A public hearing on the beleaguered Gullace housing project came to a close Tuesday after 120 days of public input — most of it negative.
VICTOR — A public hearing on the beleaguered Gullace housing project came to a close Tuesday after 120 days of public input — most of it negative — in person and by letter and email.
In the end, Victor Planning Board members sent the developer, Dante Gullace of Lynaugh Road Properties LLC, back to the drawing board to come up with yet another new plan.
Residents pushed back hard Tuesday against the proposed 69-townhome development at 995 County Road 9 that has been in the works since 1985. Among their complaints: high density, increased traffic, dropping property values, lack of green space and potential drainage issues.
The Gullace plan calls for 53 units in a combination of three- and four-unit blocks on 13 acres of land, east of County Road 9, and 16 units in two- and three-unit blocks on four acres of land to the west. At issue specifically: the developer's desire to cluster, or group townhomes to create higher density, combined green space and greater profit.
Church Street resident Kevin Chrisman said he’s spent 23 years remodeling and upgrading his 90-year-old home with pride. High-density housing doesn’t inspire that kind of personal investment, and often leads to decline, he said.
“That zoning was done 30 years ago and has nothing in common with the neighborhood today,” he said.
The property is zoned multiple dwelling, and has been since 1985, said project engineer Bob Cantwell of BME Associates.
“Mr. Gullace had, in the past, proposed apartments for rent with a lot more density,” argued attorney Alan Knauf. “But in reaction to comments from the town, the community, this is way scaled back. He committed to townhouses and much lower density than is allowed. He’s come a long way from what was originally contemplated. Most people are unhappy with the zoning. But that decision was made decades ago.”
In general, board members agreed the project needed to be reduced further, including decreased density, all units configured as duplexes, connected green spaces, overflow parking, and increased safety in the event of a fire.
“I’m not inclined to support anything more than a two-unit building,” said Planning Board member Joe Logan. “Clustering doesn’t make sense, and three- and four-unit buildings are, in my mind, too big for this site.”
Board chair Jack Dianetti urged the applicant to come up with “more specific suggestions on what they can do to mitigate traffic issues and safety.” He expressed less concern over density, because he “did spend 14 years working on the comprehensive plan.” A priority was to build higher density housing closer to the village, he said.
Ontario County has also required the developer to conduct an additional study on stormwater impact the project would have on area residents, and to define the source of any groundwater springs and their impact to surrounding property, according to Victor Director of Development Katie Evans.
The project has been tabled until additional information is submitted. Board members asked the developer to consent to an extension of time beyond the 62 days they’re allowed to review materials. After consulting with his client, Knauf said Gullace would have a response for the board within a week.
A look back:
More than 100 speak out against Gullace development - Published 6/29/2016 - More than 100 residents sound off in opposition to a proposed development that includes 69 ranch-style townhomes in Victor.
Village of Victor gains 2.2 acres in Gullace project saga - Published 6/11/2016 - Town and village approve annexation, the next step in proposed Gullace development.
Victor residents oppose development, stall annexation - Published 4/26/2016 - A joint public hearing on the proposed annexation of town property into the village of Victor devolved into a rehashing of the merits of the residential project that prompted the hearing to begin with.
Public hearing will address proposed annexation of Victor town property into the village - Published 3/30/2016 - A joint public hearing is planned so residents can weigh in on a proposed annexation of town property into the village of Victor.
Victor Planning Board split on Gullace project's impact - Published 6/16/2015 - Victor Planning Board will have to take another vote to decide if Gullace project will have an adverse affect on traffic, the environment and the neighborhood.
Victor Planning Board mulls impact of Gullace project - Published 5/18/2015 - Town Planning Board members were clearly taking no chances on Tuesday, May 12, as they tediously combed through every word and phrase of an Environmental Assessment Form, Part 2.
Victor's fertile ground: The cost of development - Published 2/7/2016 - A 71-townhome, 17-single-family-patio-home project between County Road #9 and Lynaugh Road has been proposed.
Victor developers: Gullace project "won't worsen traffic" on Route 96 - Published 4/22/2015 -Developers of a proposed 21.6-acre residential development in Victor appeared before town and village planning board members to say "we’ve heard your concerns, we’ve adjusted our plans, and the project won’t worsen traffic on Route 96.
Alternative plans arise for Victor project - Published 12/14/2014 - Developers of a proposed 21.6-acre development that sprawls across village and town lines will pitch two alternative concepts for the village portion of the project to village officials this week.
Victor planning boards, residents warm to Gullace development project - Published 9/24/2014 - A retooled sketch plan for a proposed 21.1-acre development between Church Street and Lynaugh Road, less than a mile north of Route 96, was presented for the second time to the town and village planning boards Tuesday night.
Two public hearings set in town and village of Victor for controversial Gullace development -Published 6/4/2014 - Two hearings for two parts of one development are scheduled on consecutive nights at Town Hall and Village Hall in Victor.
Joint planning board meeting addressed Gullace subdivision proposal in Victor -Published 5/31/2014 - The Victor town and village planning boards Tuesday gathered jointly to hear Chris and Dante Gullace’s proposal for a subdivision development plan that would build 100 “empty nester” apartments and 15 single-family dwellings.
Mixed-use project unveiled in Victor - Published 6/27/2013 - A housing project that would develop one of the last open pieces of real estate in the village — and an adjoining parcel in the town — is on the books.For more news, follow Melody Burri on Twitter and Instagram