Lancaster subdivision talk involves town auctioning off paper streets - The Buffalo News

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Lancaster subdivision talk involves town auctioning off paper streets

A developer’s intention to construct 42 single-family homes north of William Street in Lancaster has town officials chatting about whether to auction off a few undeveloped “paper” streets owned by the town that would be needed for another subdivision.

Natale Builders is interested in building homes in an area to the north of William Street and east of Penora Street in what one councilwoman says is an area of “bingo lots.”

Natale is looking to amass property in that area for single-family homes, according to Councilwoman Donna Stempniak, who with Supervisor Dino Fudoli, recently met with Natale representatives. The “bingo lots” are small lots that were given away as community bingo prizes, with some later developed into subdivisions.

Many questions remain about the housing project, though, and some town officials also questioned whether 42 homes could even be built in that area, and whether 30 might be a more reasonable expectation.

The town owns two paper streets in the area where Natale would be looking to buy land for the homes. Plus, wetlands issues exist east of the property.

“It might not even be economical for him to develop,” Stempniak said last week. “It’s still in its infancy. We don’t even know if 42 homes would work.”

The town would need to determine if it wants to deem the two paper streets as surplus property, and if it does, then put them up for public auction. Then, it’s a matter of whether Natale Builders would secure the winning bid on the streets.

“They will have to do their homework,” Fudoli said during a recent town work session. “Let the cards fall where they may.”

Stempniak said she would be opposed to seeing the homes built south of William.

“I know the people will be a little scared of more homes,” she said.

Already, resident Mike Fronczak questioned just how many more homes need to be built in the area. “When do we ever say no?” he asked the Town Board last week. “That’s a sweet spot. That’s supposed to be a preserved area. It’s time to say ‘no.’ ”

Fronczak said Lancaster needs to be cautious about continuing to allow one subdivision after another. “How about the resident who wanted to keep Lancaster like an East Aurora, a little bit of a farm community?” he said.

Fudoli emphasized balance and said it’s important to grow government slowly, so that each resident pays less in taxes.

“There probably comes a time when we say ‘no,’ but don’t we want revenue to pay for infrastructure?” he responded, also insisting that he is “not favoring developers.”

Fronczak still wondered when the town will start slowing growth. “We keep adding 30, another 30 and another 30 homes, but when do we say ‘no’?” he asked.

Stempniak said she doesn’t see an urgency with the proposal. “To me, it doesn’t matter one way or other, but I would be opposed to it if it were south of William because of the coveted wetlands,” she said.

Natale Builders could not be reached to comment.


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