Amherst OKs rezoning for apartment complex, minus Linwood Avenue extension - The Buffalo News

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Amherst OKs rezoning for apartment complex, minus Linwood Avenue extension

Plans for 55 apartments just outside the Village of Williamsville were back on the table Monday, but the outcome was much different than the last time around.

The Amherst Town Board on Monday rezoned four acres just south of Linwood Avenue, between South Forest and South Union roads, paving the way for four two-story buildings with 44 apartments and two single-story structures with 11 units.

It wasn’t easy getting here.

The apartment project was dead six months ago, when the Town Board listened to the wishes of nearby residents and denied the rezoning.

It forced the developer, Andrew Romanowski, to move ahead with a revised plan – 31 apartments – that would not need rezoning but would require extending Linwood with a cul-de-sac.

That’s when residents realized the alternative plan would destroy the character of their quiet, dead-end street and admitted they would be better off with the developer’s original project. Linwood residents asked the Town Board to reconsider, even circulating a neighborhood petition in favor of the original project.

So that brought Romanowski and his attorney, Sean W. Hopkins, back before the board on Monday for a decision.

A public hearing – the seventh one for this project – drew comments from only two residents of the neighborhood on Monday.

“What we’re most concerned with at this point is that the street remain a dead-end street,” said Donald Montalto, of the Linwood Avenue Residents Association. “That’s extremely important.”

“We are not proposing an extension of Linwood Avenue,” Hopkins said. “It will be gated access only – which is exactly what Linwood Avenue residents want.”

The board voted 4 to 1 in favor of the rezoning, with Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein opposed. The approval included several conditions, including the construction of a berm with extensive landscaping.

The project still needs site plan approval from the Planning Board, which the developer hopes to obtain by August. He hopes to begin construction by fall.

“We’re pleased with the outcome,” Hopkins said after the rezoning was approved, “and we appreciate everyone made a concerted effort to result in a win-win situation.”

In other business, the Town Board voted 5-0 to rezone 1.87 acres at 9530 Transit Road for senior citizen townhouses.

Fox Creek Estates is planning to construct three single-story buildings consisting of 13 senior townhouses, along with two, single-story buildings as parking garages.

Nearby residents had expressed concerns about drainage, but the project includes the addition of a stormwater pond to ensure runoff won’t be discharged onto property north of the site.


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