HAMBURG — Over the next month at least, the Hamburg town board will continue to look into rezoning Braymiller Markets, a property that finds itself in a unique situation, due to its longevity at its current location. According to Sarah DesJardens of the town’s planning department, the operations of the property, located at 6936 Gowanda State Road, are already exceeding the limits of the market’s current zoning, which is Residential-Agricultural.
“They are grandfathered,” explained DesJardins, as the RA zoning came into effect after the existence of the market. However, to assist with “estate planning purposes,” according to DesJardins, the owners are seeking a zoning change to Neighborhood-Commercial. “Nothing’s changing for the use,” she said. “They at least want to allow the portion of the property where the commercial aspect is,” since the operations of the market already go beyond what the R-A zoning permits.
The reason behind the less restrictive zoning – which is still more restrictive than what Braymiller Markets conducts – is to limit the activity of any future owners of the property. “If they sell the property to someone who wants to change it, it could be a Tim Horton’s,” DesJardins said, as an example. “[N-C] is as far commercial as anybody would be able to go with it.” She explained that the rezoning, while having no effect on the current commercial operation on the property, affects someone who might buy the property in the future.
Due to the grandfathering of the current market, a future buyer could still keep the current market going indefinitely.
After allowing public comment, the board closed the floor and determined that no further action would be conducted until the town board’s next meeting, at the earliest.
In other board news:
– Valerie Butera was appointed to the full-time clerk typist position in the engineering department, following a 2-0 vote from the board. Supervisor Steven Walters abstained from the vote, saying, “I don’t want to vote against her, but I don’t think this warrants a full-time position.” He explained that, although Butera “appears to be highly qualified for this position,” he had “great concern over hiring a full-time position for the secretarial staff for the engineering department,” suggesting a part-time person could be more cost-effective for the needs of that department. However, Councilmen Cheryl Potter-Juda and Micheal Quinn disagreed, voting in favor of the resolution.
“The engineering department is vehemently in favor of this position,” said Quinn. “She will be a great help to them and help in any kind of consolidation. I welcome her aboard.”
– Town Engineer Jerry Kapsiak stated that there are still some complaints coming in, regarding the railroad quiet zone at Cloverbank and Rogers Roads. The contact numbers “to report non-emergency ... railroad operational problems, such as excessive horn usage, stopped trains with idle engines, grade crossings with uneven pavement surfaces and other general concerns,” which are also located on the town’s website, are 1-877-835-5279 (CSX Transportation) and 1-800-453-2530 (Norfolk Southern Railroad). Kapsiak said for callers to include as many details as possible, including the date, time and the railroad company involved.
– Three appointments fell through, due to a lack of a second motion. Walters’ attempt to transfer funds to hire a budget director, Quinn’s appointment of Patrick Ryan as deputy of the buildings and grounds department and Potter-Juda’s appointment of Chelsea Juda as the councilwoman’s secretary all failed to pass.
– Joseph O’Brien was present at the meeting, and it was announced that he is retiring after “26 years of faithful service to the police department,” in the words of Quinn. O’Brien stated that the retirement was “not by choice.”
– Walters announced that, after the Fourth of July, Woodlawn Beach had tagged more than 1,000 cars, four separate times this season. “In the first three years being in operation, Woodlawn Beach tagged 1,000 or more cars just once. Congratulations on the success we’ve had,” he said.
– After the meeting started more than 30 minutes late, due to an extended work session prior to the board meeting, Walters explained that some of the cause of the delay was an inability to communicate among a three-member board.
“We can’t communicate with one another on town business,” said Walters. “All too often, little issues that could be settled outside of a town board setting suddenly rear themselves, at a town board meeting. What used to take 45 minutes is going to take a lot longer.”
The board says it will look into starting work sessions earlier or holding them on a different day, when the schedule for the final quarter of the year is made. “We shouldn’t make people wait,” he concluded.
The board’s next meeting, as following the town’s summer schedule, is slated for Monday, Aug. 11. All town board meetings are held at the Hamburg Town Hall, located at 6100 S. Park Ave., and are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.