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More patio homes for Lewiston?

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Sat, Dec 2nd 2017 10:10 am
Developer eyes 15 duplexes for Northridge Drive
By Terry Duffy
Editor-in-Chief
Just weeks following its approval of a much-debated concept planned unit development for 91 patio homes proposed by John and Joe Rubino off Upper Mountain and Bronson roads, it appears the Lewiston Town Board is poised to do another approval.
Monday, Jason Court resident Dominic Massaro, representing LMK Realty at Legacy Drive, appeared, requesting site plan application approval for his Legacy at Lewiston Patio Homes proposal. Specifically, Massaro is seeking R-1 to R-2 zoning approval to allow for a plan to build 15 two-unit, one-floor patio home residences on the east side of Northridge Drive, extending from just south of Legacy Drive, north and west toward Lauren Court.
"It is a single-story patio home, one-floor development plan, multifamily, that we're requesting from the rezoning from R-1 to R-2, to correspond with the adjacent PUD," Massaro said.
He told the board his group has covered spot zoning issues.
"We feel the project doesn't constitute spot zoning by any stretch of the imagination. ... We have addressed the issues of traffic; we have addressed the issues of proximity of the nearest R-1 and R-2 combination," Massaro said.
Regarding neighboring concerns with the current R-1 status of single-family homes on Scovell Drive, Massaro said his plan addresses any issues residents may have.
"There's existing trees that are present; we also would provide additional buffering as necessary ... trees, landscaping. ... That seemed to satisfy the residents from Scovell Drive," he said.
Massaro said his plan consists of 15 different duplex units, totaling 30 taxable patio homes - types A and B. He described them as two- and three-bedroom homes, offset to provide an architectural look.
"They would be different from the surrounding coach houses at Ridgeview ... the apartments, which also is multifamily," Massaro said.
He went on to describe the R-2 scenario for the neighborhood.
"The progression of density proceeds from the 24-unit apartment buildings ... to five, eight-unit condominium buildings comprising 40 taxable properties. You go from 24-unit buildings to eight-unit buildings, to two-unit buildings, to R-1 single family. The progression is from west to east, most dense to least dense," Massaro said of the R-2 to R-1 transition.
He said the patio home proposal would include a homeowner's association similar to that already existing in the coach houses and the nearby Legacy Drive condominiums. In addition, the plan would entail uniformity and limit what could be added by residents - any pools, boats, sheds, etc., on the properties.
"(It) would keep it as a smaller planned unit development. You would have much more uniformity, but with a different and distinct look," Massaro said.
Lot sizes would be 75 feet by 165 feet for the 15 lots that comprise two units apiece on most properties, with a few corner lots having deeper yards. Massaro said plans also call for sidewalks to be built throughout the neighborhood, on the eastern end from Northridge Drive and Lauren Court, eventually continuing to the opposite end at Ridge Road, and would include Legacy Court.
He went on to note the growing demand for patio home-type housing.
"These types of homes are much more marketable than a single family R-1 development," Massaro said.
As discussions continued, Supervisor Steve Broderick, board members Bill Geiben and Rob Morreale and Beth Ceretto, all spoke favorably of the plan (member Al Bax was absent). However, the only action the board took that evening was to schedule a public information hearing to gauge residents' input on the plan itself, with a second public hearing on establishing a local law to cover the actual R-1 to R-2 zoning change envisioned to take place at a session early next year.
The public hearing info session will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11. The board is considering scheduling another public hearing toward creating the local law at its January 2018 work session.
In other news from the meeting:
•The board approved setting a second public hearing on Monday, Dec. 11, to reset the fee structure for town water rates. The action follows Niagara County Legislature approval last week of a request by the Niagara County Water District to increase rates 15 cents per 1,000 gallons for residential users, with business rates to be slightly higher.
•The board discussed but took no action Monday on a request from Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte to replace a LPD patrol vehicle at a cost of approximately $32,000. Previte said the existing vehicle dates back to the early 2000s, has 114,000 miles on it, and is encountering costly water pump problems. He said he could realize a trade-in of $5,000 to $7,000 for the vehicle.
Board members, following talks with Budget/Finance Director Marty Blazick and Town Attorney Ryan Parisi, opted to follow up on the matter at the Dec. 12 work session.
•Wrapping up, the board approved the Modern Disposal leachate agreement at a rate of 3 cents per gallon; it approved a 2018 agreement with the Erie County SPCA for dog services; and heard from grant writer Bernie Rotella, who is pursuing grant funding to build a kennel facility for use by Lewiston and the Town of Porter.
The board opted to remove from any future consideration a local law amendment to construct a Swann Road fire training facility for Lewiston No. 1 Fire Co.

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