Board OKs emergency water line repairs on the Circle Drive
By Terry Duffy
"I have to be honest with you, I have no clue on what you just approved."
So said French Landing attorney Damen DeCastro to the Lewiston Town Board Monday on its final plat approval for the French Landing subdivision, considered for the east side of Lower River Road in northern Lewiston.
After reviewing a number of issues, including yet-to-be-settled fire access at nearby River Walk, the Town Board went on to approve a modified final plat for French Landing - one that calls for completion of the entire "Wolf Run" project roadway in one phase (instead of two), and before any new residences can be built and certificate of occupancies granted. Councilman Bill Conrad presented the motion.
The reconfigured final plat is intended to satisfy long-standing concerns by Town Fire Bureau Marshal Pat Martin of yet-unfinished fire and emergency access at River Walk. Likewise, Martin saw the issue as impacting fire response service at French Landing.
The final plat of French Landing, approved earlier by the town's Planning Board, called for a partial Wolf Run construction in phase one and the building of eight single-family homes. It was to be followed by a full completion of the road in phase two, and the building of additional homes per market demand.
The change Monday followed board discussion with Town Attorney Mark Davis, who outlined various options the town could pursue. Included was approving the flat as per the Planning Board's earlier OK or denying it altogether and facing consequences in the form of possible litigation from the French Landing developer.
Conrad's resolution calls for completion of the roadway loop from the River Walk spur on the northeast to Lower River Road on the southwest and addresses the lack of a completed fire access road at River Walk.
"We need some resolution that we can agree upon," Conrad said as he presented another final plat proposal Monday, which he called his "fourth strike" after presenting others previously that evening. Conrad said the completion of the single phase entire roadway loop would satisfy concerns by Martin.
It was an issue the board moved on with hesitation.
The town has been contending with the problem of unfinished fire and emergency vehicle access at River Walk, which continues to this day. Requests to River Walk developers by the town for completion to a road that enable fire and emergency have not been met.
And Martin was openly critical, noting the 34 residences in River Walk that remain without adequate emergency vehicle service. He said additional housing at French Landing would exacerbate the problem.
"This is something (River Walk fire access) that needs to be resolved," Councilman Ron Winkley said. "We can't stick it to the (French Landing) developer here."
"We don't want another River Walk," said Conrad, who, like Winkley, faulted previous Town Boards and administrations for approving River Walk in the first place with conditions attached that were never met.
"It's a bad situation," he said.
And so it went.
Monday's session, much like the town's August public hearing on the final plat for French Landing that went on to be tabled, opened with a number of Lower River Road and nearby River Walk residents venting concerns to the board about the French Landing project. Those ranged from drainage to flooding, SEQR compliance to fire access, the use of town or other public funding to address French Landing infrastructure, and the calling for performance bonds.
"There's a multitude of issues here," said Town Building and Code Enforcement Officer Tim Masters, who was at odds with DeCastro on French Landing.
As the vote was taken, Winkley spoke of possible litigation to come from the developer. None was to come that evening from DeCastro - only a request to further review the Conrad proposal in total prior to considering any action at the board's next meeting.
"The motion makes no logical sense," DeCastro said prior to his departing.
In other news from the session:
•The board approved the awarding of an emergency repair contract to Kandey Construction to address a water main break affecting a 24-inch water line on the Circle Drive. The break, which occurred on Sept. 25, was deemed a public emergency allowing the town to bypass the competitive bidding process. No estimate was given on the repairs, funding of which is expected to come from the town water department account.
•The town approved a dedication of roads in The Woods at Blairville subdivision, completed in 1996 but never finalized due to a clerical error. Roads identified were Washington Drive and Summer Street. The approval now allows for completion of a sale of the property to a new owner.
•Project updates discussed that evening included the Lauren Court country curb replacements, which are planned to begin Nov. 1 and be completed by Nov. 20. Roof projects planned for the Water Pollution Control Center and at the Senior Center were said to be awaiting Supervisor Dennis Brochey's signature prior to their starting.
•The town announced Halloween trick-or-treat hours would be 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.