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No decision yet from zoning board on proposed Mayville development

March 31, 2016
By Doug Callen (editorial@westfieldrepublican.com) , Westfield Republican

The Webbs' request for 18 variances for their proposed fractional use development awaits a decision from the Mayville Village Zoning Board of Appeals.

No vote came on March 23 as a hearing on the matter concluded at 8:30 p.m. Mary Schiller, chair of the board, said that the board would vote at the next meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, Schiller announced that the board would likely not vote due to the amount of information to consider with a public hearing included. She explained that originally in 1997 the Webbs had applied for a hotel only and the current application is different. New Zoning Laws were enacted in 2007 and a zoning law update occurred in May 2015. These local law changes have affected Webbs' plans and led to a fractional use development plan.

"We apply a balancing test to each of the 18 variances," she said.

She also explained that the board must consider variances and take the necessary time to interpret zoning laws.

Schiller allowed 30 minutes total for the public hearing and 3 minutes for each speaker. Several Chautauqua County business people and politicians spoke in favor of the Webbs' development. A few homeowners from the streets across the road from the proposed development expressed their opposition through speaking during the hearing and by three letters that were entered into the record by Schiller.

Andrew Nixon, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau director, spoke of the development as an enhancement to the community.

"I'm looking forward to being able to promote this site," he said.

Kathy Boberg, homeowner, spoke against the development, "We don't want to be Myrtle Beach or Tampa, Florida." She said it would completely block her view of the lake.

"People want the peace and quiet here."

Her husband Howard suggested that the Webbs move their project another 200 feet to preserve the lakeview for some of the people on Pratt Street.

Alicia and Derek Johncour, homeowners who are from Pittsburgh, said that they bought their place in Mayville for the lakeview that they will lose if the development as planned goes through.

"We have a vested interest in the view," he said. He suggested that another location might be better.

Alicia Johncour said that she and her husband stayed past the weekend to express their views.

Two members of the board asked Ben Webb and Martin Serena, architect, if they had considered flipping around the project with the parking and the building to lessen the impact to homeowners view of the lake. Charlie Schiller, resident, asked if the building was put where the parking lot would be would the variances be needed. Mary Schiller said there would probably be fewer variances. Cannon said it would be hard to tell.

Webb and Serena expressed reluctance to flip the plans and Webb said it would be economically unattractive, possibly leading to a business failure. Guests at the hotel would have to cross the street to engage in recreational activities.

Matthew Stage, owner of the Chautauqua Belle, advocated that Mayville is a great place and that anything that can be done to make it better ought to be considered. He stated that another attraction could keep people who come to visit in the village longer spending more money before they leave.

"I made a decision to come back because I wanted to participate in the community in a positive way," Webb said.

Webb, who had been a successful businessman in Atlanta before his return, spoke of his deep family ties to economic development.

"My responsibility is to try to participate in the economy. That's what my grandfather did when he came back from World War II," he said.

In attendance at the meeting were Schiller; Frank Hyuck, board member; Mike Lobaugh, board member; Rick Seaman, board member, Ken Spielman, board member and Cannon. Schiller informed the audience that a court reporter was present to keep an accurate account of the proceedings.

Also in attendance were Vince Horrigan, county executive, and George Borello, legislator.

 
 
 

 

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