WHEATFIELD – Residents of Lemke Drive and Errick Road spoke out strongly Monday against a proposed subdivision which, they fear, would make an already bad drainage situation in their neighborhood worse.
After hearing the objections, the Town Board refused to schedule a public hearing on the Cobblestone Creek project, as no one would second Councilman Arthur Gerbec’s motion to approve an environmental impact form.
Town Attorney Robert J. O’Toole said approving that would not have been the same thing as approving the plan for the subdivision.
Because of a change in state law, the board has to approve the so-called “negative declaration” on environmental impact before calling a public hearing for a subdivision. After the meeting Monday, the developer, Gary DiMatteo of Rosal Homes, huddled with nearby residents to try to overcome their resistance.
Kristin Savard of Advanced Design Group, the Lewiston engineering firm working on the project, said the size of the proposal had been reduced from more than 80 homes to 46, and finally to 43: four full-sized single-family homes and 39 patio homes.
“We’re down to a cluster development with a private road and 10-plus acres of open space,” Savard said.
Timothy G. Walck, chief operating officer of Wendel, the town’s engineering firm, said the 10 acres were being left undeveloped to reduce the amount of water runoff.
Savard said a retention pond was going to be dug to hold all the runoff.
Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe said, “This is not the final design. The final design will be worked out between the developer and the Planning Board after a public hearing.”
The Cobblestone Creek project is to be compressed into about five acres. The entrance is to be opposite the intersection of Steig and Errick roads, and the homes would be built in an area west of Errick, north of Lemke and east of Ward Road.
Some of the homes, to range from 1,400 to 2,000 square feet according to DiMatteo, are to be build on what is now a wetland, Cliffe said. That requires the builder to mitigate the impact by, in effect, creating new wetland to the west to replace that which is to be built upon.
Walck said, “They are going to need FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) approval to get the flood plain changed. I don’t think that will be an issue.”
Merv Davies of Lemke Drive said the area is too small and inevitably would flood the existing homes on Lemke and Errick.
“They’re going to get flooded out, The water’s just going to gush there,” Davies said. “Let’s get the drainage system sorted out before you put those homes there.”