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Opponents of Amherst senior citizens housing project seek denial of developer’s request for waiver

Opponents of a plan for senior citizens housing at 1055 Youngs Road in Amherst will ask the Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday night to deny the developer’s request for a waiver.

Redtek Development, of Williamsville, submitted site plans for the project a little over two years ago, at which time it was properly zoned for apartments.

But earlier this year, the Town Board took action to change what is allowed in areas zoned for “community facilities” to exclude some residential uses, which meant that apartments were no longer allowed at the site.

The zoning change prompted the developer to seek a use variance from the Zoning Board.

The neighborhood group Protect Amherst Life has been battling the project since its inception, and Tuesday night, it will be asking the Zoning Board to say no to Redtek’s request.

“We residents have been on the short end of the development cycle in Amherst, and now is another opportunity to say no to bad development,” the group’s president, Patrick W. Welch, said in an email to other opponents of the project.

Initial plans for the site included three three-story apartment buildings with a total of 99 units, according to the site plan. The project includes 189 parking spaces and 76 attached and detached garages. After neighbors raised questions about drainage, increased traffic and a loss of greenspace, it was scaled down to 59 units and further scaled down to a two-building, two-story complex with 51 apartments in order to avoid federally designated wetlands on the parcel.

Opponents insist that more than half of the property – located on Youngs south of Renaissance Drive and north of Treebrooke Court – is wetlands. They filed an Article 78 petition to stop the project. Welch said that neither the town nor Redtek has complied with a judge’s order to provide opponents with the documentation they have requested regarding the proposed development.