L.A. Fitness was given the go ahead to build a facility on the outer ring of the McKinley Mall by the Hamburg Town Board Monday (March 11), but it will be done without the stand alone sign it originally sought.
“The (Town of Hamburg) Zoning Board denied the stand alone sign,” said Town Supervisor Steven Walters.
The developers, DDR Corporation, will tear down the building that formerly housed Rosa’s Homestore and the nearby building which formerly housed Rent-a-Center. According to Hamburg Town Supervisor Steven Walters at the Feb. 25 town board meetings, these two facilities, which face Milestrip Road, were a combined 49,000 square-feet.
In its place, a new 35,000 square-feet building will be constructed that will house L.A. Fitness.
Normally, most requests like this would be decided by the Hamburg Town Planning Board – which originally looked over the proposal and recommended approval.
When the McKinley Mall was built in the 1980s, it was decided at that time that any construction in and around the mall would need approval by the town board.
The board overall was pleased with the project prior to Monday’s final approval. Their big concern dealt with a stand alone sign that L.A. Fitness included in the plans. The proposed sign was 154-inches wide by 120-inches.
According to Walters, the ZBA did approve variances for signage on the building, but did not grant a variance to allow for the stand alone sign. The supervisor said DDR representatives did not have any issue with that decision.
The next step, Walters said, is that paperwork must be signed off by the town engineering department and permits must be pulled.
Once that is complete then work can begin on the facility, which Walters believes will begin soon.
In other news:
• Town Councilman Joseph Collins and Town Attorney Kenneth Farrell disagreed over whether Farrell offered Collins an opinion to him in regards to whether the town should represent Collins in a lawsuit filed by resident Elizabeth Reszka seeking Collins’ removal from the board.
During the Feb. 25 meeting, Collins offered a resolution seeking the town to represent him, but when it came time for a second, neither Walters or Councilwoman Amy Ziegler offered to second it and the resolution did not proceed to a vote.
“Outside counsel rendered an opinion to the town board,” Farrell said. “I didn’t take a position on it.”
Collins told Farrell that he told him that this was an “unconstiutional gift,” which Farrell denied.
“I’m just trying to get an opinion here,” Collins said.
“I’m not going to agree with you,” Farrell said. “It’s innacurate.”
Shortly after the exchange, Farrell told the board this type of matter should be discussed further in an executive session and one was called a couple minutes later.
• Walters reported that the deficit facing the operational expenses of Woodlawn Beach State Park has reduced considerably since the Town of Hamburg assumed control from the state in 2011.
Collins said some residents expressed their concerns to him because budget transfers from the town’s Recreation, Youth and Senior Services Department helped cover the nearly $42,000 deficit accrued in 2012.
Martin C. Denecke, director of that department, told Collins his department made a profit in 2012 and that moving money from different accounts did not impact any services provided.
While Walters admitted there still is a deficit, he added that when the town assumed control of the beach, he did not expect it to be profitable for a number of years. He believes the town has made progress a lot faster in reducing the deficit than anticipated, in part due to great weather the last two summers, in which the beach was consistently crowded.
• The Hamburg Town Board will hold its next meeting beginning with a work session at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 25 at Hamburg Town Hall. A regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m.