Lowe’s Update

There’s been a flurry of activity on the Newman PDD application since the Planning Board officially issued its Official Findings statement on June 12 and the County Planning Board approved the proposal on the same day. The Town Board has spent two full sessions carefully reviewing that Findings statement with the goal of producing its own amended version.

At a special meeting Monday, the board raised questions about the need for a traffic study for the Center Street intersection and another study to see if the Morganview entrance should be right turn in/out only. The board will attempt to resolve these issues and have a draft of its own Findings statement by its next meeting on July 10.

Meanwhile the Planning Board has been working on site plan issues. Much of the action is apparently taking place out of public view in a series of private meetings between the developer and selected members of the planning board, the town board and the town’s architectural review committee (which includes Ken Book, Dan Dimpfl and Marge Wilkie). These private meetings are legal so long as a quorum of any one board is not present at the same time.

A glimpse of how the negotiation are going was revealed at the board’s recent meeting, also on Monday. The Planning Board is apparently trying to get the overall height of the peak reduced to less than 45 feet. They have also asked that the background of the Lowe’s sign in the peak be changed from a bright red to a earthier brown.

The board is also concerned about Newman’s plan to deed a block of ground fronting Rt. 20-A to the town. The town does not want the land, and to do so would reduce the required open space that the developer is required to maintain to below the required 40%.

The planning board is also working on responding to a letter from the town board asking for more specific recommendations on site dimensions and other details. The Planning Board has scheduled two more meetings in July to continue this review. They will be on July 14 and 21.

County Planning Board to consider GTC tonight

The Livingston County Planning Board will consider the proposed Geneseo Town Centre proposal at its monthly meeting tonight. The board had considered the project two years ago, but that was premature for an official referral, since the General Municipal Law requires the board to have all the evidence from the SEQR process before it.

Since the Geneseo Planning Board completed the SEQR process by approving Findings last month, which included mitigations that reduced the size of the Lowe’s building and required it to face Volunteer Road, the matter is now ripe for County Planning Board action.

PDDG members Bill Lofquist and Corrin Strong have sent a memo to County Planning Board members urging the board to reject the project as not in keeping with the town or the county’s master plan and policies. The memo also takes particular aim at the access driveway opposite Morganview Drive, which they say is in violation of the Gateway District zoning, will create a major traffic problems and encourage future commercial sprawl to the east.

The memo urges the County Board to recommend that the Morganview access either be eliminated or restricted to delivery trucks and emergency vehicles. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Alice Wadsworth Strong room at the Livingston County Building.