Taco Bell plan in Penn Yan approved by county

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express
An artist's rendering of the type of Taco Bell restaurant proposed for the corner of Lake Street and Kimball Avenue in Penn Yan.

Indus Real Estate II LLC, the same firm approved to build a new hotel on Elm Street in Penn Yan, was granted site plan review approval by the Yates County Planning Board at its last meeting April 24 for a proposed Taco Bell fast food restaurant to be built at 208-212 Lake Street on the corner of Kimball Ave.  The 20,342 square foot vacant lot is opposite the defunct Super Duper market.

Kip Finley, Development Manager for the Indus Group, presented the plans to the board, asking for “a quick approval to go.” Finley says the Taco Bell restaurant with a drive-through window will be just like those found “at any other modern plaza.” The 1,800 square foot restaurant will sit behind a 21-space parking lot with the entrance on Kimball Avenue and exits on Kimball and Lake Street. When asked about lighting and parking, he replied there will be 18 foot high shoebox style lights, and there will be no separation between the parking lot and the public sidewalk as has been required of other new development in the village. Finley said in his experience, he only needs to point to the example of other plazas to get planning boards to approve.

While the county had no ground to raise any objections, the Taco Bell plan must still be approved by the Penn Yan Village Planning Board at their next meeting May 5 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall on Elm Street.

Library

The Penn Yan Public Library at 214 Main St. requested Site Plan Review to remove and replace the rear parking lot and building entry steps and ramp, and to construct an outdoor learning area fronting on Main Street.

YCPB Vice Chairman Chuck Mitchell raised an objection to the learning center being located right next to such a busy street.

Yates County Historian and Penn Yan Historic Preservation Commission member Fran Dumas also spoke to this, saying the learning center is out of keeping with the character of the building and of Main Street. She added that the New York State Historic Preservation Office will also “never approve of it.”

Library Executive Director Angela Gonzalez says a 17-page application submitted to SHPO has been approved. Library officials have met with Penn Yan Code Enforcement Office and PY Director of Public Works two times last fall along with two members of the Village Historic Commission and gave no indication of objection.

Gonzalez told the board she believes the learning center would be in another phase of the project, but Mitchell countered that it was in the application before the board for approval.

Gonzalez was unable to answer several questions from board members. She asked for all questions to be in writing to be answered later.

Gonzalez also could not answer questions submitted by Yates County Soil and Water concerning the handling of storm water from the new parking lot. She says those questions and others from the county were sent to village officials, but not forwarded to her until after the county planning board meeting.

With no answers forthcoming at the meeting, and with their objections to the learning center being included in the application, the board ruled the application incomplete, meaning that it must be resubmitted for consideration.

County Planner Shawna Bonshak added that usually questions like this are answered in the preliminary phase rather than at the approval of final plans.

The following applications were all approved:

• Village of Penn Yan: Applicant, Scott Fladd representing Demetrios Pappan, owner of Lake Street Plaza, requested an Area Variance to modify the existing sign.

• Town of Starkey: Applicant, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard at 3962 Route 14, requested a Special Use Permit to construct a 850 sq. ft. addition for another tasting room, kitchen and bathrooms, and to construct a 1455 square foot roof over their existing press pad.

• Town of Milo. Applicant, David Pearce representing Paul and Marian Walrath at 520 East Lake Road, requested four area variances on side setback and height to build a single family dwelling and accessory buildings. The existing house and accessory buildings will be demolished.

•  Town of Jerusalem: Applicant, Java-Gourmet at 2792 State Route 54A, requested a special use permit and site plan review to separate the residential and commercial properties at the request of the town.

•  Town of Torrey: Applicant, Andrew Castelluzzo at 1396 Anthony Road, requested an area variance and site plan review to construct a 20 x 32 foot addition onto existing home for  a bedroom, office and 3/4 bath.