Weekly Feature

2017-05-18 / Front Page

Changes made for Hamlin Avenue property

¦ Developers, neighbors reach agreement on future of site
by KATE PELCZYNSKI
Editor

Some residents of the Hamlin Avenue neighborhood had a change of heart on Monday regarding a proposed apartment complex. The group of concerned residents met with developers and reached a compromise regarding the future of the property.

The property, located at 41 Hamlin Ave., has been a point of contention among the neighbors for the past few weeks, after developers RAS Development I LLC proposed building a two-story, 15-apartment complex on the 1.5-acre parcel of land.

Neighbors in the Hamlin Avenue area said the apartments would add to the already congested traffic situation. They also argued that the complex did not comply with the village’s Comprehensive Plan. Despite the backlash, the East Aurora Village Planning Commission voted to recommend the property for rezoning.

During Monday’s public hearing, Peter Sorgi, the attorney for RAS Development, told the Village Board that he and the residents had come to an agreement regarding the plans for the site.

“We’ve had a couple different meet- ings at the project site, the last of which was with about eight or nine different nearby residents,” he said. “So we’re trying to reach a consensus on the project. Hopefully we’ll accomplish that.”

Sorgi said the developers would be bound by several conditions. The developers would not be allowed to build more than 10 units on the property, with the maximum height of each unit not exceeding 1½ stories. Sorgi said this height was much more consistent with the look of the existing homes on the street.

The apartments, Sorgi said, would no longer be available for rent, rather they would be condominiums that would be owned by individuals. He added that the property would have a homeowners association that would take care of maintaining the grounds. The units would each still have an attached garage, and several units could possibly be loft-style.

“What we are hoping to achieve is a consensus among at least a majority of the property owners,” he said.

Sorgi said this plan would be conditional and would not take effect until a development plan is approved. If the property is rezoned, Sorgi said the next step would be to sit down with neighbors and discuss the physical aspects of the building, along with details regarding landscaping and other visual details

However, not all residents are satisfied with the plan. Dan Rifkin has lived on Hamlin Avenue for the past 18 years. He is still worried that the charm and character of the area will be impacted by the project and asked the board to reconsider approving the rezoning.

“At some point, you have to recognize that once you start this spot rezoning in a residential area, it’s going to lead to consequences,” said Rifkin. “The village doesn’t need that type of project on a residential street. It may need the project in areas that are zoned for that type of housing, but not on a single-family street.”

Following a recommendation from Sorgi, the board approved allowing the public hearing to remain open for an undetermined amount of time.

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