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Developer to submit revised plan for senior housing to Zoning Board

A developer that wants to build a senior housing complex off Transit Road in Clarence is again seeking to move the project forward through the Zoning Board of Appeals.

After the board in January rejected a variance for the project, the Town Board considered a proposal to loosen density restrictions for multifamily housing in certain areas. But a town councilman assailed the proposed change as extreme, and a number of residents at a public hearing raised concerns about the broader impact on the town.

The Town Board took no action on altering the town code. The focus now shifts back to the Zoning Board for its meeting Tuesday, when Affordable Senior Housing Opportunities of New York will seek a variance for a slightly scaled-back project.

The developer wants to build an apartment complex for seniors capable of living independently, consisting of 125 units or 13.9 units per acre.

Town law restricts multifamily density to eight units per acre, so Affordable Senior Housing is requesting a variance of 5.9 units per acre, or 53 units.

In January, the developer asked the Zoning Board for a variance to allow for a development of 131 units, or 14.6 units per acre, at the site. That amounted to a variance of 6.6 units per acre, or 59 units. The board voted 3-2 to deny the request.

Will the revisions be enough to win Zoning Board approval this time?

"We like to think so," said Gary J. Clunie, chief operating officer of Clover Construction Management, which would act as the construction arm for Affordable Senior Housing's project. "We're hoping for that."

Clunie said Affordable Senior Housing is eager to see the project built. "We're willing and able to make a very, very good investment in the town."

The town has a need for senior housing, Clunie said, adding that he hoped if the approval is granted, construction could start by year's end.

"We're just trying to get our project approved," he said.

The proposal put forward at the Town Board's public hearing in February did not specifically deal with the Affordable Senior Housing complex, but that project figured into the discussion. The proposal would have allowed multifamily density of up to 17.4 units per acre in certain areas; Affordable Senior Housing's project would have fit within those restrictions.

Town Councilman Bernard J. Kolber blasted the 17.4 units per acre idea as excessive. At the hearing, a number of residents spoke out against the density change, and others said they wanted more specifics about how the town would be affected.

The senior housing complex is proposed for 8040 Roll Road. The nine acres are part of the site where a Wegmans supermarket was once proposed.