After tabling the matter at its last meeting, the Town Board voted 4-1 to approve a special use permit for applicant Jie Zhu to have a bed and breakfast at 2568 West Oakfield Road. The board approved the permit, which is renewable yearly, with conditions.
Some objections by neighbors opposing the permit concerned the septic system at the proposed B&B as well as its expansion of a legal nonconforming use; nonconforming uses cannot be expanded or altered.
“I do view it … as an expansion of a nonconforming use,” added Councilman Mike Madigan, who voted no. “I am still concerned just in terms of the septic system. I am concerned about was it designed for three bedrooms? Was it designed for five?”
“Health and safety of the neighborhood, which is one of the stipulations, has to be considered,” he said.
Town code enforcement officer Bill Shaw said the board has “five different requirements for approval,” of special use permits, “which I believe have been ignored with this applicant. As far as Councilman Madigan doing an investigation with the Erie County Health Department for the septic system, I know at the present time we have seven legal bed and breakfasts right now. Five of the seven are on septic systems. None of those have ever been addressed for their septic systems. Why now?”
“I think there should be an investigation for abuse of power and selective enforcing,” he said.
Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray said, “If someone applies, and they have the right to apply under the law, we have to look at it objectively. I know this Town Board did that to the whole extent possible.”
“Similarly, I am certain that if this applicant fails to abide by these conditions, or fails to follow the requirements of the permit, they will also have to follow the law and lose their permit.”