State Housing Finance Agency officials failed to show up Tuesday night for a public hearing in Amherst Town Hall on the $25 million "Town Green" apartment project across Youngs Road from the Erie Community College North Campus.
About 35 people -- nearly all of them opposed to the project -- and two representatives of the developer waited an hour and 20 minutes before leaving.
The state agency had scheduled the hearing for 7 p.m. on a request by Trammell Crow Residential of New Canaan, Conn., to finance most of the project with $20 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds.
At least 20 percent of the 264 apartments would be for tenants earning no more than 50 percent of the median income in the Buffalo metropolitan area.
A representative of the Housing Finance Agency phoned the town supervisor's office at 4:35 p.m. to say his flight's arrival had been delayed from 6 to 7 p.m., said Donald A. Schueckler, a leader of the Williamsville-Southeast Amherst Homeowners Association.
Schueckler said he was told the flight had arrived when he phoned Greater Buffalo International Airport shortly before 8 p.m. "If (the housing agency official) made the flight, we can only presume he got lost," Schueckler said.
Mary Ann Avery, vice president of the homeowners association, said residents want a new environmental-impact study to reflect changes made in plans for "College Park," a 76-acre development of offices, for-sale condominiums and single-family homes approved by town officials and homeowners five years ago.
The 27-acre Town Green apartment is an outgrowth of approvals granted in 1985.
"Hardly anything about the development . . . has gone according to plan, other than the building of single-family housing on Lyndhurst (Road)," Ms. Avery told an audience waiting for housing agency officials to arrive and begin the hearing.
When the Amherst Town Board rezoned the portion of the site now targeted for the Town Green apartments, it imposed a long list of conditions negotiated with a previous developer.
However, Trammell Crow is challenging the legality of two of those conditions -- that the units be for-sale and that the 32, two-story apartment buildings be of "substantially all-brick" construction.
Homeowners are worried about drainage problems, worsening traffic congestion in the Youngs-Main Street-Wehrle Drive area, and noise and air pollution, Ms. Avery said.
Meetings on traffic this year with local, county and state highway officials "merely confirmed what we (already) knew -- that development was moving ahead of road and signalization capacity," Ms. Avery said.
Homeowners "bordering this field have had, and continue to have, doubts about the effectiveness of the drainage plan for the 76 acres, plus its ability to accommodate runoff from adjoining acres to the north and east," she said.
Williamsville Mayor Lawrence R. Brenton also was on hand with a statement that "the village is extremely concerned that the drainage plan is inadequate and will exacerbate flooding conditions" along Ellicott Creek."