The delay-plagued Renaissance Fair project has hit another snag, one which may push final approval into December.
William and Linda Pyrczak of Penfield applied to place their medieval-themed attraction on 81 acres of land off the southeast corner of Balmer and Porter Center roads. Porter is the third town they have tried.
Objections from neighbors torpedoed their initial proposal at Bond Lake County Park in Lewiston. Earlier this year in Olcott, a proposal to use Krull Park ran into legal problems, and a nearby private location turned out to be a wetland which would have tangled the plan in red tape.
The proposal is to construct some structures in a wooded area to simulate a medieval village. Performers will sell food and souvenirs and put on shows. The plan calls for the attraction to be open only eight weekends a year, according to town Planning Board Chairman William McLaughlin.
The latest delay results from a move the Town Board made in hopes of helping the project. Earlier this month, the board amended the town's zoning ordinance to list seasonal recreational and commercial facilities among the permitted uses in agricultural, residential, and rural districts. Since the Pyrczaks' initial application was made under the old law, it was no longer valid, Supervisor Thomas L. Beachy said.
Beachy said the application had to be resubmitted, along with a full environmental impact statement, and the entire process has to begin again. The new documents were not received in time for the Zoning Board of Appeals, which held a public hearing on the earlier application last month, to act on them Thursday night.
Board of Appeals Chairman William H. Tower said his panel probably won't meet again until Dec. 12, and he said it cannot take action until the town and county planning boards approve it.
McLaughlin said his board may act Nov. 7, if it receives legal clearance to do so. He said, "Generally, there's been a good feeling that this is a good spot" for the Renaissance Fair.
McLaughlin said there's been talk that the Zoning Board of Appeals might call a special meeting during November. Its normal fourth-Thursday meeting night falls on Thanksgiving in November, and the first Thursday of December is reserved for the Planning Board, he said, explaining why the Zoning Board would normally be delayed until the second Thursday in December.
Meanwhile, a property owner who would be the fair's neighbor maintains the zoning amendment meant to clear the way for the project was illegally adopted. In a letter to the Zoning Board, Ralph A. Boniello III, attorney for Thomas E. Fleckenstein of 1953 Balmer Road, raised four legal objections to the change.
Boniello wrote that the legal notice announcing a public hearing on the measure was not specific enough; that neighboring towns and the state Parks Department should have been informed, and weren't; that the county Planning Board did not act on the change until after the Town Board did, which Boniello claimed was the reverse of the proper order; and that no full environmental impact statement was filed.
Boniello said the Town Board ought to go through the zoning amendment process again. He said his client is not against the fair project, as long as it's built someplace else.
On another topic, the Zoning Board blasted an attorney for Cellular One over delays in working out a co-location agreement with another company for a new cellular telephone tower proposed off Balmer and Lutts roads.
Edward F. Premo II said a deal between Cellular One and Sprint Spectrum to share the 250-foot tower is close to being signed, and suggested the board approve the application in advance.
Tower demanded that the companies submit a signed agreement at once or the application would be rejected.
The application was tabled until the next meeting, with Robert Schruise voting no.