More than 20 years ago – before iPhones and Netflix streaming and coffee K-Cups – Cimato Enterprises revealed plans for a subdivision of around 80 single-family homes off Greiner Road in Clarence.
For more than two decades, however, concerns about zoning, sewers and wetlands at the 52-acre site stalled the project. Until now.
The Clarence Planning Board is set to review an updated version of the development next month, and Cimato hopes construction can begin by fall on the initial phase of $500,000 houses.
The subdivision, first named Fox Trace East and now known as Woodland Hills, includes 77 houses on a rectangular piece of vacant land between Greiner Road and Sheridan Drive. Harris Hill Road and Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church are to the west, and Meadowbrook Road and Brookfield Country Club are to the east.
Cimato has been working on the project at least since the late 1980s, but the town's formal review of the project ramped up in the early and mid 1990s. Cimato Enterprises bought the land in 1995.
Neighbors initially objected to Cimato's plans to construct smaller houses on about 28 of the lots. The company ended up receiving a variance from the town Zoning Board of Appeals allowing it to build on the smaller lots.
The Town Board in 2004 rezoned the property from agricultural to residential to make way for the planned single-family houses.
The developer had to work around wetlands on the property. Cimato also had to remap them, after its initial wetlands permit expired, and adjust its subdivision plan accordingly, said James Callahan, director of community development for Clarence.
And the question of how to build a sewer connection to the property also led to long delays.
"There've been so many issues," Callahan said.
At the time the project was unveiled, homes in that section of Clarence were served by septic systems. But Callahan said the site now is part of the town's Sewer District No. 10.
The proposal has gone through a number of incarnations before its current version. Cimato had planned to build as many as 92 houses, but now plans to construct 77.
The houses will not have condominium status and Cimato has no plans to build smaller houses on smaller lots now, said developer Anthony Cimato. The houses will cost an average of $500,000, he said.
The Planning Board will review an amended concept plan at its Feb. 7 meeting. The Planning Board will make a recommendation to the Town Board, which has the final say on the concept plan.
After that, the next and final step requires the Planning Board to approve a more detailed development plan.
Cimato said he hopes to begin construction by September on the first 25 houses, out of three planned phases. The subdivision will have entrances at Harris Hill and Greiner.
Cimato is working with Marrano Marc Equity on the subdivision, Cimato said.