Lakewood Business Site Will Continue To Sit Idle

From left, clockwise, members of the Village of Lakewood Planning Board, John Shedd, Martin Idzik, Jennifer Leister and Richard Rose; Jeffrey Swanson, Lakewood building inspector; and Todd Oudemool, broker with Olympus Brokerage Co., peruse a site plan for Metro Mattress, a mattress store that would replace the empty lot that used to be the home of The Bagel Company at 347 E. Fairmount Ave. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood Village Planning Board gave a no recommendation decision to the board of trustees as how to act when considering the development of Metro Mattress at 347 E. Fairmount Ave.

The decision was made due to frustrations and a lack of information given Wednesday at the planning board meeting at which a site plan for the mattress store was reviewed.

Confusion regarding potential runoff and further needs for clarification caused the planning board to leave the question to develop the property in the hands of the board of trustees, which will convene during normal meeting hours at 6:45 p.m. Aug. 27 to discuss the project.

The planning board suggested Todd Oudemool, broker for Olympus Brokerage Co. and who presented the site plan, come with more information regarding plans for grading, paving, planting, landscaping, signage and lighting to the Aug. 27 meeting.

After multiple questions were asked of Oudemool, the broker took issue with the lack of problem solving on the planning board’s end. Oudemool said he is used to the reciprocity of ideas during site plan reviews. The planning board suggested a more comprehensive proposal be given.

The former site of The Bagel Company, 347 E. Fairmount Ave. now sits empty, awaiting potential development into a Metro Mattress store. The Lakewood Village Planning Board considered a site plan review for the property and decided to give no recommendation either way to the board of trustees, which will decide if development will be worthwhile. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

“My civil rights don’t say that I have to be here,” said Oudemool, who suggested his attorney and the village attorney could have worked to have building permits issued without the site plan review.

“I’ve come here to be a good neighbor and to speak to you,” Oudemool said. “If you want to work with me, I’d be happy to do so.”

Lakewood Building Inspector Jeffrey Swanson knew the proposed Metro Mattress project did not constitute need for a site plan review, as the 2,800 square foot. development is smaller than the 3,000 square foot threshold requirement for a site plan review, but he still felt the project was significant enough to warrant a review by the planning board. Swanson said he wanted to respect the board by making them a part of the process.

Part of the significance was sensitivity to needs of Chautauqua Lake and how runoff from a new business could affect lake health. Stormwater drains, or catch basins, already exist on the Fairmount Avenue property, but planning board members pointed out topography illustrated in the site plan indicate waters draining into the stream behind the proposed Metro Mattress site and adjacent properties.

“Water runoff, in my opinion, isn’t going to change much from what it already is,” Swanson said.

Oudemool said there would be no additional landscaping and that the intent was to preserve the area as it was, with Metro Mattress planned to be built on the former site of The Bagel Company. A monument sign was mentioned as well as downlight lighting from the building to avoid light pollution.

Planning board member John Shedd was unclear on the purpose of the site plan review if Oudemool did not have to be present. The board decided their role was to prepare Oudemool and his partner, civil engineer Dominick Madia of National Structures Inc., to present more information to the board of trustees in less than two weeks.

The planning board expressed frustrations with not being shown property lines in the site plan and being given no physical grading plan, among other questions of theirs they found were not satisfactorily answered by Oudemool. They displayed concerns about garbage trucks smashing the pavement and ruining grading.

“There should be no negative connotation taken from the fact that we are not making a recommendation,” said Martin Idzik, planning board member, who thought the board of trustees would appreciate a fuller presentation Aug. 27.

If the Metro Mattress store becomes a reality, it will be located across from Dollar Tree and Walmart and adjacent to the Greater Woodlawn Federal Credit Union.