WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES   TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-17
West Seneca, NY 14224 November 18, 2002

 

Supervisor Paul T. Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL: Present -

Paul T. Clark   Supervisor
Christopher F. Osmanski   Councilman
Vincent J. Graber Jr.   Councilman
Timothy M. Wroblewski.   Councilman
Craig J. Hicks   Councilman

Absent -   None

Supervisor Clark read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or an emergency.

The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Richard L. & Virginia E. Johnson, James E. Zygaj, Lorraine C. Rappold, Rose M. Larotonda, Mary F. Tures and Joan M. Scott.

17-A   MINUTES TO BE APPROVED

  • Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Graber, to approve Minutes #2002-16 of October 28, 2002.
    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried
  • Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to approve minutes from the November 4, 2002 Public Hearing re 2003 Special Districts & Preliminary Budget.
    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    17-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    1.   Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: "OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FOR A REZONING AND SPECIAL PERMIT FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 2740 & 2742 SENECA STREET, BEING PART OF LOT NO. 196, CHANGING ITS CLASSIFICATION FROM C-1 TO C-2(S), FOR A RESTAURANT WITH SALE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES" in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed.        (Guy Zagara)

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to open the public hearing.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Town Attorney Tim Greenan read the recommendation of the Planning Board: "At its October 18, 2002 meeting, the Planning Board with a vote of 3 to 3 offered no recommendation on the request for a rezoning & special permit for property located at 2740 & 2742 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 196, changing its classification from C-1 to C-2(S), for a restaurant with sale of alcoholic beverages."

    The petitioner, Guy Zagara, 651 Indian Church Road, stated that he purchased the property at 2740 & 2742 Seneca Street to open a restaurant. The building had been vacant for at least 12 years, but he was not certain what the previous use was. Mr. Zagara commented on the Planning Board meeting and referred to objections made by the residents of Dirkson Avenue who felt there was not enough parking for a restaurant. They thought that restaurant patrons would park on their street and create additional parking problems for them.

    Councilman Graber questioned Mr. Zagara's intention for the second floor of the building.

     

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    West Seneca, NY 14224 November 18, 2002
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    17-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    1.    (continued)

    Mr. Zagara responded that he did not have the money at this point to develop the upstairs, so right now it would be used for storage. He would eventually like to have a studio apartment on the second floor.

    Councilman Graber noted that Mr. Zagara's application indicated that 24 parking spaces were required, but that only related to the restaurant. Additional parking would be required for the apartment.

    Mr. Zagara agreed that additional parking would be required for an apartment, but noted that the property was within 600 feet of the municipal parking lot at the corner of Seneca Street and Harlem Road. According to the Town Code, the municipal lot could provide the additional parking spaces required. Mr. Zagara stated that he had measured the width of the first block of Dirkson Avenue, which was one-way and had parking on one side only, and the second block of Dirkson Avenue, which was two-way and had parking on both sides. At some points the width of the first block was larger than the second block. Mr. Zagara suggested that parking be allowed on both sides of the first block of Dirkson Avenue to help alleviate some of the residents' concerns.

    Supervisor Clark questioned where the employees of the restaurant would park.

    Mr. Zagara responded that employees of the restaurant would be required to park in the municipal lot.

    Supervisor Clark questioned if a parking variance would be required from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

    Building Inspector Bill Czuprynski advised that the plan indicated square footage of the building that allowed for 61 occupants. Two parking spaces were required for every five seats, so 24 spaces would be required for the restaurant without the studio apartment. Mr. Zagara's plan only provided for 10 parking spaces, so a variance would be required for 14 spaces.

    Councilman Osmanski questioned where the dumpster would be located.

    Mr. Zagara responded that he did not plan to have a dumpster, but there was plenty of green space to put one if required to do so.

    Mark Sasse, 64 Dirkson Avenue, submitted pictures of the Dirkson Avenue and Seneca Street area indicating a tight parking situation. He did not believe that allowing parking on both sides was a good idea and thought it would cause problems for emergency vehicles and plows maneuvering down the road. Mr. Sasse stated that parking was a major concern and if it got any worse it could affect property values if the residents of Dirkson Avenue decided to sell their homes.

    Supervisor Clark questioned if the residents had adequate off street parking or if they would be in favor of parking on both sides of Dirkson Avenue.

    Mr. Sasse stated that the parking situation was difficult and the residents did what they could to get off the street during the parking ban, even if it involved parking across a sidewalk or on a lawn. He further noted that the Planning Board had referred to a bar at this location years ago and tried to establish a precedent, however, that bar was located between Ultima Taco and the building in question and it burned down 15 to 20 years ago. Mr. Sasse understood that the bar was called Russell's Tavern, then Howard's Tavern, and then Jack's Tavern. It was a small neighborhood hangout that nobody drove to, and Mr. Sasse did not believe it could be compared to the proposed restaurant. He also did not believe that people would park in the municipal lot and walk 600 feet across two busy streets to go to the restaurant.

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-17
    West Seneca, NY 14224 November 18, 2002
    Page three . . .

    17-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    1.    (continued)

    Mary Ellen Murphy, 41 Dirkson Avenue, stated that the building in question had deteriorated over the years and become a real eyesore. Although some of the neighbors felt that anything locating here was better than nothing, she did not believe the proposed restaurant was the right thing. Mrs. Murphy commented on the severe parking problem on Dirkson Avenue and questioned how many patrons Mr. Zagara expected in his restaurant. She opposed the proposal to have parking on both sides of the street and thought it would make traveling on the road difficult. She also thought that restaurant patrons would drive the wrong way down Dirkson Avenue, making it especially hazardous for children. Mrs. Murphy referred to RT's Tavern located nearby on Seneca Street and commented on the poor condition of the property and the raised sidewalk and metal grate that was unsafe. She questioned what kind of restaurant Mr. Zagara was proposing and commented that restaurants were a difficult business to succeed at. Mrs. Murphy questioned what would happen to the rezoning and special permit if Mr. Zagara's restaurant failed. She preferred to see the property used for apartments.

    Mr. Greenan responded that bar or restaurant use required a special permit and the board imposed conditions to regulate the use of the property. The regulations would remain in place for any subsequent owner of the property. If the use was not continued for a period of one year, the special permit would cease.

    Tom Hebert, 55 Dirkson Avenue, did not believe that parking on both sides of a one-way street was feasible because it would be difficult to park on the left side of the street and be able to exit the car, especially in the winter with the snow banks. Mr. Hebert commented on the improvements made to the homes on Dirkson Avenue in the last 12 years and did not believe that the residents wanted to have another situation like the residents of Wildwood Avenue with the Golden Nugget on the corner. He commented on the inadequate parking situation and thought that the restaurant would just add to the residents' parking problems.

    Donna Sciandra, 56 Dirkson Avenue, opposed rezoning the property for a restaurant/bar based on the parking situation and the problems that occurred at RT's.

    Linda Spriegel, 54 Dirkson Avenue, was not happy with the proposed traffic pattern to funnel the cars in from Seneca Street and out onto Dirkson Avenue. She commented on the difficulty exiting Dirkson Avenue onto Seneca Street, especially when a delivery truck had parked on the sidewalk in front of the proposed restaurant. Mrs. Spriegel noted the number of motorists who did not see the Do Not Enter signs and traveled the wrong way down Dirkson Avenue. She felt that the added traffic would be a detriment to the neighborhood.

    Mark Wright, 53 Dirkson Avenue, opposed the rezoning and special permit request due to the parking situation and the added danger to children in the neighborhood.

    Cheryl Sasse, 64 Dirkson Avenue, stated that the children played in the street because there was not much room in their yards. The additional traffic and potential for cars to travel the wrong way on Dirkson Avenue would be a safety hazard for the children. Mrs. Sasse thought that a bar would reduce their property values and attract the wrong type of people to the neighborhood.

    Mr. Zagara responded to some of the residents' concerns and stated that the Golden Nugget was three times the size of the proposed restaurant. Even with the addition, there would only be 1200 square feet. He did not see a need to use the municipal parking lot and stated that he only included it in the plan because the Town Code allowed it to be used toward the parking requirement. Mr. Zagara also noted that the municipal lot was only 300 feet away from the proposed restaurant. He agreed that a number of cars traveled the wrong way down Dirkson Avenue, but thought that this was an enforcement problem and had nothing to do with his proposed business. Mr. Zagara agreed to post a Left Turn Only sign on Dirkson Avenue at the rear driveway to make the patrons aware of the one-way street. There was no entrance to the building along Seneca Street and he thought the only reason a truck was parked there for a couple of hours one day was to repair some broken windows. Mr. Zagara commented on RT's and stated that it was a slow establishment and he had never seen any more than two people there

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-17
    West Seneca, NY 14224 November 18, 2002
    Page four . . .

    17-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    1.    (continued)

    on weekdays and even on Friday nights. He intended to serve seafood with a selection of soup and sandwiches. The bar would only be about 20 feet long and there was not much space for a dining area. Takeout dinners would be available, but he did not anticipate it to be a large part of the business due to the parking situation. Mr. Zagara stated that he owned a bar downtown that he leased out and he was also the former owner of the Golf Club Inn, so he had experience in this business. The property was zoned C-1 and had been on the market for the last six years. Mr. Zagara did not believe he would be able to market the property with the C-1 zoning.

    Mary Ellen Murphy, 41 Dirkson Avenue, expressed concern over the way garbage would be handled and thought that a dumpster would be necessary to keep it under control.

    Tom Hebert, 55 Dirkson Avenue, stated that the street was already posted for one-way traffic and people still went down it the wrong way. He did not believe Mr. Zagara's addition of a Left Turn Only sign would stop people from going up Dirkson Avenue the wrong way. Mr. Hebert thought that Mr. Zagara should have applied for the zoning change before he purchased the property.

    Supervisor Clark questioned what C-1 uses the property could be used for.

    Mr. Greenan responded that C-1 was generally an office type use and C-2 was more of a retail type establishment. Typically, there would not be new office space locating in this part of town.

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to close the public hearing.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to deny the request for a rezoning and special permit for property located at 2740 & 2742 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 196, changing its classification from C-1 to C-2(S), for a restaurant with sale of alcoholic beverages.

    On the question, Councilman Osmanski stated that Mr. Zagara seemed like a very interested and legitimate owner and would do a very good job with the restaurant/bar, but the plan did not even come close to the parking requirements. Even though this would be a small establishment, he did not have half the number of parking spaces required. Councilman Osmanski thought that people would park on Dirkson Avenue and impose on the residents of that neighborhood, and it would be more difficult in the winter with the snow piles. He also did not believe there was any place to put a dumpster on the property without taking an additional parking space.

    Councilman Graber stated that he did not like to see vacant buildings in town, but he also did not want the surrounding neighborhood adversely affected by the use of the property. There was only 10 parking spaces on the property and if the business thrived and became very successful, the limited parking situation on Dirkson Avenue would be exacerbated. Councilman Graber thought that restaurant patrons would go the wrong way down Dirkson Avenue to avoid pulling out onto Seneca Street, and this would be a hazard to the children in the neighborhood. He also thought that property values would be negatively affected if the restaurant/bar establishment were allowed to proceed. Councilman Graber noted that Mr. Zagara would have other options for use of the property if the rezoning were not approved.

    Supervisor Clark questioned if the C-2 zoning for a restaurant without alcohol would be acceptable to the residents.

    Councilman Osmanski responded that even a restaurant without alcohol would generate traffic and parking problems.

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-17
    West Seneca, NY 14224 November 18, 2002
    Page five . . .

    17-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    1.    (continued)

    Mr. Greenan stated that even if the Town Board granted the rezoning, it would still require a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Any potential user of the property for a restaurant would still need to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals if they did not have sufficient parking, or they could lease additional parking from the surrounding businesses. If it were a small establishment that didn't require more than 10 spaces, a variance would not be necessary. Mr. Greenan noted that Mr. Zagara could return to the board within one year with a different C-2 zoning request.

    Councilman Graber noted that he did not want to vote on a rezoning to C-2 without a specific plan in place.

    Supervisor Clark commended the neighbors for working together on an issue that was important to their neighborhood and Mr. Zagara for the manner in which he presented his project and dealt with the neighbors.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    2.   Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: "OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO THE RECYCLING ORDINANCE" in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to open the public hearing.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Deputy Town Attorney Bill Bond stated that the amendments to the Recycling Ordinance were brought about by NESTA who informed the town that the ordinance did not strictly comply with State Law and some language needed to be added. Mr. Bond also added some language that Highway Supt. Pat Finnegan had requested. The amendments included adding "other recyclable paper," requiring that everything be stored in yellow plastic bins supplied by the town, and allowing plastic lawn & leaf bags for newspapers.

    Mary Ellen Murphy, 41 Dirkson Avenue, questioned why cardboard from pop and beer cases could not be recycled instead of going to the landfill, and if they would still be taking magazines with glossy covers.

    Mr. Finnegan responded that the recycler notified him that they no longer had the outlet to recycle cardboard from pop and beer cases. Instead of paying the recycler to pick it up and dispose of it, the town decided to have it put in the regular garbage. They would still be recycling magazines.

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to close the public hearing.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to adopt the attached amendments to the Recycling Ordinance for the Town of West Seneca.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    *APPENDICES*

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-17
    West Seneca, NY 14224 November 18, 2002
    Page six . . .

    17-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    3.   Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Hicks, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: "OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER A PETITION FOR CREATION OF A LIGHTING DISTRICT IN SMOKES CREEK PRESERVE SUBDIVISION TO BE KNOWN AS ELECTRIC LIGHTING DISTRICT NO. 60" in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Graber, to open the public hearing.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Town Attorney Tim Greenan stated that this public hearing was based upon a petition that was filed pursuant to 196.6 of the Town Law and signed by a sufficient number of the owners of the real estate fronting or abutting Thistle Court and Moss Side Loop. The petition requested establishment of a lighting district for these streets and stated that there was no money proposed to be expended that would require financing or the issuance of bonds. Materials to be installed by NYSEG were acceptable to the town and would be paid for by the respective lighting owners.

    Supervisor Clark stated that many people who lived in subdivisions in the town wanted neighborhood lighting to be established and were willing to pay a little extra in property taxes to fund installation of light standards by NYSEG and illumination of their neighborhood year round. This was paid for through Special District taxes that benefited only that particular area.

    Councilman Graber noted that these streets were not yet constructed and this was the time to have lighting installed. There were still some streets in town that did not have street lights, but the price was too exorbitant to retrofit them.

    No comments were received from the public.

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to close the public hearing.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to create a lighting district in Smokes Creek Preserve Subdivision to be known as Electric Lighting District No. 60.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    *APPENDICES*

    17-C   COMMUNICATIONS

    1.   Supervisor Clark re Termination of part-time laborers

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to terminate the following part-time laborers effective November 18, 2002:

    William Crotty Craig Godzich Joshua Hauger Kevin Kucala Dennis O'Sullivan William Roloff Peter Talty Mark Vogel Jason Zimmerman

    and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    2.   Councilman Hicks re Appointment of Gary Oosterhoudt to West Seneca Environmental Commission

    Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Councilman Graber, to appoint Gary Oosterhoudt to the West Seneca Environmental Commission.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-17
    West Seneca, NY 14224 November 18, 2002
    Page seven . . .

    17-C    COMMUNICATIONS

    3.   Town Attorney re Final resolution and order for North America Center Storm Water Drainage District

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to adopt the attached final resolution and order providing for the establishment of the North America Center Industrial Park Storm Water Drainage District pursuant to Article 12-A of the Town Law of the State of New York.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    *APPENDICES*

    4.   Town Engineer re Parkside Drive Flood Control Improvements Project, final change order & acceptance

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve Change Order No. 1 for David Ogiony Development Co., Inc., 500 Bullis Road, West Seneca, NY 14224 for a net deduct of $174.23 and accept the Parkside Drive Flood Control Improvements Project, Job No. P-0113, at a final contract amount of $8999.75.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    5.   Town Engineer re Proposal to clean sanitary siphon under Cazenovia Creek

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to approve the proposal from Utility Construction Group, Inc., 2816 Pleasant Avenue, Lakeview, NY 14085 for a total amount not to exceed $8750 (5 days @ $1750 per day) to clean the sanitary sewer siphon under Cazenovia Creek.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    6.   Town Engineer re Electric service proposals for flowmeter installation on Ashmund Road

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to award the electric service work for flowmeter installation on Ashmund Road to M/R Simoncelli Electric, Inc., 480 Lakeview Avenue, Orchard Park, NY 14127 at their low proposal amount of $4400.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    7.   Town Engineer re Purchase requiring Town Board approval

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize payment of $2554.25 to Burgh Schoenenberger for a hydroranger flowmeter for the sanitary outfall.
    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    8.   Highway Supt. re Repairs to Gatling gun

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize payment of $6650 to Schneider Enterprises, 1252 N. Brownslake Road, Burlington, WI 53105 for repairs to the Gatling gun at Veterans Park, including a complete carriage and wheels.

    On the question, Supervisor Clark thanked Roger Harris who worked with Highway Supt. Pat Finnegan, Deputy Highway Supt. Ed Kowalewski and Dan Frontera on gathering information about the Gatling gun. A letter was received from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Parks Service, indicating that the Gatling gun was mostly likely from 1895, an original issuance, and the same model that was used in Cuba in the Spanish-American War. It was a very valuable piece of equipment and after restoration they would determine the best place to display it.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

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