A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on June 22, 2005 at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock called the meeting to order at 6:00 P.M. Members of the Town Board present were Council Members’ Ian McPherson, Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss and Bernie Kolber. Other Town Officials present were Deputy Supervisor Anne Case, Director of Community Development James Callahan, Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Senior Building Inspector David Metzger, Town Engineer Joseph Latona and Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith.
Linda Joseph & Heather Giambra from Schroader Joseph Associates were introduced to the Town Board. Their specialty is Labor and Employment Law and will act as Labor Counsel to the Town of Clarence.
Director of Community Development James Callahan
Public Hearing @ 7:45 P.M. to consider reducing the number of residential building permits issued annually.
To consider renewal of a Temporary Conditional Permit for firewood sales at 8240 Roll Road. The applicant has met with the Highway Department and has resolved any issues.
Douglas Klotzbach 10998 Keller Road
Applicant requests Development Plan approval for a 3-lot Open Development area. The Planning Board has forwarded a recommendation on the application with conditions.
Doug Kokanovich 10520 Keller Road
Applicant requests a pond permit. The Soil and Water Conservation District has forwarded a design per local law. The Engineering Department has reviewed the submitted design and forwarded an approval with conditions.
Vita Pace 5485 Salt Road
Applicant requests Development Plan approval for a 3-lot Open Development area. The Planning Board has forwarded a recommendation with conditions. The Right to Farm Resolution Committee has met and forwarded a recommendation on the project with conditions.
People Incorporated 4725 Transit Road
Applicants request a Public Hearing to consider a Special Exception Use Permit for a multi-family residential use in the Commercial Zone. The Town Board issued a Negative Declaration on the project on 5/25/05. The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a variance to allow for the higher density as designed and for a smaller unit size as proposed. The Planning Board has forwarded a recommendation on the concept as designed.
Krislyn Associates 6215 Transit Road
Applicant requests Development Plan approval for construction of a new office building. A Negative Declaration under SEQRA was issued on 5/25/05. A variance was granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals to allow for a reduced front yard setback to accommodate all of the proposed parking to the rear of the proposed building. The Planning Board recommended Concept Plan approval on 6/1/05 and has forwarded a recommendation on Development Plan Approval on 6/15/05.
Jim McGuire 4825 Goodrich Road
Applicant requests approval for construction of an accessory garage in the Planned Unit Residential Zone (PURD). The proposed garage meets all setback requirements and the architectural style of the proposed garage will match the existing home. The Town Board has the authority to amend the PURD.
Clarence Center VFC
Requests a Fireworks Display Permit for the Labor Day Fair.
Brookfield Country Club 5120 Shimerville Road
Requests a Fireworks Display Permit for July 5, 2005.
WORK SESSION ITEMS:
William Burkard 7054 Salt Road.
Applicant is seeking permission to fill in advance of future residential lot split/development. The proposed site is located on the south side of Salt Road, opposite Miland Road intersection. The existing vacant land is located in the Agriculture Rural Residential Zone. Property is proposed to be split - waiting lifting of moratorium for single-family residential lot.
Gregory Domster 9255 Roll Road
Applicant requests use of a temporary trailer for living purposes during construction of a new single-family dwelling at 9255 Roll Road. The proposed site is located on the south side of Roll Road, east of Thompson Road on existing 5+ acres lot with two barns on the property in the Residential Zone. Applicant has received a permit to convert the existing barn to a residential unit and is seeking approval for a temporary trailer to be placed on the site for living purposes until the conversion is completed. The applicant has had tools stolen from the site, this will help him monitor the site and keep trespassers out. Councilman Kolber has concerns about setting a precedent and sanitation provisions at the site.
Dan Palumbo 8346 Lapp Road
Applicant is requesting approval to construct a pond to utilize the spoils to create a pad for a new home in the density flood zone. The existing vacant land consists of 9+ acres in the Agriculture Zone. The proposed pond will violate side yard setbacks, as the Excavation Law requires 100’ setbacks to all property lines. The applicant has applied for a variance to reduce the required setbacks for the proposal. The ZBA meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2005.
Walgreen’s 6785 Transit Road
Applicant is proposing to develop a 16,000 +/- square foot drug store on a 3.3+/- acre parcel located in the Traditional Neighborhood Zone on the northeast corner of Transit and County Road. A Negative Declaration has been issued by the Town Board with conditions that the proposed use must be in compliance with all Town land use regulations. The Zoning Board of Appeals has granted an area variance to allow for parking in the front yard of the proposed building.
Silvestri Architects – McDonalds Restaurant 4987 Transit Road
Applicant requests a building permit and Architectural approval for McDonalds Restaurant upgrade.
Millherst Construction – Goodrich Road
Applicant requests a Clearing Permit to undertake an Archaeological Study for Spaulding Greens/Hidden Pond Subdivision.
Lapp Road - pond permit
Applicant is requesting a pond permit at proposed residence on Lapp Road near Goodrich.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock
Supervisor Hallock received a Special Event Request for the Tami Barillari Blemel fourth annual walk. They are adding a Zoo Mobile this year complete with handlers and cleanup crew.
Supervisor Hallock has a resolution authorizing her to file an application for grant funds from NYS Office of Parks in the amount of $10,460. The money will be used to resurface the walking path in the Clarence Arboretum for access by the handicapped and elderly.
Supervisor Hallock has a resolution reaffirming the Town of Clarence Master Plan 2015.
Town Clerk Nancy Metzger is recommending the appointment of Gayle Brace as Deputy Town Clerk and Fran Dickman as Clerk RPT. Basically, Gayle and Fran are switching positions at the same rates of pay.
Supervisor Hallock will announce an opening on the Inter-Community Committee. Applications will be accepted until July 25, 2005.
Supervisor Hallock passed out a resolution that the Town of Hamburg passed regarding thruway tolls and discount plans.
Supervisor Hallock has received a request from a production company for use of the Cox Cemetery on June 6, 2005 for six hours of filming. Town Attorney Bengart suggested that the names on the headstones be blocked out.
On June 9, 2005, we received $500,000 from the NYS Department of State for Sewer District #9 member money from Senator Marylou Rath. We are now applying to the DEC for their grant money.
Mike Neumeister from Capital Markets Advisors is scheduled for July 13, 2005 at 6:00 P.M. to discuss the BAN renewal. Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith said that the long-term rates are starting to inch up. Bond rates are excellent.
There was a discussion regarding the Senior Center Van whether to keep it or put it into surplus for sale. Highway Superintendent Ted Donner is suggesting the van be put up for sale. If the van were kept in service, the air conditioning would have to be repaired. Older vehicles have more mechanical problems therefore are more costly.
Supervisor Hallock will set a Public Hearing to consider the purchase of Development Rights of approximately 86.63 +/- acres of vacant land located at 9270 Lapp Road.
Councilman Ian McPherson
Councilman McPherson will give an update on the Amherst sewer billing. The County and the Town of Amherst have reached an agreement.
Councilman Scott Bylewski
Councilman Bylewski has several communications regarding Adelphia Cable.
The Municipal Review Committee has forwarded a recommendation regarding the Casilio professional office building.
Councilman Bylewski has received Status Report #106 from Leader Professional Services.
Councilman Bylewski said that given the County’s state of affairs in regard to charging Municipalities for road patrols he has heard through the media that there could be a possibility that we could be charged for road patrols. Supervisor Hallock said that the County has no statutory authority to charge the towns. Councilman McPherson stated that the County is seeking agreements with the Towns to voluntarily agree to pay for road patrols. Supervisor Hallock stated that she has a meeting with the Association of Erie County Government tomorrow.
Councilman Bylewski has one item for Executive Session.
Councilman Joseph Weiss
Chief Security Officer Joseph Meacham is recommending the appointment of Edwin Wrenn as a Town of Clarence Security Officer part-time at the budgeted rate of pay upon receipt of required NYS Certification.
Parks Crew Chief John Burns is recommending Sheridan Sales of Clarence be awarded the bid for one used bucket truck.
Highway Superintendent Ted Donner is requesting approval to replace a yield sign with a stop sign at the southwest corner of Orchid Ledge Drive and Willow Brook Drive.
The Highway Department will retain Joseph Braunscheidel as Traffic Signal Consultant. Mr. Braunscheidel will work with highway crews to upgrade our traffic signals and perform traffic signal maintenance.
Councilman Weiss will set a bid date for removal of topsoil located at the Memorial Park site.
The Conservation Committee is looking into including crossbow in the deer management program. Councilman Weiss is waiting for a response from the DEC.
An update was given on Day in the Park.
Councilman Bernie Kolber
Councilman Kolber will set up a Work Session meeting for June 30, 2005 with Nathan Neal. The Town Board will discuss going forward with a town wide garbage district.
Councilman Kolber asked that everyone review the ZBA applications that have been submitted so an appointment can be made at the next Town Board meeting.
Councilman Kolber is researching information on Condominium Tax Law.
Town of Clarence Baseball Association – Mark Eyrick/Patrick Casilio
Mark Eyrick representing boys little league baseball, is hoping to expand their current indoor facility on Goodrich Road. Several years ago, the Town allowed TCBA to convert the former Water Department facility into an indoor facility for their 1600 children (boys baseball and girls softball). The TCBA has since outgrown the facility and would like to expand it. TCBA has a budget of approximately $150,000 that they are prepared to spend on the construction of a 62’ x 70’ building. The proposed building would be constructed on town owned land; they are seeking the Town’s consent to proceed with the project.
Mark Eyrick said that he is of the understanding that because this facility is going to be built on town property, it must be open to all town residents. However, the need of the facility is to support both girls softball and boys baseball 7 days a week. There are also issues with the TCBA equipment in the facility (pitching machines, batting cages etc.) there are concerns with everyone in the town using them and what limitations or restrictions TCBA could place on their use if they are able to proceed with the project.
Mr. Eyrick stated that during preliminary meetings, it was discussed that the land could be leased. Since TCBA would be spending $150,000 on the building, they would like some assurances that they would be able to use the facility for many years to come. They are looking for a twenty-year commitment from the Town that they would have continued use of the property.
TCBA would build the facility however, the Town would continue to maintain it and pay the basic operating expenses in terms of electricity, water and heat. TCBA is not interested in owning the building however, they are prepared to build the facility and pay for it and then turn it over to the Town.
Town Attorney Bengart has researched this and has concerns. A representative from the Association of Towns, agreed with many of Mr. Bengart’s concerns. The Association of Towns suggested selling the land to the TCBA and at some future date, it could be donated back to the Town. The other option is the lease option, but the building could not be used exclusively by the TCBA, it would have to be opened up to all Town residents. As part of the lease agreement, certain days could be set aside for TCBA use only. Mr. Eyrick is concerned with the equipment in the building and someone getting hurt. The TCBA is insured privately through their own policy.
Town Attorney Bengart stated that in previous conversations, it was discussed having a policy in place indicating who could use the building and how they could use the building. They would also be required to provide liability insurance. Leasing or selling the property would require a permissive referendum. Town Attorney Bengart will work on a lease agreement.
Pat Casilio said the proposed building would be metal to match the existing building from the same company.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to enter into Executive Session pursuant to § 105 (1) H, the proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property, § 105(1) D discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation. The Town Board will also confer with the Town Attorney. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:20 P.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adjourn the Executive Session at 7:32 P.M. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried. No action taken.
Regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Clarence was held Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at the Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, New York.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M. Councilman Bernard Kolber led in the pledge to the flag, followed by a prayer read by Supervisor Hallock.
Members of the Town Board present were Councilmembers Ian McPherson, Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss, Bernard Kolber and Supervisor Hallock. Other Town officials present were Director of Community Development James Callahan, Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Town Engineer Joseph Latona, Asst. Director of Community Development James Hartz, Deputy Supervisor Anne Case, Building Inspector David Metzger and Planning Board Chairperson Patricia Powers.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to accept the minutes of the previous meeting held June 8, 2005. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to adopt the following resolution:
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Weiss that upon recommendation of Town Clerk Nancy Metzger, Gayle M. Brace is appointed as Deputy Town Clerk at the budgeted salary of $31,493 effective July 1, 2005. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said this is to fill the position left by the retirement of Fran Dickman. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: none. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Weiss that upon recommendation of Town Clerk Nancy Metzger, Frances Dickman is appointed as Clerk RPT in the Town Clerk’s office, effective July 1, 2005 at the budgeted rate of pay of $12.36 per hour. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said Fran has served in the position of Deputy Receiver of Taxes for almost six years and previously passed the Senior Clerk Civil Service Test. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman McPherson to accept, with regret, the resignation of Scott Marchant as a member of the Clarence Inter-Community Committee. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to approve a Special Event Request for the Pregnant with Cancer 4th Annual Tami Barillari Blemel Memorial Walk to be held Sunday, August 7, 2005 at 12 noon, beginning and ending at the Clarence Town Park, 10405 Main Street. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to approve the Special Event Request for filming at the Cox Cemetery on Tuesday, July 26, 2005, subject to review by the Town Attorney of required documents and with the provision that no names would be displayed. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Weiss to set a Public Hearing for July 13, 2005 at 7:55 P.M. to consider the purchase of Development Rights of approximately 86.63 +/- acres of vacant land located at 9270 Lapp Road in the Town of Clarence, Erie County, New York at a purchase price not to exceed $600,000 plus any closing costs and disbursements for green space. Funds to be allocated from the Open Space Bond Resolution and Recreation Fees if it is determined that any portion of this property will be used for recreation purposes. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said we have received two grants for this acquisition. One from New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets and the other a Federal grant from the Department of Agriculture. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Supervisor Hallock said two weeks ago the Town Engineer gave an update on Sewer District No. 9 and the funding situation. The next day we received a check in the mail for $500,000 in member money from the New York State Department of State for Sewer District No. 9 on behalf of Senator Rath. We are continuing to work on funding.
Supervisor Hallock announced that we received a supply of brochures from the Erie County Environmental Management Council about “Natural Places of Erie County”. The brochure includes a map of 44 of the County’s natural places and a grid showing the amenities at each location. There is a supply of the brochures in the Supervisor and Town Clerk’s offices.
Councilman Bylewski reported that we received a letter from Adelphia indicating that Verizon and other phone companies are trying to get into the business of providing television service. Adelphia is encouraging local municipalities to contact the Public Service Commission to ensure that other companies secure a cable television franchise prior to constructing facilities in their area. Councilman Bylewski is referring this to the Town Attorney for further research.
Councilman Bylewski said a communication was received from Time Warner Cable stating that upon completion of the agreements to purchase Adelphia cable systems, Time Warner will provide cable service to the Town of Clarence.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss that upon recommendation by the Municipal Review Committee, the Town Board seeks Lead Agency status for the Casilio Professional Office Building located at 8755 Sheridan Drive. The proposed action consists of the construction of a 38,000 sq. ft. two-story office building located on 3.2 acres of vacant land. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Councilman Bylewski referred to James Callahan for the 29th status report of the action items while we are under the moratorium.
Councilman Bylewski announced that there are two vacancies on the Board of Directors of the Youth Center. Applications are due by July 13th.
Councilman Bylewski reported that we received Leader Professional Services, Inc. Status Report No. 106 for review of Clean Harbors BDT activities for May 2005. The review includes the oversights of the demolition activity. For June, they plan to review the soil and groundwater samples, observe any on-site closure or RFI activities and review correspondence.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to set a Bid Date of July 12, 2005 at 10:30 A.M. in the Town Clerk’s Office for the sale and removal of topsoil from Memorial Park. On the question, Councilman Weiss said there is approximately 5,700 cubic yards. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber that upon recommendation of Highway Supt. Ted Donner, the Highway Department is authorized to replace a Yield Sign with a Stop Sign at the southwest corner of Orchid Ledge Drive and Willow Brook Drive. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Supervisor Hallock to hire Joseph Braunscheidel as Traffic Signal Consultant to work with the Highway Department crews to upgrade traffic signals to light emitting diodes, perform traffic signal maintenance and reapply stripping at our crosswalks. Mr. Braunscheidel will work approximately 8 hours per week at a rate of $45 per hour. Funds are available in the Sign & Signal account. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Supervisor Hallock that upon recommendation by Parks Crew Chief John Burns, the bid for one used Bucket Truck for the Parks Department is awarded to Sheridan Sales of Clarence, being the lowest and responsible bid of $19,500. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Supervisor Hallock to appoint Edwin Wrenn as Security Officer part-time at the budgeted rate of pay upon receipt of the required New York State certification. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Councilman Weiss thanked everyone who has donated money and helped with the upcoming Day In The Park event on July 2nd. It is going to be a great event for children of all ages beginning at 2:00 P.M.
Councilman Kolber said in regard to the proposed garbage district, he will be working on putting together bid documents so that we have figures in hand for a referendum. The residents who attended the public hearing said they wanted it put to a vote. This way they will have the proper information when considering their vote.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Bylewski that Kathleen Hallock, as Supervisor of the Town of Clarence is hereby authorized and directed to file an application for funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in accordance with the provisions of Title 9 of the Environmental Protection Act of 1993, in an amount of $10,460 and upon approval of said request to enter into and execute a project agreement with the State for such financial assistance to the Town of Clarence to resurface the walking path in the Clarence Arboretum for access by the handicapped and elderly. The Town of Clarence will provide $10,460 in cash and in-kind goods and services as matching funds or 50% of the total project cost of $20,920. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
A Public Hearing was held to consider reducing the number of residential building permits issued annually.
Joe McIvor, Executive Vice President of the Buffalo Niagara Builders Association said they adamantly oppose reducing the building cap without proper justification and analysis. They feel this would affect the building trade industry and numbers of employees who earn a living. It would considerably impact the taxes by lowering the cap to only 50 homes per year. He hopes that the Town will consult with legal counsel and reject this proposal.
Pete Peterson, President of the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors said they feel this is shortsighted and will create a dangerous situation. They believe that the Town has lost revenue due to the moratorium that will have a devastating affect on future budgets. With the cuts in Erie County services, they do not understand why Clarence would reduce their tax base. The demand for new and used homes remains strong. By reducing the number of homes available, it will raise the prices and discriminate against those looking for affordable homes. Erie County has lost more residents than any other county in the State. The BNAR opposes a reduction in the building cap. They support smart growth and the Master Plan with the existing cap of 240.
Matthew Balling, 8327 Hirschwood Dr. said Article 9, Municipal Home Rule Law gives local governments the power to enact laws to enhance and protect their physical environment. He believes we need to take the time to identify the goals within our comprehensive plan and document the deficiencies in our roads, schools, water and sewers to prioritize what needs to be fixed. We should also document our housing needs based on the needs of our existing residents. He feels we should look at a monthly limit and make sure that all permits are not issued to one applicant.
James Blum, 5509 Martha’s Vineyard said he believes a building permit limit is a good tool for town growth planning for public facilities, such as schools, roads, sewers, police and emergency services. Our current limit has almost never been met, which means that it does not control anything. The limit should cover other types of housing including multi-family, townhouses, manufactured homes and any others that would affect public facilities. He encourages the Board to continue a housing limit.
Clayt Ertel is here to speak as a resident more than a businessman. He believes there are serious economic ramifications with a limit of 50 units. He spoke with the Assessor to get real numbers to work with. We have approximately $550 million of assessed valuation of vacant land in the Town. He believes that if this is enacted at a reduction to 50 units, the vacant land value would be reduced to half. It would then give us a reduced tax income stream. There would also be revenue loss to local businesses. Commercial businesses come to the Town based on growth in the area. He feels the attitude of, we are here now and that is the end, is selfish.
Councilman Bylewski said he has been reporting on building statistics while we have been under the moratorium. The average number of building permits issued from 1990 through 2004 has been 214. We have been keeping track of homes built in subdivisions and outside of subdivisions since 1999. The average since 1999 has been 230 single-family building permits issued with 168 in subdivisions and 62 outside of subdivisions.
Councilman Weiss said Mr. Ertel left the service costs out of the equation.Pete Gorton, Hedgewood Dr. said he had a few questions. What happens when the Town is fully built out? He is surprised by the people who complain about traffic on Harris Hill Road, and then they want to build out the Town. It is not about a me, me attitude. It is about wanting to maintain the character of the Town, which is why people moved here to begin with. He believes that we should have impact fees so that the developers share in costs.
George Grasser, resident and as a representative of Partners For a Livable Western New York said there are several ways that municipalities can manage growth. He does not feel that putting a limit on the number of homes built each year is one of them. Builders will build somewhere else, which is likely to be further out from the core of the region. It will lead to a demand for more roads and increase the regions overall costs of servicing the spread out infrastructure. The goal should be the efficient use of land. He does not feel that increasing lot sizes is going to accomplish this. More compact development patterns reduces public infrastructure. He thinks that reducing the building cap, if it is not based solely on the availability of infrastructure, would be on shaky legal ground.
Councilman Weiss said we are so tied to the automobile, it does not matter how much you cluster development. The studies also do not include the cost of gas these days.
Pete Gorton said new urban development in rural areas and suburbs is ridiculous. Clustering does nothing more then create more density around it. He has read one of the publications referred to and there is no factual information whatsoever.
Jacob Zimpfer, 4959 Clearview Dr. said no one has mentioned the ongoing traffic problems. He does not feel that we can go on with 250 homes being built each year. This was always a rural community and it should stay that way. Builders come in and build, but they do not have to pay for everything afterward. We may need more Town employees. We cannot afford this continued growth when people are leaving this area. There are no jobs and we are worried about growth. What is it going to cost the taxpayers?
Domenic Piestrak said he is a developer and he has heard two negative things, one that impact fees are necessary and that developers are ripping off the people. When he and Mr. Cimato cut a deal to put $5-7 million to solve the sewer problem, they agreed to do it for 1,000 sewer taps. They lowered the tax for the people in the Hollow and made a sewer feasible. He feels that lowering the building cap is a violation of the contract that he made with the Town of Clarence.
Steve Murtaugh, 5109 Willow Brook Dr. said there has been nothing mentioned about the availability of energy or the amount of potable water for the Town. When he first moved here there was not enough gas to keep the furnace going. The SEQRA review should address these issues. We do have water pressure issues in areas of the Town. The Erie County Water Authority said they would not be able to meet the demand for another 7 to 8 years by putting in a new water line down Greiner.
Doug Kokanovich, Keller Road said he has been framing houses for 30 years and believes limiting 50 houses per year is a joke. This area is dying and there are no jobs. He understands controlled growth, but that is ridiculous.
Jay Capozzi, Cobblestone Dr. said the assessment on his home has gone up 42%. He builds a small number of homes each year. He is concerned that if the cap was reduced too low, he would not get a permit. The quality of life in Clarence is great. He feels the problem is with the people who are anti-development speak louder than those who are happy. So much depends on the building trades that will have a ripple affect on other things. He thinks this is unfair.
Tom Hollander, a realtor said he sold a house last year for $250,000 that will cost almost $300,000 to build this year. Where will the young people who grew up here be able to live? The young people cannot afford it. The older people do not have adequate housing available.
Gayle Davis, 10805 Boyd Dr. commended the Town Board for their efforts. She does not think people are griping that there is more traffic, crowded schools and the taxes are going up. People came here for a lifestyle and if all the building continues it will be gone. There are existing homes that will be available for people to purchase in the future.
Gary Wright said he believes the Heise/Brookhaven sewer created a negative impact to our area. It is presently destabilizing the subsoil, has depleted the water table and will have an affect on the building on that soil and the fault that has occurred. He does not think the Town should connect the sewer until the problems that this has created are corrected. He feels it would be a disservice to the people in the Hollow who connect to it and then have to have it shut down for repairs. There has been a blind eye to what has gone on. It was done as quick and cheap as possible and he thinks we are heading toward an environmental disaster.
Jeff Palumbo, resident and attorney for the Heise/Brookhaven sewer said he disputes everything that was just said. He does not understand what this public hearing is about because there was no presentation by the Board. After a half hour of listening to comments, he still does not know what this is about.
Councilman Bylewski said there have been a number of comments tonight from both sides of the issue. He thinks that further study is necessary. The NYS Dept. of State put out a technical brochure on land use moratoriums. It states the purpose of growth capping laws is to assure that development does not outpace planned improvements. We are working on an adequate public facilities law to make sure that we have adequate infrastructure in place. The Master Plan 2015 sets a cap of 240 and amended Chapter 11 sets how you amend the Master Plan. A part of the process is a referral to the Municipal Review Committee. Anything we do must be in accordance with the Master Plan.
Andre Pigeon, Rosewood Lane said he feels there is need for a growth cap of some type to allow for proper growth. He thanked the builders for allowing him to park here tonight. He said there were some intelligent comments made here tonight. He thinks that other types of housing should be included. It is difficult to get a dollar value on what assessment is needed on a property to provide for Town services.
Councilman Weiss said builders have told him that there is no sprawl here like in other areas such as Atlanta. He has traveled a lot this year and everywhere he went the local papers were talking about sprawl and how it was killing these communities. The League of Woman Voters did a study and said this is the worst kind of sprawl because we have a decreasing population. Some have said we should move some of the growth back into the city.
Joe Meyers, Roll Road said everyone here has their own numbers. We went 20 years here with flat growth and everything went along nicely without counting on building. He feels for people’s jobs, but it is not our obligation to have them build all the houses in Clarence. He does not believe we have seen everything yet. All of our schools are bursting at the seams. He believes that any growth in the Town should be funded by the people who will benefit from it.
Councilman Weiss said, you cannot build yourself out of trouble. He is not convinced that building new homes is going to help the tax base. The assessments have gone up.
Gary Wright said the Town has hemmed in infrastructure with the creek at one end, and the thruway at the other end. The only east west roads are Main Street and County Road.
Councilman Weiss said we are 90% residential and 10% commercially developed. We have factors such as rock and wetlands. The developers have been given the best spots. Our fore fathers gave the commercial area County Road, which is away from the services that they need.
Susan Ballard, Fieldbrook Ct. said these issues are impacting areas all over the country and it deserves proper consideration. She does not feel these are either or issues. A lot of things said tonight were emotional and not the facts. She thinks we should talk about what will benefit the Town. She thinks it is unfair to say the builders are here to capitalize on it and move on. That is not the case. She thinks it is offensive when people say that. She thinks the logic for coming up with the 50 units is insulting. Ms. Ballard feels the tenor of the conversation is not appropriate. She believes that people should be able to comment and when they feel the attitude of the council is inappropriate it is brought to their attention.
Councilman Kolber said he ran for councilman because he was not happy with the direction that the Town was going. The character of our Town is worth fighting to save. All he hears from people is that we need to slow it down. His areas of concern are roads, schools and police. We are not going to see much funding for improvement of the County roads.
George Grasser said the Town of Clarence has twice as many people in the age groups of 35-44 and 45-54 as any other age groups. There is nothing in the Town to accommodate those people as they age. There has to be other types of housing.
Joe McIvor, 6151 Walnut Creek Ct. said the average permits issued were 230 and last year was around 173. Through April, they are off 40+%. He hears time and time again that his industry is the culprit in the schools busting out at the seams. Dr. Coseo has told them that the school population is almost identical to what it was 35 years ago. No one can afford to build here.
Supervisor Hallock said she received a message from a resident in the Hollows stating that he thinks limiting the number of houses is a good idea and makes sense to maintain the character.
Bob Roach, Gentwood Dr. said once the developers get their foot in the door, away they go. He lives next to the Roxberry development, which included Federal wetlands. Mr. Roach said he believes they violated the permits issued by the Army Corp of Engineers, the DEC and P.I.P. permit. There are still three old cars in the woods. They leveled part of the woods to put in the sewer line. He thinks these people need to be watched so that they do not violate the law.
Councilman Bylewski said years ago, he heard the value of a house to be the breakeven value was $225,000. Five years ago the breakeven assessed value was $275,000. About two years ago, the figure mentioned was between $300,000 and $325,000.
Councilman McPherson said he does not care if another house is built in this town. Our job is not to protect people’s jobs, but it is our job to protect the physical integrity of our government. He has a report from January 1959 showing the number of permits issued in the 50’s. According to the school capital construction project in 1970, the enrollment in 1970 was 4,766 students, 2000 – 4,477 students and 2005 projects 5,151 students.
Kevin Curry, 4197 Heather Ct. agrees that the tenor of the evening could have been better. He finds it disheartening to hear comments that the past leadership played numbers games. He finds it insulting that the Town now wants to establish a low number and play the same game. He asked if the number would change, what is the procedure? He believes there are issues with the number in the Master Plan.
Tom Hollander said the Town Board also represents the people who own land and they have rights too. They have the right to develop their land according to the laws, but if it were too restrictive the land would become worthless. Smart growth can be well served if you bring experts into the discussion. A lot of things have been done well.
Jay Capozzi said he is very disappointed in the antagonistic comments that were made tonight.
Councilman Weiss said he sat here one night and watched hundreds of people try to get the ear of the Town Board and the shoe was on the other foot. He thinks we can all work together and come up with a number that makes sense.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss to refer the item to the Municipal Review Committee to consider reducing the number of residential building permits issued annually. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said she assumes that any reduction would require another public hearing. Councilman Bylewski said any amendment to the Master Plan would have to have a public hearing. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Forest Products requests renewal of a Temporary Conditional Permit for firewood sales at 8240 Roll Road. James Callahan said the public hearing was held May 25, 2005 for the Temporary Conditional Permits up for renewal. Mr. Clay was not able to be present and there were some questions raised regarding the berm. The initial permit for this business was issued in 1984.
Douglas Klotzbach requests Development Plan Approval for a 3-lot Open Development Area at 10998 Keller Road. Mr. Klotzbach said his plan is to have two, two-acre lots. James Callahan added that a Negative Declaration and Concept Plan Approval were issued in 2004. All departmental and regulatory agency approvals are in order.
Doug Kokanovich requests a Pond Permit for 10520 Keller Road. James Callahan said the location is on the north side of Keller Road between Strickler and Salt consisting of a single-family residence on 10 +/- acres in the Agricultural/Residential Zone. The applicant is seeking approval per the submitted design by the Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District. The Town Engineer has reviewed and approved the design.
Vito Pace requests Development Plan Approval for a 3-lot Open Development Area at 5485 Salt Road. James Callahan said the location is the east side of Salt Rd., north of Greiner Road consisting of 8.26 acres in the Agricultural Zone.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to set a Public Hearing July 13, 2005 at 7:50 P.M. to consider a Special Exception Use Permit for People Inc. for a multi-family residential use in the Commercial Zone at 4725 Transit Road. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Krislyn Associates requests Development Plan Approval for construction of a new office building at 6215 Transit Road. James Callahan said the location is on the east side of Transit Road, north of Woodbridge Lane consisting of approximately one acre in the Major Arterial Zone. All departmental and regulatory agency approvals are in order.
Jim McGuire requests approval for construction of an accessory garage in the Planned Unit Residential Development Zone (PURD) at 4825 Goodrich Road. James Callahan said the property consists of a single-family home located on 7.95 acres in the PURD Zone. The Town Board has discretionary authority to amend the existing PURD.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to grant a Fireworks Display Permit to the Clarence Center Vol. Fire Company for their annual Labor Day Fair. All required fees and approvals are in order. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman McPherson, seconded by Councilman Kolber to grant a Fireworks Display Permit to Brookfield Country Club for July 4, 2005 at 5120 Shimerville Road. All required fees and approvals are in order. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to grant approval for the following: Clubhouse Applications - A. Clarence Holiday Valley Ski Club – Sept. 18, 2005; B. Harris Hill Men’s Club - Dec. 10, 2005; C. Clarence Girl Scouts – June 4 & Sept. 11, 2006; D. Clarence Book Review Club – 1st Wednesday each month 2006 (except Jan., July & Aug.); E. Clarence Arts & Craft Society – 2nd Thursday each month, and Nov. 3-5, 2006; F. VFW Memorial Post 1200 – 2nd Tuesday each month 2006; G. Clarence-Newstead Meals on Wheels – Sept. 29 & 30, 2006; H. Clarence Log Cabin Quilters – 4th Tuesday each month; I. Clarence Women’s Club – 1st Monday each month and May 2-3, 2006 (except July, Aug. & Sept.); Legion Hall Applications – A. Gregg & Lynda Martinson – Oct. 28, 2005; B. Log Cabin Quilters – Every Thursday each month 2006; and C. Girl Scouts USA – 1st Monday each month 2006 (except Jan., June – Sept.). Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman McPherson, seconded by Councilman Bylewski that after proper audit and review by the Town Board, the following bills of June 16, 2005 are approved for payment: General Fund - $179,439.43; Highway Fund $149,897.50; Water District - $49,181.88; Lighting Districts - $1,062.44; Sewer Districts - $2,836.25; Capital Fund - $240,679.10; and Trust & Agency 203 - $8,050.00 for a total amount of $631,146.60. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
“For the Good of the Town”
Bob Roach congratulated the Supervisor and the Town Board for the way they handled the meeting tonight and the way they handle everything for this Town. They truly represent the people.
There being no further business, Supervisor Hallock adjourned the meeting at 9:55 P.M.
Nancy C. Metzger