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Thread: William Street signage variance application should be denied

  1. #1
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    William Street signage variance application should be denied

    William Street signage variance application should be denied

    January 7, 2020


    Lancaster Zoning Board of Appeals
    RE: Rachel’s signage (pole) variance application


    Honorable ZBA members:

    I am writing to request Board denial of Rachel’s Mediterranean Restaurant application for variance to install a co-location pole sign on property not owned by the petitioner.

    The signage would be located on property co-owned by Orville’s and Kulback. Rachel’s legal address is located at 4931 Transit Road (pole sign already exists) and is petitioning to add offsite advertising signage on an existing Orville’s pole sign at 4733 William.

    Chapter 50, Zoning, Section 30D.(1) of the Code of the Town of Lancaster requires no sign shall be used to attract attention to a business not available or located on the premises where the sign is located.

    If there is any road in the Town of Lancaster that doesn’t need added business attention and traffic, it is William Street; especially at the already overburdened intersection of Transit Road and William Street. I reside in the adjacent subdivision community and witness the traffic issues that exist and hear from neighboring business owners of the ever-increasing number of vehicular accidents in this 600-linear-feet of road that services over 10 business enterprises.

    This variance application is similar to a previously denied variance application submitted by Flix Theater – a second pole sign located at an ancillary access road.

    The Town often proclaims that ‘public safety’ is of prime concern. This area is already a high-risk area with numerous conflict points resulting in increasing traffic accident rate and/or queuing time.

    The ZBA is well within its authority to deny variance application. The applicant created its own hardship and the granting of the variance benefits the applicant’s best interest over that of the community’s.

    The variance petition should be denied.

    Lee Chowaniec
    93 Northwood Drive
    Lancaster NY, 14043


    c.c. D. Terranova
    ZBA Members
    Kevin Loftus – Town Attorney
    Matt Fischione – Code Enforcement Officer

  2. #2
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    Robert P. Thill
    5329 Broadway St
    Lancaster, NY 14086-2025
    January 6, 2020

    Kevin Loftus, Town Attorney
    Town of Lancaster
    21 Central Avenue
    Lancaster, NY 14086

    Re: Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing – January 9, 2020
    Petition of Benderson Development Company, LLC


    Dear Kevin:

    The above referenced petition requests of the Zoning Board of Appeals three (3) area variances for the purpose of erecting a sign on premises owned by the applicant at 4733 William St., Variances A, B, and C in the legal notice.

    I wish to call your attention to area variance request A: “A variance from the requirements of Chapter 50, Zoning, Section 30.D(1) of the Code of the Town of Lancaster to install a sign advertising Rachael's Mediterranean located at 4931 Transit Road on an existing pole sign at 4733 William St.”

    The applicant's request for an area variance to erect a sign off-premises advertising Rachael's Mediterranean at 4733 William St. drastically changes the character of the proposed sign from an accessory use sign (50-19(2)(b)“signs as permitted or regulated by this ordinance” to a billboard. As defined in section 50-30 B. Definitions: SIGN, BILLBOARD,“Any sign that attracts attention to an object, product, service, place, activity, institution, organization or business not available or located on the lot where the sign is located.”

    The relief sought by the petitioner for item “A” request is an “area variance.” As defined by state law, an “area variance” is “the authorization by the zoning board of appeals for the use of land in a manner which is not allowed by the dimensional or physical requirements of the applicable zoning regulations.” The relief sought by the petitioner in item “A” does not speak to any issue of dimensional or physical requirements. It speaks to the issue of land use.

    In contrast to the area variance, the more elusive “use variance” is defined as “the authorization by the zoning board of appeals for the use of land for a purpose which is otherwise not allowed or is prohibited by the applicable zoning regulations.

    Clearly the petitioner is requesting the use on land in the GB (General Business) District at 4733 William St for the erection a billboard as defined by section 50-30 B. Definitions: “SIGN, BILLBOARD.”

    A billboard is not a permitted use in the GB (General Business) District. Billboards are specifically addressed in Sect (50-30 B.) Definitions: SIGN, BILLBOARD and more specifically addressed in section (50-30 D.(1) General regulations which speaks directly to this issue of land use. To whit: “No sign shall be used to attract attention to an object, product, place, activity, institution, organization, or business not available or located on the premises where the sign is located.”

    Also, I call to your attention the following: the owner of the premises at 4733 William St, according to the Assessor's office, is SK Development of Western New York, LLC. Should not the zoning board members be appraised of just who is involved in this matter and what authority has been vested in Benderson Development Company, LLC to speak and negotiate on behalf of SK Development of Western New York, LLC, the property owner? Does Benderson Development Company, LLC have power of attorney to bind the property owner to any stipulations negotiated with the board? The board members should know with whom and what authority they are dealing.

    Yours truly,

    Robert P. Thill

    cc: D Terranova clerk ZBA for ZBA members

  3. #3
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    I am writing to request Board denial of Rachel’s Mediterranean Restaurant application for variance to install a co-location pole sign on property not owned by the petitioner.

    The signage would be located on property co-owned by Orville’s and Kulback. Rachel’s legal address is located at 4931 Transit Road (pole sign already exists) and is petitioning to add offsite advertising signage on an existing Orville’s pole sign at 4733 William.

    Chapter 50, Zoning, Section 30D.(1) of the Code of the Town of Lancaster requires no sign shall be used to attract attention to a business not available or located on the premises where the sign is located.
    Isn't this really up to the owners of Orville's and Kulback? If those owners are ok with it why does the town have any say in it as long as they are following the basic square footage they are allowed?



    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8802...7i13312!8i6656


    If there is any road in the Town of Lancaster that doesn’t need added business attention and traffic, it is William Street; especially at the already overburdened intersection of Transit Road and William Street. I reside in the adjacent subdivision community and witness the traffic issues that exist and hear from neighboring business owners of the ever-increasing number of vehicular accidents in this 600-linear-feet of road that services over 10 business enterprises.
    You know as well as I know the sign for the restaurant won't amount to squat on William Street.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WNYresident View Post
    Isn't this really up to the owners of Orville's and Kulback? If those owners are ok with it why does the town have any say in it as long as they are following the basic square footage they are allowed?

    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8802...7i13312!8i6656

    You know as well as I know the sign for the restaurant won't amount to squat on William Street.
    So, you are claiming that as long as the neighbor is willing to let you co-locate on his pole sign, his permission supersedes town code? Not so. Benderson Development is seeking a variance because the code stipulates:

    No sign shall be used to attract attention to an object, product, place, activity, institution, organization or business not available or located on the premises where the sign is located.

    50-30-3

    Pole signs. One pole sign for each individual building not a part of a multiple development as hereinafter defined and regulated shall be permitted in the General Business (GB), Commercial and Motor Service (CMS), Shopping Center (SC), Light Industrial (LI) and General Industrial (GI) Districts only.

    One pole sign has been allotted for Rachel’s at 4931 Transit Road. Benderson is permitted a ground sign on its William Street property but chooses to apply for a pole sign variance for more advertising exposure.

    In the variance application language, the petitioner states: The Town of Lancaster requires no sign be used to attract business not available or located on the premises where the sign is located. The petitioner, therefore, requests a variance to allow offsite advertising to be placed on a parcel.

    That parcel is Orville’s, the sign is a pole sign. Apparently, the property owner has already granted permission because Rachel’s has been advertised on the lighted sign for some time – weeks before the Town Zoning Board of Appeals has received variance application.

    Its importance belies your ‘it won’t amount to squat’ claim. It will draw more traffic in an already overburdened 600’ of road (with only one lane for traffic going east) and add to the traffic safety issues and accidents already present.

    Through the years the town has literally squeezed 10 lbs. of **** into a 5-lb. bag in this GB zoned area. Will they add more?

  5. #5
    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    So, you are claiming that as long as the neighbor is willing to let you co-locate on his pole sign, his permission supersedes town code? Not so. Benderson Development is seeking a variance because the code stipulates:

    No sign shall be used to attract attention to an object, product, place, activity, institution, organization or business not available or located on the premises where the sign is located.
    I'm not claiming anything.

    What I'm saying is why is it the "Town's" business code or not.

    Isn't this really up to the owners of Orville's and Kulback? If those owners are ok with it why does the town have any say in it as long as they are following the basic square footage they are allowed?
    A sign is a sign. I could see where someone could have far too many pole signs but what difference does it make who's business is on the sign?

    Don't you have a clue how competitive business is?

  6. #6
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    WNYresident;1908839]

    I'm not claiming anything.

    What I'm saying is why is it the "Town's" business code or not.
    The code is the town’s business and was established to protect the community’s best interests.

    A sign is a sign. I could see where someone could have far too many pole signs but what difference does it make who's business is on the sign?
    An off-premises sign is a code violation. The applicant has a right to petition the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance. I have the right to appeal to the ZBA in opposition.

    Don't you have a clue how competitive business is?
    Considering I was born and raised in a ‘mom & pop’ store in the heart of Buffalo’s eastside, I well understand business competitiveness – especially since they were driven out of business by the proliferation of supermarkets.

    My management career in the food industry also involved competition and adherence to federal rules and government guidelines.

    I have seen the Town of Lancaster evolve from dumb growth principles to one establishing codes to protect the best interests of the community as a whole – especially in public safety.

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    By email, the applicant requested the tabling of the signage variance petition.

  8. #8
    Member gorja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post
    By email, the applicant requested the tabling of the signage variance petition.
    Yes, I was going to go but when I saw it posted on the front page of the town website the other day, I didn't

    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

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