The Elma Town Board on Wednesday revoked an amended business-use permit for a site on Seneca Street because of alleged noncompliance with terms of the permit.
The board at its May 15 board meeting issued an amended permit to Todd Huber with the condition he move some construction equipment indoors at 6300 Seneca St., a property he owns and leases to John Anderson Co., which is laying pipe for National Fuel.
Huber agreed then to move the equipment indoors within 48 hours.
According to the code enforcement officer, Huber did not move the equipment as promised.
Huber was represented by attorney Ryan McCann, who told the board there was “some ambiguity about what exactly is construction material.”
Huber has removed some pallets from outside the building he owns, but Supervisor Dennis Powers pointed out that there was still some other equipment there.
Powers said that as late as Tuesday there were still materials on site, and he provided pictures of them. Powers said there was a 500-gallon fuel tank plus numerous propane canisters that have nothing to do with Huber’s intentions to renovate the building that he owns.
It is against the code to have those tanks on the premises in a C-1 commercial zone. Huber said he has since removed them.
Councilman Michael Nolan, who was not present at the May 15 board meeting, came to Huber’s defense, saying, “Huber is a local resident investing in the area and has already invested in the area. It is a temporary building renovation site and for only four months. We appreciate his investment in that part of town.”
But others on the board disagreed and said the issue had nothing to do with Huber’s investment but his lack of abiding by the amended business-use permit.
Town Attorney Phyllis Todoro then recommended that the board go into a closed executive session to discuss the issue and clarify the town code.
After a 12-minute executive session, the board returned and voted to revoke the business-use permit because Huber did not meet the terms.
Powers also told Huber there are illegal trailers on his property that need to be removed. Huber said two of them belonged to the former owner and one belonged to John Anderson Co., his tenant. He was told they had to be removed as they also were against the code.
Later Huber said, “The board needs to have a certain amount of give and take. ... The regulations in the code for C-1 are too encumbering. I can visualize that area all redone. This set back will cost me but I’m not giving up. I have lived here all my life and am raising my family here too. I love this town.
“But what is going on isn’t economically working on Seneca Street. That strip zoned C-1 is so depressed and negative no one wants to invest in it. Having John Anderson as a tenant was a huge blessing to me. I’ll probably lose him as a tenant now, and the job too.”