Amherst residents attack planned senior housing complex - The Buffalo News

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Amherst residents attack planned senior housing complex

Neighbors to a planned rental apartment complex for senior citizens on Youngs Road in Amherst voiced their opposition to the project Tuesday night.

Traffic, drainage and proximity concerns topped the list of issues more than 20 impassioned speakers brought to the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals during its regular monthly meeting.

“We’re talking about privacy,” said Treebrooke Court resident John Biondolillo.

“We’re talking about green space. This is what attracted us to Amherst in the first place.”

Young Development has proposed turning a wooded plot of nearly 5½ acres bordered by the Park Place condominiums to the north and Treebrooke to the south into three 3-story apartment buildings with a total of 99 units, according to a site plan. The plan also calls for 189 parking spaces and 76 attached and detached garages.

“I don’t want to see a three-story building in my backyard,” said Brigitte Pennello. “That’s not what I bought into.”

Dubbed “Sharon’s Place,” monthly rents for the 1- and 2-bedroom apartments would range from $980 to $1,550, according to Sean Hopkins, an attorney representing the developer and builder, who also attended Tuesday’s meeting.

The land at 1055 Youngs was sold in 2010 by St. Stephens Byzantine Catholic Church of Amherst to 1055 Youngs Road LLC for $360,000, according to real estate records. It is zoned for community facilities, which would allow for the housing project.

Residents say they were blind-sided six days ago by a letter notifying them that the builder is seeking variances from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals. They said they were previously unaware of the project, which has not had any engineering work done.

Residents also said they’re concerned about how drainage from the area will flow if the wooded area is disturbed. “That’s like dropping a huge brick into a mud puddle,” said Lance R. Konkle.

“Where do you think that water’s going? It’s going left and right and those are our properties.”

Hopkins asked the board to table the hearing on the variances and promised to meet with residents before the board’s next meeting Oct. 15.

He encouraged concerned residents to visit the developer’s other senior citizens’ housing projects in Elma and West Seneca.

The board voted to keep the hearing open and adjourn it until the next meeting.


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