Residents’ concerns prompt board to table permit applications
√ Town eyes new local law for Essex Homes project
By Terry Duffy
Lewiston Town Board members heard residents’ comments on two pending applications before the town for projects above and below the hill at their Monday session. However, the board opted to table both measures due to a number of concerns heard from the public.
Issues heard that night ranged from zoning concerns to questions of the town favoring business interests versus those of residents; to noncompliance issues with existing town code; to increased traffic and quality of life concerns.
Leading off was Willco Auto Care LLC, which has been seeking a special use permit/site plan approval from the town to establish an automotive repair shop at 5882 Ward Road.
Upon hearing many of the residents’ aforementioned issues, Supervisor Steve Broderick said the board would not be taking any action that evening on Willco. He cited concerns raised by the town Building Department; questions over assessment values of the property; the potential of traffic/safety issues from the parking of vehicles; sewer compliance inspection matters with storm and wastewater regulations; and the need for a special use permit to cover the owner’s plans to convert a former lumber storage building to that of an automotive repair business.
“Those are four issues we would like to see resolved before we make any approval on the special use permit for Willco,” Broderick said. “There will be no action taken on Willco tonight.
•Next up was an application by LMK Realty Associates for a planned unit development expansion to be situated on North Ridge Drive sloping north from Ridge Road. LMK is seeking to build 10 additional units on North Ridge Drive that would be adjacent to its existing apartment complexes on the property. The area in question is located just north of Ridge Road, is currently vacant and wooded, and adjoins existing private residences.
Five residents spoke, and none appeared to be in favor of the LMK proposal. Complaint issues ranged from past Town Board action/changes to the zoning code in recent years that residents said favored the developer’s interests over others; to the problem of more traffic anticipated in the area from the increased numbers of residents; and the loss of trees and green space and quality of life issues.
“They (LMK Realty) have been allowed to expand; you guys made the zoning change and allowed to change from single family (home) to incorporate with his existing plan,” said one Ridge Road resident. “It’s an unfortunate situation for residents; they’re against it,”
Others offered complaints that included fears of more expansion, plus aggravating existing traffic/speed zone issues seconded his concerns.
“There will be no action taken as far as approving LMK Realty’s property at this time,” Broderick said at the close of the public hearing.
In other news:
•Clerk/Tax receiver Donna Garfinkel said a traffic study of the Ridge/Dickersonville roads intersection is now underway by the state Department of Transportation. The town and other area interests had requested the study following numerous reported motor vehicle accidents that have occurred at the intersection, including a motorcycle fatality.
•The town approved scheduling a public hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, to consider a local law to address the rezoning of lots to be incorporated into a planned unit development for Essex Homes.
•The board approved a host community agreement for the Saturn Power/Kilmer Solar project on Townline Road. It also approved a restructured agreement covering payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for the separate Niagara University solar project.
•The Town Board recognized the efforts of Boy Scout Ryan Edward Davis of Troop 855 in Lewiston for his ongoing work with the troop on the Ways Evans Scovell Cemetery Cleanup project. Begun nearly two months ago and continuing, the project is among Davis’ work on achieving his Eagle Scout honors.
•The town will rent the pavilion at Kiwanis Park for the holding of the 42nd Kiwanis 5K run, taking place Thursday, Sept. 1. The race will start and finish at Kiwanis Park, and will be staged along the newly repaved bike path alongside the Niagara Scenic Parkway.
“It will not be held on the streets,” Broderick said. He noted the race will be longer than past 5Ks held on village streets and town neighborhoods.
For more information on the race, visit www.niagaracountypeachfestival.org.