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Developers reduce proposed apartment units   ADVERTISEMENT

Developers reduce proposed apartment units

WATKINS GLEN—Developers of the proposed Seneca Terrace Apartments presented changes to the project, including a reduction in units and removing an entrance, during the Wednesday Aug. 21, Watkins Glen planning board meeting.
The developers explained plans were revised to address the planning board’s concerns about traffic accessing the property, which is located off State Route 14 between Partition and Cross Streets. Theodore Lauve, managing member of Lauve Engineering, explained the plan reduces the number of proposed apartments from 28 to 24, which would decrease the amount of traffic to and from the location. He said, “economically it’s not as good, but we think it will still work.”
He added the developers removed a third entrance to the property off Route 14. This was added before the previous planning board meeting in response to traffic concerns. The proposal now has access points off Cross and Monroe Streets. Lauve explained the slope of the entrances and property roads are now all less than a 10 percent incline.
Engineer Gordon Stansbury gave details about a traffic study. He said the proposed number of units would equal around 12 additional cars leaving during the morning rush and 13 coming back in the evening. He said the numbers differ from the 24 unit number because some residents have unconventional hours and added these apartments will likely be used by single people without children. Stansbury explained he didn’t expect a noticeable difference in traffic.
With conceptual approval, the developers will complete the new site plan.
In other business:
The board also reviewed the proposal by Dunkin’ Donuts to demolish the house on Franklin Street directly to the north so additional parking can be created. Planning board member Tom Merrill said Dunkin’ Donuts needs to prove the parking is required. He added, “the other reasons are secondary, it’s the demonstration of need.” Fagan Engineers representative James Gensel said he would provide a parking study before the next meeting, Sept. 18. Amedeo Fraboni, acting planning chair, said the board will review the site plan and hold a public hearing for the proposal at that meeting.
Part of the issue the board has discussed is the fact Dunkin’ Donuts plans to demolish a building. The comprehensive plan says the village doesn’t want residential buildings in this part of the village demolished. However, the zoning has not been updated to prevent that. Fraboni said the board should start a committee to change the law.
The board also asked if Dunkin’ Donuts had any future plans for another adjacent property. Gensel said he would ask the company. The board’s other concern was the fencing around the parking lot. Merrill said he didn’t want car headlights pointing into people’s homes at night from the parking lot, but with more than just a fence. Gensel pointed out the proposal has fencing with landscaping on the street side bordering the lot.