October 26, 2021

Cortlandville to hear plans for new development

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

This field and hillside off Starr Road is the site of a proposed housing development that was reviewed Tuesday night by the Cortlandville Planning Board.

CORTLANDVILLE — Residents and members of the town Planning Board will have to wait until next month to learn more about plans by two local business owners to build a housing development near the Starr Road site where a similar project has already been proposed.

Town Planning/Zoning Officer Bruce Weber said during the board’s Tuesday meeting that Richard Osborne, owner of R.H. Osborne World of Floor Covering on Route 281, asked to be removed from the agenda.

After the meeting, Weber said Osborne’s attorney, Bill Pomeroy, had called before the meeting to ask that his client be taken off the agenda, but did not give any specifics as to why the decision was made.

Last month, Osborne submitted a site plan outlining details for a housing development project proposed for Starr Road for which a special planned unit development, or PUD, zoning designation is required.

Plans call for 88 units in 33 buildings, in addition to a community building, 21 rain gardens, and an access road to be built on nearly 62 acres on the south side of Starr Road.

The proposed project would be less than half a mile from where a PUD was granted in July for the Virgil-based Leonidas Group’s similar 50-unit Star Lite Ridge project on roughly 12 acres off Starr Road and Parti Drive.

Town Planning Board Chair Kathy Wickwire said this morning the site plan was initially submitted in November by Osborne, Al Kryger, a managing partner with the Leonidas Group and engineer Tim Buhl, the same person working with the Leonidas Group on the Star Lite Ridge Project.

Wickwire said this morning it was at that time she the Planning Board voiced concerns about traffic, flooding and stormwater management regarding the proposal and sent the plan to the town’s consultants, Clough, Harbour & Associates in Albany.

The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to present Osborne and the others with Clough Harbour’s findings, she said, adding there is a chance that will happen during the board’s next regular meeting set for Jan. 31.

Also Tuesday, the Planning Board voted unanimously to override a recommendation from the Cortland County Planning Board to close off the south entrance to the Aldi Corp. supermarket chain site, where the company plans to build a new store next to its existing Route 13 location.

The company submitted plans in October calling for a 19,000-square-foot store to be built on the same site as the existing 14,860-square-foot store. The plan is for Aldi to move into the new building and to lease the old space.

The town forwarded the site plan to the county Planning Board for review. Last month, members of that board said they were concerned with traffic at one of the site’s two access point closest to Route 281 and subsequently recommend Aldi close that entrance, allowing cars to access the property only from one spot.

On Tuesday, though, town Planning Board members said they did not see a problem with having both entrances and recommended approval of the project without the county Planning Board’s suggestions.

A supermajority, or a majority plus one vote, was required to override the county’s recommendation.

That recommendation is contingent on the state Department of Transportation approving of access to the site which is expected to happen, Todd Markevicz, an engineer with Victor-based APD Engineering and Architecture, said Tuesday.

Members of the board also approved granting a conditional permit needed for the Automotive Lift Institute to relocate to a building it owns at 3699 Luker Road.

The company is now located at 80 Wheeler Ave. in the city.

ALI President Bob O’Gorman said the new 12,500-square-foot space will house the equipment needed for the new headquarters for his company, where students will learn how to operate and repair automotive lifts.

Tuesday’s meeting was also the last for board member John Finamore, who completed his five-year term. Finamore will be replaced by architect Nasrin Parvizi, who is also associate vice president of facilities at SUNY Cortland.