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An artist's rendering of Ellicott Development's proposed Center, North Eighth and Onondaga streets plaza design by Carmina Wood Morris.
An artist's rendering of Ellicott Development's proposed Center, North Eighth and Onondaga streets plaza design by Carmina Wood Morris.

Niagara County: Village of Lewiston ZBA must rescind 'Paladino plaza' variances

by jmaloni
Wed, May 18th 2016 09:40 am

By Joshua Maloni

Managing Editor

The Village of Lewiston learned this week it inadvertently missed a step in the procedure leading to the Zoning Board of Appeals granting variances to Ellicott Development for its "Paladino plaza." Subsequently, the ZBA will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, to rescind the variances.

In correspondence submitted to the village, the Niagara County Center for Economic Development reminded the municipality, "New York State General Municipal Law, Article 12B, Section 239 requires specific actions to be referred to the County for review if they involve issuance of a special permit, approval of a site plan or subdivision, granting of a use or area variance," among other things, when certain conditions exist - in this case, the project falling within 500 feet of a state roadway (Center Street).

In short, the Niagara County Planning Board must review Ellicott Development's plans before the ZBA can award variances.

NCPB members will review land use compatibility; traffic impacts and effects on existing infrastructure and emergency services; drainage and greenspace issues; impacts on existing and proposed county or state institutions; overall impacts to the community; impacts on policies, comprehensive plans and capital improvement programs; and protection of community character.

The NCPB has 30 days to provide a recommendation.

Like the Village of Lewiston Planning Board, the NCPB is a recommending body. The village can overrule or vote contrary to the NCPB's decision with a majority-plus-one board vote.

At a special ZBA meeting May 6, the "Paladino plaza" received five variances: primary building (three units instead of one); number of parking spaces (187 instead of a required 262); parking space size (9 by 18 feet instead of 9 by 20 feet); greenspace (25 percent instead of 30 percent); and drive-thru windows (two are not rear-positioned). The ZBA sought to rule on at least two more variances related to the south apartment building, but could not without prior written public notice.

The ZBA is required to hold a public hearing in conjunction with rescinding the variances.

The NCPB has a meeting set for 2 p.m. Monday, June 20, at the Niagara County Department of Economic Development's Vantage Center, Suite One boardroom, 6311 Inducon Corporate Drive, Sanborn.

This article will be updated when new information is provided.

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