The town Planning Board gave preliminary approval to a giant condominium project Tuesday but required that some changes be made before final approval of the site plan.
The Cedar Creek subdivision on the east side of Beattie Avenue will include 139 patio homes to be sold as condominiums, which under state law have substantial property tax advantages over a "regular" home of the same value.
The plan also includes construction of 12 larger, single-family homes along Beattie that are not part of the condo proposal.
The board included in its resolution a provision that developers David L. Ulrich and Timothy Mulvey must submit their condo documents for approval with their final site plan.
"It's unusual, but we've complied with their numerous requests," Ulrich said.
"That would be normal course for a condo project," Town Attorney Daniel E. Seaman said. The board wants to see the final version of the condo papers before they are sent to Albany, he said.
Condominium offerings must be approved by the state attorney general's office before housing can be sold.
Seaman also said the Town Board will have to decide whether to maintain the roads within the subdivision or make them private.
Also, the Planning Board said the final plans must include a road providing access to a vacant parcel south of the 92 acres that Ulrich and Mulvey own.
Seaman said that it has long been the Town Board's policy to require "cross-connections" between neighborhoods.
Even though flood-prone Donner Creek runs through the new subdivision, Town Planner Andrew C. Reilly said the state Department of Environmental Conservation has concluded that there are no official wetlands on the Ulrich-Mulvey property or in a 100-foot buffer strip bordering it.
But the parcel to the south does have state-defined wetlands, and Reilly said Ulrich could therefore ask the board to remove the requirement for the access road.
However, Seaman said, "there's no indication the property is not developable."
He told Reilly, "Just because someone you talked to [Tuesday] from DEC says that, that doesn't mean five years from now it might not be a totally different story."
The plans for the 12 homes on Beattie also must have turnaround driveways, except for two that must have their only exits into the subdivision.
Ulrich said, "We've really jumped through hoops to satisfy everybody's individual whim. We're happy, after a year and eight months, that the project is going forward."
Board member Rodney W. Conrad voted against a resolution declaring that the project would have no significant environmental impact.
He questioned the findings of the traffic study that there would be little growth in traffic on Beattie. Conrad also said the plan meets the 40 percent green space requirement for a cluster development by counting land between lots, which he said is not in the spirit of the town's ordinance.
Ulrich attributed Conrad's views to his status as project director for the planned new Lockport YMCA on Snyder Drive. Ulrich has spoken out against the plan, saying the YMCA should keep all its facilities in downtown Lockport.
"That's not it," Conrad said. "I voted for the preliminary plot. I just wanted a full [environmental assessment statement]."