By Jann Wiswall

A special use permit for Village resident Ed Imhoff’s home-based business was approved by the Village Planning Board at its May 10 meeting following a public hearing on the matter.

Imhoff is using an existing free-standing garage on his Rockwell Drive property to construct chassis for custom Corvette drag racing cars. No changes are being made to the garage or the business that would impact neighbors. He expects to be able to complete one chassis this year.

What started as a hobby is now becoming a more formal business for tax reasons, Imhoff said. Getting a permit to operate a home-based business is one step in a process that includes applying for a state tax ID and filing other paperwork, he explained.

Imhoff, who is a groomer and mechanic at Holiday Valley during ski season, has been working on and building parts of cars for most of his life. He also raced enough to have been nationally ranked for several years. His interest in building cars came out of that.

Last fall, he sold a chassis with prefabricated body to the producers of a Discovery Channel television series called Street Outlaws. The vehicle will be seen in the next season of the show.

Clayton Silvernail’s application for a special use permit to renovate the old Agway building at 11 Martha Street was reviewed. Silvernail expects to convert the space into three offices; one will be his own law office.

Silvernail explained to the board that there is a discrepancy in the public record about who owns a strip of land adjacent to the building. That land is needed for tenant parking.

Documents indicate that the land was sold at one time to a previous owner, but he has been unable to find a paperwork or a survey to prove it. It may still be owned by the Village of Ellicottville. Silvernail said he and others are researching the matter. If it is still owned by the Village, he would like to purchase it.

The board agreed to set a public hearing on the permit for its June meeting with the hope that the village board and Silvernail will be able to sort things out before then. Mayor John Burrell, who attended the planning board meeting, promised that the village board will do whatever it can to facilitate the process.

Finally, the board approved some architectural improvements to the exterior front of Madigan’s restaurant. Owner Shane Kell provided an elevation drawing showing a full bank of five double-hung windows with transoms that will bring in natural light on the second floor, and a new sign with a gooseneck light fixture on the façade of the third floor.

In other business, Mayor Burrell and the planning board discussed their search for a new Village Planner; the current planner, Jason Paananen, has resigned. Burrell asked the planning board to interview applicants (several have been identified) and make a recommendation to the Village Board, which must approve the appointment.

The next meeting of the Village Planning Board will be held on Tuesday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m.