By Jann Wiswall

The Win-Sum Ski Corp. application to convert the former Burger King site at the corner of Holiday Valley Rd and Rt. 219 to the new offices of Holiday Valley Rental Management and HV Realty was approved by the Town of Ellicottville Planning Board on Monday, Oct. 26. The approval was made following a public hearing on the matter; no one attended the hearing.

The plan calls for removal of existing dumpster, freezer and storage space on one side of the building and replacing it with a 20-foot addition that will have a matching roofline and gabled window. HV Rental will make use of the existing drive-through window; property renters will be able to pull in and pick up their keys without even leaving their cars.

Two stone pillars will be erected to anchor the existing exterior sign from the current HV Rental and Realty location. Signs also will be placed on the face of the building.

Interior renovations will be made for offices and reception areas.

Northrup Development Projects

As reported after last month’s meeting, John Northrup requested an amendment to a Master Planned Development (MPD) at the former site of Northrup Construction on Rt. 219 near the Tim Horton’s restaurant. He plans to convert a building formerly used as a Northrup Construction maintenance shop into a four-unit apartment building called “The Yacht Club.”

The two-story apartments of about 850 square feet each will include a living/dining/kitchen space with vaulted ceilings plus a bedroom and bath on the first floor and a bedroom and bath on the second floor. Entry to the apartments will be from the rear via an existing driveway, where parking and a footbridge will be provided for residents and their guests.

Last month, the planning board determined that the project is a “de minimus” (minor) change to the MDP and therefore did not require a public hearing.

At the October meeting, Northrup had prepared a more accurate site plan at the board’s request and said he had provided Town Engineer Mark Alianello with engineering plans for the pedestrian footbridge, which will span a creek.

The board approved the plan following its State Environmental Quality Review of the project.

The approval came with some minor conditions, including requiring that a separate building permit be obtained for the pedestrian footbridge, which must be constructed in accordance with the town engineer’s instruction.

Northrup also asked the board last month for input into what it considers to be allowable uses for the seven acre property across Rt. 219 from the future Yacht Club apartments. The property is in a “general commercial” zone.

The property, a former energy plant, was purchased by Northrup and developer Peter Krog last year at auction. Several serviceable buildings stand on the seven-acre property, though Northrup said they all need work and each has different characteristics, so their uses could be different.

The property is currently zoned for general commercial use. It had been zoned for “light industrial service commercial” use, which was eliminated as the town seeks to create a “gateway to Ellicottville” feel for that stretch of 219 to the intersection with Rt. 242 by prohibiting storage of heavy equipment and other “unsightly” uses.

Town Planner Carol Horowitz noted that zoning code provides several categories of allowable commercial activity, which she summarized in a list for the board. Independently, Northrup also had prepared a list of the types of businesses he thought might be interested in leasing space on the site.

As the board compared the lists, Horowitz identified some items on Northrup’s list that are not permitted uses, including contractors’ yards and auto repair shops. Horowitz agreed to consolidate the lists in accordance with the use tables established by the zoning ordinance and to prepare draft zoning amendment language for the board to review at its November meeting. If approved, the amendment would be sent to the Town Board for its approval.

Northrup’s more immediate need was for the board to consider if two contractors that currently lease space in the future Yacht Club building will be able to move across the street. One is a building contractor who stores equipment inside and the other is a painting contractor who stains and paints materials indoors. The board agreed that these would be permitted uses.

Jurisdiction Issues

Kathleen Moriarty, the Town of Ellicottville’s attorney, returned to the planning board meeting after explaining a situation referred by the town board regarding a request by a private citizen to make certain changes to zoning laws in order to avoid being impacted by the noise from a logging operation near her residence.

The planning board agreed that the issue cannot be addressed through zoning law, and that it does not have jurisdiction over enforcement of the town’s noise ordinance.

The next meeting of the Ellicottville Town Planning Board is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Town/Village Hall.