Apr 01, 2014 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
When you plan to build on the site of an old Oswego Canal side-cut basin, you know that stormwater drainage will be a concern.
When you plan three new buildings with a mix of residential, office and retail spaces on a block already home to a dozen businesses including four restaurants, parking spaces will also be a concern.
At the March 24 Liverpool Village Planning Board meeting, JGB Properties shared details of its proposed development on the basin block bordered by First and South Willow streets and Lake Drive.
“Stormwater drives this thing,” said Christine Stevens, project director for JGB. “I had wanted to avoid the wet pond, but I don’t think we can.” The pond is planned for the center of the block behind the western-most of the two proposed buildings on First Street and just north of the White Water Pub deck. The pond will drain to a catch basin on the lower edge of the block at the development’s south entry on South Willow.
JGB’s third building, exclusively residential, will have a South Willow Street address, as does the White Water Pub.
JGB’s plans, drawn up by Keplinger Freeman Associates, call for drive-in garages beneath each building with spaces for nearly two dozen vehicles for residents. Dozens more parking spaces will be situated behind the structures.
“This design has been five years in the works,” Stevens said. “To further refine the design, I‘ll need to know how strict the planning board will be on parking requirements.”
While the design depicts two retail spaces on Lower First Street, Stevens said JGB “has no intention of putting in a restaurant or bar in there.” The basin block already has four restaurants — the Limp Lizard BBQ, appeThaizing, the White Water Pub and the Barking Gull (the last of which has yet to open to the public).
JGB has yet to decide whether to sell its proposed 47 residential units as condominiums or to lease them as apartments. Meanwhile, Stevens is concerned about how the development’s residents will be affected by noise and lighting from the existing restaurants, three of which will feature outdoor decks.
For the better part of a year, the planning board has been hearing from Liverpool Properties LLC, Val Lamont’s firm which owns the properties where Limp L:izard BBQ and the White Water Pub are doing business. Liverpool Properties wants to build a new deck behind Limp Lizard and a 49-space parking lot to be shared by the Limp Lizard and the White Water.
“Now that we’ve seen the JGB piece,” noted planning board chairman Joe Ostuni Jr., “we’re getting closer to viewing the basin block’s development comprehensively.”
Ostuni asked his board members to consider passing a resolution to urge the Village Board of Trustees to retain ownership of a 20-foot-wide strip of land between the White Water and the Barking Gull, and to open it up to vehicular traffic leading to the planned shared parking lot.
The planning board will convene to consider that possibility at a special meeting set for 6 p.m. Monday, April 7, at the Village Hall.
On March 24, the board welcomed alternate Robin Daloia who filled in for members Mike LaMontagne and Tom Tartaglia, neither of whom could attend that day.