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Developer pulls variances request for Amherst senior citizen apartments

Opponents of a senior citizen apartment complex planned for Youngs Road in Amherst may have won Round 1, but now they’re waiting for the developer’s next move.

Days after residents came to the town to voice opposition to the project, Young Development Inc. has pulled its request for variances on the senior apartments planned at 1055 Youngs.

Amherst officials were notified of the latest development over the weekend in a letter from Young’s attorney.

“Today is a small victory in the sense that they’re not going to press this behemoth of a building,” Lance Konkle, of nearby Treebrooke Court, said Monday, “but we’re opposed to development on that property altogether.”

Young representatives have promised to meet with residents, but the anticipation is the developer will return with a plan that doesn’t require any variances from the town.

In fact, the property is already properly zoned for the apartments.

Despite receiving news in their favor, a couple dozen opponents of the project filed into Monday’s Town Board meeting to express their concerns about the apartment project moving forward.

“We’re still here to make certain we’re on the record of being opposed to this,” said Patrick Welch, also of Treebrooke.

Increased traffic, drainage problems and a loss of green space topped their list of issues.

Residents also raised questions about whether wetlands on the site could prevent the developer from building.

“We’re not against development, but we’re vehemently against bad development,” Welch said, “and this is bad development.”

No one at Monday’s meeting spoke on the developer’s behalf.

Young, which has other senior projects in West Seneca and Elma, proposed “Sharon’s Place” on the more than 5½-acre site south of Renaissance Drive and north of Treebrooke.

The land was sold in 2010 by St. Stephens Byzantine Catholic Church of Amherst to 1055 Youngs Road LLC for $360,000, according to real estate records.

Plans show three, three-story apartment buildings with a total of 99 units, according to the site plan. The project includes 189 parking spaces and 76 attached and detached garages.

Monthly rents for the one- and two-bedroom apartments would range from $980 to $1,550, Young representatives have said.

More than 20 irate residents attended the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting last week, after receiving a letter notifying them that the builder was seeking variances for the site.

Council Member Mark A. Manna had submitted a resolution asking the Zoning Board of Appeals to reject the requested variances.

However, Manna, who is running for town supervisor, withdrew his resolution on Monday after Young withdrew its application.

“Job was accomplished,” Manna told those in attendance at Monday’s Town Board meeting. “Thanks to the residents for standing up for their neighborhDeveood.”