Town addresses North Ridge Drive patio homes, LPD contract
By Terry Duffy
With its summer schedule approaching (no work sessions in June, July and August), the Lewiston Town Board got down to business on a number of items at its Thursday regular meeting. Among them:
•The town moved ever closer to construction of more patio homes in Lewiston following board approval of a preliminary plat for LMK Realty. This will allow for 15 two-unit one-floor residences to be built on the northeastern side of North Ridge Drive, from Legacy Drive west to West Eddy Drive.
"The Planning Board recommends approval of the preliminary plat," said Council member Rob Morreale He referenced a May 23 Planning Board letter and other communication from the town's engineering department containing various conditions that needed to be met.
The approval follows earlier action this year to approve zoning law changes to allow for the medium density units and a final plat submission by the Planning Board, as well as the scheduling of a public hearing.
"The developers are anxious to move forward on this project," said Ryan Parisi, attorney for the town. He requested board approval for a June 25 public hearing on the issue, provided the developers meet various conditions as outlined by the town's engineers.
"I received assurances from them; they will have the final plat, in final form to our engineers (and building department). I don't see any issue with that," he said.
Parisi said he expected the developers to have all the Planning Board issues addressed for review by mid-June, adding that, if they're not met, there will be no public hearing.
Soon after, the board approved the June 25 public hearing on the LMK Realty plan.
•The board approved the letting out of bids for a replacement HVAC unit at the Town of Lewiston Senior Center. Town Engineer Bob Lannon said he would be soliciting three quotes "well under the $35,000 figure" for what he called a "replacement in kind" HVAC unit for the center's roof.
"A critical part of the design would be to replace it on the existing curving (of the roof)," he said.
Soon after, the board approved the seeking of three bids for a new air conditioning rooftop mount for the Senior Center.
•The board moved forward on finalizing the Lewiston Police Department contract for full- and part-time officers.
"The Town Board has been presented with a tentative agreement between the Town of Lewiston Police Department and ... Teamsters Local 264," said Parisi. "If the board is satisfied with the agreement, I just need two motions" to agree and for Supervisor Steve Broderick to sign.
The board went on to approve the contract, which now goes before the Village of Lewiston Board of Trustees for approval en route to ratifying by the Lewiston Police.
•The Town Board heard more complaints on shooting concerns in the Swann Road neighborhood adjacent to the Lewiston No. 1 Fire Co. substation.
A letter was received by Tim Masters, town building inspector and code enforcement officer, signed by a number residents with complaints on the shooting activity at the substation, requesting that zoning laws in the area be upheld.
"The misuse and noise in the 1-1 zones, namely gun fire, has become extremely unacceptable," the residents' letter said. "This use and emissions of extreme noise from this property has become a quality of life and health issue to some of our residents, i.e., those who have PTSD, health issues and other conditions. There are also several retired residents that are trying to enjoy their homes."
The residents cited Section 360-109 of the town zoning code that states, "All use of lands, buildings and structures or industrial processes or injurious by reason of the production or emission of dust, smoke, refuse matter, gas, fumes, noise, vibrations or similar substances or conditions" are not permitted within the 1-1 district.
In response, Masters said he felt the intent of the law was geared toward manufacturing or business-related activities that would result in constant noise problem.
Of the residents' complaints, he added, "I agree it is a quality of life issue and I think it is more of neighbor to neighbor dispute. ... I don't think they're being neighborly."
Masters said he felt the code section discussed "was inapplicable" to the problem of excessive shooting activities at the Lewiston No. 1 substation.
"Do I agree that it is rude and not neighborly that they shoot over there when other people are trying to enjoy their life? ... There are others over on Swann Road that shoot also; I don't think I have the liberty to shut that down.
"I agree with their plight; I don't think I can justly cite that law to stop it," Masters said.
Parisi said the law described was intended to address industrial activities. He then raised the issue of shooting activity in the semi-rural neighborhood.
"You also have insurmountable, in my opinion Second Amendment issues, if the town tries to stop someone from shooting their weapons legally under state law on their private property," said Parisi.
Throughout the discussions, various residents vented their complaints to Broderick and Town Board members, but were told to refrain from speaking at that time.
Broderick said board members, Masters and Parisi would review the shooting complaints with regard to the zoning law section and see if they could come up with a solution.
In residents' statements that followed, Jeffery Miller of Swann Road told the board he would like the town to consider the residents as it addresses the shooting activity problem.
"It is really getting to my family," he said of the substation shooting activity that goes on across the street from his home. "When we moved here 20 years ago, it was pretty mellow; occasionally some would go back there to sight their guns.
"Over the last couple of years, there's a regular cadre of people that go there quite often. It's very loud and it's for hours."
Miller recalled an event last weekend: "There were eight cars and more weapons than I could count and it was just all day. I want it to stop, to slow down. I want my life back."
The resident told the board of his two children who have autism.
Miller told the board his only option is to move, if the situation is not addressed. He added he would prefer to stay and expand his farm property, "But I don't want flying bullets back there."
In response, Broderick invited the resident to come in and discuss the matter further with Masters and Town Board members, with hopes of resolving the situation.