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Ciminelli Unveils Plans For Muir Woods Subdivision

by Joseph Popiolkowski
Fri, Jun 2nd 2017 10:00 am
The Buffalo News

Nearby homeowners, some of whom have waged a 17-year battle against development of Muir Woods, got a look at the plan during a presentation Wednesday night at Audubon Library.

Named "The Preserve at Muir Woods," the subdivision would be built on 46 acres on the east side of the 326-acre site bounded by the Lockport Expressway to the south, Sweet Home Road to the west, North French Road to the north and Campbell Boulevard to the east.  The new plan calls for entrances to the subdivision off Campbell Boulevard and Lynette Lane. However, residents of the streets surrounding Lynette, as recently as the town's Traffic Safety Board meeting in April, expressed concerns about increased traffic through their neighborhood from the new development.

"The residents as a whole are concerned about the traffic and they never, ever, ever wanted to have the access. It was never necessary," said Judith Colton, a Sunshine Drive resident and member of the Northwest Amherst Residents Association, which once filed a lawsuit to try to block the development.  Rather, the residents' preference is for access via the south from Audubon Parkway, near the expressway. Ciminelli does plan an entrance there for when that portion of the site gets developed down the road, said Anne E. Duggan, Ciminelli's director of marketing and public relations.

A new addition to the site plan is a roundabout in the center of the subdivision, rather than a traditional four-way stop, said Brad Packard, Ciminelli's director of development.  The town's Traffic Safety Board had requested a roundabout to improve fire safety access and improve overall traffic management at that intersection.  "We were willing to accommodate that and yes, the subdivision has been designed with consideration for an internal roundabout," he said.  Packard also revealed that Ciminelli is partnering with Ryan Homes as the homebuilder.  "While Ciminelli Real Estate will be operating as the developer and will ultimately be responsible for the installation of all site improvements in public right-of-ways, ultimately Ryan Homes will be the homebuilder," he said.

The site plan is on the draft agenda for the June 15 Planning Board meeting, when the board will discuss the project's environmental impact and consider approval of the preliminary site plan. Then Ciminelli would work with the state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers and town engineers to finalize permits.  The public will have a chance to comment during a hearing on June 15 in Council Chambers at Amherst Town Hall, 5583 Main St. 

Ciminelli's latest plans to develop Muir Woods were first announced in February. Muir Woods has sat vacant for 17 years under Ciminelli's ownership and its various proposals, including office space and apartments, which were later scrapped.

Ciminelli's presentation to residents can be viewed by clicking here.