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Progress Made on Town Developments – Subdivision Requests Addressed

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By Jennie Acklin

Discussion of progress on multiple building applications was on the Town of Ellicottville Planning Board’s agenda on Monday, May 19, as developers work with the board to obtain approvals to begin construction or make revisions to various properties.

First among those discussions was the Fieldstone minor subdivision off Somerville Valley Road at the corner of Crane and Hefferan roads. The board discussed a potential easement issue with a gas line that abuts the property; however, it hasn’t been determined that a gas line actually exists, if a snowmobile trail exists, or if both exist. The planning board decided that a decision on the development’s plat map cannot be finalized until a definitive map of the abutment area is obtained or produced.

The board also discussed the fact that the four-parcel subdivision surrounds a privately owned lot whose driveway will abut the driveway of one of the new lots. The planning board felt that private owner must agree to an easement for the new driveway and that the future owner of the new lot will be responsible for working with the private owner to develop a mutually agreed upon landscaping plan at the driveway intersection.

With these two caveats in mind, and noting that the SEQR review revealed no negative effects, the planning board gave conditional approval of the minor subdivision plan.

Glen Burn Trail

As reported last month, Carl Calarco of CRC Engineering and Land Surveying asked the planning board about allowing  potential buyers of townhomes in the Glen Burn Trail development to purchase two adjacent townhomes and combine 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.

The board saw no problem with the concept and asked Calarco to prepare a formal application for amendment of the site plan.

At Monday’s meeting, Calarco returned with that application, proposing to combine units 8 and 9 in a three-unit building.

According to Town Planner Carol Horowitz, Town attorney Kathleen Moriarty strongly recommended that a new plat map should be drawn and submitted for planning board approval, noting that merging two units into one would have an impact on HOA dues, taxes and other legal matters.

The board approved the site plan amendment with two conditions: 1) that the plat map must be amended, and 2) that the approval allows for combining two units in three-unit buildings only.

If a buyer wants to combine two units in a two-unit building, a new site plan amendment application would be required since configuration of the garages would need to change.

Overell Variance

Issues continue to complicate resolution of the Overell home on Route 242. The Town Zoning Board of Appeals denied three of four requested variances related to separating the duplex home that was built by two families as a duplex but has some intertwined infrastructure. The families are appealing the ZBA decision. The planning board has tabled discussion until its next meeting.

Gestion Blueberry Lake

Horowitz reported that the town’s engineer, Mark Alianello, reviewed the lot lines for the Gestion Blueberry Lake development off Poverty Hill Road with engineering firm Nussbaumer & Clarke and pointed out that five of the proposed 24 lots are under the 5-acre zoning minimum. Lot line revisions are being made to correct this problem and revised plans will be presented to the planning board in the near future.

The next meeting of the Town Planning Board will be held on Monday, June 23 at 6 p.m. in the Village/Town Hall.

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