential. Currently, the land consists of woodland and farm fields.

Approval with modification is recommended by planning staff, who are asking the board to require the applicant to provide proof that there will be no adverse impact upon wetlands and to obtain a stormwater permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Other referrals include the following:

  • Rezoning of 211 E. Main St., Batavia, from P-2 (Planned Development) to C-3 (Commercial) for consistency purposes prior to demolition of Cary Hall and eventual construction of the Healthy Living Campus joint venture between the GLOW YMCA and United Memorial Medical Center.

Currently, Cary Hall is not being used. It formerly housed medical offices and, before that, was the home of the McAuley School of Practical Nursing.

County planning staff has determined that the zoning change is not inconsistent with the City of Batavia’s comprehensive plan adopted in 2017 and should go forward.

  • A site plan review of a new liquor store at 9 E. Main St., Corfu, to be owned and operated by Brittany Schafer.

In documents submitted by Schafer, she plans to call the business Brittany’s Booze Barn and be open from the hours of 1 to 8 p.m., hopefully by July 4. It is in a Commercial-Residential District with existing residential space upstairs.

Planning staff recommends approval.

  • A special use permit to develop a 5-megawatt community solar project at 7209 Oak Orchard Road, Elba, just south of Route 262, covering half of a 55-acre parcel owned by CY Properties LLC.

Documents state that NY CDG Genesee I LLC, of Acton, Ontario, Canada, is planning to install about 16,400 solar panels on 200 free standing tracking solar table modules, as well as new electrical equipment, accessories, concrete pads for equipment and new gravel access drive.

The land is zoned Business and Agricultural-Residential.

A letter from LaBella Associates, representing the solar group, indicates that a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement through the Genesee County Economic Development Center will be requested.

County planning staff has determined that since the project will be on prime farm land, the applicant should relocate the portion of the driveway and equipment pad currently proposed through the middle of the field to the edge of the field or amend the decommissioning plan to minimize the impact on the soil.

  • A special use permit request by Tanya Peal to operate a one-chair hair salon in her home at 1 Farnsworth Ave., Oakfield, in a Residential District. Her paperwork indicates that customers will be received on an appointment-only basis and she has room to park four vehicles.

The recommendation of county staff is for approval.

  • An area variance for Rochester Regional Health to modify the size of parking spaces from 10- by 20-feet to 9- by 18-feet at the site of its proposed 140,000-square-foot medical office building at 8103 Oak Orchard Road, Batavia – north of the Thruway exit. The change would increase the number of parking spots from 360 to 432.

Consultants for RRH state that the modification will allow the required amount of onsite parking to be provided, while satisfying the town’s request for an access agreement along the northern boundary of the site. The access requirement reduces slightly the space for parking, resulting in the need to go to a 9 by 18 parking spot configuration.

Planning staff has determined that the proposed variance should pose no significant countywide or intercommunity impact.

Comments
April 9, 2021 - 10:34am

Developer Eric Biscaro is looking at a 20-acre parcel on East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy to construct a bigger version of the Clinton Crossings Adult Community that his company built on Clinton Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

“If you drove around Clinton Crossings, it’s the same thing, only 50-percent bigger,” said Biscaro, owner of Classic Home Improvements and Armor Building Supply on Ellicott Street Road. “It’s in its early stages, and there’s a lot of stuff to work out before it’s definitely a go, but we’re attempting it.”

Biscaro appeared before the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night, requesting a zoning map change to rezone the area from Residential to Planned Unit Development and for a review of the site plan that outlines the development of 30 duplex patio home rentals for seniors.

County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said a Planned Unit Development (or PUD) is a custom zoning district that encompasses a multiunit layout with one owner. He compared Biscaro’s project to the Royal Apartments in Le Roy in this regard.

The planning board recommended approval of Biscaro’s referral, but with several modifications, as follows:

-- The applicant include street connectivity to the west through the development of "South Avenue,” which is currently a paper street, in order to improve public safety/emergency access and to better conform with the Village's Comprehensive Plan, which calls for prohibiting the construction of cul-de-sacs;

-- The applicant work with the village to provide a pedestrian connection, such as a sidewalk extension, to the north on East Avenue and to the west on the proposed South Avenue;

-- The applicant conduct an archaeological survey and apply for 9-1-1 Address Verification to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office to ensure that the addresses of the proposed homes meet Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.*

Planning Board Member Tom Schubmehl also emphasized the necessity of having enough room for fire and emergency trucks to be able to properly navigate through the complex.

Biscaro said he is prepared to “go through all the steps (as required by the village), and hopefully we get all the way.”

“With all of the approvals and utilities and that kind of stuff, it likely will be months before we’ll be able to do any work,” he said, adding that two other attempts at a project such as this failed to materialize.

Rooftop Patios at Ellicott Place

Planners also took another look at the downtown design for Ellicott Place, the $2.3 million renovation of the Save-A-Lot building at 45 Ellicott St., in light of V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc.’s revised plan to create rooftop patios outside of the 10 second-floor apartments.

The board is recommending approval of the installation of the 10-foot by 6-foot patios, which will be secured by protective guardrails measuring 42 inches high.

Company President Victor Gautieri said work continues on the project, which calls for the creation of seven one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments on the vacant, 11,600-square-foot second floor and development of 18,000 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail space.

“It’s been a tough road with the impediments that we have faced – COVID and material shortages, but we’re plugging away,” Gautieri said, adding that the wait time for appliances is between 12 and 14 weeks. “(Acquiring) paint has been an issue as well …”

Gautieri said he has moved the completion date of the apartments back a month to May 30.

“That will be a tough one to get to, but we’ll keep pushing at it,” he said.

A Drive-Thru for Chipotle

In other action, the planning board recommended approval of the following referrals:

  • A special use permit for COR Development Veterans Memorial Drive Company LLC, to add a drive-thru to the building at 4222 Veterans Memorial Drive in the Towne Center at Batavia that is slated to house a new Chipotle restaurant.

The building also is the site of the Five Guys restaurant.

Other additions to the Chipotle location, which will have indoor seating, include outdoor seating, grease trap and trash enclosure.

  • An area variance for Dickinson’s Auto at 4028 W. Main Street Road (Route 5) to construct a new truck storage building that will be 10 feet from the lot line – 20 feet less than the minimum required. The business is in a Commercial District.
  •  A site plan and area variance for Carolina Eastern-Crocker LLC, to build a new 60-foot by 200-foot pole barn to replace the current 45-foot by 113-foot structure at its main location, 8610 Route 237, Stafford. The variance was needed because the building will be 30 feet from the side lot line – 10 feet less than what the ordinance mandates.

Carolina Eastern-Crocker’s products include dry and liquid fertilizers, "Pop Up" fertilizers, organic fertilizer, crop protection products, ag lime, gypsum, seeds, custom application and spraying, variable rate application, fine ground corn meal, and corn purchasing.

  • Placement of a sign for a new liquor store – Liberty’s Liquor Cabinet – at 10594 Main St., Alexander. The store, owned by Jennifer Wall, replaces a dog grooming business that previously operated out of that location.
  • Zoning text amendments from the Town of Alexander and Town of Bethany to regulate solar energy systems.

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

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Early layout of an enclosed patio at the Ellicott Place apartments above the Save-A-Lot store (from Genesee County Planning Department renderings).

Comments
March 13, 2021 - 1:13pm

Update: 4 p.m. March 19 --

Clarification in seventh paragraph, fixing Baccile's title and the number of megawatts quoted by Farnholz from 125 to 25.

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Le Roy Town Supervisor James Farnholz said that while he respects the wishes of his colleagues on the town board to restrict community solar farms in residential and agricultural districts, his preference would have been finding a “middle ground” to give farmers the chance to repurpose their land.

The subject of the town’s proposed local law and zoning on solar projects was part of the agenda of Thursday night’s Genesee County Planning Board meeting via Zoom videoconferencing. Planners discussed the Le Roy Town Board’s 4-1 vote to not allow these smaller solar projects in the aforementioned designated zones.

Farnholz cast the lone vote to permit them.

“We’ve been working on this commercial solar for the last two and a half years … and I see that farmers are getting on in years and nobody is taking over the farm, and they want the opportunity to make some money,” Farnholz said when contacted by telephone on Friday. “I didn’t want to be the guy that tells them no.”

He said the proposed local law and zoning would allow community solar in areas that are zoned ground-mounted, industrial and interchange zones. In areas that are zoned commercial, that solar would have to be roof mounted.

Farnholz said a “couple of good reasons” factored into the other board members’ decisions.

No Room at the Inn

“Part of the reasoning, as we were told by Ty Baccile, project manager, solar development for Clean Choice Energy, and several others, was that the grid station here in Le Roy could only take, I believe it was 25 megawatts,” Farnholz said. “Which, basically, would mean there would be five farmers or landowners who could have 25-acre separate parcels of solar (at 5 megawatts each) on their land. And those five spots were already taken up in the queue for the grid.”

He said the other factor in the town’s comprehensive plan and agricultural land protection was just that – to protect the farmland.

Additionally, Farnholz pointed out New York State’s increased involvement in siting huge solar projects, such as the ones moving forward in Byron and Elba.

“Once it gets beyond a certain size, and I believe that it is 25 megawatts, it essentially will fall under the state Siting Board, which will make the decisions on it. It kind of bypasses your local zoning,” Farnholz explained.

“Given the political climate between New York State and the federal government on green energy, my personal view is that I would rather find a middle ground than have something forced on us. I’d rather give somebody 40 acres than have them come in and do 500 and not have any voice in it whatsoever.”

Shutting Out the Farmers?

During the planning board meeting, Baccile said he “wanted to share our concerns that this law as it was voted on it would cancel the opportunity in the R-A district for large farmers who wanted to co-locate maybe 30 or 40 acres of solar for community solar … to generate revenue and keep things on the farm going.”

“Basically, as it was voted, it's going to take that away from farmers who had come to the meeting and expressed that this would be a good way for them to support their farm,” he said.

Genesee County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari agreed that it “definitely is not the most solar friendly of local laws, but noted that it is the town board’s prerogative.

“They can decide as, as the elected representatives of Le Roy whether to he pursue, just as (the Town of) Stafford did, a local law that's more restrictive or less friendly to solar development …,” he said.

Oltramari then gave a less than enthusiastic review of wording in the Town of Le Roy’s proposed local law and zoning on solar, making observations that Farnholz said he can’t dispute.

The planning director said he wasn’t on board with the “definitions” in the text or the way that town officials determined the total surface area of a potential solar farm.

“The Town of Le Roy did not follow some of the state models, so the language is a little rough and just needs to be refined,” Oltramari said, adding that the zoning regulation lists multiple names for the same thing, such as “major solar collection system, major system, commercial use minor solar collection system, and ground-mounted solar energy systems. It makes it confusing …”

Definitions Section Needs Revision

Oltramari, in a letter to the town board, said the various terms make it hard to read and understand, and suggested settling on one term and using it throughout.

On the issue of the allowed total surface area, he said “this one can become problematic because it has a potential (where) people are going to basically ask for a lot of variances compared to most solar laws that I’ve seen used.”

He said that most laws figure in equipment pads, posts, foundations of the solar panels and the panels themselves when determining the percentage of coverage requirements.

“When you include the area of the panels it's going to become problematic and you end up creating, basically having to acquire, these large parcels so that only a portion of them will be covered by solar panels and so you end up with a lot of wasted land,” he said. “And that is probably too small to farm or too inconvenient to farm and it sort of gets wasted.”

Oltramari suggested that Le Roy use the New York State model, which includes the footers of the panels, the equipment pads and any paved roads in the lot coverage.

Farnholz had no issue with Oltramari’s suggestions to revise the definitions section and the determination of the permitted total surface area.

“Actually, we discussed that at our meeting last night and agreed that it was problematic and when it does come back from there, we’ll remove that,” he said. “That will be corrected.”

County planners reommended approval of the town’s zoning regulations as long as the revisions outlined in the letter from the planning department are considered (and applied).

Comments
March 12, 2021 - 4:06pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee County Planning Board, The Firing Pin.

Genesee County Planning Board members Thursday night fired off a few rounds of questions about safety, noise, glare and berms to the Brockport man proposing to develop an outdoor shooting range and drive-in theater on Harloff Road in the Town of Batavia.

At its meeting held via Zoom videoconferencing, the board recommended approval -- with modifications concerning stormwater pollution mitigation and acquiring the proper permits – of a special use permit and site plan for Brandon Lewis to construct and operate the business for shooting, firearms training, general recreation, fitness training and family entertainment, including a drive-in movie theater.

The venture, which is scheduled to go before the Batavia Town Planning Board next Tuesday, would be located at 3269 Harloff Road, not far from the Area 51 Motocross layout.

Lewis was asked about the placement of the theater screen and whether it would be visible to motorists on the nearby Thruway. He responded that he would make sure that wouldn’t be the case, but the board agreed to include that to the suggested modifications.

Planners also inquired about the number of berms or trees on the parcel, specifically on the west side between the rifle range and the neighboring property. Lewis said that a berm already is in place there along with a 12-foot retaining wall.

Concerning the possibility of noise from the shooting, Lewis said while the natural berms would “deflect sound from going onto the Thruway,” he also plans to plant more trees.

“It won’t be as disruptive as a semi going down the Thruway,” he said.

The board then asked about the hours of operation. Lewis said it mostly be during regular daytime business hours, but didn’t leave out the possibility of special target shooting event in the evening.

Furthermore, Lewis, who grew up in East Bethany, made it clear that no shooting will take place when the movie theater is open.

“We want safety for everyone,” he said.

Planners also considered the following referrals:

  • A site plan review for Mutka 3450 Properties of British Columbia, Canada, to construct a 1,500-square-foot office addition to an existing warehouse facility in a Manufacture-Industrial district at 3450 Railroad Ave. in the Village of Alexander. Approval with the modification that the site plan complies with all applicable floodplain construction requirements.
  • A site plan review for BALD Development LLC of Alden to construct an 11,250-square-foot (225 by 50) pole-barn-type commercial office/storage building in a Commercial district at 234 Genesee St. (Route 33) in the Town of Darien. Approval with modifications pertaining to driveway permits, stormwater pollution prevention, proper lighting and adherence to 9-1-1 standards.
  • A special use permit for ForeFront Power of San Francisco to place a 45-acre, 5 megawatt ground-mounted solar system in an Agricultural-Residential district at 6982 Norton Road in the Town of Elba. Approval with modifications pertaining to relocating a portion of the driveway and equipment pad to the edge of the field and adherence to 9-1-1 standards.

Comments
March 11, 2021 - 11:18am

recreation_3.jpg

The owner of The Firing Pin indoor shooting range and gun shop in Bergen says he is prepared to help society “return to normalcy” through the development of an outdoor recreational facility that includes a drive-in movie theater on a 22-acre parcel at 3269 Harloff Road in the Town of Batavia.

Brandon Lewis, an East Bethany native and Alexander Central School graduate, provided details this morning of his plan, which is on the agenda of tonight’s Genesee County Planning Board meeting via Zoom videoconferencing.

According to documents submitted to planners, Lewis, who recently moved to Brockport, is requesting a special use permit and review of the site plan to construct and operate the business for firearms training, general recreation, fitness training and a drive-in theater.

The location, in an Agricultural-Residential district, previously was used for snow tubing.

“We’re hoping to have shooting by July and have some fun events – maybe a haunted hayride this fall … just some affordable family entertainment and family fun on top of the shooting range,” he said. “I think we can mesh those two things, and I think it’s good for a return to normalcy. Firearms are a completely normal, healthy American family activity that can mesh with other forms of family entertainment.”

Lewis, owner of The Firing Pin since 2014, said he approached the Batavia Town Planning Board more than a year ago before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, just to introduce planners to his idea. He said the board was enthusiastic in its response.

“I asked if this was feasible or (would it be) an uphill fight the whole way, and they said it sounds great and your property is perfect for it,” recalled Lewis, who purchased the former Polar Wave property a year earlier and “just fell in love with it.”

“The potential that it offers to the people of the region, really, and, talking with my family, we just thought (we could provide) something that hadn’t been done before around here,” he added.

He said the land is naturally suited to be a shooting range, which will be the primary focus.

“It will be more of a gun club, still open to the public, but more of a club-type of atmosphere where we can offer so many different kinds of training that you can’t do at an indoor range,” he said. “Being able to do that and opening it up to law enforcement, that’s going to a huge potential source of customers for us. There’s a lot that we can offer as far as demos, training and things that don’t exist anywhere around here.”

Lewis said numerous police officers from the county and surrounding area use The Firing Pin and he believes they will be attracted to an outdoor range where they can further their training.

“We have great relationships with all the local law enforcement agencies, and I’m sure we’ll see many of those guys out there privately as well. Most of the officers are very dedicated to training even on their personal time,” he said.

As far as the drive-in theater is concerned, Lewis said he will start by putting up a small projector screen to show classic movies and favorites. The hope is to expand and show new releases with room for up to 130 cars – along the lines of the Silver Lake Drive-In in Perry.

Lewis also said the area will be available for music concerts – “somewhere (in size) between Jackson Square in Batavia versus Darien Lake,” he said – and for car shows, craft shows and other events.

“I think there’s a sweet spot in there that we’re missing out on,” he said.

He said immediate plans are to fix the on-site bathrooms and a long-term goal is to build a clubhouse.

Other referrals of note are as follows:

  • A site plan review for Mutka 3450 Properties of British Columbia, Canada, to construct a 1,500-square-foot office addition to an existing warehouse facility in a Manufacture-Industrial district at 3450 Railroad Ave. in the Village of Alexander;
  • A site plan review for BALD Development LLC of Alden to construct an 11,250-square-foot (225 by 50) pole-barn-type commercial office/storage building in a Commercial district at 234 Genesee St. (Route 33) in the Town of Darien.
  • A special use permit for ForeFront Power of San Francisco to place a 45-acre, 5 megawatt ground-mounted solar system in an Agricultural-Residential district at 6982 Norton Road in the Town of Elba. The company is looking to install the solar array with associated electrical equipment, access road, fencing and landscaping on an existing farm field owned by Daniel and Penny Mudrzynski.
  • Zoning text amendments related to solar energy submitted by the Darien, Elba and Le Roy town boards.

Rendering at top showing: a 200-yard shooting range at top; trap shooting range (triangle); drive-in theater at left; handgun range between the 200-yard range and theater; RV park next to the drive-in; and training course at right. Courtesy of Genesee County Planning Department.

Comments
February 10, 2021 - 11:09am

3943_jackson_st_a.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday’s agenda also includes the following referrals:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Planning staff recommends approval of both amendments.

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

Comments
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.
Comments
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).

-----------------

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.

Comments
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.

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