Weekly Feature

2017-02-15 / Front Page

Seven new residential lots to extend Helenwood Drive


The Town Board approved a variance at its Feb. 8 meeting that will see the creation of seven new residential lots that will be used for future development on Helenwood Drive.

Property owner Eliot Lasky noted that his need for the variance came as a result of regulations implemented under the Town Code’s subdivision law, which do not allow for more than 12 lots in the Roxberry subdivision.

The property is located on the south side of Sheridan Drive and is an extension to Helenwood Drive.

Sean Hopkins of Hopkins Sorgi & Romanowski PLLC, speaking on behalf of Lasky, said his client has owned the property for 20 years. Previously, Hopkins said, Lasky proposed the creation of two cul-de-sacs consisting of 10 new residential lots, but technical concerns prevented the approval process from progressing.

In December 2014, the Planning Board referred the project to the Town Board in order to advance the application for the variance. Hopkins explained to the Town Board why the process is just now coming before the board more than two years later.

“The reason for the delay is that there have been a couple of aspects to the project that we specifically wanted to review with third parties, including the Erie County Water Authority because of some concerns about domestic flow, and perhaps more importantly, the Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Department,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins contends that the creation of the new lots will, in fact, result in a substantial improvement to the water pressure on Helenwood Drive.

“There’s a 6-inch water line that services those homes on Helenwood Drive. There is not adequate firefighting flow or pressure based on current conditions,” he said. “Mr. Lasky wants to move that line, replace it with a 10-inch line that would extend to the current terminus of Helenwood, and then we’ll extend an 8-inch line for the remainder of the subdivision.”

In July, the ECWA issued a letter approving the various components of the project, noting that the water flow for fire protection will increase from 428 gallons per minute at a pressure of 20 pounds per square inch to 805 gallons per minute at 20 pounds per square inch.

“This will result in an improvement compared with existing conditions, and the project’s sponsor will pay for this solution,” Hopkins said. “We are also eliminating the Helenwood Drive dead end. There’s currently not a turnaround. We’re going to replace that dead end with a cul-de-sac.”

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