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New duplex plan for Cheektowaga aims for a more appealing look

Members of Cheektowaga's Environmental Advisory Committee voiced concern over the aesthetic appeal of a new subdivision of duplexes proposed for Como Park Boulevard near Borden Road.

Como Park Place consists of six two-family structures: one on Hitchcock Drive, three on Como Park and two on Borden, according to plans proposed by Kulback's Construction Inc.

Site plans indicate an average unit size of 2,500 square feet that included a 500-square-foot garage.

Owner Timothy S. Kulbacki on Wednesday presented the plan to the advisory committee along with photos of two model duplexes depicting different exterior features. One exterior was a mix of vinyl and brick-veneer. The other offered an all-vinyl alternative.

The vinyl-sided duplex caused some members of the environmental advisory panel -- including Councilman James Rogowski -- to call for the addition of cultured stone as an exterior element, said Daniel J. Ulatowski, town planner.

Construction of the subdivision at Como Park and Borden will require a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals, said Ulatowski. The site is located within a "zoning overlay district" in the town's southeast quadrant, he explained.

"We're trying to control the architectural character of the two-family dwellings so they don't look like the typical side-by-side duplexes," Ulatowski said. "We’ve given the Zoning Board the authority to accomplish that."

The limitation is put forth in the town's current master plan that dates to the early 1990s, when duplexes shared streets with single-family dwellings, and were criticized for detracting from the neighborhood's aesthetic appeal.

Town planners sought to restrict the location of new two-family dwellings. So a new single-residential zoning category was created to limit their construction in a specified areas within the town, the undeveloped land off Losson, Borden and French roads in the southeast quadrant.

Plans for Como Park Place call for a maximum height of 30 feet. Each duplex would feature a two-car garage and additional parking in a 20-foot wide driveway to accommodate two cars.

The models include side entranceways, a feature that distinguishes them from the typical duplex, said Ulatowski.

"It sounds like they could be rental duplexes," said Ulatowski. "We've seen a spike in apartment construction for sure – market-rate rentals."

The project is scheduled for review by the Planning Board at 7 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers of the Cheektowaga Town Hall, 3301 Broadway.

The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7:30 p.m. March 21 in Council Chambers to consider the special use permit request.


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