Starbucks items tabled by board

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A negative declaration on a Site Environmental Quality Review for the first phase of a subdivision at Woodhaven Redevelopment Area was granted, while other reviews were tabled for several area developments, including the Starbucks Coffee Shop on Black River Boulevard, during the city Planning Board meeting Tuesday.

In old business, the planning board removed from the table a request by Woodhaven Ventures, LLC on the SEQR Review for a 37 lot first phase of a 250 lot total major subdivision in the Woodhaven Redevelopment Area, which was formerly Griffiss Air Force Base housing bounded by Floyd Avenue and transected by Park Avenue.

Kate Jarosh, business development manager with Bonacio Construction, Inc., of Saratoga, said there were no updates on the project since last meeting before the board in June.

“We have been working hard to move forward,” said Jarosh as far as finalizing the project SEQR and other details. “Then we’ll be ready to get into the ground. We’re working toward the Final Plat Review.”

Since all involved agencies have had 30 days to submit comments about the project, it was recommended by the city Office of Community and Economic Development to grant a SEQR negative declaration, which was unanimously supported by the Planning Board.

Also appearing before the board was Randy Soggs, who is requesting a three-lot minor subdivision at Mohawk Acres Plaza, 1790 Black River Blvd., for a 1,988 square-foot Starbucks Coffee Shop. Four comments were received from the public in support of the coffee shop.

Soggs explained he is now looking to subdivide two sub lots that are part of the Mohawk Acres parking lot. Starbucks would be the only tenant at this time, and the franchise showed interest in locating to Rome, Soggs said.

The owner said Starbucks provided plans on how the building should look, “then we need to work within the constraints of what the municipality establishes,” Soggs explained.

Soggs and planning board members discussed the “stacking” of vehicles at the site drive-thru, how he would be responsible for landscaping as owner of the property, maintaining appropriate foot traffic from the existing plaza and possibly creating a joint use access with the parcel next door where Price Chopper is located. Part of the plan is to demolish the old bank and create parking, he said.

Because the 30-day window to comment on the SEQR request had not yet closed, the planning board voted unanimously to not only table the SEQR, but also the Preliminary Plat Review and Site Plan Review for the project.

In other business:

• A Site Plan Review of a request by Parkview Development and Construction, LLC for a revision to a previously approved site plan for 171-183 W. Dominick St., known as the $16.6 million Copper City Lofts project, was unanimously approved.

Sean Kearney, vice-president of Kearney Group, said the project has been fully funded and is on track for breaking ground and starting construction in September. Upon receiving design requirements, it was recommended that Parkview Development widen the courtyard. There is one building planned with an interior courtyard.

That would push the rear of the building back 5-6 feet toward Erie Boulevard West. However, it would cause no changes in the footprint of the building and it would still be within codes requirements for a C3 District, so there would be no need to go back to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Kearney said. Because it remained consistent with the previously approved site plan and remains compliant with setback requirements, the board unanimously approved the revised Site Plan. “This project is great for the city, and great for the community in general,” Planning Board Chairman Mark Esposito said.

• A SEQR and Preliminary Plat Review requested by Evolve Construction for a two lot minor subdivision at 5302 Brown Road were tabled due to involved agencies not yet having 30 days to respond or make comments about the request. The owner indicated he wanted to split his lot in order to sell a portion of it.

• A Final Plat Review at the request of Buck Group for a 50-lot first phase of a 69 lot total major subdivision located off Charles Anken Boulevard was tabled as Buck Group is “looking to clarify more technical items.” Buck Group also requested a work session with city officials before the next Planning Board meeting on Aug. 3.

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