Weekly Feature

2017-10-11 / Front Page

Roll Road residents request sewer access from Creekwood Meadows

by ETHAN POWERS
Editor

The Creekwood Meadows patio homes once signaled potential access to a sewer line for residents of Roll Road, but the project’s new blueprint may now present a substantial fiscal burden for them.

At the Planning Board’s Oct. 4 meeting, Natale Builders requested development plan approval for a 30-lot open-space design subdivision located on the north side of Roll.

Ken Zollitsch of the engineering firm Greenman-Pedersen Inc., speaking to the board on behalf of Natale Builders, noted that the Creekwood Meadows project will be a private subdivision that will consist of private infrastructure, roads and a waterline. Its sewer system will be public and will fall under the jurisdiction of Erie County Sewer District 5.

The properties will be under the purview of a homeowners’ association. All homeowners will pay fees for the maintenance of property, roads and landscaping.

According to Zollitsch, the original intent of the plan was to install a sewer line along Roll Road heading east toward a manhole on Newhouse Road. When the infrastructure plan was sent to the county for approval, he said, they were told that the owner of a property on Newhouse is seeking to develop the property in the future.

As a result, the county ordered Natale Builders to come up with a plan that would include a new regional pump station, which would service the Creekwood Meadows property as well as the more than 100 lots currently serviced by the existing pump station.

“Erie County identified this and spoke to us that because our property is essentially the gateway to get to the sanitary sewer, that we needed to work with them on what would ultimately be a new pump station located on Roll Road,” said Zollitsch, adding that the cost for the new station is roughly $350,000.

Planning Board President Robert Sackett indicated to Zollitsch and Angelo Natale, owner of Natale Builders, that there has not been enough communication between the developers of the project and the residents it will affect.

His sentiments were echoed by a handful of residents who expressed to the board their trepidation on how such a large project might affect their property.

Paul Winzenried, who lives at 8270 Roll, told the board that he has a letter from the county Department of Public Sewer Management stating that one of the project’s stipulations was the installation of a sewer system along Roll. Winzenried added that at the sewer line’s new location, he would have to build his own line 300 feet in order to connect to it.

He also stated his disapproval of the current buffer strategy.

“I’m not crazy about a white, 6-foot vinyl fence,” said Winzenried. “I don’t think they would want the fence to be on the other side of the trees, looking at it, either. I’d rather see pines, grasses and a berm to make it look as natural as possible.”

Michael Wesolowski, a resident of Fieldbrook Drive who is located in the cul-de-sac into which Natale plans to build the access road, asked the board to demand that the planned emergency access road to the north of the property would not be used for other purposes.

“I have, on minimal, two occasions, have had Natale Builders or their associates using that curb cut, jumping their vehicles over, using it as an entrance to the property,” he said.

Residents inquired about the financial burden that could be associated with potentially being forced to connect to the sewer lines of Creekview Meadows.

Cindie Clay and her husband, Rich, who own the property at 8240 Roll, have lived at the location for 35 years. They estimate that they would have to run a sewer line about 1,000 feet to hook up to Creekview’s planned line.

“Our septic is on the west side of the house. For us to go from there, all the way to that back corner is totally unrealistic,” said Cindie Clay. “There are four lots and three homes here that are totally surrounded by sewer. If we don’t get a sewer from this that’s realistic for us to attach to, we’re never going to be able to attach to sewer.”

Erie County maintains final authority on whether a property using a septic system will be required to connect to a sewer line. Zollitsch told the Town Board in April that while the county will provide the materials for the sewer line extension, and that Natale will pay for the installation of the line, service connections to the individual homes will fall upon the respective homeowners.

Ultimately, the Planning Board voted to table the motion until Natale could more effectively communicate with adjacent property owners on Creekwood’s potential impact. The vote miffed Natale, who pointed out to the board that he’s a Clarence resident and has been building homes in the area for 40 years.

“I’m happy to meet with the residents and talk to them about landscaping. I’d be happy to put more trees or buffering to shield them from the headlights,” he said. “I’m putting close to $400,000 of additional money into this project. It’s only 30 lots. I’m servicing our development, I’m helping the community across the street and down the street for future development. We’re trying to do our part in this, and we’ve been at it for two years now.”

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