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Rezoning bid leads to rare split board vote

A zoning issue resulted in a rare split vote by the Hamburg Town Board on Monday night.

The board was prepared to approve a request by attorney Mitchell M. Matusick that property at 3855 McKinley Parkway at the corner of Highland Parkway be rezoned from residential to Hamburg commercial to allow conversion of the house into a law office.

However, Councilwoman Kathleen C. Hochul said she has concerns the plan will include another curb cut on McKinley, which is already congested.

Neither Matusick nor a representative was present to respond to questions, and Hochul moved to keep the matter tabled. She was joined by Joan A. Kesner and Thomas Quatroche Jr., while Supervisor Patrick H. Hoak and Councilman D. Mark Cavalcoli wanted to act on the rezoning.

The board voted, 5-0, to approve a zoning change sought by Gullo's Garden Center, 47677 Southwestern Blvd., for 5.5 acres from residential to residential agricultural to allow for expansion of the garden center.

A request for a zoning change for 16.3 acres on Lake View Road from residential agriculture to residential sought by developer Henry Knapp was referred to the Planning Board for review. The Town Board noted it has concerns about possible drainage problems if houses are built on the site.

It was the last regular meeting for Hoak, who was voted out of office after 12 years as supervisor.

He said he will miss his colleagues on the Town Board and singled out a number of department heads and some audience regulars for praise.

"Pat Hoak has been blessed," he said.

Highway Superintendent James Connolly said he served under five supervisors during his 15 years on the Town Board and nine years in his current job and told Hoak, "Nobody came close to you in terms of care and concern and love for human beings."

In other action, the board:

* Heard Hochul announce that the county has approved making the dangerous intersection of Bay View and Big Tree roads a four-way stop, and stop signs will be installed on Bay View.

* Approved the appointment of Nathaniel Gonzalez as a police officer and the reappointment of John Ely as a member of the Board of Assessment Review.

* Approved entering into an agreement for the 44-member Western New York Stormwater Coalition for developing a stormwater management program to meet federal and state mandates. Cavalcoli said the agreement is the result of four years of work, will cost the town $2,500 a year and is an example of the state and federal governments mandating something from a local government without furnishing any funds.


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