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VILLAGE BOARD BRIEFED ON DISPUTED LAND PARCEL

The Hamburg Village Board got some answers and asked more questions Monday night on whether a 15.6-acre parcel is designated parkland, but the public did not.

The board was briefed in a closed executive session by Village Attorney Robert G. Walsh on whether the parcel, which would be sold to a developer under one proposal, is a park. If it is parkland, then the village would need permission from the State Legislature to sell it.

"We spent probably the better part of an hour," Mayor John S. Thomas told residents during the regular board meeting. "There are some things we need to clarify.

"I briefed the board tonight on the different facts that we've been able to develop over the course of this research," Walsh said. Clover Management several years ago proposed building about 300 apartment units on 22 acres it owns near Crownview Terrace.

"The Village of Hamburg does not need 310 apartments on 22 acres. That's not what the village is about. It's more of an owner-occupied theme," the mayor said.

The village presented a second proposal last spring in which it would sell the 15.6 vacant acres it owns near Foxcroft and Forestal drives to Clover, which would develop a mix of housing, including 23 single-family homes, 42 patio homes, 68 condominiums and 168 residential apartments on the site.

"I think everybody will agree there is a big difference between owner-occupied residential units and apartment-occupied residential units. I also think everybody could agree that having 310 apartments together vs. maybe 168 spread out, creates a different type of neighborhood," Walsh said. "The only ability the village has, quite frankly, to change the project is to negotiate something in the middle."

Many residents contend their search of records in the Erie County clerk's office indicates the property is parkland, and they don't want the village to sell it.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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