The Hamburg Planning Board listened to concerns from area residents about a proposed apartment complex development within the town. Two public hearings on separate matters were also cancelled.
The board had planned to hold public hearings on approving both a two-lot subdivision on North Creek Road, and a four-lot subdivision to be located at Bayview and Big Tree roads. Significant changes to both plans caused the board to table the public hearings. The design for the two-lot subdivision on North Creek was reconfigured so that the prospective property owner of one of those lots could save up to $50,000 in waterline improvement costs on home construction. The Bayview and Big Tree four-lot subdivision will be tabled indefinitely; Planning Board Chairman Peter Reszka said that the board’s been told that design will likely be altered multiple times, and they will wait for a final design.
About a dozen residents of Roundtree Village also attended the meeting to speak about a proposed apartment complex that would be constructed at the end of Heatherwood Drive. Many more residents had attended a recent Hamburg Town Board meeting to speak out against the project. The developer, Dato Development, has argued that the area at the end of Heatherwood Drive is zoned R-3, which would allow for an apartment complex. Current residents argue that the Roundtree Village area is zoned R-2, and the area cannot support the extra traffic.
Many are worried that it will change the nature of the entire neighborhood, which is mostly made up of single-family homes. The apartment complex would bring many more people into the development and residents fear that the area may become overcrowded with unsafe traffic.
“It’s fine if the area is zoned R-3, but show us the proof,” said Charlie Cox, a resident of Breckenridge Road. Cox acknowledged that if the zoning was correct, residents couldn’t legally block the apartment complex from being constructed. The zoning issue stems from the fact that residents researching town records could find no proof of the area being officially rezoned from its original R-F zoning, for residential farmland. Planning board members stated that blanket rezonings across the town which occurred in the 1970s may have caused the switch, but no formal documentation of that rezoning can be found.
Mainly, residents wanted to make sure that their concerns were being heard. Reszka told the crowd that, although there was no official form for complaint, which residents were seeking, public comments at planning and town board meetings are considered as part of the decision process. “There’s no neighborhood form, but your involvement is recorded,” he said. The board explained that the approval for the apartment complex development will not be decided any day soon.