Over the past few weeks I have been attending meetings with the Town and Village of Victor to understand the process and make my presence known regarding the Gullace Development that is proposed for the North border of the Village of Victor.
I am quite impressed by the professionalism of the various board members in our town. They have a tough job keeping up with all of the nuances of running our small piece of the world.
Village Trustee Meeting
On June 2nd 2014 there was a meeting of the Village Trustees. The Gullace Project was on the agenda. For this particular meeting, there were two items related to the Gullace Project. The first item was to make the Victor Town Planning Board the lead agency for the SEQR (pronounced seeker). The second item involved the annexation of approximately 2 acres from the Town of Victor to the Village of Victor.
The resolution was passed to make the Town Planning Board the lead agency for the SEQR.
SEQR stands for State Environmental Quality Review and requires that all state and local government agencies to consider environmental impacts equally with social and economic factors during discretionary decision-making. More information on a SEQR can be found at this link: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6208.html
Determination of a lead agency for the SEQR is outlined in the DEC regulations ( See this link: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6451.html ). The purpose of a lead agency is to streamline the process of approval and to coordinate all of the decision making to one agency. In this case, since an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required, the Victor Town Planning Board becomes responsible for seeing that this is done.
The remaining agenda item was the annexation of the North side of the 15 unit single family home portion of the development to be part of the Village. This simplifies garbage pick-up and other town/village services.
A public hearing was set for July 14th to allow the public to be heard regarding this annexation.
The petition for annexation has been received by the Village. The board discussed when the determination was to be made and it was decided that this would be addressed after the public hearing. The board can then approve or defer the vote on annexation at that time.
Victor Town Board Meeting
June 9, 2014 a meeting of the Victor Town Board was held. Again, the annexation of the town/village portion of this project was discussed.
The Town Board passed two resolutions regarding this project. First, to make the Victor Town Planning Board the main SEQR agency and second to set the public hearing to July 14th, 2014 at 7:05 PM to discuss the annexation of the Town/Village portion of this project. This will be a joint Public Hearing.
During the public comment part of this meeting 2 residents spoke. The first asked the board what the motivation was for the annexation. The board members indicated that this was to simplify services to this section of the development. The board deferred to the opinion of the legal counsel for the Planning Board.
The second pointed out to the board that this area was rezoned to Multiple Dwelling in 1985 for the specific purpose of a proposed development at that time. As the area around this is all zoned for R-2 residential single family homes or duplexes is it appropriate to have this zoning in place. In the original specification the intent was for 3.6 units per acre and condominiums for sale. The current proposal has a much higher density and apartments for rent. A discussion on the project can be found here: http://victordirectory.com/proposed-gullace-development/
Ontario County Planning Board Meeting
Last night, June 11, 2014, I attended the Ontario County Planning Board meeting. The county of Ontario is concerned with the impact that this development will have on the county roads, emergency response, school busses and drainage. These are issues that must be addressed by the Town and Village. The County doesn’t stop a project or approve a project but makes recommendations. They can Approve a project, Approve a project with comments, Approve a project with modifications or Disapprove a project. The final two actions require that the lead agency (the Town Planning Board) must approve the project with a super-majority. A super-majority requires a majority vote plus one.
Carla Jordan presented the project to the board. In this case, only two parts of the project were presented. These are the 15 lot single family homes and the apartment complex. The remaining 7 lots on the West side of County Road 9 were not being discussed and are referenced in their plan as future development. To present these at this time would require a rezoning of the lot from Multiple Dwelling to R-2, so that portion of the project is not being discussed as part of this project.
Discussion of the traffic impact on County Rd. 9 and the traffic where Church Street and Lynaugh Rd intersect Rt. 96 was of great concern to the board. The Ontario County Department of Public Works was displeased with the current traffic study and has requested that another study be done. The previous study was completed in November of 2013 and indicated that the 3 nearby intersections (Church/96, Lynaugh/96, and Church/Lynaugh) were all currently failing the traffic study. Additional loading on these intersections would make a bad situation worse.
Additional items that were discussed were as follows:
- Cut through/private road is 21 feet wide, with on-street parking is this sufficient for emergency vehicles to service the area?
- The town lighting is specified as “dark sky” compliant but no mention of it is made in the Village component.
- School buses can’t traverse a private road so the students in the complex must get the bus at either end of the complex. Pick-up on County Road 9 is not overly safe for this.
- Department of the Highway noted that the current traffic study does not account for people using the private drive to shortcut around the current intersections.
- The M-D zoning was changed in 1985 and the current development is significantly different, however the zoning is a local issue and not the purvey of the County.
- Drainage, must retain as much original buffer as possible. Replanting new trees will have a significantly different outcome.
- Was the zoning appropriate now that the site plan has changed?
- Traffic must be mitigated but the State Department of Transportation will not modify the intersections with Rt. 96.
- One board member cautioned that traffic studies are often “Smoke and Mirrors” and must have the methodology verified.
- The board questioned whether the community is willing to accept the traffic issues.
The board then asked for public comment. 4 Victor residents were heard. The issues presented by the area residents were:
- Traffic speed and safety in this area are now a problem. Additional loading will make a bad situation worse.
- Drainage from this site is already an issue and springs are present throughout this hill. Underground water must be addressed. A pump house used to be present in this area to provide water to the Village so the water issues have been known to be significant for many years.
- Old growth Hickory trees are present on the property.
- How will this impact the school population. Has this been addressed to the satisfaction of the Town Planning Board?
- The sewer proposed is gravity fed and is planned to run through Harlan Fisher Park.
- Traffic load is currently unacceptable with only 5 streets feeding onto Church Street. Adding additional load to this will exacerbate the current poor situation.
The board did indicate that they were unsure of the current “Comprehensive Approach to Development” and would like to see how this project fits into the Town Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is currently available in Draft form only. (See this link for the Draft: http://www.victorny.org/index.aspx?nid=261 )
Leaning toward disapproval the board cited traffic, drainage and other cumulative issues.
- The board requires more information on the traffic issues, is concerned with the width of the road for Emergency Vehicles and wishes to know more about the comprehensive plan for the Town of Victor.
- There has been no mention of springs and the groundwater issues have not been addressed.
- Finally, the board is concerned with the cumulative impact of traffic in the area and the fact that it is “beyond mitigation”.
Motion 49, 49.1 and 49.2: Class 2: Disapprove. Carried by unanimous vote.
June 24, 2014: Public Hearing Victor Town Hall 7:05 PM.
The application of Lynaugh Road Properties, LLC, 160 Despatch Drive, East Rochester, New York, for a Site Plan entitled Gullace Property. It is the intent of the applicant to construct 100 apartment units (10 buildings with 10 units in each) and a community clubhouse on 12.11 acres. The property is located between County Road #9 and Lynaugh Road. The property is bounded on the north by Robert & Elsie Graham, Gordon & Mary Philips; on the east by Lynaugh Road; on the west by County Road #9; on the south by Terry Iddings & Chun Longleway, Village of Victor, Dante Gullace. The property is zoned Multiple Dwelling and is owned by the applicant.
July 14, 2014: Public Hearing Victor Town Hall 7:05 PM
Meeting to discuss the Annexation of approximately 2 acres from the Town of Victor to the Village of Victor.
For those that are concerned, show your interest in this project. Write letters to the Town Planning Board voicing your concerns.
Email can be sent to the Town Planning Board Secretary Cathy Templar. firstname.lastname@example.org She has indicated that she will distribute them to the interested parties.
Attend the public hearings! You don’t need to speak if you don’t want. Show your support by showing up!
Please add your comments below. These will be forwarded to the Town Planning Board before the public hearing.