Hamburg residents oppose senior apartments - The Buffalo News

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Hamburg residents oppose senior apartments

Senior apartments planned for Main Street in the Village of Hamburg will clash with the atmosphere along historic Main Street and Victorian homes around it, some residents say.

“This is totally unbecoming that lot,” said Jason T. Wujek.

The apartments, proposed for an irregularly shaped parcel just east of Lake Street, would back up to his Long Avenue property.

“We know something is going to be built,” Wujek said, adding residents want it to fit in with the neighborhood.

Hamburg’s Main Street was listed as a historic district on the state and National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

The village’s comprehensive plan describes the area on Main between Lake and Center streets as having “prestigious homes” creating a “grand entrance” to the downtown section, and says the many architectural styles should be preserved.

“The Village should take steps to maintain the residential character of the street and individual properties. Large parking facilities, excessive lighting and signage, and large traffic generators should not be permitted in these areas,” the plan states.

Neighbors on Long and Lake believe the apartments should not be allowed there, and have attended Village Board and Zoning Board meetings as the proposal from ARR Holdings is reviewed. They also have submitted petitions against the development.

The proposal calls for two buildings to be built at what is now being called “0 Main St.” The one closest to Main Street would be 5,760 square feet in two stories and contain six units. A larger three-story building with 31,080 square feet and 24 apartments would be built at the rear of the parcel. The apartments would have two bedrooms and rent would be $1,000 and up, said Sean Hopkins, the attorney for the developer.

The proposal has been modified a bit, Hopkins said. The smaller building was shifted to increase the front-yard setback on Main Street to more than 22 feet, and two units were removed from it. The dumpster was relocated from the south side of the lot to near the garage on the west side of the lot. The larger building was shifted to increase the setback from the south property line from 20 feet to 30 feet, and the attached garage was moved 1 foot to comply with a 6-foot setback.

The parking area was modified for additional green space along Main Street and a porch was added to the front of the smaller building to enhance the appearance.

The project did need six variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals, but the modifications would reduce that number. It still would need a variance for the size of the larger building. The zoning would allow the apartments, but the code requires buildings to be no larger than 6,000 square feet.

Mayor Thomas J. Moses Sr. said the size of the larger building is a problem for some residents.

“It’s tough. It’s a process now. There’s a need for senior housing. Is that the place? I really don’t know,” Moses said.

The Zoning Board tabled the project, and it is expected to go before the Planning Commission at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Architectural Review Committee also would give its recommendation on the plans. Final site plan approval would come from the Village Board.


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