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Aurora OKs 47 patio homes

The Aurora Town Board gave its final approval Monday night for 47 patio homes to be built on Quaker Road near Knox Farm State Park.

The project, proposed by Legacy Development of Amherst, has been under consideration for three years, and Supervisor Terence M. Yarnell said the town had done its due diligence.

"Regardless of what our personal feelings are, this project conforms to all the codes and laws of the Town of Aurora," he said. "There has been no rush to decision-making."

The vote was unanimous, with Councilman William D. Reuter absent.

Yarnell said the Town Board asked and answered all the questions that it needed to, and it put several conditions on the project to protect neighbors.

But resident John Hughes said the town had failed to answer questions posed at the Feb. 26 public hearing on the subdivision and those asked at a November 2006 public hearing on a proposed cluster development ordinance.

"It seems that this Town Board refuses to accept any real accountability for its actions. It has consistently avoided responsibility for addressing community concerns and making its response to those concerns part of the public record," Hughes said.

He said he particularly wanted to know if the Town Board had to adopt a cluster development ordinance before allowing a cluster development. Yarnell said during the meeting that the board is working on answers to the questions raised.

After the meeting, Yarnell told Hughes that the town attorney had determined that a new ordinance was not necessary for this development.

"We are replacing a worn-out, dilapidated, 10-unit mobile home park," Yarnell said, adding that the property currently generates $480 a year in town taxes.

He said the new development of upscale patio homes would generate at least $20,000 in town taxes a year, even if the developer is successful in applying for condominium status for the patio homes, which would reduce their assessments.

Councilman Norman K. Suttell said he was comfortable with the provisions included in the resolution. The board is requiring the developer to rectify any drainage issues affecting off-site property that are raised for up to two years following completion of the project.

The town also reserved the right to extend drainage to the northwest corner of the development and is requiring pathways to have lights for security.

"We don't expect any problems," Suttell said.

He said the patio homes are close to the village.

"If we're going to have development, that's the right place for it," he said.

"A lot of people just don't want to see things change and grow," said Councilman Jeffrey T. Harris.


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