By Jann Wiswall

The Ellicottville Village Planning Board met Tuesday, March 12, 2013, to review plans for two construction projects in the Village of Ellicottville.

10 Monroe Street: The first plan was presented by architect John Lydon on behalf of Shannon Carscallen, owner of E-Ville Spirits & Wines at 10 Monroe Street. Carscallen is raising the roof on the existing building and adding space to hold wine classes on the second floor. Lydon initially proposed installing a shingle roof on the new center section that would be adjacent to two existing metal roofs. The board, however, said it would require matching metal roofing on the new section. Snow jacks and ice clips also were required. With those conditions in mind, the plan was approved by the board.

20 Monroe Street: Next, plans for an addition to Balloons Restaurant and Nightclub at 20 Monroe Street were presented. Balloons proposed to add a 30-foot-by-40-foot addition and a patio for outdoor dining to the back of the restaurant. The new addition would include 8-foot-by-8-foot French doors out to the patio. Its roof will be constructed to build a deck on the second floor at some time in the future. Signage and lighting at the back of the building will match the front. Five-foot high, wrought iron fencing would be placed around the outdoor patio, which also would feature an outdoor fire pit.

The planning board approved the addition on the condition that an electrical pole must be appropriately relocated. Balloons owner Mike Kerns said he was working with National Grid to arrange for that move. The board also added a condition that parking for apartment residents and commercial customers in the area must be addressed with reserved parking signage. A public hearing for the addition will be held at the planning board’s May 14 meeting. The outdoor patio, the board noted, requires a separate public hearing. That hearing also will be held on May 14.

Finally, developer Kody Sprague discussed his desire to turn the 1887 Building into a boutique hotel. Sprague, who is under contract to purchase the historic building, has until May 15 to do the due diligence on the project and make a final decision on the purchase. At this point, he believes the decision will be based on two factors: 1) Can he get a special use permit for this purpose and 2) Can he locate enough designated parking for a hotel?

The planning board was positive when it came to a special use permit. Board Chair Nancy Rogan said she thought the concept was an excellent use for the building. Sprague expects to do some brick restoration, replace windows, make the building ADA accessible and turn 20-24 classrooms into guestrooms. He also hopes to make good use of the old gymnasium. The planning board pointed out that there is a zoning requirement for retail space of some sort on the ground floor of the building. Sprague said he would take that into consideration.

Parking poses a more difficult challenge. Sprague believes he must have 20-24 designated parking spots available for guests at all times. By tearing down the Maybee Alley-side, one-story addition that used to house Jonny Barbers, he can create 10-12 spaces. He asked the planning board for its help to locate another 10-12 spaces.

Sprague and the planning board brainstormed some ideas, most of which were not ideal. In the end, the planning board suggested that Sprague obtain more information from village officials to get a better handle on legal and practical options.

Assuming a solution can be found, Sprague asked to be added to the board’s May agenda to review plans. If he decides to go ahead with the project, he also asked that a public hearing be scheduled for the June meeting. The planning board agreed to this schedule.

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