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Zoning Definitions OK’d by Planning Board

By Jann Wiswall

The Town of Ellicottville’s Planning Board has forwarded proposed amendments to zoning law to the full town board for its review and approval. A public hearing will be held on the matter once the town board has completed its review.

The changes are intended to clarify existing language that was weak on specificity in defining “Commercial Land Uses,” including definitions of farm stands, food stands and artisan’s workshops. Amendments also were made to add some types of land uses, including micro-breweries and micro-distilleries, which were not included in the existing law.

The proposed new language defines those and other businesses as follows:

Artisan’s Workshop:   A commercial establishment that serves individual households and offices by providing repair and replacement services of furnishings, such as upholstered furniture and draperies.  All equipment, materials and vehicles shall be housed in a completely enclosed building; there shall be no outdoor storage at any time.  Examples of an artisan’s workshop include, but are not limited to, furniture repair, antiques repair and refinishing, metalworking, upholstery shop, and a drapery shop, where made-to-order drapes and curtains are fabricated.

Business Support Services:  A commercial establishment providing services to business establishments on a fee or contract basis, including but not limited to advertising services, mailing services, business equipment rental and leasing, employment agency, building maintenance and janitorial services, small business machine repair services, and/or protective services.

Contractor’s Shop:  An establishment used for the indoor storage of a contractor’s equipment, supplies, materials, and/or vehicles.  All equipment, materials and vehicles shall be housed in a completely enclosed building; there shall be no outdoor storage at any time.  A contractor’s shop may also be used for preliminary custom work, such as woodworking and/or painting or staining of items that are delivered to a client off-site.  All custom work shall be conducted entirely within an enclosed building.

Farm Stand:  A building or structure used for the retail sale of agricultural products, whether produced on the site or off the site on which the stand is located, provided that products offered for sale are locally grown in the Western New York region.  A Farm Stand may be seasonal or may operate year-round.  Agricultural products may include fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs, plants, Christmas trees, eggs, and similar items. Sales of home-processed food products such as jams, jellies, pickles, sauces or baked goods, which are prepared at a location other than the Farm Stand, may be allowed; however no food for sale may be cooked or prepared at a farm stand.  No commercially processed or packaged foodstuffs shall be sold at a farm stand.  A farm stand shall not exceed 15 feet in height and shall conform to all required setbacks for the zoning district in which it is located; however, if the farm stand is not a permanent structure, it may be located no closer than 15 feet to the front property line.

Parking:  Off-street parking shall be provided outside the road right-of-way.

Signs:  Signs for a Farm stand shall comply with the requirements of Section 12.1 of this Zoning Law.  If the signs are permanent, a sign permit shall be required.

Farmers Market:  An area where, on designated days and times, growers and producers of horticultural and agricultural products sell their products directly to the public from vehicles or temporary stands.  Products may include items such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, live plants, flowers, honey, maple syrup, eggs, meat, poultry, dairy products, baked goods, jams and jellies, and similar products.  Products may also include arts and crafts items produced by the vendor.  Items for sale may also include prepared food and beverages, whether for consumption on-site or off-site.

Food Stand:  A temporary, commercial, food service establishment, which is open seasonally on designated days and times in the same, permanent location.  The operator of a Food Stand shall comply with all state and county health department regulations concerning food preparation and sales.  A food truck, which is mobile, is not a “food stand.”

Micro-brewery:    A small-scale production facility at which beer is produced and bottled and at which wholesale and retail storage and distribution may occur.  The volume of production of such facility may not exceed 15,000 barrels or 465,000 gallons per year.  The facility may have a tasting room for the consumption and sales of products produced on site.

Micro-distillery:  A small-scale, craft alcohol production facility, which may include the production of distilled spirits, hard ciders, and/or wine.   The volume of production of such a facility may not exceed 35,000 gallons per year.  The facility may have a tasting room for the consumption and sales of products produced on site.

Produce Stand:  A stand, tent, structure, or building, not to exceed a gross floor area of 500 square feet, from which seasonal agricultural products produced on the premises are sold.  Agricultural products may include fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs, plants, Christmas trees, eggs and similar items. For purposes of this definition “premises” may include abutting  parcels under the same ownership. No more than one produce stand can be located on any one premises.  A produce stand is an accessory use to the primarily agricultural use of the property.  A produce stand shall not exceed 15 feet in height and shall conform to all required setbacks for the zoning district in which it is located, except that it may encroach into the front yard setback; however, the stand shall be set back a minimum of 15 feet from the road right-of-way.

Parking:  Off-street parking shall be provided outside the road right-of-way.  The parking area need not be paved.

Signs:  A produce stand may have a total of two temporary ground identification signs, which shall conform to the requirements for temporary signs in Section 12.1C(1) of the Zoning Law.  Such signs do not require a sign permit; however, they may not be located off-premises and they shall be removed when the produce stand closes for the season.

In other business during the Dec. 21 Planning Board meeting, the owner of the proposed Stillhouse Brewpub and Distillery, William Bursee, was asked by the planning board to make some additional changes to the site plan for the project. Once those plans are approved by the planning board, Bursee must apply for several zoning variances from the Town’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

The site of the future business is located on the former site of Aardvark across Rt. 219 from the Tim Horton’s restaurant. Local approvals must be in hand before Bursee can apply for the necessary state and federal government permits.

The planning board also formally thanked retiring town planner Carol Horowitz for her many years of service.

The next planning board meeting will be held on Monday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. in the town/village hall.

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