Long Avenue resident Dan Logel (far left) demonstrates the dimensions of the proposed senior housing development at 0 Main St.
HAMBURG — Village board members and residents met at 225 Long Ave. on June 9 at 7:15 p.m. for an informational presentation about the proposed construction project at 0 Main St. conducted by Dan Logel, a resident of Long Ave. Some residents of Long Avenue and South Lake Street have been concerned that the senior living center that developer Andrew Romanowski plans on building on Main Street will not be a good fit for historic Main Street.
A total of 61 area residents came to the meeting including Mayor Thomas Moses, Hamburg Village Trustee Tom Tallman and members of the village planning board. Also in attendance was Romanowski and the architect designing the project, David Sutton. Logel used three ladders at the edge of the 0 Main St. property to show attendees what the size of the building would be and how that might look if built. Two ladders spaced 75 feet from each other marked a height of about 30 feet. A ladder in the center marked a peak height of about 41 feet. Sutton said the peak of the building would blend into a 41-foot-height so it wouldn’t be a solid wall that height.
Residents of Long Avenue held an informational meeting for board members and the developer to look at the proposed 0 Main St. site.
“We could have a flat roof system at 30 feet, but that might make it seem more institutional,” Sutton said. Logel said the building would be four times larger than code allows. “I’m not trying to make a big deal about it,” Logel said. “What would be wrong with building something two stories, like the rest of the buildings?” Kelly Daly asked what would be the fate of the trees surrounding the property and her property on South Lake Street. “The existing trees would block the view of the building,” Daly said. “I am in fear that they will damage them.” She said some of those trees are 80 years old.
Sutton said tree preservation is a priority for them, and if trees can be saved in the process, they will be. He said there are a lot of variables in keeping trees safe during construction, like the age and size of the trees. He said trees that lay between 0 Main St. and neighboring properties will be preserved, to the best of their ability. Romanowski said his preference is to work with existing trees and design them into a landscape screen.
Hamburg Village Trustee Tom Tallman walked with Kelly Daly, as she explained her concerns about long-standing Long Avenue trees.
“We would be required to balance screening with multiple levels,” Sutton said. The proposed length of the principle building would be 162 feet in length, and there would be a 30-foot setback from the property line.
“This meeting, for me, is to gauge how to design, to be as respectful as possible to the neighbors,” Sutton said. “We love to get neighborhood input, so we can integrate it into the final design.” Romanowski said he would welcome a meeting for discussion on the project so multiple opinions can get in the same room.
Mary Desmond, a resident of 42 South Lake St. said, “I think there’s two opinions, yours and ours, not 20.”
Logel asked if Rowanowski plans on submitting anything in the next month. “Some of us are losing our summer thinking about all this,” Logel said. “I would love to see something come through that’s within the rules,” said Marie Larcara, resident of 185 Long Ave. “But I would prefer to not see it at all.” Corrine Arcangel, a resident of Long Avenue for 40 years, said the entrance to Main Street should be attractive so it doesn’t take away from all the hard work done to transform Hamburg into a walkable village.
She said she thinks a parking lot would not complement what is already there.
“I think it takes away from what we want the village to be,” Arcangel said. “The whole idea is to maintain what the village is trying to achieve.”
“We’re still in the discussion and planning phase,” Romanowski said.
“We are not prepared to submit a plan yet, but we are moving forward. Sutton said the next step is to take the feedback they have gotten to enhance the design, then move forward with the submittal process. Tallman said the meeting was a good opportunity for everyone to see the project from the neighbor’s perspective. “It was nice of the Logels to show us a view from their yard,” Tallman said.