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Village OKs Plans for 16 Martha St.

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Balloons Sign Design Rejected, New Realtor at Ellicottville Square

By Jann Wiswall

The room was packed for the Tuesday, May 13 meeting of the Village Planning Board as board members reviewed plans for several building projects in the village.

Chief among those projects was Phase 1 of the 16 Martha Street development (formerly the American Locker site), which has been in the works for many months. The owners are constructing a seasonal apartment complex consisting of one building with 10 apartments and a second building with four, two-story townhomes/duplexes.

Public hearings were held on the special use permit and the site plan review.

Two residents who live within sight of the development attended the public hearing and brought up two issues that were quickly resolved. One resident felt that the landscape plan for the site did not adequately provide visual or sound protection for neighbors. He suggested that, in addition to planned maple trees, evergreen trees should be planted for better visual screening in winter.

After discussing options with the planning board, the owner and architect of the project agreed to add five to six spruce trees to the landscape plan. The resident was pleased with that solution.

The other resident asked about lighting on the site. He was assured that very limited lighting is included since the owners want the property to look like a part of the neighborhood, not a “grocery store.” Limited dark-sky lighting is planned for the front of the building and each residence will have one porch light. This explanation was acceptable to the resident.

After closing the public hearings, the planning board approved the special use permit, approved the site plan with modifications to the landscape plan, and then reviewed and approved the architectural plan for the site. Board members were in full agreement that the plans are “beautiful,” and an asset to the community. Board Member Jack Kramer commented that the plans “are better than we could have imagined.”

The planning board also addressed several ongoing and new projects
during the meeting.

Balloons Sign Permit

Last month, the planning board rejected a sign and lighting design proposed for the exterior of the new addition to Balloons, saying that elements of the design do not meet village sign requirements. This month, Balloons owner Mike Kerns and his sign contractor presented an alternative sign plan to the board, which also was rejected for similar reasons. The planning board noted that a sign and lighting design was approved with the original site plan application last spring. Planning Board Chair Nancy Rogan suggested that Kerns go back to that design and come back next month with another proposal.

Edelweiss Ski Lodge Sign

A contractor for the new owners of Edelweiss Ski Lodge on Jefferson Street presented a sign and lighting design for a replacement sign on the property. The design was approved as presented.

New Realtor Office in Ellicottville Square

Kody Sprague, owner of the Ellicottville Square business and residential development on Bristol Lane, and Thomas Fenner, a real estate agent from Allegany, applied for a special use permit to allow Fenner and his partner, Kenneth Bailey, to open a real estate office in the facility. The planning board agreed this is an allowed use and set a public hearing on the issue for its next meeting on June 10.

12 Washington St.

Brian Kempisty, the owner of 12 Washington St., plans to paint the front of his building, replace siding on the rear and make numerous upgrades both inside and out to create a condominium apartment on the second floor. The planning board had already approved the apartment, but Kempisty attended the planning board meeting to get advice from members about options for siding materials. After reviewing samples, the planning board moved to allow Kempisty to use a specific steel siding on the rear of the building and released the rest of the project’s approvals to Village Building Inspector Tom Abriatis.

The next meeting of the Village Planning Board will be held on Tuesday, June 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Village/Town Hall.

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