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Progress on HV Road, Blueberry Lake Planning Board Reviews New Developments

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By Jann Wiswall

The Town of Ellicottville Town Planning Board had a full agenda at its meeting on Monday, April 28, beginning with a presentation by Holiday Valley Vice President for Operations Bonnie Koschir on the realignment of Holiday Valley Road.

Koschir came to the meeting bearing drawings of the planned road revision. She said that, after many months of work with the town’s highway superintendent, engineers and many other experts, all agree that the plan she is now presenting “provides for better traffic flow in and out of parking areas and, most important, improved safety for pedestrians who will no longer need to cross the main road to get to the lodge.”

The plan calls for rerouting Holiday Valley Road between the Tamarack Club and Valley Village. The new route will head up the hill across from Tamarack, along the top of the existing third tier parking lot and then back around to the existing roadway. Entry to the parking area will be at the third tier; exits will be located at the first tier. The existing road in front of the lodge, administration and operations buildings will be removed and replaced with more parking and a wide area with steps, grassy areas and landscaping leading to the main lodge.

Koschir also said that Deer Crossing Road will be straightened to create a “T” intersection with Holiday Valley Road.

Town Planner Carol Horowitz explained that, in addition to final engineering drawings, Holiday Valley will need to provide the planning board with a drainage plan, a landscaping plan and a lighting plan.

Construction should take three months, though the resort has not yet decided if the project can begin this summer or if it will wait until 2015.

Gestion Blueberry Lake Development

The Gestion Blueberry Lake development first came to the planning board’s attention in fall 2012. The developers, 8232602 Canada, Inc., and Gestion Blueberry Lake, Inc. of Montreal, are constructing a subdivision on 144 acres with 24 lots – 21 of which are 5 acres – accessed by a private road off Poverty Hill Road. Homes will be seasonal, log-style homes intended for vacation use. A community lodge will be constructed for residents, who will be part of a homeowners association. Trails throughout the heavily wooded community will allow for year-round “passive” recreation.

Andy Gow of engineering firm Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc., presented the preliminary plat plan at Monday’s planning board meeting, explaining that further plans will be submitted as soon as next month’s meeting. If all goes well, the developers expect to start road construction this summer.

The planning board expressed some concerns about water run-off into a pond that lies below the site. Gow said drainage plans include roadside ditches that should divert most water away from that pond and that all drainage plans conform to state DEC guidelines. The board also sought assurances that emergency vehicles will be able to easily navigate the switchbacks on the road.

Overell Variance

The board tabled discussion about easements for this private home that was built by two families as a duplex but has some intertwined infrastructure. The families want to properly divide the home in order to be able to sell one or more halves. The board will take the issue up again after the Ellicottville  Zoning Board of Appeals meets on Thursday, May 1, to decide on the owners’ request for an area variance.

Glen Burn Trail Site Plan Amendment

Carl Calarco of CRC Engineering and Land Surveying reported that one or more potential buyers of townhomes in the Glen Burn Trail development asked about purchasing two adjacent townhomes and combining them into one larger townhome. Calarco explained that if someone were to do this, the firewall between the two units would be removed to allow the owner to substantially alter the interior, but that the building footprint and exterior appearance would not change.

Calarco presented a theoretical layout of a combined unit for the board’s review, explaining that this would only be done if a buyer actually went through with the idea.

Horowitz said that she and town engineer Mark Alianello saw no engineering or code problems with the proposal and suggested that the board could create a “conceptual rule” that allows the developer to make accommodations such as this for potential buyers without the need for repeated review by the planning board. The planning board could authorize Alianello and the town code enforcement officer to approve such plans.

The planning board agreed and asked Calarco to make a formal application for an amendment to the site plan.

Fieldstone Minor Subdivision

The Fieldstone Subdivision is located off Somerville Valley Road at the corner of Crane and Hefferan roads. The four-parcel subdivision surrounds a privately owned lot that has an existing gas service line cutting through two of the new parcels. Town Attorney Kathleen Moriarty and Horowitz explained that there is a complicated easement issue with the gas line and that further information is needed before it can be sorted out. The board tabled discussion until the next meeting.

The May meeting of the town planning board has been rescheduled for a week earlier than usual. It will be held on Monday, May 19 at 6 p.m. at the Village/Town Hall.

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