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The rezoning of nearly four acres of land off Legion Drive in the Town of Hamburg for the construction of town houses was examined at a public hearing Monday night.

Developer Glenn Wetzl has asked the Town Board to rezone the 3.9-acre parcel from commercial to residential. With 20 units planned, the density is well-below what would be allowed, he said.

Although the irregularly-shaped parcel has a piece that fronts on Legion Drive, no access is planned to Legion. The developer instead would extend Franklin Street off Camp Road to reach the new homes.

Residents on Staley Road, which borders the property, said they were concerned that the town house project might never get off the ground, and asked if the property could revert to its commercial zoning if nothing was built. Andrew C. Reilly, the town's planning consultant, said such a reversion clause could not be included.

The Planning Board, in giving the project a favorable recommendation, suggested it be approved providing the project starts in a reasonable length of time and that buffers along Staley Road homes be maintained. The ranch and two-story town houses would sell for $110,000 to $130,000.

"We've been before this board on rezoning before," said Charles Greenert of Staley, noting that a rezoning was considered in 1992. "You agreed it should stay C3."

He said in 1992 Camp Road had not been upgraded, and since then traffic on Camp has increased significantly.

"Can you see all that traffic in the morning. You're putting another big complex down there," Greenert said.

He also noted that the proposed buffer zone for the 1992 proposal of up to five two-story apartment buildings had been 50 feet, while the current suggested buffer is 30 feet. The section fronting on Legion would remain undeveloped for passive recreation.

The Town Board took no action on the rezoning proposal Monday.

Also Monday, the board approved the expansion of J.C. Penney at McKinley Mall. An addition of 28,698 square feet is planned, and the mall agreed to make some alterations to the traffic flow at the Milestrip Road entrance.

"It's rare that the Town Board approves any type of site plan," Councilman D. Mark Cavalcoli said, explaining that the original approval for the mall requires Town Board approval of changes.

The board also approved rental rates for the log cabin on Taylor Road that was built as part of the Hamburg Recreational Facility project. The weekday rate for residents is $50, $75 for non-residents, and the weekend/holiday residential rate is $100, $150 for non-residents.

Town Engineer Gerard M. Kapsiak said the new Highland Acres Sewer District pump station is to be functional by Sept. 27, and the town hopes to give residents the approval to start connecting to the sewer at that time.

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