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November 18, 2021 - 10:39am

The Le Roy Village Board is taking a “better safe than sorry” approach to New York State’s new law that allows communities to host retail dispensaries and on-site consumption locations of marijuana.

The board, at its meeting Wednesday night, held a public hearing on the topic before passing a resolution to adopt Local Law No. 6 of 2021, which allows the village to opt out of those businesses.

Municipalities such as the Village of Le Roy are required by the New York Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act to state their intentions by Dec. 31. Towns, cities and villages that opt out can always opt in at a later date, but those that opt in, can never opt out.

“There’s no urgency,” said Trustee Ray Yacuzzo. “Let’s be careful about this.”

Fellow board member Richard Tetrault suggested giving it a year to see how the situation plays out in neighboring communities to prevent someone coming in without the village having any say in the matter.

Residents in attendance pointed out the number of empty storefronts on Main Street, asking, “Why not keep that money here?”

Mayor Greg Rogers noted that the law states that cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites can't be within 500 feet of schools or churches and, “unfortunately, many Main Street shops are too close.”

Town Councilman Ron Pangrazio then presented a map of the Main Street area, adding that “Main Street is totally out.”

Rogers did say that other places in the village may be available, a sentiment echoed by Trustee Bill Kettle, who said, “There’s more to Le Roy than just two blocks (Main Street).”

Another comment from the audience focused on the fact that cannabis store owners are prohibited from depositing cash from sales into a federal bank, opening the door for an increase in robberies. That was rebutted by someone who mentioned that data shows that crime has not increased in areas that allow it.

The board’s action, per Cannabis Law Section 131 and Municipal Home Rule Law Section 24, can be challenged by a permissive referendum by the voters.

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November 17, 2021 - 10:22pm

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Batavia businessman Eric Biscaro’s attempt to construct a 30-duplex unit senior housing complex off East Avenue and develop 18 single-family home building lots on that street came to a screeching halt at tonight’s Le Roy Village Board meeting.

Biscaro introduced the project back in April to the Genesee County Planning Board following discussions with Village Mayor Greg Rogers about a development that could provide upscale housing for residents age 50 and over and generate much needed tax revenue for the municipality.

When residents in the East Avenue, Poplar Lane and Orchard Drive neighborhood found out about it, however, many of them rallied together to oppose the village board’s desire to change the zoning from Residential to Planned Unit Development to accommodate Biscaro’s venture.

Those against the plan voiced their opinions at a couple public hearings, citing reasons such as it was a bad fit for the area and concerns over stormwater runoff and increased traffic.

At tonight’s session, held at Memorial Auditorium on Trigon Park, Rogers clearly was disappointed as he communicated the fate of the project. Three of the five board members – Bill Kettle, Richard Tetrault and Ray Yacuzzo -- said they were going to vote against it. Rogers and Jim Bonacquisti said they were for it.

It never came to an official vote because a resolution to accept the required State Environmental Quality Review died for a lack of a second. As a result, the resolution to change the zoning was not considered.

ROGERS: 'HE WAS THE RIGHT GUY'

Rogers said he thanked Biscaro and the board for the time and effort put into this subject.

“I respect my fellow board members and their professionalism and their opinions; that’s how the system works,” he said. “However, I will say, I still in my heart believe that Eric Biscaro was the right guy for the right piece of property at the right time.

“I’m glad he came to Le Roy and he wanted to be part of this community. He looked at a lot of different things. He looked to rescue Genesee Street. There are vacant houses on East Avenue that we looked into getting into rehabbing.”

The mayor said the village is going to lose “a possible asset here” but reiterated that this is the way the system works.

He then acknowledged that he did not find any satisfaction in presiding over the public hearings.

“I'm totally glad they're over, and you'll never get me to do another one of these,” he said. “So, thank you all for your time … And Eric, I'm terribly sorry. I appreciate you taking the shot on Le Roy. I’m sorry I dragged you into this.”

BISCARO: MISSING OUT ON TAX BENEFITS

Rogers then asked Biscaro if he wanted to say something and he proceeded to bring up comments earlier in the meeting when the board held a public hearing about its decision to opt out of the adult use cannabis retail dispensaries and on-site consumption places under New York's Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act.

“I heard a lot today about empty stores on Main Street,” Biscaro said. “Le Roy, like a lot of places, has been losing population over the last 20 years. And I heard about tax money … It would be a whole lot more tax in this than any pot store locally; constant – coming in every year for forever.”

Biscaro said that developers aren’t knocking the door down to do business in the village.

“Fine, give me your opinions, but to make a decision on something … nobody's promoting their money to go and look at South Avenue, no one’s even looking there,” he said. “You said to look towards the next street down. Nobody's looking there. To the developer’s eyes, those types of reasons make no sense to us.  It's not what we’re proposing for development. We're proposing that we should stay right there and just look right there.”

Finally, he told the board that he was warned about pursuing a project in Le Roy.

“That's one thing I heard over and over and over again. ‘Are you kidding me? You're going to Le Roy. They don’t move on anything.’ This is what I was told over and over again by people that do business,” he said.

“You might want to be careful with that in your future because it's the developers … they’re not going to look (at this town) because nothing happens. That would be the complaint from the development person. I’m not sitting here stabbing anybody (as) I'm not jealous of you sitting in your seats, but sometimes you got to take a little bit and go forward. That’s something I'd recommend, not that that means anything here.”

VILLAGE TRUSTEES SPEAK OUT

Bonacquisti, Kettle, Tetrault and Yacuzzo addressed those in attendance prior to Rogers and Biscaro.

“I supported this project from early on -- single floor patio homes for 55 (actually 50) and above is needed in our community,” Bonacquisti said. “Keep in mind, this is my opinion. It's not your typical rental units. It was going to be a bump to our tax base (and) it was going to develop an area that has not been developed for 50 years.”

He contended that the response he received from village residents was “positive” except for those who live in the immediate area. And he said turning Biscaro’s project down could dissuade others from considering Le Roy.

“This is the second time that I've been on a board that a developer has come in the last 10 years and is trying to do something different in the community. And it's the second time they've been turned away,” he said. “My fear is no other developer will come to Le Roy. They see what has happened over the course of the last 10 years.”

Kettle said he did the math and believes that this is not “the best plan for the comprehensive plan that we have in the Village of Le Roy.”

“I think there's a better plan out there. I think there's a plan that will bring tax dollar revenues, 100 percent of assessed values to the coffers -- the school coffers, the village coffers, and the town and county coffers,” he said, implying that he didn’t agree with the payment in lieu of taxes agreement that Biscaro worked out with the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

Tetrault, mentioning that he has been involved in construction, said he liked Biscaro’s plan but couldn’t vote for it because he hasn’t been made aware of the full scope of the project. Thus, he is wary of potential problems down the road.

TETRAULT: QUESTIONS WENT UNANSWERED

“And some of the questions I had, I really never got clear answers for,” he said, noting that he was hoping to see a more detailed set of blueprints that encompassed all aspects of Biscaro’s proposal.

Yacuzzo said that connecting East Avenue with South Avenue (one of the conditions of the project) would be a terrible mistake, leading to “a crush of traffic” as people would use it as a shortcut on weekdays to get to the Le Roy Central School and after football games.

“If there's a connection to East Avenue anywhere else, I think it should be to Asbury Road and that would not serve as a shortcut … That's the sort of plan that I’d like to run by our planning board.”

As he was leaving, The Batavian asked Biscaro if he would consider a revised plan or another location in the village.

“No, it’s done,” he said.

Photo: Le Roy Village Board members at tonight's meeting, from left, Richard Tetrault, Ray Yacuzzo (speaking), Mayor Greg Rogers, Bill Kettle and Jim Bonacquisti. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: Patio homes/building lots development project is back on the Le Roy Village Board's agenda for tonight

Previously: Developer offers to pay to extend East Avenue as Village of Le Roy residents continue to question housing project

Previously: East Avenue area residents defend their 'jewel' of a neighborhood at public hearing on Le Roy development

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August 18, 2021 - 11:48pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, village of le roy, Eric Biscaro, Clinton Crossings.

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One after another over the course of an hour and forty minute public hearing tonight, residents of East Avenue, Poplar Lane, Orchard Drive and South Street in the Village of Le Roy took the microphone – letting Batavia developer Eric Biscaro know how much they love their “jewel” of a neighborhood.

Biscaro, owner of Armor Building Supply, stood his ground, though, responding that his proposal to build 30 duplex units for tenants age 50 and over on a 20-acre parcel off East Avenue and open up eight single-family home building lots by extending the street would be a good thing for the community – creating more housing opportunities for older people and adding to the tax base.

The setting for the public hearing called by Village Mayor Greg Rogers was Memorial Auditorium at Trigon Park, where about 85 people – most of them from the area where Biscaro hopes to build – showed up either to voice their opinions or to hear what others had to say.

The project has been on the table for several months, with Biscaro proposing his Le Roy version of Batavia’s Clinton Crossings Adult Community to the Genesee County Planning Board in early April.

Since then, it has encountered considerable opposition, primarily from residents near the identified location who fear a substantial increase in traffic along East Avenue – as currently that is the only way to access the proposed development – and are concerned about stormwater runoff from the complex.

Village board members heard more of the same tonight, as well as impassioned pleas from longtime homeowners to put the complex somewhere in the Town of Le Roy as to not disturb their peaceful setting.

Maurice Turner of 24 East Ave., a transplanted Rochesterian who said he and his wife purchased the home about 21 years ago, may have summed up the neighborhood feeling the best when he addressed the crowd about two-thirds of the way through the public hearing.

“When I looked at this place, I said, ‘This is a jewel … this is sweet,’” he said. “One way in, one way out, and that particular day, I didn’t see a lot of traffic. But what I did see … is anybody that can’t see this must be a fool … I’m saying that because of the passion in my heart that I have for the area that I live in.”

Turner said he thinks the Biscaro project – which would need a zoning change from Residential to Planned Unit Development – would be best suited for the town, but if it had to be in the village, he suggested that village officials “think outside of the box” by putting in an access road from Asbury Road, and leave East Avenue and the surrounding streets as is.

Mayor Rogers opened the meeting by outlining the Village Board’s reasoning for considering the project, stating that the dwellings would generate needed tax money and fill the need for housing for seniors.

He said the village was committed to spending up to $1 million on improvements to East Avenue, citing a 1988 resolution that authorizes the village to fund projects that would enhance future growth.

Biscaro followed with a quick overview of the project, using a video of the set-up at Clinton Crossings and photos featuring trees and other buffering around the Le Roy parcel.

He said each lot of the senior development would measure 100- by 150-feet, and could be accessed by a main exit off East Avenue toward the center of the parcel and, in an emergency situation, from South Avenue onto East Avenue.

Twenty-four of the 30 one-floor units would measure 1,200 square feet plus a one-car garage and six of them would measure 1,450 square feet with a two-car garage.

He stressed that the development would not be visible from the south, north and west as long as the trees are there (which he promised to make sure they are retained), and about 40 percent of it could be seen from Asbury Road to the east.

Biscaro also spoke about the success of the Clinton Crossings complex, noting that residents there and those who live along the adjacent Stringham Drive co-exist without any issues.

Although Rogers set ground rules, asking for an orderly process to accommodate those who wished to speak, the public comment session began on an emotionally-charged note when Tom Condidorio, at a high decibel level, said that the proposal to put in a PUD “is not the future of our village.”

“If anybody here thinks it is, stand up and tell me please. Any LeRoyan in this village, (if) you think this belongs here, stand up and tell me!” he shouted.

He then contended that the Fussells, who own the land to be purchased by Biscaro, will be making a lot of money (a notion later challenged by E. Robert Fussell and his daughter, Anna Sorensen, who said they have been paying taxes on that land for many years).

Condidorio, an East Avenue resident, went on for a couple minutes, mentioning that he was “passionate” about the subject, before Rogers stepped in to keep the situation from escalating.

About 16 more people spoke after that (most, but not all against the project) before Rogers wrapped things up. He said the board would not be taking any action tonight, but would resume the public hearing at its Sept. 15 meeting.

“We want to give it proper thought and follow up ... and do our due diligence,” he said, advising that the board will provide more information about traffic patterns in the village and continue to obtain data about water runoff.

Previously, Biscaro said that he intends to ensure that no more water will run off of the property than what takes place now.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC HEARING

Updated: 8 a.m., 8/19

  • Rogers, on putting the development in the Town of Le Roy: "All of the building is going on in the town. The farmers don't want to lose that good, valuable farmland. And the biggest consideration ... of people is in the village." To which Condidorio replied, "Then, let's make those homes; let's make it residential (not rental)."
  • Biscaro, on the possibility of receiving tax incentives (from the Genesee County Economic Development Center): "I don't know yet. If we get one, it will be the first one in the county ... for residential building. And the reason is the 2018 housing study for Genesee County is begging for housing like this." To which Rogers replied, "We won't support a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) that comes out of ... the taxpayers' pockets."
  • Sorensen, on the need for senior housing: "People need housing. These are beautiful places. I heard originally that they were horrible ... so I went out and looked at them. I disagree."
  • Rene Robinson, Poplar Lane, on demographics in Le Roy: "(Per 2018 census) over 55 is the smallest growing population, the lowest population of LeRoyans that we have. So, to focus an entire development on over 55 and then state you are going to use taxpayer money because it's earmarked for future growth of residents is really not reasonable." Biscaro's response was that older people would be able to stay in Le Roy because of this type of housing, and by selling their homes, it would open up housing for younger people.
  • Barb Anchor Elliott, East Avenue, on safety pertaining to traffic: "The only access to getting into this development is going to be East Avenue ... you can park on the east side of East Avenue, and if you park on the east side, there really isn't room for two cars to get by. So, I can not see how construction vehicles and all of that can come down East Avenue and maintain the safety." Other speakers agreed with her assessment, adding that the traffic is already heavy in the morning when school is in session. She added that if the (Great Lakes) cheese factory doesn't go through on Route 19, north of the village, that would be a good place for the development.
  • Biscaro, on traffic flow at Clinton Crossings: "There's nowhere that traffic. Out of our 40 units, five have no vehicle, and only two units that have two vehicles. Even though that place is 55 and over, the average age is 75, 76 years old."
  • Jackie Whiting, on Village Board's responsibilities: "Whether I agree or disagree is neither here nor there. Their job is to investigate opportunities for the village, looking into all possibilities. They may say yes, they may say no ... whether I agree or disagree, I thank you guys for your time and effort ..."
  • Florence Condidorio, East Avenue, asked why professional environmental studies weren't done beforehand. Rogers replied that the flood plain and stormwater plan are the developer's responsibility, and the Village Board's responsibility is to review those plans (in this case utlizing Clark Patterson Lee engineering firm). Biscaro said he contracted with an engineer "and there will be less water now than is coming off currently."
  • Dwight Kanyuk, attorney representing Condidorios, on the need to have State Environmental Quality Review Assessments: "It's up to this board under SEQR whether there may be a significant adverse impact of their project on the environment." He said it doesn't appear that the correct procedures were followed in accordance with Type 1 SEQR regulations.
  • Ron Pangrazio, East Avenue, on water problems that prohibited further development of that street: "(After investigation), they told us, 'We're not giving you any state aid to put in those streets -- it's too much money; it's too wet. They turned it down, and we went someplace else."  He said water problem needs to be corrected, and the development "is putting the cart before the horse."
  • E. Robert Fussell, property owner, in response to Pangrazio: Stating that the homes on East Avenue were developed by his father, he said, "That (water) is not the reason (more homes weren't built). The reason is the village refused, and this was decades ago, a lift station to that my father could make any money at all developing land past Pangrazio's and Condidorio's houses on East Avenue." He said he believes people should be able to live in the village, and the Biscaro proposal presents an opportunity for older people to do that. 

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Photo at top: Maurice Turner presents his views about the proposed housing development off East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy. Behind him is Eric Biscaro. Photo at bottom: Twenty acre parcel that Biscaro is hoping to develop. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: Rogers: Housing project in the Village of Le Roy hinges on science-based stormwater retention plan

Previously: Developer, mayor address criticism; stage is set for May 19 public hearing on Le Roy senior housing development

July 2, 2021 - 4:04pm

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Village of Le Roy leaders bid farewell to their longtime “go-to person” in grand fashion this afternoon with a surprise gathering of about 75 family, friends, colleagues and civic leaders at the Village Hall, followed by a police-led parade down Main Street to a reception featuring an appearance by Sen. Edward Rath at the Le Roy Country Club restaurant.

Coordinated by Village Mayor Greg Rogers with help from staff and volunteers, the community celebrated the career of Sharon Jeary, who worked for the village for 44 years, including the last 19 as clerk-treasurer.

Jeary, a Le Roy native (maiden name: O’Geen) and Notre Dame High School graduate, walked out of the front door of the office building shortly after noon and was greeted by Rogers, who showed her the Rose of Sharon tree that has been planted in her honor.

As she turned the corner toward the parking lot, that’s where she encountered a long line of well-wishers applauding loudly and ready to show their appreciation. As would be expected, her reaction was one of astonishment.

“I’m absolutely flabbergasted and so humbled by how wonderful everybody is. I love my village,” she said.

Jeary’s first day on the job – as an office assistant – was Nov. 28, 1977. She advanced to full time two years later and became the clerk-treasurer in 2002, following a 15-year stint as deputy village clerk.

After Jeary accepted hugs from everyone, the Rev. Jack Hempfling of Living Waters Church led a group prayer of blessing. Then everybody got into their cars and followed Police Chief Greg Kellogg's vehicle, other patrol cars, and fire department and emergency vehicles – with sirens and lights engaged -- to Le Roy Country Club for part two of the tribute.

It was there that Rath, representing the 61st Senate District, congratulated Jeary and presented her with a proclamation from the New York State Senate.

“In 1977, a gallon of gas was 62 cents and a gallon of milk was 13 cents,” Rath said. “So, ladies and gentlemen, a lot has changed since 1977 -- but not the commitment and the resolve and the hard work that Sharon Jeary had for the people of this wonderful community.”

Rath, reading from the proclamation, said that Jeary “rendered faithful and conscientious and valuable service to the community.”

“During her tenure as clerk-treasurer, Sharon earned the esteem and affection of her colleagues. She has demonstrated outstanding service and leadership in her beloved community. Throughout the years, she has had the love and support of her husband, David, and her two children, David and Mark.”

Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, a Le Roy resident, said Jeary made quite an impact “as evidenced today here by your friends, your family and your coworkers who have come to understand your commitment, your conscientious care of every single member of the boards that you’ve served, and more importantly, your community.”

She then presented Jeary with proclamations from Assemblyman Steven Hawley and the count legislature.

Then, jokingly, she added: “We will miss the work that you do, lovingly, on behalf of all of us, and wish you the absolute best in your retirement – and don’t stay home every day with David.”

Village Historian Lynne Belluscio used the occasion to have some fun with Jeary, bringing gifts from Historic Le Roy House, home of the Jell-O Gallery and Museum Shop.

After extending an invitation for Jeary to volunteer at the gallery – teaching visitors how to correctly pronounce Le Roy (leh-roy), she gave her boxes of the four original Jell-O flavors (strawberry, orange, lemon and raspberry), a T-shirt, license plate holders proclaiming, “Le Roy, NY – Birthplace of Jell-O” and two lemonade cans attached by a string.

“It’s always, 'call Sharon,' ” Belluscio said. “You got a question? 'Call Sharon.' 'I need a permit.' 'Call Sharon.' 'She’s at lunch; when can I get a hold of her?' 'Call Sharon.' So, I’m kind of concerned that you’re not up there … So, you and I are going to stay in contact …”

LeRoyan Kay “Pudge” Steen, clerk-treasurer prior to Jeary taking that position, related that in Jeary “I not only had a coworker, I had one of the best friends I have ever had.”

“I wish you nothing but lots of happiness and good health, and I love you.”

Rogers then presented Jeary with the “Key to the Village” plaque, and afforded the guest of honor a chance to address her fans before inviting everyone to the privately funded hors d’oeuvres and refreshments under a big tent.

“I couldn’t have done my job without the support of my family and my friends. Everybody was always there for me and I really appreciate it,” she said. "We have a wonderful village. I love my village; I truly do. Thank you all so much for coming.”

“To my mayors and boards of trustees, you we’re all great and I enjoyed working with them all. It never seemed like a job to me. I always enjoyed what I did. It has been great over these years.”

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Photos at top: Sharon Jeary and Greg Rogers standing next to the Rose of Sharon tree that was planted in her honor; a sign at Le Roy Country Club restaurant recognizing Jeary's career. Photos at bottom: Rev. Jack Hempfling offering a prayer of blessing upon Jeary's retirement; Police Chief Greg Kellogg leads the parade to the golf course restaurant; Sen. Edward Rath presents a proclamation to the longtime village clerk-treasurer; Jeary holds the "Key to the Village" as Rogers looks on. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

May 4, 2021 - 12:09pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Clinton Crossings, Eric Biscaro, village of le roy.

The Batavia businessman and Le Roy municipal leader at the forefront of a proposed 60-unit senior residential complex off East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy on Monday afternoon responded to objections about the project -- calling the development a quality, well-thought-out venture that will benefit tenants and the community at large.

Eric Biscaro, owner of Armor Building Supply in Batavia and several other construction material-related companies in and around Western New York, and Le Roy Village Mayor Greg Rogers returned phone calls from The Batavian after the posting of a story reporting concerns from LeRoyans Tom Frew and Jim Gomborone.

Biscaro is looking to construct 30 duplex patio home rentals on a 20-acre parcel that runs east of East Avenue. The plan also calls for the development and sale of eight single-family home building lots along an extension of that street.

Frew, a member of the Le Roy Town/Village Planning Board, said he was against the idea for several reasons, primarily that the duplex units are not compatible with homes in the East Avenue, Orchard Drive and Poplar Lane (where Frew lives) area; that there would be a significant increase in traffic; and that it would cost the village considerably to extend infrastructure on East Avenue to accommodate Biscaro.

Gomborone said he is worried about water running off the development into a stream and possibly flooding his Mercy Grove and Le Roy Country Club properties on East Main Street.

Noting that he read the story with their objections, Biscaro said he wanted to set the record straight about the project, which he said will likely be a $9 million to $10 million investment.

On the zoning issue:

“One question that came up is that we’re going to change an R-1 (Residential) District to a Planned Unit Development area. We won’t change anybody’s zoning, including the eight lots that are proposed on the front of this. Those eight lots will be an R-1 District. The only thing that requires a PUD is my senior housing proposal for the 20 acres there.

On extending East Avenue and connecting to South Avenue:

“The planning board’s concerns were that nobody wants to put in dead ends anymore or cul-de-sacs because people get trapped in there if something major happens down the street. What we will do – because we want the project to go through, and yes, we will be putting more people there – is to let me recondition that South Avenue road that’s there. It’s 18-feet wide and there’s a base in there right now. You could drive down in with a pickup truck right now.”

Biscaro said he met with Le Roy highway and fire officials and went over a plan where he would clear trees and brush, and would lay crushed stone over it to make it passable.

“I’m not going to pave it – I’m not a road builder – but I will make it very nicely passable for a fire lane that’s emergency use only, so no one is ever trapped there. We’ll have a great fire exit for all of East Avenue and those two side streets (Poplar Lane and Orchard Drive). I would think the residents would look at this as a nice addition, and hopefully, they’ll never need it, but if they do, it will be there.”

On the building lots:

“There will be eight new lots for sale for single-family homes. The village is looking for more places for younger people to buy, and this gives them eight more lots to do that. I would presume that those houses, when they do build, will be the highest assessed properties in the neighborhood. I don’t see them lower than the houses currently in the R-1 District, which are nice houses but they were built in the 1960s and ‘70s.”

He said the new houses and rental units must pass current building and energy codes.

“They are great buildings that we have built. If you look at Clinton Crossings in Batavia (a similar project that he put up about 15 years ago) the quality is fabulous. We use radiant floor heating instead of forced air. That will cost me 2 ½ times (more) than what it would cost if we put in forced air heat and air conditioning – and it’s way more efficient and way more comfortable. That’s why seniors love to stay in my place.”

On the possibility of decreased property values:

“If you go down Stringham Drive and Violet Lane (in Batavia, next to Clinton Crossings), homeowners there had the same concerns. We did a study on what my project did to them and the assessments over the 10 years that we were there went up 15 to 18 percent. Nobody got hurt. You can talk to anybody who backs up to us and they’ll all say that we are wonderful neighbors and nobody got hurt one bit.”

On increased traffic in the area:

“At Clinton Crossings, we have 40 units. Five of the residents don’t drive and only three have more than one car and more than one driver in the home. I don’t even have an average of one driver and vehicle per house, and they may go out only twice or three times a week.”

On flooding of Le Roy Country Club:

“I cannot go in there and have any more water leave that property when I’m done that leaves it right now. I have to submit a plan to the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) and they have to approve per their stormwater retention requirements. Once we get the topography, we will be able to design this plan and get the DEC to approve it. We certainly will (have) way less leaving there but whether it will be zero or not, I can’t say at this point. I have no question that we will develop a fine stormwater plan and leave it way better than it is right now.”

On the cost to the village:

“Mr. Frew is under the impression that the village is going to put in all of the water, sewer, gas and electric in there for me. I wish that was true. Down that street, anywhere that has anything to do with the street or my project, I put the water and sewer in. On the street, itself, when I get done with it and they inspect it and it’s all done to code, I give to the village – it’s theirs. But I put it in at my expense.”

Biscaro said the village is going to start with infrastructure work extending about 500 feet, taking in the first four building lots and the entrance to the development.

“I’m doing building lots for the first time because that’s what the village is looking for, but I don’t think they’ll be that profitable. The village never developed that street because it needs a sewer pump station with a backup generator in there, which is a very expensive item (probably around $60,000 to $80,000). But by putting those eight lots in and my 60 units, now we can afford it.”

In closing, Biscaro said the vast majority of rental units will be 1,200 square feet with one and a half bathrooms and an attached garage.

“For this one, I’m going to put in a couple that are a little bigger and have a two-car garage. People have asked me to do that. And I, myself, would like one of those and I’ll probably end up living there when this project is done.”

MAYOR: NOT DONE ON A WHIM

Le Roy Mayor Rogers said the village has done its due diligence and has a plan that will save money and, ultimately, expand the village’s tax base.

“We are not hiding the fact that we are investing in this road in an attempt to broaden our tax base,” Rogers said. “It’s a dedicated village street – an extension of East Avenue around to South Avenue over to South Street. We’re not going down South Avenue at this time – that will be for somebody else. We plan on blocking it off for emergency access only.”

Rogers said the village will get help from the Town of Le Roy and Genesee County on the road, and has reached out to the Genesee County Economic Development Center to see if it could assist.

“This wasn’t something that was done on a whim. We plan on doing the work ourselves and using CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) money that we have set aside for a project like this – which is over $600,000. The developer is going to take care of all the infrastructure under the ground,” he explained.

“If we were to go to the end of the street and put it out for bid, Clark Patterson Lee (engineering firm) said it would be roughly $1.8 million to do it. This is our plan to get started with our own stuff to see how far we can go. We don’t plan on borrowing any money. Yes, we are going to spend resources that we have set aside for roads; that part is true.”

PROMOTING THE BUILDING LOTS

Rogers said he doesn’t see “consistency with the neighborhood” as an issue and is convinced that the project is a good investment for the village.

“The closest that the development is going to be is 100 from the back property line of any resident. It’s going to be the same thing that is on Route 33 in Batavia – Clinton Crossings,” he said. “And the building lots are what we’re really looking to promote; getting some new, single-family homes in that thing, along the street (east side of East Avenue).”

The mayor said it likely would take 10 years for the village to get a return on its investment, but looked beyond that to the increase in the village’s assessed value that would be applied against the school tax rate.

“This is something I thought needed to be done when I started in office,” Rogers added. “In a perfect world, let’s get it started; get down the street and have the developer come in and do South Avenue. The building lots over there would be absolutely gorgeous.

“Honestly, I’ve got three years left in office and I could have sat back and made my life easy and not done a thing. But I didn’t think it was the right thing to do.”

A public hearing on the project is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 19 at the Le Roy Village Hall at 3 W. Main St.

May 3, 2021 - 11:54am

frew_on_lot_1.jpg

As a member of the Town/Village of Le Roy Planning Board, Tom Frew supports the development of new housing throughout the municipality – as long as he sees the project as a good fit with the surrounding neighborhood.

When looking at a venture proposed by Batavia developer Eric Biscaro to construct 30 duplex patio home rentals for seniors on a 20-acre parcel east of East Avenue in the village, however, Frew said that he has some concerns.

“I am not against development back there, as long as they were a continuation of residences like the rest of this neighborhood,” Frew said on Saturday as he took this reporter on a tour of the area. Frew’s home on Poplar Lane is located about 500 feet north of the development site.

Frew said that others living on Poplar Lane, East Avenue and Orchard Drive agree with him, prompting him to distribute a flyer to all residents of those streets to attend a public hearing on the matter at 7 p.m. May 19 at the Village of Le Roy Hall at 3 W. Main St.

Biscaro recently said that the project would be larger than his Clinton Crossings Adult Community on Clinton Street in the Town of Batavia. The Le Roy plan also includes blocking out eight building lots along the west perimeter of the site to be made available for purchase.

In order to make this happen, the area would have to be rezoned from Residential to Planned Unit Development, action that already has been recommended for approval (with modifications) by the Genesee County Planning Board.

Frew believes that a senior housing complex near an upper-end residential neighborhood is comparing apples to oranges.

“The south end of East Avenue intersects with Poplar Lane, and then Poplar Lane intersects with Orchard Drive, and the homes on these streets are valued in the $150,000 to $250,000 range – they’re all in the same ballpark,” Frew said. “So, now we’re taking property that is zoned Residential and asking to zone it as a PUD.

“If somebody was coming in here and wanted to put a development in – let’s say 15 houses of a couple hundred thousand dollars each, I wouldn’t have an issue. But I have an issue with the effect could be on the value of my home and the additional traffic. There’s only one outlet now, although I know that the county said they’d like to see the development of South Avenue.”

Frew, who said he was the lone dissenter at a recent planning board meeting, advised that South Avenue would be a new street that would run to South Street.

“Their plan is, and this is from the mayor (Greg Rogers) himself, is for the time being, they will gravel it and put a chain link fence up, which the emergency services people will have a key to,” Frew said.

The Batavian reached out to Rogers and Biscaro for comment.

Frew also said he is uneasy about the additional traffic created by the development – predicting an increase of 70 to 100 more vehicles “in a quiet, residential area” with the only access to Route 5 via East Avenue.

He also said he believes the village is endorsing the project and is committed to installing the necessary infrastructure.

“There is 800 feet of new road, new storm sewers, new sanitary sewers, new water, new gas, all those utilities,” Frew said. “The village is committed to run down the length of East Avenue to give Eric access – and Eric will take care of backing his development – but Eric has got no skin in the game regarding the cost.”

Frew estimates the cost of those utilities plus curbing would be around $700,000.

“I’m looking at 30 buildings at let’s say $200,000 each,” he said. “They’re not fancy. The revenue that they would generate from those buildings versus the cost of that infrastructure will blow your mind. It would be an eigh-t to 10-year payback to get even, and I don’t see that as a good investment of my tax dollars.”

Contacted this morning, Le Roy entrepreneur Jim Gomborone said his “main concern” is the potential for flooding on his Mercy Grove and Le Roy Country Club properties along East Main Street from a stream that flows through the area.

“When they had a four-acre school up there, I got extremely flooded. We couldn’t handle three inches of rain. So, you saw the impact with just four acres,” he said. “Twenty acres, with roads and houses and all that other stuff, probably 70 percent of it will be buildings and roads. I’ve got a strong suspicion that I’m not going to be able to handle the water from it.”

Gomborone also said the village’s decision to fund the infrastructure is a disservice to taxpayers.

“Why are we spending village taxpayers’ money for a guy that who’s in business for himself, running rental units? He’s going to have 60 rental units back there,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, there’s going to be a substantial amount of rent from that thing, and I don’t think the taxpayers should pay someone in private enterprise for infrastructure. I wouldn’t ask them to pave my driveway.”

Previous: Biscaro proposes Clinton Crossings-type adult community for East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy.

east_avenue_le_roy_1.jpg

Photo at top: Poplar Lane resident Tom Frew holds site plan as he stands on the north end of a 20-acre parcel proposed for a senior housing project off East Avenue in the Village of Le Roy. Photo at bottom: The end of East Avenue that would be expanded and paved to create a new street to connect to South Street. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

March 20, 2020 - 5:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in State of Emergency, village of le roy, news.

Public Notice

Greg Rogers, Village of Le Roy mayor, declared a State of Emergency at on March 19, 2020 and issued an Emergency Order effective March 19, 2020 beginning at 1 p.m.

Village of Le Roy Office and DPW Garage are closed to the public effective March 19, 2020 for fivedays unless rescinded earlier or renewed in five-day increments.

The Village will conduct business with the public remotely through the use of phones, computers, mail, or other means.

Sewer bills will be received by mail, and may be dropped off in the drop box located on the west side of Village Hall. They will be processed during regular business hours. You may email the Clerk-Treasurer to inquire about other services.

Village Clerk-Treasurer:  [email protected]

Phone number (585)768-2527, ext. 2216

March 17, 2020 - 11:38am
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news, village of le roy, election.

Public Notice

Village of Le Roy -- Postponement of Election

In an effort to keep New Yorkers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today (March 17) issued an executive order delaying Village Elections statewide until April 28th.

Therefore, the Village of Le Roy Election has been postponed from March 18, 2020 to April 28, 2020.

October 14, 2011 - 5:41pm

I would have to say that I was a little late joining the bandwagon of getting the pool back open.  But as they say better late than never.  I would first like to thank Mr. Spadaro and Mr. McGinnis for faithfully going to the meetings and being persistent  for getting them to listen to the offer.  They have acquired funding from private donors and been hard at work to keep this topic alive.  In this process the Village of LeRoy has officially rescinded the vote of the pool to close.  This leaves it not officially closed, but not open yet.  

They have worked very closely with both boards of Village and Town of LeRoy.  They started a Pool Committee.  They have had the Health Dept. out there to do a walk through inspection that was a bearer of great news.  The pool did not need many of those repairs to reopen.  In fact most things were cosmetic. Nothing a little time and elbow grease from volunteers could not fix.  Not saying other issues may not arise in the future.  

The funding that was acquired from private donors can be put in an account by the Town as a separate line item to be used as needed.  They also can add to that with any other donations that people collect or raise to be used for the upkeep and maintenance to help offset costs to the taxpayers.  

The Town Council is working on an agreement with the Village to lease the pool for a 5 year term. The Town will run the Summer Pool program just as it always has in the past.  Ideas for ways to work with other communities to bring kids in and different things were addressed in discussions.  They were going to weigh all options as to how to get pool up and running for next Summer.  They may have to start with just open pool hours and add the lessons back later on.  They want to get it back at the least cost to taxpayers.  

The Village had put an offer out to a non-existent group to purchase the pool for $1 and lease the land.  They voted on an option to a group that did not exist. They offered to still contribute the $11,000 they always had.  

As of last night at the Town meeting, the Town was going to work with Reed Whiting to tweak the details of an agreement that will make all happy.

Things are looking up for our Pool.  The kids in this Town and Village will have a safe place to swim and we will not have to worry about drownings or injuries from the creek.  

In a time when industry, jobs, and the future of LeRoy are all in question, there is vision.  Vision of what we have here, what can be, and the first steps to revitalizing Le Roy to the great community we are.  Here's to good things to come. 

Hopefully our Town and Village complete this agreement with out anymore detours in the road.  Next Village meeting is October 26th at 7pm.  Please come in support of the pool.  The kids of this community need it.

June 21, 2011 - 10:45pm

Here’s a brief update on the village pool in Le Roy.

This item is on the agenda for tomorrow night’s regular village board meeting at 7 p.m. at the village hall! A community proposal will be outlined that includes generous donations of time, labor and money to get the pool up to code and open. Currently, these generous community members are willing to get it open, but have put the responsibility back on the village and town to continue to run it together as they were before.

I would like to encourage you to please attend tomorrow night’s meeting to hear this proposal and decide for yourself if you are in support of this. It is no secret that I am in support of opening it and running it, but the village board needs to hear from you -- the taxpayers and consumers of the village and town (the village maintains it, but the town participates).

Until the pool is filled in, it is not too late to save it, if that is what the people of Le Roy want. Please attend the meeting tomorrow night.

Thank you.

Jennifer Keys

April 14, 2011 - 11:14am
posted by Brittany Baker in budget, village of le roy, tax rate.

The Village of Le Roy managed to cut taxes with the budget the board approved unanimously Wednesday evening.

Mayor George Brady said the village is benefiting from higher PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) revenue kicking in, which enabled the village to cut the tax rate for property owners.

Among the businesses covered by PILOT that are seeing their payments increase are Le Roy Village Green and Lapp Insulator.

The approved tax rate went from $10.87 to $10.59 per $1,000 of assessed value -- a decrease of 28 cents. If a village resident owns a house assessed at $80,000, his or her taxes will decrease by $22.40.

The village tax levy from all sources was about $20,000. The approved budget totals $1,670,620.

As far as major changes from last year, equipment expenses for the police department increased by about $32,000.

Residents questioned an increase of about $25,000 earmarked for police department overtime and Brady explained that officers were asked to help as crossing guards for schoolchildren.

Generally, residents seemed pleased with the new budget.

One man said, “You’ve done a great job I think...for what you’ve got to work with.”

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