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Williamsville mayor: Neighbors support land swap with developer

A proposed land swap between Natale Development and Williamsville has support among neighbors, according to Mayor Brian J. Kulpa.

Natale originally proposed building dozens of townhouses and apartments on the site of a former construction yard on California Drive but ran into opposition last year from some neighbors and never gained approval from planners.

The deal would allow Natale to move its planned apartment complex to a little-used village softball diamond, a parcel that is closer to Main Street and farther from the residents who surround the former Herbert F. Darling Inc. construction property where Natale would still build its townhomes.

In return, the village would receive from Natale a 2.1 acre parcel of similar size that would allow the village to extend South Long Street Park south to a former railroad line that now serves as a bike path.

"We got a lot of good comments about what people would like to see in the park," Kulpa said. "We also got some comments that we still have some work to do."

Williamsville, developer hash out deal to swap land for housing project

Kulpa updated neighbors on the proposed deal at a meeting Saturday morning in Village Hall.

"We like that in principle," he said of the land swap. "The great majority of people who were at the meeting Saturday liked that in principle."

Before any contracts are signed, however, the village wants to do an environmental study of the sites.

"That's important," Kulpa said. "Obviously, we're talking about a construction site and a ball diamond so we need to make sure we know what it is we're getting into there."

"It's all old rail line back there," he added. "We will be doing our due diligence over the next few weeks."

The village on an upcoming Saturday will seek input from a different set of park users.

"The village is going to be hosting a children's meeting," Kulpa said. "Parents can come but they're going to be silent. We're going to basically allow kids the opportunity to plan and participate and give us some suggestions of what they'd like to see in a park."


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