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Plans for a 95-unit adult residence at 50 Howard St. received a major boost Monday night when the Fredonia Board of Trustees voted to lift a three-year moratorium on construction in the R-2 residential zone.

The board also issued a negative declaration of environmental impact for the project. Several issues remain to be resolved before the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board before a building permit can be issued.

According to the board, the project "complied with the spirit of the comprehensive plan," which was adopted by the Planning Board in 1993.

The board found that the traffic impact would not be significant on Howard and Water streets. Water service for the project would come from a 24-inch water line on Water Street. The sewage would require a lift station but would empty into the Water Street transmission line. The project would require a retention pond for storm drainage, and the water would flow into Wiley Creek.

Project sponsor Ronald Johnson said the project, which would cover a third of the lot size, one-third of the acreage, features 71 units for assisted living and 24 units for people who have mild cases of dementia. The facility would be licensed by the state Department of Health.

Johnson said he would install a sidewalk along the Howard Street side of the facility for the residents' safety.

The Board of Trustees determined that the project would be of benefit to the village.

Four members of the board voted for the project, with one abstention.

After the meeting, Tony Zerbo of Georges Place remarked that "neighbors oppose the location, not the facility. The traffic survey was flawed; this is a 24-hour roadway. No consideration was given to the residents. We will meet with our attorney."

"We made changes to the project because of residents' concerns," Johnson said. "These changes made it a better project."

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