WESTFIELD - At the Westfield Town Board meeting on Wednesday, March 7, Ron Catalano, Jr., presented a request on behalf of his client, Charlie Groenendaal, for the town to allow a residence to be built on his property on Persons Road in Westfield's manufacturing district. Currently, nothing in the local laws allows for such a situation.
Board member David Spann asked if the construction would be to the existing building where he currently has a business or a new building to which Catalano responded it would be a new addition to the back of the existing building. Board member and Deputy Supervisor Ray Schuster's concern was, if Groenendaal does live in the building, what would happen if he had a noise complaint, considering the area is zoned manufacturing. Catalano assured the board his client realizes what he is getting into and that Groenendaal is not looking to change the zoning of the property or the area.
Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer Jim Pacanowski suggested the board could vote to send the request to the Planning Board which could then look at multiple options of how to allow for this request. The Planning Board would then send its recommendation to the Town Board for approval.
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Ron Catalano, Jr., standing made a request at the Westfield Town Board meeting on Wednesday, March 7 on behalf of his client, Charlie Groenendaal, not pictured, for the town to allow a residence to be built on his property on Persons Road in Westfield’s manufacturing district. Seated, from left to right, are Town Highway Superintendent David Babcock and Building Inspector and Code Enforcement officer Jim Pacanowski.
"I explained to him that this could be a couple month process to actually look at this," Pacanowski said. "It's not something that's going to be (done) overnight. ... I think there's a lot to look at."
Town Supervisor Martha Bills also recommended the request be sent to the County Planning Board since it is a zoning issue. A motion was made and passed to send Groenendaal's request to the Town Planning Board.
Town Attorney Joel Seachrist informed the board about the land bank project Chautauqua County has applied for. According to Seachrist, the land bank would give local governments more flexibility to deal with problem properties by creating an entity which can take over a property and sell it strategically, not just to the highest bidder. It would also allow for the taking down of buildings in bad repair.
The Portage Inn property was brought up as one possible property for which the land bank could be used in Westfield, to which Seachrist agreed, but noted the cost of demolishing the building would be too much for the first year the land bank was in existence.
Many cities in Michigan are using a similar process, Seachrist said, and New York State has passed legislation allowing for 10 land banks in the state. The land bank would be self-sustaining.
In other business:
Westfield Volunteer Fire Department Chief Randy Edwards marked his last meeting as fire chief as his term expires in April;
authorization was given for the highway department to go out for bids on highway materials such as black top, fuels, asphalt, oil, crushed stone and concrete;
Barcelona Harbor's new brochures are now available;
the AUD report is complete and submitted to the comptroller and is available for the public both online and at Eason Hall;
Bills thanked U.S. Senator for New York State Charles Schumer for his help recommending funding for upgrades to the water system in Barcelona;
agreements have been reached with landowners and the fishway project along Chautauqua Creek is slated to begin in the summer when the creek bed is at its lowest;
the board approved the transfer station contract extension which will cost the town $600 more than last year; and
public hearings for special use permits for a placing a stand-by generator in conjunction with a cell phone tower on Douglas Road and another for a recreation area on Sherman Road were scheduled for 7:20 p.m. and 7:25 p.m., just before the Town's April 4 meeting, pending applications are submitted before the next Town Planning Board Meeting.