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Town Board fails to approve plan on Knightsbridge Court condos

In a split decision Tuesday, the Town Board said no to a local woman who wanted to build condominiums near the Pettit Castles along Campbell Boulevard.

Town Attorney Andrea Sammarco said although the Planning Board initially gave Melissa B. DiLapo permission for a rezoning, the Town Board had final say on granting such measures.

The Town Board voted, 2-2, on the decision to rezone from residential to light industrial, with Councilman Martin Korkuc absent. Supervisor James A. Riester and Councilman David Leible voted no to the rezoning at a meeting in Town Hall, with about 70 present.

After the vote, Councilman Joseph M. Frawley said the tie meant the issue of building Knightsbridge Court was "dead in the water." He also said Korkuc was on vacation Tuesday.

Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Wolfgang Buechler said the issue could still come before his board, but promised that if it did come before him, his board would not take any action until the group holds a public hearing.

DiLapo did not attend the meeting and did not return a telephone call from The Buffalo News on the issue.

Her architect, Richard B. Maides, represented her at the public hearing.

James A. Sacco Jr., chairman of the Planning Board, said his group was in favor of allowing the rezoning.

"It's not a spot zoning, so it's allowable . . . It's consistent with the master plan," he said.

Bruce D. Barber of Bear Ridge Road and a member of the Conservation Committee said the Planning Board put DiLapo through a lot, having her developer submit a 21-page environmental assessment form.

Other residents, however, were more vocal during a public hearing on the matter.

James F. Castellani, who lives in an old church on Bear Ridge Road, said he didn't like the fact that whomever bought the condominiums would be paying less in taxes than he does.

Castellani said he has three units in the old church that he rents.

Riester confirmed the owners of the condominiums would pay a third of the taxes that homeowners would pay.

Riester cited tax concerns as his reason for voting no on the project.


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