Victor may be changing character again. There is a proposal to add a new development off of Church Street in the vicinity of Hillcrest Drive.

Proposed Gullace Development

This is a map of the Proposed Gullace Development located at the intersection of Hillcrest Drive and Church Street at the edge of the Village of Victor.

 

Overview

The first housing section would be 7 homes located to the North of  the current Hillcrest Drive tract  in a currently undeveloped field just outside the Village border.  This section is currently zoned for multiple-family dwellings and must be rezoned to fit the current plan.

The second tract would consist of 15 single family homes with a new cul-de-sac extending from the junction of Hillcrest Drive and Church Street. This section of the development must be addressed by the zoning board as well.  The current proposal would annex the North side of the street to the Village of Victor.  The Village/Town line currently runs down the middle of the proposed street.  To complete this phase all of the houses in this section would need to be inside the Village.

These developments while they will increase traffic at the already stressed junction at the corner of Church and East Main Street, are in keeping with the current feel of Victor.  Single family homes.

Of great concern to the neighborhood is the North East section of this proposal.  This is planned to be 10 units of 10 apartments each.  100 rental apartments in a single family residential area?  This is not in keeping with the current character of the neighborhood where we have 100% owner occupied homes.

Historical  Perspective

In 1985 the Gullace family (Mary, Ralph and Dante) applied to have the zoning changed for a planned development on this site.  I was able to view the public records for this development but not the referenced map of the development.  It was initially proposed for 24.4 acres. (The current development is for 12.4 acres) and had a planned size of 92 multiple dwellings using apartments of 4 units each.  The intent of this development was owner occupied senior housing as outlined in the 1985 rezoning proposal.  The intent of the current project is vastly different than the condominium complex that was proposed in 1985.

Here is an excerpt from the 1985 public hearing where Dante Gullace outlines their proposal to the zoning board.

Gullace 1985 excerpt

After several rounds of public meetings and many discussions and reports, the rezoning was passed with negative declarations.

1. What is a Conditioned Negative Declaration?

A conditioned negative declaration (CND) is a form of negative declaration which may be used for Unlisted actions only, and only in limited circumstances. Use of a CND can be appropriate when a lead agency concludes that a proposed action may have a potentially significant adverse impact on the environment, but the impact can be eliminated or adequately mitigated by conditions imposed by the lead agency, without the need for additional environmental studies. Use of the CND acknowledges that without imposition of conditions by the lead agency, the action may have potentially significant impacts. In situations where those impacts are readily mitigated or avoided, use of the CND allows an agency to issue an approval with enforceable conditions. When a lead agency uses the CND process it must consider the whole action and all relevant impacts in identifying appropriate conditions.

source: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/48068.html

The conditions that were deemed important at this juncture were as follows:

Gullace 1985 exceptions

Items e,f and g should also apply to the current project proposal and should be addressed by the current planning board.

The Current Project

As outlined in the Overview above, the current project proposal consists of 3 sections.  A 15 unit single family home section opposite Hillcrest Drive, a 7 unit single family home section North of Hillcrest Drive and a 100 unit apartment complex North of the current village line and East of Church Street.

As it now stands, there are some hurdles for the developer to overcome.

  1. The 7 unit section is currently zoned for multiple dwelling use.  The developer wants this to be single family homes so this will require modification to the zoning.
  2. The 15 unit section is partially inside the town and partially inside the village.  This means that part of the town will need to be annexed by the village.
  3. The original project was condominium and targeted to seniors.  The new project is apartments and rental units.  This will impact the school system differently than the initial proposal.  How is this being addressed?

Additionally there are some issues that need to be clarified for the existing home owners

  1. Drainage.  This area is currently sinking much of the runoff from the developments uphill from the proposed area.  If the water isn’t allowed to seep in this area it will cause flooding for the existing homes.
  2. If this is approved as written, what is to prevent a HUD housing development from moving in to the apartments.  This would be subsidized housing and provide an entirely different character to the neighborhood.
  3. Has the impact on the school system been addressed, there is a potential to increase the load on our school system with minimal increase in school tax revenue.
  4. What studies have been done on the potential impact to the traffic at Route 96 and both Church Street and Lynaugh Road intersections.  These two intersections are already at capacity and have no capacity for additional traffic load.  Of course, this situation is mitigated at the State level as they are responsible for additional lights and signals.  How long would we need to wait to be elevated to have additional lights installed and how long would we need to wait to have the signals synchronized to provide reasonable traffic flow through town.  This additional traffic load doesn’t just impact the North side of town but will effect the entire traffic flow through town and create additional dangerous situations at these intersections.
  5. Will speed control devices (speed bumps)be installed on Hillcrest Drive to control the inevitable shortcutting through this residential neighborhood? Sagamore Drive already has the moniker Sagamore Speedway, do we need to have additional traffic load in this neighborhood?  It may not be intended but it will happen. 

What Can You Do

Write letters to the planning board outlining your concerns for this development.  These can be email.  Send email concerns and letters to the Town Planning Board Secretary Catherine Templar.  ctemplar@town-victor-ny.us She has assured me that she will pass them on to the concerned parties.

Attend the Town and Village Planning Board meetings. The first one of importance on this issue will be held May 27th 2014.  Here is the notification from the town:  http://www.victorny.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=238

Here is the agenda for the May 27th meeting: http://www.victorny.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/766?html=true

May 28th is another meeting of concern for the Village Planning Board

 

Please Express your opinion in the comments below.

These will be passed on to the Town Planning Board in time for the public hearing on June 24th.