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REVISED PLAN FOR APARTMENTS FUELS DISPUTE

A revised site plan for an embattled senior citizens apartment complex was presented Monday to the Lancaster Town Board, fueling yet another dispute over the project -- this one centering on the size of the 51 apartments.

Representatives of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, sponsor of the beleaguered project, presented the revised plan that would add more than four feet to the rear of the building. The addition would increase the size of the individual units, meeting the town's zoning ordinance governing apartment size.

The project, targeted for Primrose Lane near Wehrle Drive, has been challenged by residents of the Larkspur subdivision, who fear the three-story development would ruin the character of their neighborhood.

"This is about preserving the quality of life in the neighborhood," said Arthur Giacalone, attorney for the Northwest Lancaster Homeowners Association. "We urge you to follow the normal process."

In presenting the amended site plan, Harry Konst, president of AHEPA's local chapter, proposed increasing the size of each unit by 7.7 percent, or 49 square feet.

The issue, said Town Attorney Richard Sherwood, will be referred to the town's Municipal Review Committee, which will determine whether the change is substantial and if so, whether it create an adverse environmental impact.

"The town will examine whether the units actually comply with the 640 square footage required," Sherwood said.

Original specifications called for the federally funded apartments to be 591 square feet, with the developers unsuccessfully seeking a zoning variance from the size requirement.

On another topic, a Lancaster family who feared that a neighbor on Schwartz Road would erect and paint a spite fence between their properties appeared at the meeting again to request a change in the town fencing ordinance.

Joseph and Sandra Czajka told The Buffalo News that while their neighbor had not yet painted the fence, they were concerned that Joseph Milazzo would paint it an offensively bright color.

Last week, Milazzo finished constructing the fence between the 14-acre parcels owned by the feuding neighbors.

A subsequent inspection of the fence by Robert Laney, chief building inspector, found that the structure was in violation of the town ordinance.

"It's too high," Laney said, noting that the fence is nine inches over the six-foot limit. The fence also abutted the right of way, another violation, said Laney, adding that the ordinance limits the height of fences to three feet near roadways.

"He wants privacy, but he broke the rule," Laney said.

Milazzo, who has 14 days to correct the violations, could apply for a variance, according to Laney.

Milazzo did not return calls seeking his comment.

The town is looking into an ordinance that would mandate painting both sides of a fence the same color.

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