After three years of lawsuits, name calling and mistrust, it seemed appropriate that a three-hour meeting was needed Monday before the Town Board was able unanimously to adopt the final plans for the Riverwalk Subdivision.
The development, which is the first cluster zoning project in the town, would bring more than 150 homes, including 105 patio homes with a homeowners' association, to a 60-acre tract at Pletcher and River roads.
Plans were approved last fall for the first phase of the project, which includes 23 homes on traditional-sized lots, and work began last October. The other four phases, which include the 105 patio homes, with minimal lots of 60 by 120 feet, and 52 additional homes on traditional-sized lots, were approved Monday and are expected to be built through 2009 or 2010.
Neighbors in the area have fought the high-density housing that would put homes on smaller lots and change the rural makeup of the area.
Developer Joseph Deck Jr. said the homeowners' association would be responsible for clearing snow from driveways and sidewalks, maintaining green spaces, lawn cutting and maintaining ponds on the property. It would also be restrictive and will not allow above-ground pools, recreational vehicles in driveways, sheds, business signs, unregistered vehicles or fences.
Deck noted that the residents would have connective trails to the nearby senior center and Joseph Davis State Park. Sidewalks are expected to link the neighborhood to ball fields adjacent to the site.
Deck said the larger homes have already been selling at $270,000, with patio homes selling for $180,000 to $215,000.
Arthur Giacalone, an attorney representing the residents, accused the developer of taking shortcuts to save money and not offering a quality development.
Buffalo attorney Daniel Spitzer, who was hired by the board to handle zoning issues and the Riverwalk Subdivision, disagreed with Giacalone's assessment and said the board had made significant changes since the plans were first introduced.