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Village of Lewiston Board tables plaza exterior vote, sets public hearing for Fairchild project

by jmaloni
Sat, Jan 21st 2017 07:00 am

By Joshua Maloni

Managing Editor

Trustees in the Village of Lewiston on Tuesday declined to vote on proposed exterior colors and materials that Ellicott Development intends to use for its 4.1-acre mixed-use plaza.

"Something I'd like to see ... is where all the mechanicals are going to be sitting," Village Board member Nick Conde said. "On sidewalks? Roofs?"

He was inquiring as to where heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems will be placed. Village of Lewiston Planning Commission administrator Ed Walker told Conde his board was informed that placement depends on yet-to-be-finalized tenancy.

"I'd like to see that before I vote on it," Conde said. "I'm not trying to hold it up, but I want to see what their thoughts are."

"I agree," Trustee Vic Eydt said.

The Village Board tabled the motion with a 4-0 vote. Deputy Mayor Bruce Sutherland was excused from the meeting.

On Jan. 9, the Planning Board unanimously approved the proposed plaza exterior. A PDF showing colors and trimmings can be downloaded HERE.

Planning Board member Claudia Marasco said stone at the plaza parcel (Center, North Eighth and Onondaga streets) should be maintained for future use within the village.

"We don't want to lose anything on that site," she said.

Board members did approve the exterior change at 442-446 Center St. Trustees had high marks for the design concept, which was previously presented by architect Jim Fittante.

"They want to, more or less, bring it back to the way it was, with the stone front," Mayor Terry Collesano said of the concept.

Three peaked overhangs are currently in place at the former book depository and firehall. The proposal calls for a flatter fa├žade.

"There was some talk about putting an awning in front, but they didn't know whether it was going to be three stores or one store," Collesano added.

Additional exterior changes - such as awnings - would require another round of approval from the Planning Board.

Property owner Herbert Richardson is said to be looking for tenants. He has not attended recent meetings.

Fairchild Update

Collesano and company set a public hearing date for Orchard Park developer James Jerge's project at 765 Fairchild Place. Residents are invited to visit the Morgan Lewis Village Boardroom at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, to offer comments on the proposed housing development, and to hear about the project's State Environmental Quality Review. A second public hearing is tentatively set to talk about a special use permit that would authorize eight parking spaces in the village right-of-way at Onondaga Street.

Last October, the Village of Lewiston Zoning Board of Appeals granted Jerge a variance for parking spaces, allowing his project to proceed with 44 instead of the requisite 60.

The eight parking spaces in front of the proposed three-story apartment complex would not count toward Jerge's total, likely would not be tied to the project (instead serving as public parking), and would continue the existing practice of parking in this particular village right-of-way.

The Planning Board told Jerge his project would be on the Village Board's agenda this week, but that was not the case.

An hour after the Sentinel went to press on Jan. 13, the Village of Lewiston released its agenda for Tuesday's meeting. The document stated trustees would not vote on the Fairchild project. Rather, they would schedule the public hearings.

The Village Board also is expected to meet with each village festival organizer at the work session on Feb. 6.

Residents 'Invest in a Vest'

On Tuesday morning, Lewiston Police Department Chief Frank Previte held a press conference to announce the results of "Invest in a Vest." (See related cover story.) Village residents Marasco and Arlene Sliz started the campaign last July to raise enough money to outfit each of the LPD's 20 officers with a new bulletproof vest.

The target goal was $20,000. If additional funds came in, police dog Taser also would be given his own vest.

As of press time, nearly $25,000 had been raised.

"I'd like to thank the mayor for attending our press conference today. I thought it went very well, with all the news agencies, regarding the 'Invest in a Vest'; and Claudia and Arlene were present, and did a fantastic job, as usual," Previte said. "I also would like to thank everybody that donated and supported the project. It's still an ongoing project but, in case you haven't heard, we've not only met our goal, but exceeded it, thanks to the work of these two ladies.

"I want to thank, again, the mayor and his staff - Amy (Salada) and Ed (Walker) and the staff in the office here for taking on the responsibility of collecting that money and being caretakers of the money that we were able to raise for that. It's going to be put to very good use."

When updating trustees last month, Previte joked more money was earmarked for Taser than for any of the officers.

At that time, Collesano asked, "In talking about the vests, I understand we also had one going for the dog. How's that one?"

Previte said, "That's correct. We raised enough money to cover all the officers and the dog," which, he noted, "seemed to be the biggest draw."

As trustees and attendees laughed, Previte noted, "Everybody wanted to make sure the dog was taken care of."

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