Weekly Feature



2018-02-08 / Front Page

Residents discuss traffic concerns surrounding Buffalo Road project

by KATE PELCZYNSKI
Editor

The East Aurora Village Board listened on Monday as residents of Hamlin Avenue voiced their concerns about a plan to rezone 40 Buffalo Road from RC -Residential-Commercial to RGN-Group/New Townhouse Residential.

The plan calls for developers to build four 1½-story units on Hamlin Avenue, with two, two-unit condominiums behind the main apartments. The plan also calls for three-unit condos of 1½ stories and two-unit condos, also of 1½ stories, on Buffalo Road.

In January, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the rezoning to the Village Board. Now, the village must decide if the project moves forward.

Several residents raised concerns about what they describe as already congested traffic on the street and say the plan would allow people driving on Buffalo Road to cut across the residential area to Hamlin.

“From what I’m seeing, the curb cuts from 40 Buffalo Road are directly across from Knox Road,” said Buffalo Road resident Mary Felton. “So people could, coming from Knox, drive straight across Buffalo Road, without a stop sign, without a traffic light, go in that driveway and come out on Hamlin and use that as a shortcut through the village.”

Peter Sorgi, an attorney representing RAS Development, said he didn’t believe that would be an issue.

“First off, it’s not allowed. Secondly, it’s going to have traffic calming devices like speed bumps or other things that we’re going to work through.”

He added that the road isn’t a public road, but a private driveway and would be curved to prevent people from building up speed. Sorgi also presented the board with a letter from a traffic engineer stating that the impact to traffic would not be significant.

Felton disagreed with the letter.

“Most of us are there every single day; we see the traffic out our front windows. And your telling us that it’s not going to make much difference just doesn’t really have an impact on us,” she said.

Also present during the meeting was Planning Commission member Randy West.

“I just want to clarify for all the good people that are here, the only issue before the Village Board at this point in time is to change the zoning of that parcel from an RC to an RGN,” he said. “All talk of development plans and what is going to happen there is premature because nothing is concrete. We will debate this long and hard when a site plan is submitted to the Planning Commission and to the Village Board. The only thing that we’re talking about is whether or not RGN is an appropriate use for that parcel, and we said that it was; we couldn’t say otherwise.”

He said if the Village Board approves the rezoning, the next step would be to debate what the developers put there.

“Nobody is approving that plan right there,” he said, pointing at a drawing.

The Village Board will meet again at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Village Hall, 571 Main St. East Aurora.

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