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Neighbors wary of alcohol at proposed Hamburg sports facility

The plan for a sports facility on what is now manufacturing land in Hamburg did not get much opposition from neighbors until the owner mentioned “adult beverages.”

Jeff L. Kryszak, president of K-Technologies, already has two outdoor volleyball courts on the property at 4090 Jeffrey Blvd. in Ravenwood Industrial Park. But recreation uses are not allowed in the manufacturing zone, so before he builds a 13,000 square-foot sports facility next to his business, he needs to get the property rezoned.

During a public hearing on the rezoning Monday night, he and his architect outlined the plans for a “first-class sport facility and lifestyle center” that would have indoor courts to accommodate volleyball, pickleball, basketball, tennis, badminton, yoga and other activities.

In addition to the multisport space and locker rooms, there would be a snack bar and lounge area for viewing events. An adjoining facility would serve food and adult beverages, Kryszak said. He said it’s possible that the facility could be open 24 hours a day, and it’s possible that the area serving drinks could be open when there are no sporting events.

“Given that the bar could be in operation even though there is no sporting event going on, it could be just a bar and people coming and going all hours,” said Margaret M. Hine, a Towers Place resident. “I don’t like that one bit.”

Several other residents said they would prefer that no alcohol be served at the facility.

“It’s not a stand-alone bar, it would be an area serving food and beverage associated with a sports facility,” said Andrew C. Reilly, Hamburg’s planning consultant.

Kryszak said the primary purpose is not to run a bar. But research has shown, he said, that many sports facilities without the ability to serve alcohol do not succeed. “It’s not a sustainable model if you just do the recreation things,” he said.

“I just worry it will turn into something more a bar than a volleyball court,” said Mitko D. Dintcheff, of Bayview Road.

Supervisor Steven J. Walters said the town could put restrictions on the plan if it approves the rezoning to a planned unit development.

Kryszak said there is plenty of room on the nearly 9-acre parcel, near Bayview, for the facility and more than 100 parking spaces.

“We’ll be creating somewhere in the area of 10 jobs immediately, and could go up to as high as 30 in the first couple, maybe five years,” he said. “We will be adding millions to the tax base.”

The earliest the Town Board would vote on the rezoning would be its next meeting, Walters said.

The board, after no comments or opposition, did vote to allow beer on the town’s Eighteen Mile Creek Golf Course, as long as it is served by the course vendor.