Zoning proposal draws crowd to Clay Town Hall
Board members and residents alike expressed doubts about a proposed zone change on Buckley Road at the Clay Town Board’s June 21 meeting, raising concerns about traffic, drainage and usage of the property.
Bill Camperlino and Gary Hafner, applying under the name Red Barn LLC, have requested a zone change from R-10 Residential District to O-2 Office District on property located just south of Waxwood Circle on Buckley Road. More than 200 residents of the area, including Buckley, Waxwood, Briarledge Road and Rita Drive, have signed a petition asking the town board to deny the zone change; about 35 of them were in the audience Monday night to be heard at the public hearing.
“We own approximately two acres on Buckley Road,” Camperlino said. “It’s zoned agricultural, allowing single-family homes to be built on it. We’ve studied the property and there’s really no vegetation or buffers. There’s a substation that Niagara Mohawk operates next to the property that’s noisy and such, so we decided it would probably make more sense to have a transitional type building put on that site rather than luxury single-family detached housing.”
Camperlino noted that the town’s planning board had recommended that the board approve the zone change.
Red Barn has proposed putting two buildings on the site with one curb cut off Buckley Road. Camperlino said the owners have not conducted a traffic study or any engineering on the property, as they have no potential users for the property.
“We don’t know the possible square footage or anything like that,” Camperlino said. “It’s hard to judge that when we don’t have a user yet.”
He did say the owners anticipate some kind of service industry would purchase the property, likely a medical office, but possibly an accountant or other office.
“It could be more intense with single-family houses — cars backing out of the driveways into Buckley Road,” Camperlino said. “That would likely create more traffic than what we’re proposing.”
But Camperlino’s presentation didn’t assuage the concerns of residents or board members.
“Why didn’t you do any type of engineering or provide us with a map?” asked Councilor Robert Edick. “If you had some kind of map or drawing with some engineering so that we could see where parking is, where your detention basin is going to be, so that we could be more prepared, or if you had come to this board and said, ‘Okay, the residents are in favor of this setup ‘ I thought you were going to work with the local community and get those issues resolved before this meeting.”
Camperlino said that, with no user for the property, the owners were unable to conduct any kind of engineering or work on the site.
“It’s probably going to be medical, I would suspect,” Edick said. “But say it’s an accounting office. This board’s trying to look at what you want, but we also have to consider what the residents want. And we have to see some type of engineering before we can make a decision Otherwise, why make the zone change now? Why not wait until you have a tenant?”
“The problem is that there’s infinite variables,” Camperlino said. “I don’t know how we can give you those answers until we have someone that we’re dealing with [who will be using the property].”
Traffic was a top concern among residents of the area.
“The traffic is outrageous,” said Char Taft of Cliffton Drive, off Briarledge. “If they put in an office building there, come about 5 in the afternoon, good luck going left. That traffic light at Bear Road is backed up beyond Waxwood. You don’t get out. It’s ridiculous.”
Supervisor Damian Ulatowski said the board would require a traffic study before they would make any decision on the zone change.
“I want to know if it’s 10,000 or 30,000 cars on that road every day,” Ulatowski said. “We won’t make any decision without that.”
Others expressed concerns about drainage on the property. Sylvia Reynolds of Woodstream Terrace, which she said would be affected by drainage from the property, pointed out that many existing properties in the area, both residential and professional, already drain into Mill Brook.
“That little stream just can’t handle all of this water,” Reynolds said. “Teenagers can jump over that brook, and they do to get to the junior high. It’s just not going to be able to handle it. Just go into some of our backyards and take a look.”
Finally, residents asked why another medical or office building was necessary in the area.
“When we already have three professional buildings now right near the area, why do we need two more?” asked Kathy Zory of Rita Drive. “A lot of them aren’t filled now. I just don’t think they’re needed.”
Councilor Bruce Johnson pointed out that the board could not take that into consideration when making a decision.
The public hearing was adjourned to the July 19 board meeting.
In other business:
The board held a public hearing regarding a request for a special permit to operate a drive-through at Kinney Drugs in Bayberry Plaza. This is the second time the pharmacy has requested the permit; plaza owner Joseph Janowski had approached the board a few years ago to request permission to build a new facility with a drive-through on an outparcel. This time, however, Janowski is proposing moving the pharmacy, currently located within the strip mall, to the end of the mall where Metro Mattress had been located, demolishing about 3,500 feet of building space and constructing a drive-through.
“What we’re looking for through the special use permit is to construct the Kinney Drugs and then add a drive-through off Blackberry Road,” Janowski said.
The drive-through would be added for the convenience of customers, Janowski said. He did not anticipate that it would add a significant amount of new traffic to the plaza.
The board adjourned the public hearing to its July 19 meeting pending a recommendation from the planning board.
Board members unanimously approved Panera Bread’s request to add a drive-through at its store on Route 31.
The board approved a number of zone changes from RA-100 Residential Agricultural, R-10 One-Family Residential and I-2 Industrial to PDD Planned Development District on about 15 properties in the Three Rivers area. All properties are owned by the town. The rezoning is part of its Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan; the PDD district allows for a number of different uses within one zone. The rezoning will allow for the proposed LWRP to move forward as planned.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.