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A Petition from Penfield Residents Regarding the Parking Lot Expansion at Glendoveers, 2328 Old Browncroft Blvd. Rochester, NY 14625
The request before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is for a variance to expand upon a pre-existing, non-conforming use by granting the approval of an increase in parking spaces from 48 to 85 (37 new spots to be created) via removal of an adjacent natural feature. Read more about Penfield town code regarding requests for approval of expansion of a pre-existing non-conforming use here: https://www.ecode360.com/15184927?highlight=for,for%20variance,use,use%20variance,use%20variances,uses,using,variance,variances
This expansion involves an environmentally sensitive area comprised of a DEC-regulated, fresh water wetland and its related buffer zone. Specifically, it includes a “steep slope Environmental Protection Overlay District (EPOD), the foot of which abuts the edge of Irondequoit Marsh. The expansion of the lot requires the removal of 3000-3500 truckloads of dirt, estimated at 35,000 cubic yards of the steep slope itself. However, per town code, the town of Penfield is responsible for the protection and preservation of any EPOD within its borders. Read more about this here: https://www.ecode360.com/15183462?highlight=epod,slope,slopes,steep%20slope,steep%20slopes#15183462
The Planning Board has approved this, however some might take exception to both the completeness of the EAF and the SEQR assessment that the project will have little to no impact on the environment. At the last meeting of the ZBA, a Glendoveers representative claimed that because there was, in their opinion, no significant environmental impact and that the primary issue is parking safety for patrons, that there were no grounds on which the ZBA should refuse the parking lot expansion. However, in August of 2017, when this issue was discussed at a Planning Board meeting, the reason given for the need for more parking was this: “the market is competitive for banquet facilities and expansion is necessary in order to facilitate growth of the business.” While parking was also mentioned in discussion, it did not seem to be the primary objective. The ultimate point being that the request to add 37 parking spots for a final total of 85 will not fix the need to park on the road because their building capacity is such that they would need, as listed in town documents, 185 parking spots. If the business is expanded, as Glendoveers’ representative has indicated is a major interest, the on-the-road parking issue will likely be unchanged, while a steep slope EPOD will be destroyed and an environmentally-sensitive wetlands ecosystem will be negatively impacted.
As this request to expand the parking area does not seem to satisfy the criteria as defined in town code and in case law, we respectfully request that you deny their application for this expansion.
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