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Apartment project airing again put off

For a second time, residents opposed to an 18-unit apartment complex on South Seventh and Seneca streets were told to go home and come back next month.

Last month dozens of residents came to the Planning Board meeting to express concerns over the new development, Brockway Apartments, but developer Jeffrey D. Williams withdrew his plans saying his "plans were conceptual," and he was not ready for a public forum.

Tuesday night Williams and his architect, David Giusiana, had plans in hand and were ready to present them to the village Zoning Board. However, board Chairman H. John Ritter nixed the meeting, despite a public notice calling residents to the public hearing.

Zoning Board members agreed that Williams' plans must go before the Planning Board before being heard by the Zoning Board.

Resident Al Soluri, an outspoken opponent of the plan, said the boards are discouraging residents from speaking out.

"There was a public notice in the paper. We have a right to speak out. We all want to be heard," said Soluri.

Some grumbled as they left, but most loudly said they would be back for the Planning Board's meeting on Nov. 13.

Williams said he was "blown away" by the adjournment and said he paid for the public notice and was told by "village staff" that he needed to take his plans directly to the Zoning Board.

Giusiana said he wasn't surprised.

"There's a new level of growth in the village, and the village is not accustomed to this. We have to go through the steps, whatever these steps are, and will make changes along the way until everyone is happy," said Giusiana.

He said eventually the village trustees will have a role in the decision.

Williams, who also owns a 30-unit apartment complex at the site, said residents are concerned about sewer systems on South Seventh Street.

"I have concerns, too," said Williams. "The sewers on South Seventh Street need work."

Giusiana said that increasing the tax base with the new apartments will help the village to pay for work on the sewers.

Other issues Williams and Giusiana are prepared to discuss are the total area of the complex, density and set backs.


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