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Island supervisor, citing glut of 'high-end apartments,' urges moratorium

Grand Island Supervisor Nathan D. McMurray wants the town to put a moratorium on the development of any new apartment complexes until it has a master plan in place.

He said he has asked the town attorney to draft a moratorium for the Town Board to consider at a future meeting. McMurray said he would like it to be a one-year moratorium. Developments that are already in progress and have come before the Planning Board would not be affected.

"We came to Grand Island because we love the unique nature of Grand Island and we don't want any development that is unexpected and unwanted that would change the nature of Grand Island," McMurray said Monday night.

He said the town has a lot of green space and there has been a lot of demand from developers.

"We have 27 miles of waterfront and we don't have a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan in place, said McMurray after the board's meeting.

Oakwood Ridge, a $1.2 million apartment complex at 2984 Grand Island Blvd., with two buildings, each with eight apartments, a total of 16-units, raised an outcry on social media – led by McMurray, who said "there's an absolute oversaturation of high-end apartments on Grand Island."

Oakwood Ridge Developer David Mazur, who also built a similar development, the 32-unit Nottingham Estates two years ago, told The Buffalo News that there is an "absolute need" for newer apartments with easy access and wheelchair accessibility for senior citizens.

Mazur, a native of Grand Island, said he abided by all the rules of zoning and even designed his new complex at half the density that he was allowed.

Rane Management's Heron Pointe, 1993 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

He said another apartment complex, Heron Pointe, a 230-unit project on Grand Island Boulevard that is under construction, is what started the issue with oversaturation, not his complex.

"I do believe if that project didn't exist they wouldn't be worried about my 16 units," said Mazur.

Mazur received unanimous approval from the Planning Board, but his project was tabled Monday by the Town Board because he needed additional Department of Environmental Conservation approvals.

Councilwoman Beverly Kinney said Mazur has been "very sensitive to staying within the footprint of the property." She said she favors a moratorium.

McMurray agreed that Mazur wasn't the problem.

"The bigger problem is where do we want to go as a town?" said McMurray. "We need a pause and I'm going to push for the Town Board to consider this pause. That's what this moratorium is."

 

 

 

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