Regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Clarence was held Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at the Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, New York.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock called the meeting to order at 7:45 P.M. Councilman Bernard Kolber led in the pledge to the flag, followed by a prayer given by Deacon Bob Bauer of St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church.
Members of the Town Board present were Councilmembers Bernard Kolber, Patrick Casilio, Joseph Weiss, Scott Bylewski and Supervisor Kathleen Hallock. Other Town officials present were Deputy Supervisor Anne Case, Director of Community Development James Callahan, Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Town Engineer Joseph Latona, Building Inspector David Metzger and Planning Board Chairman Patricia Powers.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to accept the minutes of the previous meeting held February 22, 2006. On the question, Councilman Bylewski said he had a number of clarifications: page 75 in regard to James Hartz’ comment about an Expanded Part III Environmental Review was done. There was a complete EIF…, should be EAF. Page 79 – Alice Kryzon our legal council, should be Kryzan our legal counsel; Page 76 – We have a city loosing population …, should be losing; pg. 81 – talking about Federal wetlands, about how much is accepted out, should be excepted, to make sure it is clear when dealing with the wetlands because that is going to become an issue when we are dealing with subdivisions. Supervisor Hallock said on page 76, a comment she received was to consider four-plex units. Councilman Bylewski said he would like to thank the Town Clerk’s office for putting this together and considering they have been under a lot of pressure with the referendum, minutes and long meetings that we have been having. Supervisor Hallock added and the tax collection. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to adopt the following resolution Designating Election Inspectors for the Special Election:
Be it resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Clarence, Erie County, New York that the following persons whose names are included on the list of election inspectors and ballot clerks previously designated for general election purposes, pursuant to the Election Law, are hereby appointed to act as Election Inspectors and Ballot Clerks at the Special Election of the qualified voters of the proposed Clarence Refuse and Garbage District in the Town of Clarence, County of Erie, New York on Tuesday, March 28, 2006, to perform all duties and undertakings in relation thereto, as prescribed by the Town Law and the Election Law: Betty Earhart, Debra Fine, Daniel Gamin, John Mergler, Patricia Gamin , Arthur Pohlman, Janice Hartwig and Frank Sausner.
Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adopt the following proclamation in honor of Municipal Clerk’s Week:
WHEREAS, the Office of the Municipal Clerk, a time honored and vital part of the local government exists throughout the world,
WHEREAS, the Office of the Municipal Clerk is the oldest among public servants, and
WHEREAS, the Office of the Municipal Clerk provides the professional link between the citizens, the local governing bodies and agencies of government at other levels, and
WHEREAS, Municipal Clerks have pledged to be ever mindful of their neutrality and impartiality, rendering equal service to all.
WHEREAS, the Municipal Clerk is the information center on functions of local government and community.
WHEREAS, Municipal Clerks continually strive to improve the administration of the affairs of the Office of the Municipal Clerk through participation in education programs, seminars, workshops and the annual meetings of their state, province, county and international professional organizations.
WHEREAS, it is most appropriate that we recognize the accomplishments of the Office of the Municipal Clerk.
NOW THEREFORE, Kathleen E. Hallock, Supervisor of the Town of Clarence, recognizes the week of April 30 through May 6, 2006 as Municipal Clerks Week, and further extends appreciation to our Municipal Clerk, Nancy Metzger, and to all Municipal Clerks for the vital services they perform and their exemplary dedication to the communities they represent.
Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to award the bid for the Construction Project Accessibility and Parking for the Genealogy Museum to Construction and Service Solutions Corp. of Akron, New York at their bid of $15,935, pending receipt of bonds, insurance and an agreement. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to approve the request for the Annual Brian Rybarczyk 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, August 19, 2006. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said all appropriate agencies will be advised. The event will benefit the Brian Rybarczyk Memorial Research Fund in partnership with the Sarcoma Foundation of America. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Supervisor Hallock said it is their practice to announce any actions that took place at work sessions. The following motions were passed at the March 16, 2006 Work Session:
A motion to declare a 1993 John Deere high lift as surplus equipment in the Highway Department.
A motion was passed to establish a unit rate of $160 for the proposed Refuse District for one, two or three unit residences within the Town and a rate of $2.56 for all other parcels. On the question, the unit rate of $160 includes the $2.56. These amounts are for the 2007 calendar year subject to the passage of the Refuse District referendum.
A motion was passed to authorize the mailing of an informational postcard to all parcels in the Town regarding the Refuse Referendum and formation of a Refuse District. On the question, the mailing must be limited to factual information.
Supervisor Hallock announced The Great American Clean Up 2006 Program to be held May 6, 2006. If any organization would like to volunteer, she has information with a contact in Buffalo. There are a number of proposed projects including litter removal, graffiti removal, recyclables collection, clothing collection and beautification, community improvement. This information will also be available on our website.
Councilman Bylewski announced that there are vacancies on the following committees: Historic Preservation Committee, Municipal Review Committee/Town Environmental Quality Review Committee. If anyone is interested, they should submit an application to the Supervisor’s office as soon as possible.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss that upon recommendation by the Municipal Review Committee and pursuant to Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law, a Negative Declaration is issued on the proposed demolition at 8710 Clarence Center Road. This Type I Action involves the demolition of an existing residential structure over 50 years old. After thorough review of the submitted application and Environmental Assessment Form, it is determined that the proposed action will not have a significant adverse impact upon the historic character of the property and will not have a significant impact upon the environment. On the question, Councilman Bylewski asked if there were any further comments from the MRC regarding this project. James Callahan said that sums it up. Councilman Kolber said this house has been abandoned for years and is in derelict condition. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Kolber that upon recommendation by the Municipal Review Committee, and pursuant to Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law, the Town Board seeks Lead Agency status and will commence a coordinated review among involved agencies for the proposed Amendments to the Town of Clarence Master Plan 2015 related to a reduction in the residential building cap. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss that upon recommendation by Director of Community Development James Callahan, Courtney Creenan be appointed to the position of Intern in the Planning and Zoning Office at the budgeted rate of pay. Courtney is a student at the University at Buffalo in the Urban Planning Department. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss to accept, with regret, the resignation of Joan Petrella from the Youth Advisory Council due to other commitments. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Councilman Bylewski said this now leaves a vacancy on the Youth Advisory Council for anyone interested, please apply at the Supervisor’s office.
Supervisor Hallock added that applications can be downloaded from the Town website.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber to set a Bid Date of April 6, 2006 at 10:00 A.M. for the purchase of salters and plow equipment to outfit two new plow trucks for the Highway Department. Bid documents are available at the Highway Department and the Town Clerk’s office. On the question, Councilman Weiss said this is part of the truck replacement program. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to adopt the following resolution:
Resolved, that the Clarence Town Board, pursuant to the New York State Information Security Breach and Notification Act and State Technology Law §208, hereby adopts a Local Cyber Security Citizens’ Notification Policy, a copy of which is on file in the office of the Town Clerk. This policy may be amended by the Town board from time to time by resolution.
On the question, Councilman Weiss said this is to meet our legal constraints regarding security.
Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber to authorize the Supervisor to sign a temporary easement with Erie County Water Authority to relocate the main water main and remove the meter pit as part of any upcoming highway reconstruction project on Greiner Road. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber to appoint James Delellis as a member of the Clarence Conservation Advisory Council with term to expire 12/31/08. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Councilman Weiss announced that we have received $3,250 in donations for Day in the Park. Chuck Eckert is doing a bang up job putting this together. Anyone interested in donating or joining the effort should contact him.
Councilman Kolber announced that applications for the Library Board will be accepted through March 24, 2006 for anyone interested.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Casilio to authorize the Supervisor to sign the License Agreement between the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) at a fee not to exceed $280 for 2006. On the question, Councilman Kolber said this is for a licensing agreement for any music that is used on Town property. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Councilman Kolber announced that the Annual Resident’s Forum will be held on Monday, April 24, 2006 at 7:00 P.M. in the Town Hall Auditorium. He has held these forums since taking office to give people the opportunity to speak about whatever they would like.
Councilman Kolber said there is a dinner being donated by the Asa Ransom House to benefit the Arboretum. The cost is $60 per person on March 30th. We thank them for doing this, with all proceeds minus gratuity going for a great cause.
Councilman Kolber said he read the Amherst Bee today regarding rezoning that he believes Clarence has had the foresight to plan for. These things are coming back to bite them. Our Planning Department has worked hard in putting the Master Plan and the Zoning Law together to preserve and protect the character of our Town.
Councilman Casilio said there is an opening on the Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors and two openings on the Traffic Safety Board.
Motion by Councilman Casilio, seconded by Supervisor Hallock to accept, with regret, the resignation of Krista Swann as a member of the Traffic Safety Board. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Councilman Casilio said the informational meeting regarding the proposed Refuse District was held on Monday night. He is pleased how the meeting went. The information was presented and the public was given the opportunity to voice their concerns.
Councilman Casilio said he received an e-mail from a resident who attended the meeting and found it helpful. They applaud the efforts.
He received another e-mail from a resident who expressed appreciation for the committee’s effort. He was skeptical, but after attending the meeting felt it was in the best interest of the Town. No one seemed to take note that Waste Management and others spent a lot of money on a campaign effort against the referendum.
Councilman Casilio announced that the referendum is Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at the Town Hall from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. He urges everyone to come out and vote.
Supervisor Hallock thanked the Recycling Committee for all they put into this. There were 17 drafts of the bid document.
David Folger, Assessor introduced Cindy Baire, Vice President of GAR Appraisal who helped him with the annual assessments. Mr. Folger said this year they have sent out increases for 3,000 to 3,500 parcels based on sales for the last 18 months. This year they also sent out 9,000 inventory letters and received back around 7,000. The assessment information is available in his office, at the library and on our website www.clarence.ny.us. We also received our seventh check for maintaining 100% values in the amount of $58,800.
Cindy Baire said from 2000 to 2006 there has been close to $500 million in just equalization changes and close to $400 million in physical changes. The Town has received the Excellence in Equity Award for seven years from the State of New York.
There were 13 neighborhoods re-appraised this year based on significant market changes over the last 18 months. Properties are appreciating at different levels throughout the Town. Some ask why everyone does not increase at a certain percentage, but that would not be fair when you look at the neighborhoods individually.
Councilman Bylewski said it looks like we had a large change in the Meadowlakes area, but not in the property surrounding it. David Folger said they do not go into a neighborhood unless they have a significant number of sales. It depends on the market activity.
Cindy Baire said they started to notice changes in building styles throughout the Town. The common goal is that everybody is paying their fair share of the property tax burden. If nothing was done, some people would be paying much more. It is extremely important to stay on top of the changes.
Supervisor Hallock said in the Clarence Bee today, the school budget is going up 10% and the rate is going up 5%.
David Folger said they are going to raise the rate by 85¢. He does not know what number they used for new value. Last year they received around $200 million in new value. This year it should be around $130 million to $150 million. Mr. Folger said budgets are the key.
Councilman Weiss asked why do residents get so upset when the Town was trying to save them money with the garbage and nobody goes crazy at the school when they raise it up this high. Councilman Casilio added it is a $61 million budget and no one gets out to vote.
David Folger said last year the school budget passed by only 200+ votes. He has a problem with who is allowed to vote. Councilman Casilio said he agrees. Anyone 18 can vote on the school budget and we get critiqued on who can and cannot vote. He said when he was in Clarence Center, the people were complaining that their assessments went up 50% in one year. He asked if there is something we can do so that the impact is not so great all at once. Houses in Spaulding Lake went up $200,000 in one year.
David Folger said his job is to maintain a 100% equitable rate. Sales are the most equitable way to do that.
Councilman Bylewski said he finds it interesting in the building styles that mansions went up 13% and manufactured housing went up 15%.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded Supervisor Hallock to table the request by Bruce Bonhoff for a Demolition Permit for a structure older than 50 years at 5955 Thompson Road until the end of the meeting to see if the applicant arrives. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Walgreens requests Development Plan and Architectural Approval for a 14,900 sq. ft. drug store at 6785 Transit Road. James Callahan said the location is at the corner of Transit and County consisting of approximately 3.3 acres in the Traditional Neighborhood District. A Special Exception Use Permit was issued 8/20/05 for the drive thru window. All necessary department and regulatory agency approvals are in order.
Sean Hopkins, attorney representing the project sponsor said they received Landscape Committee approval with 55% of the site remaining as permanent green space. One of the key issues was to be compatible with the neighborhood. They worked with the homeowner to the east of the site and came to an agreement with fencing and landscaping. Mr. Hopkins said they modeled the structure from the Swormville Fire Hall.
Councilman Bylewski asked where they are proposing to place the sign. Mr. Hopkins said they were proposing a decorative sign near the intersection. The requirements of the TND are 40 ft. setbacks from Transit and 40 ft. back from County. Today they propose a pole sign to the north of the site. Mr. Hunt was thinking about a ground level masonry sign. Mr. Hopkins said with the brick walls along the roads, there may be an opportunity to blend it into the wall.
Supervisor Hallock said there was also mention of a deed restriction. Mr. Hopkins said they agreed to a deed restriction that there would not be further development on the site to the north. He will forward a draft to the Town Attorney for his review.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to grant Development Plan and Architectural Approval for a 14,900 sq. ft. drug store at 6785 Transit Road, subject to approval by the Town Engineer and Town Attorney, Commercial Open Space Fee and filing of the deed restriction. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Lexington Woods Subdivision requests Road Dedication within Phase 3 for Hearthstone Lane to accommodate three additional Residential lots. James Callahan said the location is north of County Road consisting of approximately 6 acres zoned Agricultural Rural Residential.
Bernie Kieffer said he has received approval from the Town Engineer and Erie County Water Authority. He will be forwarding the necessary outstanding documents to the Town Attorney.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Casilio to adopt the following resolution:
Resolved, that the Clarence Town Board grants to the applicant, B & J Properties, Inc. final approval for the last phase of the Lexington Woods Subdivision (Phase 3, Part 3) and the dedication of approximately 500’ of Hearthstone Lane to accommodate three additional residential lots subject to the following conditions: 1. No building permits to be issued until all the appropriate documents necessary to convey said roads to the Town of Clarence are received, reviewed and approved by the Town Attorney and upon such approval, the Town Attorney must receive proof of the filing of the road deeds. 2. Recreation and Open Space Fees. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Mr. Kieffer said he has been building and developing here for about 50 years and this is his last project. He thanked the Town for their help and being so good to work with over the years. It has been an honor to be here and work with the Town.
Properties Unlimited requests a Minor Subdivision Approval to create two residential building lots at 8255 Clarence Center Road. James Callahan said the location is on the south side of Clarence Center Road across from Gott Creek Trail consisting of approximately 5.8 acres zoned Residential Single Family.
Glenn Cooley representing the applicant was present. The rear of the property has wetlands that have been delineated.
Councilman Kolber said there has been discussion regarding the mature trees that exist on the site and they suggest that as many are preserved as possible, which would add to some buffering for the neighbors.
Councilman Bylewski said there is also the issue of a neighboring farm. We do have Right-to-Farm legislation in place. There may be a need for the applicants to go before the Right-to-Farm Committee to work out buffering issues.
James Callahan said the project might also require a setback variance from Clarence Center Road.
Councilman Kolber said the piece being carved out will not be useful. Mr. Cooley said that piece will be conveyed to the owner of the restaurant.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss that pursuant to Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law, a Negative Declaration is issued on the proposed Minor Subdivision Approval to create two residential building lots at 8255 Clarence Center Road. After a thorough review of the submitted Environmental Assessment Form and based on the testimony given tonight, it is his opinion that this project will not have a significant impact upon the environment. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss to grant Minor Subdivision Approval to create two residential building lots at 8255 Clarence Center Road with the following conditions: 1. Town Attorney approval; 2. Engineering and Building Department approval; and 3. Any Right-to-Farm approval necessary. On the question, Councilman Bylewski said this approval is for splitting the lots. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Properties Unlimited requests a Minor Subdivision Approval to create three additional Residential building lots at the corner of Thompson Road and Greiner Road.
James Callahan said the location is at the southwest corner of Thompson and Greiner consisting of approximately 45 acres zoned Residential Single Family.
The applicant said they created one acre parcels with adequate road frontage along Greiner Road.
Councilman Bylewski asked who owns the parent parcel and is there a plan for development of the larger piece. The applicant said the same owner and there are no plans to his knowledge. They intend to have the driveway as far away from the intersection as possible.
James Callahan said the minimum depth of the lots along Thompson is 200 ft. and the applicant is proposing to extend it to 300 ft. to preserve as much of the corner as possible.
Councilman Bylewski asked if the three parcels are functionally interdependent of the parent parcel. The applicant said they are independent of the parent parcel. Councilman Bylewski said if they grant the split of these three, are we committing to development of the parent parcel. The applicant said no.
Councilman Weiss asked if there is a drainage issue. Town Engineer Joseph Latona said it needs to be addressed with the site plan work.
Supervisor Hallock said we do not want to get into a segmentation problem. Town Attorney Steven Bengart said this issue should be looked at further with the owners.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Casilio to refer the request for a Minor Subdivision Approval to create three additional Residential building lots at the corner of Thompson Road and Greiner Road to the Planning Board to look at possible segmentation issues and whether this would be a major subdivision. They may want to refer it on to the Municipal Review Committee. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Dan Singer requests a Change-In-Use from vacant to Ice Cream shop at 8860 Main Street. James Callahan said the location is the north side of Main Street, west of Shimerville Road consisting of approximately 5 acres in the Traditional Neighborhood District. There is adequate parking on the site.
Dan Singer said the only change to the building is a handicap accessible ramp to the front entrance with a deck area painted white. There is an existing sign frame that he would also use. He would landscape in front of the deck. Sales would be from inside the building.
Councilman Bylewski said he may need a Temporary Conditional Permit for outside dining. James Callahan said the sign frame is the appropriate size in the TND.
Councilman Kolber said he prefers this to his previous location.
Motion by Councilman Casilio, seconded by Councilman Kolber to grant a Change-In-Use from vacant to Ice Cream shop at 8860 Main Street. On the question, Councilman Bylewski asked if there were still any concerns regarding the prior application and clearing of the property. Dan Singer said he posted a $5,000 bond to make sure the property was seeded by June 15th and that is what he intends to do. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to grant approval of the following: Clubhouse Applications – A. Clarence Track Team – June 12, 2006; B. Clarence Concert Association – August 6, 2006; C. Clarence Contemporary Club – Sept. 25 & 26, 2006; Legion Hall Applications – A. Alan Herrscher – June 11, 2006; B. Jean Nichols – June 18, 2006; C. Clarence Grange #892 – 3rd Wednesday each month. Pavilion Special Requests - A. Clarence Hollow Association – May 29, 2006; B. Rotary Club of Clarence – June 2 & 3, 2006; C. Clarence Chamber of Commerce – August 7, 2006. On the question, Councilman Bylewski said some of the Board members are also members of some of the organizations listed, however, this is ministerial and he will be voting. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss that after proper audit and review by the Town Board, the following bills of March 23, 2006 are approved for payment: General Fund - $161,903.65; Highway Fund - $62,755.52; Water District - $1,715.41; Lighting Districts - $3,937.20; Sewer Districts - $649.09; Capital Fund - $128,842.44; and Trust and Agency 203 - $1,157.40 for a total amount of $360,960.71. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
“For the Good of the Town”
Chuck Eckert said he would like to personally thank the Town Board for all of the work they did for the proposed garbage district. The fee of $160 would be good for the Town. He is very proud to work with everyone on this Board.
Councilman Casilio added that if this does not pass, everyone will be paying about $100 more for garbage pick up. He hopes it is successful in saving money for the residents of Clarence.
Gary Wright said he feels that there is a problem with some of the assessments. He believes property along the Heise/Brookhaven sewer line has been devalued. He thinks anyone within two miles of it should have a reduction in assessment. His property has had damage including depletion of the water in his pond and sides collapsing and cracks in his house. A new crack recently developed in his ceiling. There are several neighbors and adjoining buildings having problems in the area.
Mr. Wright said by letting things go as they are, it will continue to get worse. He believes a major reduction in assessment in this area is appropriate. The taxpayers should not have to bear the burden of any loss. It should be by the people who caused the problem.
Councilman Kolber said the Town Board has no authority to have assessments changed.
There being no further business, Supervisor Hallock adjourned the meeting at 9:05 P.M. in memory of State Assemblywoman Sandra Lee Wirth, our friend and strong supporter of Clarence.
Nancy C. Metzger