2014: Verizon Wireless selects the wooded lot that is privately owned by Public Storage to be the site of an 82-foot monopole cell tower. This lot is located behind the Public Storage facility listed at 3671 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, New York, and runs along a number of homes on Dellwood Road, a residential street. The lot itself is residentially zoned.
April 17, 2014: Earth Dimensions, hired by Verizon Wireless, completes a wetlands delineation of Public Storage’s wooded lot. (Click HERE view the original hand-drawn delineation. Click HERE to view the 2016 application site plan with this 2014 delineation notated.)
2015: The Amherst planning department attempts to lure Verizon away from its negotiations with Public Storage by suggesting that the wireless company build their tower on the municipal property next door, Garnet Park, instead. Verizon agrees to investigate a cell tower relocation to the parkland.
December 9, 2015: Earth Dimensions, hired by Verizon Wireless, completes a wetlands delineation of Garnet Park. (See map below.) March/April 2016: The planning department approaches Northtown Automotive Companies to strike a deal that would grant Verizon 24-hour access to the proposed Garnet Park cell tower and its substation via Northtown’s 3675 Sheridan Drive Subaru/Hyundai dealership property. Northtown agrees to this arrangement in exchange for a lease with the town allowing them to expand that property’s parking in a 35‘ x 473’ area into Garnet Park. Additionally the town would also grant Northtown control of the access road to the proposed site. Northtown would negotiate a separate right-of-way lease with Verizon for its usage.
April 18, 2016: 4pm – Town Board Working Session: Steven Sanders, supported by Barry Weinstein and the Planning Department, introduces the Verizon Wireless/Northtown Automotive Companies proposal to the Town Board by way of initiating the alienation of Garnet Park. (Click HERE to view the April 18, 2016, Town Board 4pm working session where the alienation is introduced by Sanders.)
Pictured Above: A screen capture of the Planning Department’s map used by Sanders to illustrate the Verizon Wireless/Northtown Automotive Companies proposal for Garnet Park. Note: The yellow area marks the proposed Northtown 35′ x 473′ parking expansion and access road. The large black square marks the proposed Verizon 100′ – 150′ cell tower with an alternate access road leading down to Garnet Road.
April 18, 2016: 7pm – Town Board Regular Meeting: The alienation is, (thankfully), voted down 3 to 2 (Republicans Weinstein and Sanders were in favor. Democrats Bucki, Popowich, and Spoth were opposed.)
Prior to the hearing, Verizon stated to the Town Board and the Planning Department that, if the alienation did not pass, they would return to their original plans of pursuing a cell tower lease with Public Storage. Also worth noting is that the Town Board and the Planning Department purposely chose NOT to notify residents within 600 feet of Garnet Park about the proposed alienation despite the Town Attorney’s attempt to persuade Weinstein and Sanders otherwise. (Click HERE to view the April 18, 2016, Town Board 7pm regular meeting and vote.)
May 10, 2016: Northtown Automotive Companies sends a letter to the Town Supervisor’s office outlining their request to enter “into a long-term lease with the Town of Amherst to use a 50′ x 473′ tract of land that runs parallel to [their] property line and abuts the northern border of Garnet Park.” (Click HERE to view this letter. Click HERE to view the May 2016 map that illustrates the proposed Northtown lease parcel into Garnet Park. Note: The black area marks the proposed Northtown 50′ x 473′ parking expansion into the parkland.)
September 1, 2016: The Town Board public hearing notification letter is mailed to property owners within 600 feet of Garnet Park. “Notice of public hearing for proposed alienation of parkland for private parking Garnet Park/66 Garnet Road”. (Click HERE to view this notification letter.)
September 8, 2016: The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) public hearing notification letter is mailed to property owners within 500ft of 3671 Sheridan Drive (Public Storage). (Click HERE to view this notification letter.)
September 19, 2016: The Town Board public hearing to address the alienation of Garnet Park and the expansion of Northtown private parking into the Garnet Park is abruptly shut down by Supervisor Weinstein. No vote is taken. The motion is dismissed and park alienation is not pursued, much to the relief of the neighborhood residents in attendance. As a result, Northtown is not granted extended parking.
Also worth noting: Garnet Park was one of four parks/conservation areas up for alienation that evening. The other three discussed were: East Amherst Conservation Area (2455 Dodge Road), Paradise Park (750 Paradise Road), and North French Soccer Complex (1681 North French Road). The motivation for beginning the alienation process for these parks was to allow cell towers to be constructed on them for Blue Wireless.
September 20, 2016: The ZBA votes unanimously to approve Upstate Cellular/Verizon Wireless’s application for the construction of a 90+ foot cell tower on Public Storage’s residential-zoned back lot. The ZBA tables Upstate Cellular/Verizon Wireless’s application to to build and operate a cell tower on the grounds of the Faith United Church of Christ located at 1300 Maple Road.
September 25, 2016: The first neighborhood door is knocked on sparking the beginning of our grass-roots community movement.