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Gaines weighs art co-op, 2 labor camps

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 July 2013 at 12:00 am

GAINES Three projects – the renovation of a historic brick house, the conversion of a home into a labor camp, and the construction a new camp for farmworkers – are all before the town Zoning Board of Appeals.

Town residents can air their views about three projects during public hearings and meetings in the next month.

Ray Burke is working to convert a single-family house at the corner of routes 98 and 104 into a co-op for high-end crafters and artists. Burke plans to add a driveway to the south of the building that will be accessible to Route 98. He also is planning a parking area for about 15 vehicles.

Burke is seeking a permit to run the business in the town’s commercial and historic overlay district. There will be a hearing on July 16. That will follow a 7 p.m. hearing on one of the labor camp projects. The Orleans County Planning Board will review Burke’s project during its 7 p.m. meeting on July 25. The Gaines ZBA will then meet 7 p.m. Aug. 5 to vote on it.

Burke and a group of volunteers have been working on the 3,000-square-foot house, which was built around 1840, for several months. They still have a lot of work to do, Burke told the ZBA on Monday night. He would like to be open in the fall, but that may be too ambitious.

He believes the project will complement the cobblestone historic district, which includes the Cobblestone Society Museum, Tillman’s Village Inn and several nearby antique dealers.

“There are a lot of people who do nice things craft-wise, but they have no place to show their wares,” he said.

Two fruit growers also are trying to establish housing for their seasonal workers, who come to pick apples for about 10 weeks in the fall.

Kast Farms wants to add four manufactured housing units, with a capacity of eight people in each building, at 2824 Densmore Rd. The manufactured housing buildings are about 1,000 square feet – 14 by 76 feet. They each include two bathrooms.

The town will have a public hearing at 7 p.m. July 17 on the project. Kast is seeking a variance to have a maximum of eight people per unit, which is two more than the town’s standard. Kast’s orchard manager Gary Davy said the units are designed for up to eight people.

The project also needs a variance because Kast wants to set the manufactured units on a piers rather than a full foundation. Gaines’ zoning requires a full foundation, but HUD standards allow the piers, said Roger Kopas, the town’s code enforcement officer.

Oded Kalir of Brockport also is working to add farmworker housing in Gaines at 13105 Eagle Harbor-Knowlesville Rd. Kalir wants to convert an existing single-family house into farmworker housing. The house currently isn’t in an agricultural district but Kalir has applied to have it added to County Agricultural District No. 3.

Because the project isn’t in a certified ag district, he needs a permit. The ZBA set a hearing for 7 p.m. July 16 at the town hall.