Approves Armor Inn Preliminary Plans

By Jann Wiswall

The Village of Ellicottville’s Planning Board held public hearings on special use permits for four properties at its meeting Sept. 9.

The hearing on a new accessory garage and second-floor apartment at 39 Martha St. prompted questions from the owner of an adjacent property. David Hector, a part-time resident who has owned his property for several decades, said he was “not thrilled about the building” whose apartment has a window facing into his bedroom. But that was not his primary reason for concern. Instead, his concern is that so many people are converting their barns and garages into accommodations.

“It’s the spirit of the thing that bothers me,” he said. “Does Ellicottville want a community that has multiple housing units on each lot?”

Planning Board Chair Nancy Rogan explained that village zoning laws have for many years permitted construction of one accessory building per residential lot. Those buildings must meet maximum height and square footage, green space, parking, design and other requirements. She also explained that only accessory buildings with kitchens need to be brought to the planning board. Other types of buildings — garages, sheds, apartments without kitchens, etc. — can be approved by the village code enforcement officer/building inspector.

Hector thanked the board for explaining the laws and processes and made no further comment.

Another resident attended the hearing for an accessory building at 1 Adams St., asking if the building would change her neighboring property’s setbacks. Rogan explained that each property has its own setback requirements and that the building will have no impact on her property.

There were no comments from the public on the hearings for special use permits for a new spa — Ellicottville Salt Cave at 32 West Washington St. — or the relocation of Cadillac Jack’s restaurant to 24 Monroe St.

Following adjournment of the public hearings, all four special use permit applications were approved. Rogan thanked community members for their “valuable input.”

The board then moved on to an architectural review of Cadillac Jack’s. Architect Dennis Cook provided scale drawings of the front and rear exteriors of the building, noting the rear emergency egress stairway from the planned second floor balcony was approved by the Village Zoning Board of Appeals. The planning board was pleased with the designs, saying it will be a vast improvement to the Monroe streetscape.

Ellicott Development’s plans for the Armor Inn restaurant, which will be leasing the space behind the Kwik Fill in Ellicott Development’s Village Centre, were discussed. Public hearings on the special use permit to “operate a new restaurant in an existing commercial building,” as well as its parking and landscape plan, were scheduled for Oct. 14.

The proposed parking plan meets local code requirements, based on the square footage of occupied space in the shopping center. Ellicott CEO Bill Paladino stated that when the remaining available space in the centre is leased (about 7,000 square feet adjacent to the EVL Cheese Co. store), additional parking will be acquired. He said the company is seeking retail tenants only, primarily for parking reasons.

The board, which has been working with Paladino on the architectural designs for several months, approved the latest design as presented. However, a proposed 705-square-foot addition to the structure was not approved. That addition is pending NYS DEC certification for construction on a floodway.

Paladino and the board also assuaged concerns from a neighboring resident about lighting, access and signage, to parking, landscaping, etc.

The next Village Planning Board meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Village/Town Hall.