By Kathleen Kellogg

The Stillhouse Brewery, restaurant and distillery will receive a temporary certificate of occupancy through June 30 and with conditions, allowing the new facility to open as early as April despite parking lot paving delays due to bad weather.

Conditions of a 2016 special use permit and site plan approval for the 5,000 square foot brewery and restaurant, located near the intersection of Routes 219 and 242 east of Tim Horton’s, required the developer to pave the parking lot, but weather has prevented the work. In the meantime, the developer requested whether the Board would accept paving with Roller-Compacted Concrete (RCC) because of its durability.

Recently, reported Town Planner Gary Palumbo and Engineer Mark Alianello, Stillhouse developers requested the possibility to use tar and chip for a temporary surface due to the fluctuating temperatures.

The town’s ordinance allows a temporary certificate of occupancy if construction is slowed by bad weather or if other extenuating circumstances prevent timely completion. A bond for the cost of surfacing is required, as well as approval of alternatives by the code enforcement officer and recommendations from the town’s engineer.

Before approving the temporary certificate, Board members cautioned the action should contain some conditions, including an acceptable bond, and marked parking space. These also include that the tar and chip option, if used, must be replaced by a better surface and that parking areas should be marked or delineated clearly, with a vacant lot nearby excluded from temporary parking until a separate site plan review can be conducted. They also expressed an unwillingness to set a precedent and were assured the ordinance provision assures no precedent is being set.

Board member Doc Dayton expressed strong objection for placing on the agenda any last-minute requests of the Planning Board, but all agreed the ordinance allows for special consideration in this case.

In another matter, the Board agreed to send sign amendments back to the Town Board for a final draft and a public hearing, possibly as early as May. If the amendments are later approved by the Town Board, the area of lighted signs may be increased to 66 percent of the board, or 32 square feet, whichever is less; a reduction from one minute to a five second minimum time for a static message to change. Palumbo said he will work on requests to research candlepower controls of the lighted signs and the ability to aim and dim lighting.

The Board recognized the work of outgoing Engineer Mark Alianello for his many years of service and welcomed Niles Pierson, who will fill the vacancy and advise the Board on engineering matters.

Finally, Palumbo noted the updated comprehensive plan has been drafted, with goals and objectives to incorporate findings of the Ellicottville Community Smart Growth Survey. Palumbo said he made some adjustments and the document will be sent for a final review by the engineer and code enforcer before the Town Board is asked to make a decision on the new version.

On the topic of the Community Smart Growth Survey, he reminded the Board there will be a third and final public meeting on growth and development at the Town Center on Parkside Drive at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 14. Results of March 22 and March 24 community input focused on roads, business and economic development opportunities. The lack of affordable employee housing, and housing demand outside the community were other points raised. The results will be used to submit a Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant application for physical redevelopment in and around Ellicottville.  A summary presentation of the findings and final recommendations will be provided to the public at that meeting.