A couple of tweaks already have been made to plans for a senior citizen apartment building in Cheektowaga and other suggestions will be considered, but there’s a stalemate between the developer and neighbors on one issue – its height of nearly 50 feet.
During an informational meeting Thursday night before the Planning Board, an attorney for Clover Cayuga Communities described how the building has been repositioned on the 2.5-acre site at 274-300 Cayuga Road, extending the space between it and the western and southern property lines. Revised plans also include enhanced landscaping and additional fencing.
Planning Board Chairman Stan Kaznowski asked the developer to also consider making the facade more attractive and using better materials for the balconies.
Residents say that the four-story, 84-unit building would compromise the privacy of those who live behind the site.
“We certainly understand that the neighbors would probably rather have it stay the way it is ... or have us reduce the height of this building,” said attorney Sean Hopkins, who represents the developer. “That’s simply not feasible.”
Hopkins said the proposed building is smaller than what the developer has built in other communities. “Typically, they like to see 100 units or more,” he said.
The project, with an estimated cost of $4 million, is geared for tenants age 55 and older, and the rent would be market rates, Hopkins said.
The developer is seeking a zoning change from neighborhood services to senior citizen housing, which would allow construction of a building taller than 30 feet. Under the current zoning, Hopkins said, a two- or three-story office building could go in, with only 10 feet between it and the property lines.
That possible scenario didn’t mollify residents, however.
“This is a 49-foot project being put in our backyards,” said John Brueckl of Harvard Court, who spoke on behalf of approximately 50 residents of five nearby streets. “The plot of land is not big enough to accommodate what’s being put there.”
Brueckl and other neighbors raised other concerns, including traffic on Union Road during rush hours, parking for tenants and visitors, drainage, and the noise and messes related to construction.
Residents learned that the developer would pay to replace sanitary sewer lines for seven properties, to be determined by the town engineer, to accommodate increased demand created by the building.