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OWNER OF MCKINLEY PKWY. SITE PUSHES REZONING

A McKinley Parkway property owner whose parcel is just south of McKinley Mall is trying again to have his property rezoned from residential to commercial.

"The other three corners are all C2 and I think it is not unreasonable to ask," Mitchell Matusick told the Hamburg Town Board at its work session Monday afternoon.

Matusick has had several rezoning requests into the Town of Hamburg since 1993, said the town's planning consultant, Andrew C. Reilly of Wendel. He was turned down last year for a rezoning of his property at 3855 McKinley at the corner of East Highland.

A public hearing will be conducted at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall on a proposal from the town's Code Review Committee to rezone a residential section from East Highland south to Seven Corners to a new zoning category, HC-Hamburg Commercial. Matusick's property is included in that section, and he has applied for a commercial rezoning which is less restrictive than HC.

"We're asking for the rezoning of at least one-half acre," said Charles R. Dawson, Matusick's consultant.

He warned the board that if the McKinley property zoning is not appealing to developers, "that whole thing could lay vacant for years in a strip situation."

"I'm getting ready to retire from the practice of law. I'd like to sell this property and get the best money I can. There is no crying need for office space," Matusick said. "Why should I have HC if the others have C2?"

Board members said HC allows commercial and retail development. It is more restrictive than C2 and is needed on the east side of McKinley as a transition to the neighborhoods backing up to the property.

"The one thing we all agree on is that should be commercial, there's no doubt about that," Councilman D. Mark Cavalcoli said, adding that HC is just a different type of commercial zoning.

"These are not easy decisions," Reilly said.

He noted that the town is getting pressure from residents of Allendale Parkway to keep the zoning residential, and that residents are prepared to force the issue to require a "super majority" vote to approve the rezoning.

When at least 20 percent of adjoining property owners sign a protest petition against a rezoning proposal, a state law requires a super-majority vote to rezone that parcel instead of a simple majority.

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